Check these off your wedding planning list


June 29, 2023

From picking out your venue and vendors, to managing a budget on top of life, wedding planning is indeed very stressful. As a bride myself, I understand all the stress we go through when planning a wedding on top of our hectic daily life schedules. We want everything to be perfect for our big day, but also cost-effective.

To avoid getting overwhelmed with the process, I combined a wedding planning checklist to help you stay organized.

16 to 9 months prior:

  • Plan an engagement party or have your family throw you one.
  • Attend bridal expos/shows
  • Start a wedding binder and begin to look through bridal magazines and Pinterest boards to get inspiration designs and styles for your day. Also purchase a notebook and write down all of your notes and questions you have for each vendor. Personally, each vendor I looked at, I came prepared and met with questions. Do your research.
  • Obtain a budget. Determine how much you want to spend based on your families' contributions and your own.
  • Choose who you want to be in your bridal party.
  • Start a guest list. Make a head count of how many people you want at your wedding this way you can situate your budget for your venue.
  • Hire a wedding planner/coordinator.
  • Start looking and visiting vendors. Keep in mind location of your guests, ceremony and reception and travel time.
  • Book your officiant.
  • Book your entertainment, DJ. If you have a specific DJ or event host in mind, these need to be booked ASAP as they get booked up quickly.
  • Start researching and looking at photographers, wedding rings, florists and caterers.
  • Send out save the dates

8 months prior:

  • Book your photographer and videographer.
  • If your wedding venue doesn't offer catering, look for one and hire them now.
  • Purchase your wedding dress, veil and headpiece. Remember, certain bridal places get booked so be prepared to make your appointment in advance.
  • Reserve a block of hotel rooms for out of town guests that will be close to your venue.
  • Register for your bridal shower gifts. Sign up at a minimum of three retailers and give yourself and your guests some options.
  • Launch a wedding website. Note the date of your wedding, travel information and accommodations and send link to guests.

7 to 6 months prior:

  • Select and purchase your wedding invitations. Hire a calligrapher if desired.
  • Start planning your honeymoon and booking it. Make sure your passports are also up to date.
  • Shop for bridesmaid dresses. Allow at least six months for the dresses to be ordered and fitted and the adjustments if needed.
  • Meet with officiant. Map out ceremony and confirm you have all the documents necessary.
  • Book and meet with a florist. Make sure you have your colors nailed down and your bridesmaid dresses first.
  • Arrange transportation day of if you need.
  • Meet with tuxedo places/book them.

5 to 4 months prior:

  • Book rehearsal dinner restaurant or venue.
  • Select and order your wedding cake.
  • Send your guest list to the host of your bridal shower.
  • Purchase wedding shoes.
  • Start dress fittings. Bring your shoes along to the fitting.
  • Schedule a hair and makeup trial to try them out.
  • Choose your music selections. Discuss with your DJ what should be playing during reception and ceremony. Keep a running list of your playlist and do not play list.
  • Start looking at ring truck shows and attend them. (I got a few hundred dollars knocked off on my rings from a trunk show depending on the sale. Sometimes they have coupons you rub off.)

3 months prior:

  • Finalize the menu with your venue.
  • Finalize your flower selections.
  • Order your favors, if desired. Or make a small donation to a charity of your choosing.
  • Make a list of the people giving toasts or speeches for your day. Are they ready to go?
  • Finalize readings with your officiant.
  • Purchase your undergarments and schedule a fitting for your dress.
  • Finalize order of the ceremony and reception.
  • Purchase your wedding bands. Keep in mind budgeting for insurance, if desired.

2 months prior:

  • Touch base with all of your vendors and the status they are at. Ask any questions that may have came up.
  • Meet with your photographer. Discuss specific shots you want and the walk through of any space or locations you had in mind.
  • Review your music playlist with your DJ or band.
  • Send out your invitations.
  • Arrange your bachelorette and bachelor parties.

1 month prior:

  • Nail down your guest list. Call people who haven't responded to your RSVP's.
  • Get your marriage license.
  • Mail rehearsal dinner invitations.
  • Visit your bridal store for last dress fittings.
  • Send out final payments or as many as you can.
  • Confirm times with hair and makeup and all vendors.
  • Assign seating arrangements.
  • Purchase thank you bridesmaid gifts that will be presented to them at rehearsal dinner.
  • Write vows, if any.
  • Get your hair colored or cut, if desired.
  • Get any materials you need or want for your venue such as decor, frames, card box in order.

Week of the wedding:

  • Reconfirm arrival times with vendors.
  • Pick up your wedding dress.
  • Check in one last time with photographer and videographer and DJ.
  • Set aside checks for those you haven't paid yet.
  • Make an appointment for a manicure and pedicure.
  • Send final guest list to those hosting your wedding.
  • Make sure groom and groomsmen are ready with tuxedos.
  • Pack for your honeymoon.

Remember, your wedding day is a once in a lifetime day and it's all about you and your fiancee. Relax, enjoy the moment and take it all in. Congratulations and I hope I made your wedding planning process a bit less stressful with my expertise.

Brittany Pavlichko

Marketing Manager