month by month wedding checklist

12 Month Wedding Planning Checklist

Month by Month Wedding Planning Checklist

month by month wedding checklist

Once the excitement from getting engaged simmers down a bit, it’s time to start planning the wedding! A solid wedding checklist is a godsend in such situations, so check out the following list and keep it with you as you plan your big day!

12 Months Prior

  • Announce your engagement to friends and family and plan your engagement party
  • Plan an announcement for your local paper
  • Devise a budget
  • Hire a wedding planner or purchase wedding planning software if desired
  • Choose a wedding date–have a few dates in mind in case your chosen venue is booked on your first choice
  • Choose a location and reserve your ceremony/reception sites
  • Start on the guest list and compile addresses
  • Decide on a bridal party, including Maid of Honor and Best Man
  • Start shopping for your wedding gown
  • Attend a local bridal show for inspiration. Bring a pen and paper!
  • Purchase a wedding organizer or wedding calendar to help you keep track of fittings and other important dates

Six to Nine Months Prior

  • Research and choose multiple bridal registries
  • Order your wedding gown and purchase the undergarments you’re going to wear with it–bring these to your fittings
  • Order bridal accessories, such as shoes, veil and gloves
  • Start shopping for bridesmaid dresses
  • Find an officiant
  • Research local vendors and book musicians, wedding band or DJ, florist, caterer, photographer and videographer

Four to Six Months Prior

  •  Select and order your wedding invites, invitation envelopes and thank-you cards
  • Hire a calligrapher if desired
  • Select and purchase wedding favors and wedding favor accessories
  • Purchase ceremony and reception accessories you need, such as a unity candle, aisle runner, vases, etc.
  • Start researching wedding cake ideas and local bakeries
  • Book your honeymoon and verify what travel documents you need
  • Book a room for your wedding night
  • Book hotel rooms/other accommodations for out-of-town guests
  • Finalize the guest list and send save-the-date cards
  • Print directions to rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception and hotel for guests
  • Make a list of area information and attractions for out-of-town guests
  • Reserve transportation for you and your wedding party as well as bus or trolley if needed

Two to Four Months Prior

  • Find out your state’s marriage license requirements and get blood tests if necessary
  • Order tuxedos for the groom and groomsmen
  • Meet with the caterer to discuss menu options and bar/liquor needs
  • Meet with your officiant to discuss vows and other ceremony wording/details
  • Order your wedding cake
  • Choose wedding readings
  • Buy thank-you gifts for attendants, ring bearer and flower girl
  • Purchase a gift for your groom
  • Select and purchase wedding rings
  • Choose a rehearsal dinner location
  • Contact party rental companies regarding tents, arches, tables, etc.
  • Book other specialty services if applicable–photo booth, ice sculptures, etc.
  • Purchase luggage and other honeymoon travel necessities
  • Order/renew passports if applicable
  • Schedule a dentist appointment if you want your teeth cleaned/whitened

One to Two Months Prior

  •  Mail invitations at least eight weeks before wedding date
  • Complete name-change documents if applicable
  • Fill out change of address form, if applicable
  • Print ceremony programs
  • Purchase a guest book, pen, other wedding accessories such as toasting glasses, ring pillow, cake knife
  • Keep your wedding website updated with details and directions
  • Choose hair and makeup stylists and schedule trials; book wedding day hair and makeup appointments
  • Review insurance information with your groom to find out what requires updating once you’re legally wed

Two Weeks to One Month Prior

  • Create a seating chart for the reception, make table numbers and place cards
  • Contact your caterer with the final guest count
  • Print out an event timeline for your wedding party and vendors, and include all contact info
  • Meet with your photographer to finalize your wedding shot list
  • Contact your florist to confirm the final order
  • Finalize ceremony and reception music with your wedding band/DJ
  • Confirm lodging for out-of-town guests
  • Plan a wedding announcement in your local paper
  • Plan a bridal luncheon or dinner with the bridesmaids
  • Pick up wedding bands and ensure the fit
  • Schedule a final dress fitting
  • Apply for your marriage license
  • Write rehearsal dinner toasts

One Week Prior

  • Write out final checks to wedding vendors, place them in envelopes and have your wedding coordinator distribute them at the wedding
  • Pick up your wedding gown and marriage license
  • Confirm the limo or other travel arrangements
  • Have your post office hold your mail, if necessary
  • Treat yourself to a spa day!

The Day Before

  • Welcome out-of-town guests
  • Go for a walk or take a yoga class
  • Schedule a hair appointment before the rehearsal dinner
  • Attend and enjoy the rehearsal!

The Big Day

  • Wake up early and perform some easy exercises or go for a walk
  • Set aside time to present bridal party/family with gifts
  • Eat a big, healthy breakfast
  • Enjoy this magical, special, wonderful day!