Wedding Checklist :: Printable To-do Timeline
Has that "We're Engaged!" feeling begun to morph into "Now What?!"
Glorious Moments Photography | Fizzy Beverage Cart
If so, rest assured that this is totally normal—and you've come to the right place.
Here Comes The Guide is here to help you through your wedding planning—and a great place to start is with our Wedding Checklist! We've listed out 12 months of to-dos so you can rest easy knowing you've got it all written out.
Scroll down to view it, or get a printable PDF version of the checklist here →
Don't have a year to plan? Not a problem! Check out our 90-Day Wedding Planning Checklist or Ultimate Elopement Checklist.
10–12 Months To Go…
- Work out your budget and establish your top priorities—where to save/where to splurge.
- Get your creative juices flowing. Start browsing our Wedding Ideas, Real Weddings, and Pinterest as well as wedding blogs and magazines to identify your wedding style and color palette.
- Compile your preliminary guest list (you'll need that guest count!).
- Choose your wedding party—who do you want by your side at the altar?
- Sign up for MyGuide. We'll send you useful—and sassy!—wedding planning emails.
- Find a venue for your ceremony and reception, and reserve your date. Know what questions to ask when evaluating a wedding venue.
Deer Park Villa, Northern CA Wedding Venue
- Do you need wedding insurance? It’s something to think about. Check with your venue about Liability Insurance and consider other options, like cancellation insurance.
- Now that you have a date, tell everyone to save it! For destination weddings or weddings around a holiday, consider sending out Save-the-Date cards or emails. Or create your own wedding website, and let your invitees know about it.
- Say yes to your wedding dress (or tux!) and begin assembling the perfect accessories. Need inspiration? Attend a trunk show or wedding expo.
- Already feeling overwhelmed? Consider hiring a Wedding Planner.
- Find your vendors. Assemble an all-star vendor team. We'd start with:
- Photographer / Videographer
- Officiant When you hire a vendor, get all the details in writing!
- Another way to minimize stress: Start dreaming up your honeymoon…
6–9 Months To Go…
Fiddler's Elbow Country Club | Cassi Claire Photography
- Continue researching, interviewing and booking vendors:
- Decide on arrangements with your Floral Designer.
- Do a tasting and choose your wedding cake with your Cake Designer.
- Hire the DJ/Entertainment for your ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception.
- Discuss the style and wording of your wedding invitations with a Stationer or online invitation company.
- Create your gift registry (and don't forget to update your wedding website!).
- Arrange hotel room blocks for out-of-town guests and book your own suite for the wedding night.
- Shop for bridesmaid/flower girl dresses and give your attendants clear instructions on how to place their orders.
- Arrange and book any necessary transportation.
- Go over bridal shower and/or bach party details, as well as the guest list with the person(s) hosting the party.
- Consider premarital counseling. Let's face it: Planning a wedding is stressful. Make sure you and your fiancé are rock-solid through this journey, and prepared to face married life together.
3–5 Months To Go…
Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa | K & K Photography
- Book the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner location(s). If you're including entertainment or specialty details like a groom's cake, now's the time to lock in these elements.
- Put together your rehearsal dinner guest list.
- Make childcare arrangements and/or plan wedding entertainment for your guests' kids.
- Reserve all necessary party rentals and linens.
- Order wedding favors for your guests.
- Shop for and reserve men's formalwear.
- Concentrate on finalizing the:
- Guest list. Get everyone's mailing address.
- Invitation wording. Confirm your invitation text with the Stationer, and consider additional stationery (programs, menu cards, place cards, thank-you cards, etc.). Schedule a pickup or delivery date for your invites.
- Ceremony readings and vows.
- Menu, beverage, and catering details.
- Timeline of the wedding day and reception formalities.
- Do a Makeup & Hair trial and book your stylists. While you're at it, come up with your own beauty and fitness regimen to be camera-ready and confident for the big day.
- Shop for and purchase your wedding rings. Order engravings if desired.
- Finalize honeymoon plans and obtain all necessary documents (are you sure your passports haven't expired?).
6–8 Weeks To Go…
- You're getting close…. Mail out those invitations! Have a game plan for recording the RSVPs and meal choices.
