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Your Essential Wedding Planning Checklist

Congratulations on your engagement! Planning a wedding is an exciting journey, but it can also be overwhelming. That's why having a comprehensive wedding checklist is a lifesaver. It ensures that you stay organized and on...

Congratulations on your engagement! Planning a wedding is an exciting journey, but it can also be overwhelming. That's why having a comprehensive wedding checklist is a lifesaver. It ensures that you stay organized and on top of everything, making the process much smoother. Whether you're a bride-to-be or a groom-to-be, this checklist will guide you every step of the way.

Getting Started: 12 Months to Go

Before diving into the nitty-gritty details, take some time to envision your dream wedding. Discuss with your partner the type of wedding you both want, the time of year you prefer, and the approximate number of guests. Set a budget and start researching potential venues and suppliers. Here are some key tasks to accomplish during this period:

  • Decide on the style of venue
  • Book reception and ceremony venues
  • Look into wedding insurance
  • Start researching wedding suppliers such as photographers, entertainers, florists, and makeup artists
  • Book a wedding planner, if needed
  • Begin searching for your perfect wedding dress
  • Send out Save the Dates to give guests ample notice
  • Think about your bridal party and pop the question to your chosen bridesmaids and groomsmen
  • Consider DIY projects to personalize your wedding

Eight to Ten Months to Go

As the months pass, it's time to dive deeper into the wedding planning process. Use this period to finalize important aspects of your wedding. Here are some tasks to focus on:

  • Research and book ceremony music
  • Arrange entertainment options, like magicians, dancers, or comedians
  • Order your wedding dress
  • Decide on your color scheme and any additional decor you may want to hire
  • Research and reserve accommodation for out-of-town guests
  • Start researching honeymoon options

Six to Eight Months to Go

With six to eight months left until your big day, it's time to start putting your plans into action. Take care of the following tasks:

  • Order your wedding stationery
  • Book your wedding cake
  • Start looking into flower arrangements
  • Purchase or rent the groom's suit
  • Begin searching for bridesmaid dresses
  • If getting married in a Catholic church, book a pre-marriage course
  • Finalize your honeymoon plans

Four to Six Months to Go

As the countdown continues, check off these items from your wedding planning checklist:

  • Research and book hair and makeup artists
  • Book your hair and makeup artist
  • Send notification of intention to marry to the registrar (if required by law)
  • Order bridesmaids' dresses
  • Take care of any necessary documentation for a Catholic Church wedding
  • Plan your hen and stag parties
  • Purchase wedding shoes and accessories
  • Book your wedding transport
  • Consult and book a florist
  • Attend any pre-marriage courses required by your church
  • Check the expiration date on your passport and renew if necessary
  • Continue working on DIY projects

Three Months to Go

With just three months to go, it's time to finalize some essential details. Here's what you should focus on:

  • If you haven't done so already, send notification of intention to marry (if required)
  • Purchase your wedding rings
  • Buy lingerie for the wedding day
  • Plan alterations and fitting appointments for your attire
  • Organize wedding favors
  • Shop for reception and venue decor
  • Compile your wedding gift list, if you're having one
  • Ensure the groom and groomsmen get their suits fitted
  • Check if any vaccinations are needed for your honeymoon
  • Collect addresses and buy stamps for your wedding invitations
  • Choose your song selections for the first dance, reception entrance, and processional/recessional
  • Arrange for a food tasting and finalize the menu

Two Months to Go

As the excitement continues to build, focus on these tasks:

  • Work on mass booklets and get approval from your priest (for Catholic Church weddings)
  • Send out your wedding invitations
  • Test out tanning options if desired
  • Purchase gifts for the bridal party, parents, and your partner
  • Attend dress fittings
  • Think about your table plan display

Four Weeks to Go

With only a month left until your wedding day, it's time to tie up loose ends. Focus on these tasks:

  • Have your final wedding dress fitting
  • Confirm details with all your suppliers
  • Confirm the menu and any dietary requirements with the venue
  • Collect the bridesmaid dresses
  • Send your song suggestions or playlist to the band or DJ
  • Chase any guests who have not yet RSVPed
  • Provide a photo list to your photographer
  • Finalize the guest list
  • Review and finalize the ceremony booklet
  • Start breaking in your wedding shoes

Two Weeks to Go

As the final countdown begins, take care of these last-minute preparations:

  • Collect your wedding dress
  • Organize the table plan and seating arrangements
  • Write your speeches or vows
  • Arrange for any needed foreign currency for your honeymoon
  • Review your checklist to ensure nothing is overlooked
  • Break in your wedding shoes
  • Prepare your "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" items

One Week to Go

With just one week left until your special day, focus on these final details:

  • Visit the venue or speak with the coordinator about setup and timings
  • Provide the final guest numbers to the reception venue or caterer
  • Print or prepare place cards and the table plan
  • Confirm services and timings with all your wedding suppliers
  • Color your hair if necessary
  • Enjoy beauty treatments like waxing or massages
  • Attend the wedding rehearsal with your celebrant
  • Assign a bridesmaid or groomsman as the contact person for the day
  • Pack your honeymoon bag (don't forget your passport)
  • Create a detailed timetable for the day's events, including hair and makeup appointments
  • Pack an overnight bag
  • Keep your lingerie, dressing gown, and accessories together
  • Organize envelopes with payments for suppliers and assign your groomsmen to look after them on the day

Two to Three Days to Go

As your wedding day approaches, take care of these final preparations:

  • Have a manicure
  • Make any last-minute changes to the table and seating plans
  • Collect the groom's and groomsmen's suits
  • Confirm the time for your wedding car pickup
  • Confirm the time of cake delivery
  • Arrange for the delivery of flowers to the church, venue, or home
  • Arrange for flowers or gifts to be given to your parents or grandparents
  • Assemble a wedding emergency kit

One Day to Go

The day before your wedding is finally here. Take care of these final tasks before you say "I do":

  • Deliver wedding decorations, place cards, table names, favors, and props to the venue for setup
  • Provide a list of suppliers and contact numbers to your bridesmaid, groomsman, or designated contact person
  • Ensure the bridal party knows the time they need to be at your house or the venue
  • Prepare the rings and wedding supplier payment envelopes for the Best Man
  • Have all your wedding accessories ready and pack an overnight bag
  • Double-check the time of your car pickup
  • Take a moment to relax and soak up the excitement
  • Get a good night's sleep

Day of the Wedding

Your wedding day has arrived! It's time to enjoy every single minute of this magical day.

Photo Credits:

  1. Bridal Notepad Set from Etsy
  2. Photo via BHLDN
  3. Photo by DKPHOTO
  4. Photo by Becca Lea via Style Me Pretty
  5. Photo by DKPHOTO

Wedding Checklist