Wedding Checklist
 
 
12 Month Wedding Countdown Checklist
  • Announce your engagement.
  • Locate and buy the engagement rings
  • Set a wedding budget, and who is contributing
  • Pick your preferences for a wedding date and time, and finalize after okaying with important guests, location, or officiant.
  • Set a wedding date.
  • Begin working on a preliminary wedding guest list and decide on your wedding's approximate size. Request lists from both sets of parents and create your own wish list
  • Set a wedding time.
  • Brides: It's never too early to begin thinking about your gown. Start by figuring out what style will look best on you.
  • Determine the type of wedding you want.
  • Get organized! Start a notebook/file folder to house all your wedding-planning paperwork in one place
  • Research reception hall locations.
  • Select and book your reception location.
  • Locate a ceremony site.
  • Select and book your ceremony site.
  • Decide on and meet with your officiant to discuss ceremony structure and any religious requirements (such as counseling).
  • Set up hotel arrangements for out of town guest.
  • Set up the music for your wedding and reception.
  • Decide who will be in your bridal party.
  • Start looking for wedding dress.
  • Start looking for formal wear/tuxedo.
  • Start looking for bridesmaids' dresses.
  • Start looking for formal wear for the groomsmen.
  • Find a photographer and set up an appointment to look at their work.
  • Find a videographer and set up an appointment to look at their work.
  • Find a florists and set appointments to look at their work.
  • Set aside blocks of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests
  • Set up contracts from all the professionals you choose.
  • Register for your wedding gifts, and don't forget to include some choices appropriate for your upcoming bridal shower or engagement party as well.
  • Visit bridal shows; look at magazines, bridal guides and the internet to help you come up with ideas for your wedding, your wedding planner / Consultant can also help.
  • Contact newspapers to announce your engagement (you may need to have an engagement photo taken as well).

Six to Nine Months Before The Wedding
  • Start coming up with your guest list, have your family and friends help you with this task.
  • Select the attendants for your wedding party.
  • Make sure your maid of honor and best man are aware of what you expect of them -- providing a list of their duties will help.
  • Purchase your wedding dress.
  • Think about how you might want to wear your hair
  • Purchase your groom's tuxedo or set up arrangements for the rental of it.
  • Check with the bridesmaids to make sure they have purchased their dresses.
  • Arrange for the groomsmen to purchase or set up arrangements for the rental of their tuxedos.
  • Shop for the accessories.
  • Start planning for your honeymoon.
  • Choose a photographer.
  • Choose a videographer.
  • Choose a florist.
  • Choose and order a wedding cake.
  • Purchase and send guests save-the-date greetings
  • Arrange the Rehearsal
  • Arrange for transportation.
  • Order your invitations and announcements (don't forget plenty of extra envelopes).

Four to Six Months Before The Wedding
  • Check requirements for marriage license
  • Shop and select wedding rings.
  • If you are renting equipment, reserve it, this includes arches, floral items etc.
  • Decide on a floral scheme, choose flowers, and negotiate prices with florist. Be sure to sign a contract outlining what you agreed upon.
  • Grooms: Decide what style of formalwear you will be wearing
  • Grooms: Start looking to buy or rent tux, suit, or other formal attire.
  • Select your invitations and announcements, and then order them.
  • Select your thank you notes and stationery, and then order them.
  • Order all the men's attire.
  • Finalize your guest lists.
  • Inform mothers to select their dresses.
  • Finalize honeymoon details and your reservations.
  • Finalize honeymoon travel details

Two to Four Months Before The Wedding
  • Confirm the details with the caterer.
  • Brides: Choose your bridesmaids' accessories (shoes, gloves, etc.) and either purchase or pass along purchasing information.
  • Brides: Buy any special lingerie your gown requires in time for first fittings.
  • Grooms: Give all of the groomsmen the information they need to buy and/or reserve their attire
  • Prepare maps and directions for the ceremony and reception.
  • Select wedding rings and have sized.
  • Select a wedding guest book.
  • Set the dates and times with the officiant for the rehearsal.
  • Set up the bridesmaids' luncheon.
  • Brides: Provide a guest list to bridesmaids for your shower.
  • Determine your design and printing of the invitations.
  • Finalize the florist photographer.
  • Schedule portrait session if you need one for a newspaper wedding announcement
  • Finalize the videographer.
  • Finalize the florist.
  • Make or buy favors. Allow extra time for custom-made favors (i.e., chocolates in a preprinted box)
  • Finalize accommodations for out of town guest.
  • Get anything you need for an international honeymoon (passport, birth certificate, visas, vaccinations, etc.)
  • Talk to your maid of honor and best man about party plans (such as the shower and bachelor party).
  • Confirm the wedding cake details.
  • Pick up your invitations
  • Start addressing invitations or drop them off with the calligrapher (you'll need to send them out at the two-month mark).
  • Talk to people you'd want to do special performances or readings as part of the ceremony.
  • Send wedding bands out to be engraved (make sure they'll be back in time for the wedding).