- Consider a contingency plan. Especially if you're hosting an outdoor wedding. Talk to your venue coordinator about a potential Plan B. You can never be too careful—or too prepared!
- Touch base with your vendors to confirm date, deposits, and details.
- Start researching marriage license requirements and name-change paperwork, if applicable.
- Begin your dress/attire fittings. Be sure to buy the appropriate undergarments beforehand.
- So you think you can't dance? Consider taking a dance lesson with your fiancé—a good way to break in your wedding shoes!
- Give the wedding party a nudge—make sure they've ordered all necessary attire.
- Write thank-you cards for shower gifts and any early wedding gifts received.
- Are you assembling welcome bags for your guests? If so, now’s the time to get those together.
3–5 Weeks To Go…
Posh Peony Floral and Event Design
- Send out rehearsal dinner invitations. If your get-together will be informal, feel free to send an Evite.
- Finalize and confirm:
- Wedding vows and readings with your Officiant.
- Shot list with your Photographer and/or Videographer.
- Song list for ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception with your DJ and/or Band / Musicians.
- Timeline for the reception and who's giving the toasts.
- Wedding night and honeymoon accommodations.
- Obtain marriage license and complete name-change documents, if applicable.
- Pick up your wedding rings and proofread any engraving!
- If you're the traditional type, do you have something old, new, borrowed, and blue?
- Purchase your guest book, toasting flutes, cake servers, unity candle, and all that good stuff.
- Buy gifts (optional) for the wedding party and parents of the wedding couple.
- Have your final dress/suit fitting. Bring your shoes and accessories for the full impact.
- Sigh. Hunt down whoever hasn't RSVP'd yet.
1–2 Weeks To Go…
- Give your caterer/venue the final guest count.
- Arrange seating and create the seating chart and/or place cards.
- Pick up your gown/suit. Swoon.
- Confirm arrival times and finalize the wedding timeline with vendors and the wedding party—make sure your MOH or someone you trust has a copy, too.
- Put together your own Wedding Emergency Kit.
- Speaking of emergencies: Check the weather report, and if things look iffy contact your venue to go over the contingency plan.
- Start packing for your honeymoon. (See "weather report" above.)
- In desperate need of a facial or massage? Now's the time to squeeze one in.
- Want more "Week Before" guidance? Check out our super-thorough Week-Of Wedding Checklist for all the TO-DOs leading up to your I DOs.
The Day Before…
Shot By Katie Gunz | Areli Event Design
- Make sure all wedding-day items are packed/laid out and ready to go! *Don't forget the rings and marriage license!
- Figure out tips and final payments for vendors. Put them in clearly marked envelopes and give them to the Best Man or another person you trust to hand out at the reception.
- Assign someone to pack up your gifts/belongings after the reception (don't forget the top tier of your cake!).
- Thank your BFF for agreeing to return the tuxedos and other rental items the day after the wedding.
- Enjoy a mani-pedi.
- Attend the rehearsal and dinner. Now's the time to give out wedding party gifts.
- Try to go to bed early…you need your beauty sleep tonight!
- Allow plenty of time to get ready.
- Do the rounds at your wedding—greet everyone and thank them for coming.
- Take a deep breath. Stop to appreciate your new spouse and the day that you spent so much time planning!
After the Honeymoon / Back to Reality…
Abidoodle Productions | Megapixels Media
- Write and send thank-you cards. (Don't procrastinate!)
- Complete your registry and exchange any unwanted or duplicate gifts.
- Have your wedding dress cleaned and preserved by a reputable company.
- Keep in touch with your Photographer/Videographer to work on albums, DVDs, etc.
- Enjoy wedded bliss…
Elizabeth Burgi Photography | Bella Vita Events
For a printable version of this article, click here:
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Collect them all! (We told you we love lists.)
Big Picture Wedding Checklist | Ultimate Wedding Budget Checklist | 90-Day Wedding Planning Checklist | Elopement Checklist | Barn Wedding Checklist | Beach Wedding Checklist | Destination Wedding Checklist | Wedding Beauty Timeline | Week-Of Wedding Checklist
Filed under Checklists, Expert Advice
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