Juggling our everyday lives with wedding planning can be quite a struggle, but you can enjoy the planning process more when you're organized. It's overwhelming when you're not sure what's next on the to-do list, so I've created a general timeline for brides out there who need the reminders or reassurance that they're already on track. You can download the wedding planning checklist here.
Wedding Planning Checklist
- Set a budget, and determine how costs will be divided.
- Select a date, and reserve venue(s).
- Start the guest list to get your best cost estimate.
- Find an officiant.
- Start a separate folder for receipts.
- Select your wedding party.
- Hire a planner or day-of coordinator.
- Book a florist, photographer, and DJ or band.
9-12 Months Before
- Find a caterer if the venue doesn't offer one.
- Choose bridesmaids' attire.
- Register for gifts.
- Start planning your honeymoon.
- Select and order a bridal gown!
- Create a wedding website.
- Arrange transportation.
6-9 Months Before
- Finalize guest list.
- Send save-the-date announcements.
- Reserve any rental items needed for ceremony/reception.
- Shop for wedding invitations.
- Finalize a date, time, and location for rehearsal dinner.
- Choose ceremony readings, and reach out to readers.
- Arrange room blocks at hotels for out-of-town guests.
- Meet with your officiant.
4-6 Months Before
- Mail invitations.
- Shop for your wedding rings.
- Order wedding cake.
- Obtain marriage license after 90-day mark.
- Find your makeup artist and hairstylist, and make your day-of and trial-run appointments.
- Purchase favors and gifts for welcome baskets.
2-4 Months Before
- Send rehearsal-dinner invitations.
- Reserve tuxedos for groomsmen.
- Finalize the menu and the flowers.
- Meet with vendors to work out details.
6-8 Weeks Before
- Print seating cards and programs.
- Create seating plan and wedding-weekend timeline.
- Have your final dress fitting.
- Write vows.
- Finalize all details, and confirm with vendors.
2-6 Weeks Before
- Expect lots of last-minute things to come up, so try not to save anything that could have been finished sooner.
- Confirm arrival times with vendors and wedding party.
- Set aside checks or tips to distribute to vendors.
- Delegate tasks to wedding party.
1 Week Before
After you've nailed down your wedding budget, get cracking on the rest of the checklist, and don't forget to have fun. You're a bride! Try to enjoy every moment leading up to your big day.