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Bride and Her Checklist

Updated on April 18, 2014

A Bride and Her Wedding Checklist

Wedding Planning Checklist

Once a lady gets engaged, the wedding planning process kicks in. There is so many things that needs to be accomplished, the tasks at hand seem to be a little overwhelming. That's where a wedding planning checklist comes in. If you learn what order to perform wedding tasks and do things step by step, you end up with a beautiful wedding. Now let's begin to plan a wedding!

9+ Months Before Your Wedding

So you got engaged, where to go from here, you start with an engagement party of course. First you want to announce your engagement, first you inform your immediate family and gradually inform other family and friends from there. If the families don't live too far apart, host an engagement party, this provides an opportunity for the families to get to know each other better. If the families live too far apart or circumstances prevent the families coming together host two engagement parties, one on each side when the opportunity presents itself.

The engagement party preferable would be held in a family member's house, but also could be held in a restaurant, banquet or firemen's hall. Don't forget to send thank-you notices out a couple of weeks after the party if gifts are received, but gifts aren't necessary for this occasion.

Next thing you want to do, is come up with a way to organize your wedding planning. There are a number of different ways to organize your wedding planning. On the market today there are wedding planning apps that you can download to an android, iPhone, and iPad you can organize your wedding there.

There is also websites that are designed for wedding planning. You can plan your wedding using spreadsheet packages like Excel and Google Drive. There are wedding tools these packages have. And you can buy a wedding planning kit from a bookstore or online and then there is the old fashioned way, create a wedding planning book using a binder.

Now you have a big decision to make, talk things over with your honey because it's time to come up with a targeted wedding date. Many couples try to set the wedding when the weather is perfect, or a date with special meaning, or when a venue is available, or a special holiday or the first date available.

You also want to do some preliminary research and make a list of 3 to 6 wedding vendors for every wedding category. Look at vendors using downloaded wedding planner apps using your mobile device, look at wedding directories, ask around to family and friends for good wedding vendors they would recommend, do online searches inputting your city or town followed by a wedding category and there is also the yellow pages to check out.

You next need to figure out how much money you will have available to spend for your wedding. Your family will do their best. Tradition states the bride's family is responsible to cover wedding costs. That does not always happen, see where you can pull money together, after the bride's family, next see what you as a couple can come up with, next the groom's family, next check with aunts, uncles, siblings, grandparents, and sometimes a boss of a small company.

If money is still short, you can try to make money by having a garage sale selling things your parents don't want any more or things of yours either have a weekend garage sale or sell things on EBay. Then there is a 50/50 dinner, show, sports event, or carnival and the proceeds get split half for the event and half for the couple's wedding. Last resort look for a loan from your bank or check out for the best credit card for your situation.

You also want to be gathering ideas for your wedding, get ideas from magazines and online websites. You have decisions to make, do you want a wedding couple's website, how do want to comminicate with family and bridal members and wedding vendors, through the phone, email, text message, Twitter, Facebook or something other. You also need to decide on the formality of your wedding which is your wedding theme, color scheme and dress style.

Next you need to decide if you want pre-marriage counseling or not, or pre-nuptual agreements or not. Some religious institutions require pre-marriage counseling in order for them to marry you. And then you need to decide if you are going to hire a wedding planner, or hire one that will help get you started or one that will be a wedding day assistant or will you be a DIY "Do It Yourself" bride.

8 Months Before Your Wedding

Around this time you want to start formulating your wedding guest list. There is 4 lists to create or maybe 5. The bride creates her list, the groom creates his list, the bride's family creates their list, the groom's family creates their list. If someone is funding the wedding beside the bride's parents, the 5th list is their list. Now each list needs to be broken down further, there is the must invites, should invites, could invites, and must not invites. The should invites and could invites should be put in rank order.

Next up, it's time to determine bridal party members. Ideally you want the same amount of bridesmaids and groomsmen and the rule of thumb is to have one bridesmaid and groomsman per every 50 to 60 guests but it's ultimately the wedding couple's decision on how many to have. You also want to take the wedding budget you came up with and allocate the budget to wedding categories. Look for a wedding calculator or wedding budget allocator online that can help you formulate a wedding budget per wedding category.

