Hello! I can tell you first hand what all the moving pieces are to make a wedding come together. Whether your having 40 people or 200, there are still things that slip thru the cracks! I have put together a checklist to ensure nothing is forgotten and you will have the best wedding ever ( we both know your wedding will be the best ever, duh.)
WHEN YOU’RE NEWLY ENGAGED
❏ You’re engaged! Have some bubbly and bliss out!
❏ Tell people the big news.
❏ Avoid jumping right into planning if you can possibly avoid it: just enjoy this recent change!
❏ Sit down and figure out what your wedding priorities are.
❏ Come up with a wedding mission statement.
❏ Have an engagement party, or a super casual engagement toast.
❏ Decide if you want to elope and ditch the rest of this list (really!)
12 MONTHS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING
❏ Launch your master wedding plan.
❏ Sit down and have your first (of many) guest lists chats (and don’t forget to ask your parents for their list)
❏ Figure out your target wedding budget.
❏ Narrow your venue search (ceremony and reception) to your favorite options.
❏ Hire a wedding planner or day of coordinator. Trust me, you will want to when you see the rest of this list! I'm overwhelmed reading this and I do this for a living!
11 MONTHS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING
❏ Begin touring your preferred reception and ceremony venues (ask questions!)
❏ Book a venue.
❏ Begin your wedding photographer search: set-up meetings, and book.
10 MONTHS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING
❏ Start shopping for wedding attire. Make appointments at bridal and clothing shops as needed. Remember traditional wedding dress shops will have long lead times on ordering dresses.
❏ Research what kind of food you want to have, and begin to interview and book caterers.
❏ If you don’t want a caterer, start to investigate self-catering or having a potluck wedding.
❏ Once you’ve booked your wedding photographer, shoot engagement photos (especially if you’re using them for save the dates)
❏ Finalize your guest list before sending save the dates.
❏ Create a basic version of your wedding website, especially if you want to include it in your save the dates. Look on the knot- it’s completely free and easy to set up! No, I mean really, you can do it on your phone.
❏ Design and order your save the dates.
9 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING
❏ Send your save the dates.
❏ Research wedding invitations and associated paper goods.
❏ If you want to DIY your wedding invitations, come up with a plan now.
❏ Hire at minimum: a day of coordinator to run the show. A wedding is kind of like a Broadway production. Hire a stage manager!
8 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING
❏ Check out local florists and make appointments.
❏ Decide what kind of music you want to have. Do you need a DJ? A band? A DIY music plan?
❏ Begin thinking about your officiant: who will it be?
❏ Daydream about wedding cakes, and discuss what kind you’d like.
❏ If you want wedding showers or parties, peruse these ideas, and ask a friend if they’ll plan it for you.
7 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING
❏ Book a florist, if you’re using one.
❏ If you’ve decided on a band or DJ, book one now.
❏ If you want a videographer, book one now.
❏ Research hair and make-up artists if needed.
❏ Begin researching honeymoon destinations (because you KNOW you need a beak)
6 MONTHS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING
❏ Think about rehearsal dinner options.
❏ Start to plan any extra events associated with the wedding (after party, brunch, welcome party)
❏ Finalize your guest list.
❏ Set up a meeting with your officiant to discuss the ceremony and start marital counseling (if relevant)
❏ Start thinking about your vows and ceremony plan.
❏ If you’re having a friend officiate your wedding, now is a good time to ask them about doing so.
❏ If you’re not having a friend officiate your wedding, make sure you’ve booked someone (or the church/shul/mosque/ temple)
❏ Set up your wedding registry.
❏ Have a meeting with everyone who is helping and make sure they all understand what is expected.
❏ Find a baker for your wedding cake, and if you can schedule cake tastings, do so! Plus whom doesn’t want to try cake!
5 MONTHS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING
❏ Book that honeymoon!
❏ If someone in your wedding is wearing suits, start figuring out if you want to rent or buy
❏ Check out wedding rings and decide what you want.
❏ Decide if you need party rentals and figure out what you need and put together an order (adjustments can be made later, so book now!)
❏ If you need a wedding tent, research and reserve one.
❏ Schedule your hair and make-up trials, if you’re hiring a stylist (also make sure you coordinate with your wedding parties or friends)
❏ Reserve hotel blocks for your wedding (or have your wedding planner do it)
❏ Make wedding night reservations as needed.
4 MONTHS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING
❏ Finalize rehearsal dinner and book anything you might need to still book.