Six to Eight Weeks Before The Wedding
  • Send out invitations (be sure to add extra postage for overseas guests).
  • Confirm reservations for out-of-town guests.
  • Set appointment for your formal bridal portrait.
  • Select gifts for your attendants
  • Set appointments with your hairdressers and makeup artists
  • Brides: Decide on and purchase major accessories (veil and shoes) prior to final fittings
  • Finalize the transportation.
  • Begin working on vows, particularly if you're writing your own
  • Begin writing the ceremony program if you are having one
  • Arrange for a babysitter for the reception, if necessary
  • Submit your wedding announcement to newspapers (if you so desire)
  • Research local marriage license requirements
  • Buy a guest book (and a nice pen).
  • Set aside some time to write thank-you notes for gifts received at the bridal shower.
  • Grooms: Attend your bachelor party (and be sure to thank the best man afterwards).
  • Finalize vows
  • Brides: Attend final wedding-gown fitting

Four to Six Weeks Before The Wedding
  • Decide your menu for the reception or finalize it with cater or reception hall
  • Buy a gift for the groom.
  • Schedule a final fitting for your wedding dress.
  • Purchase an outfit to wear when leaving the reception hall.
  • Pick up your wedding rings.
  • Work out wedding day timing and details (who will get the bride there, where the wedding party will dress, etc) and draw up a schedule
  • Brides: Make sure you have your garter and "something old, new, borrowed, and blue" if you want to include these customs in your wedding
  • Get a head start on those thank-you notes (it will feel great to get a batch out before the wedding).
  • Purchase all wedding accessories.
  • Confirm photographer details and arrival.
  • Confirm videographer details and arrival.
  • Confirm florist details and delivery times.
  • Plan the seating for the reception.
  • Start preparing placement cards.
  • Make sure all bridesmaids’ attire has been fitted.
  • Buy a gift for the bride.
  • Choose the music for your ceremony and the reception.
  • Work on a list of "must-play" (and "must-not play") songs for your DJ or band

Two Weeks Before The Wedding
  • Make arrangements to have your wedding gifts move to your home.
  • Handle business and legal details; which includes, name changes, address changes for bills etc.
  • Reconfirm your out of town guests' hotel accommodations.
  • Make sure all clothing and accessories for you and the bridal party are ready.
  • Obtain your marriage license and certificates that may be needed.

One Week Before The Wedding
  • Review any seating details with the ushers
  • Make sure all wedding attire fits comfortably for all of the attendants.
  • Finalize the seating arrangements for the reception hall.
  • Reconfirm your honeymoon reservations and tickets.
  • Pack for your honeymoon.
  • Call any guests who have not responded.
  • Finalize the place cards for the reception.
  • Review all the final details with your photographer.
  • Review all the final details with your videographer.
  • Review all the final details with your florist.
  • Review all the final details with your baker
  • Give a final count to the caterer.
  • Remind wedding party of the exact time and date.
  • Determine any wedding day assignments for members of the wedding party, and make lists/info sheets as needed. If you're having a receiving line, determine the order you want everyone to stand in.
  • Wrap the wedding party gifts.
  • Finalize your rehearsal dinner arrangements
  • Grooms: Pick up your tux and try it on. (Don't wait until the day of to do this!)
  • Prepare your toasts or thanks to friends and family
  • Grooms: Get your final haircut
  • Distribute wedding-day directions, schedule, and contact list to all parents, attendants, and vendors.
  • Put together an overnight bag for your wedding night (toothbrush, sexy lingerie, etc.) and designate someone to deliver it to the hotel for you
  • Brides: Get a manicure and pedicure and confirm big-day beauty appointments.
  • Designate someone to collect the wedding gifts (and any cash) brought to the party
  • Leave a copy of your honeymoon itinerary with someone in case of emergency

One Day Before The Wedding
  • Rehearse the ceremony with the officiant and wedding party
  • Confirm all specific honeymoon travel plans (including transportation to airport, etc.).
  • Brides: Pull together wedding gown, veil, shoes, stockings, and a last-minute emergency kit (aspirin, makeup, safety pins, mints, etc.).
  • Get a manicure or massage.
  • Visit your family the night before and get to sleep early.
  • Attend wedding rehearsal.
  • Relax!

The Wedding Day
  • Allow plenty of time to get dressed
  • Take it easy
  • Go to your hairdresser and makeup appointments
  • Set aside a private moment together after the ceremony to exchange gifts and a sweet congratulatory kiss (or two).
  • Confirm with people who you expect to give/lead toasts at the reception.
  • Confirm with people who you expect to say grace at the reception (if desired)
  • Take a moment to thank your parents and tell them that you love them -- this is a sweet but sad day for them
  • Enjoy your wedding!

After the Wedding
  • Arrange for a bridesmaid or mother to pick up your wedding dress and other personal belongings at the hotel after you depart.
  • Freeze the top layer of the wedding cake to be enjoyed at your first anniversary celebration
  • Take the bridal bouquet and other wedding mementos to be preserved, if you are a true sentimentalist
  • Arrange for your gown and veil to be cleaned and preserved. Make sure the provider is experienced in preserving wedding gowns.
  • Take any personal film to be developed. These will probably be the first photos available to you,  since professional proofs may take weeks.
  • Mail gifts to your parents to thank them for their help and support.
  • Make sure that ALL vendor bills have been paid in full.
  • Find out when you can expect your edited wedding video from your videographer
  • Within two months of your wedding, set aside some romantic evenings to write thank-you notes.