❏ Buy your wedding rings.
❏ Order wedding invitations.
❏ Make sure your passport is up to date if you’re leaving the country for your honeymoon.
❏ Book wedding transportation.
❏ Create a spreadsheet for RSVPs and guest list addresses.
❏ Talk to whoever is planning your bachelorette party and/or any wedding showers.
3 MONTHS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING
❏ Address and mail your wedding invitations (double check the postage!) If you are having a destination wedding send sooner!
❏ Think about what ceremony extras you might need (a chuppah, aisle runners, etc.) and buy or rent them.
❏ Start planning out your wedding ceremony script.
❏ If you’re DIYing anything for your wedding, start now or cross it off your list.
❏ Schedule dress fittings as needed.
❏ Make wedding night reservations as needed.
❏ Research your local marriage license, civil union, and domestic partnership rules.
2 MONTHS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING
❏ Begin working on your wedding vows.
❏ Make sure everyone in your wedding parties have bought what they’re wearing.
❏ Figure out what you’re wearing to your rehearsal dinner.
❏ Put together a list of what you want to pack for your honeymoon, if you’re taking one.
SIX WEEKS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING
❏ Start wearing your shoes around the house as needed.
❏ Make sure you’re updating your gift registry and spreadsheets as gifts arrive, and send thank you notes now if you can.
❏ Confirm that out of town guests are set up at hotels and lodging.
❏ Figure out if you want a guest book, and make it happen if so (also: test your pens!)
❏ Write thank you notes for your shower gifts.
❏ Finalize your vows.
❏ Make sure your wedding outfits are still on point.
❏ Finalizing your menu with your caterer.
❏ Finalize your wedding ceremony.
1 MONTH BEFORE YOUR WEDDING
❏ Put together your seating chart.
❏ Create your escort cards or table numbers.
❏ Finalize your ceremony outline.
❏ Create a wedding timeline (your wedding planner or day of coordinator will do this)
❏ Make any necessary nail and spa appointments
❏ Confirm all vendor payments (and tip amounts)
❏ Create your wedding playlist, if you’re doing the DIY DJ route.
❏ Make sure your wedding party knows any critical information as it pertains to the rehearsal dinner or wedding day.
❏ Give your DOC a copy of the vendor contract information, delivery schedule, and set up times (or work with them to gather that information)
❏ Schedule a final dress fitting.
❏ Print wedding programs if you’re having them.
❏ Confirm all rentals and/or adjust your rental order.
❏ Sit down with your DOC and walk through all the details for your wedding day.
❏ Get a marriage license.
TWO WEEKS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING
❏ Check with guests who haven’t RSVPed.
❏ Confirm head counts, menus, vendor meal requests, and delivery with your caterers and bakers.
❏ Confirm your photo requests, required family, and timeline with your photographer.
❏ Make sure that everyone who is delivering something to the wedding (rentals, flowers, etc.) has a confirmed, final timeline.
❏ Send a transportation schedule to transport providers.
❏ Make sure any clothing you want cleaned or pressed is taken care of.
❏ Ensure that there is a plan for wedding venue set up and breakdown.
ONE WEEK BEFORE YOUR WEDDING
❏ Pack an overnight bag, and include: your toothbrush, birth control/condoms, something to sleep in, an outfit for the next day, honeymoon luggage, and your passport.
❏ Get your wedding manicure/pedicure (if it’s happening at all)
❏ Make sure a copy of your honeymoon plans is left with family and friends.
❏ Put your final payments + tips for vendors in labeled envelopes and give this to your DOC or someone else to manage.
❏ Get your wedding day “oh shit kit” put together (aspirin, make-up, safety pins, mints, snacks, etc.)
❏ Pick up your dress (if it wasn’t delivered to you)
❏ Try on your entire wedding ensemble.
❏ Give all your vendors the DOC number to call, just in case (note: not yours!)
❏ Hand over all your planning docs (including a copy of the vendor delivery schedule, set up. times, and phone numbers) to your day of coordinator and take a step back to enjoy this thing!
1 DAY BEFORE YOUR WEDDING
❏ Rehearse your ceremony with your officiant and wedding party.
❏ Confirm your honeymoon transportation, airport drop-off, etc.
❏ Set your alarm (and a back-up)
❏ Print out your vows (or memorize them)
❏ Don't forget to have fun!
Feel free to email me and I will send you a copy in printable PDF form. xoxox, Erin