Once your wedding budget per category is done, you might want to establish a bank account which will manage your wedding budget and open up an account for your wedding funding. Let the interviews of your wedding vendors begin. You first want to check out bridal shows and expos coming up in your area over the next few months and attend them.

You should try to do a high level interview with wedding vendors over the phone, and find out if they can handle your wedding date, the amount of people you would like to invites, your budget for that wedding category and evaluate their customer service on the phone. If the phone conversation goes well, set up a one on one interview in person, never book a wedding vendor over the phone. Try to interview 3 to 4 vendors per category. Before you interview any wedding vendors visit rental service companies, you don't need to talk to anyone, just view and if available pick up a list of things they have along with prices. Shhh, don't mention the word wedding!

First up interview a wedding officiant, church or ceremony site, wedding reception location, and caterer. Also at this time identify your honeymoon destination and book your honeymoon. If there is a music group that needs to be booked for your wedding book them now too. Once you have these vendors booked your target wedding date becomes official.

Wedding Planning

7 Months Before Your Wedding

Now it's time to go back to your wedding guest list, fill it out as best you can, include names, addresses, phone numbers and electronic contact numbers and which bridal party group they blong to bride's family, groom's family, bride's friends, groom's friends, also can add bride's work and clubs and grooms' work and clubs and you might have a wedding vendor table.

When you meet with reception halls or caterers you give them a budget you derived from your wedding calculator budget allocation exercise. You can also use half of your wedding budget if you have not derived a budget number by category. Review what they can offer, focus on getting a cost per person count. Take the food budget number and divide that amount the cost per person that you got from the reception hall or caterer to come up with a targeted wedding guest count number.

When you get back from your meeting with your caterer go down your ranked order list and mark a line at your headcount number. Hopefully your cutoff line is lower than must invites and should invites. If you need more headcount, see if the reception or caterer can come up with a lesser cost meal or you need to find more wedding budget money. Once you are set on a preliminary headcount, any guests above the cutoff line should be sent a Save the Date card. If a guest gets sent a Save the Date card they must be invited to the wedding. The Save the Date Card increases the likelihood an invitee will attend your wedding, more time to make plans and not book some other activity.

Next up is you start looking for a wedding ring. Your diamond ring and wedding band is an investment, learn your 4 C's of buying wedding jewelry and take your time and negotiate a good deal and check the jeweler out with the Better Business Bureau. After that it's time to find your wedding dress and then bridesmaid dresses do the two activities separately and make appointments for each. After you find and buy a wedding dress, make sure you pay for a wedding dress by credit card to protect yourself against fraud and disasters. You go with the ladies to buy bridesmaid dresses, lease groomsmen tuxedos, buy bridal and bridemaids accessories, buy a flower girl dress and groomsmen tuxedo. A flower girl and ring bearer should be between the ages of 5 and 10.

6 Months Before Your Wedding

You start out this period contacting local newspapers to make an engagement announcement, you might get an engagement photographer to take a good studio or scenic background photo, this photo should be conservative and with both of you wearing sharp similar style clothing.

Next up is finding musicians to play your wedding, find ceremony musicians, and disc jockeys or wedding musicians to play at your wedding reception, interview and book them. You might want to take wedding dance lessons to have your first dance look exceptional. You also might want to join a bridal boot camp or a health club. You also might want to revisit a rental store or maybe check out wedding tents.

Wedding Ceremony Tips

5 Months Before Your Wedding

During this period it's a good time to interview and book a wedding florist, a wedding decorator, and wedding cake baker. You might interview an ice sculpture company too. Also check out accommodation possibilities. Reserve a bridal suite and reserve a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests for a possible discount, check out area bed & breakfast possibilities too.

You also want to identify a wedding calligrapher and come up with a wedding invitation design. Interview and book your calligrapher. If there is an interest in having a wedding carriage, antique car, or Mercedes Benz as your wedding day transportation it's time to book them now, they need to be booked far in advance of your wedding day.

4 Months Before Your Wedding

It's time to put heavy emphasis on your wedding guest list, you will need the information to give to your wedding calligrapher. Check with aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends to be sure you have all wedding guest list addresses. When all is ready forward the addresses to your calligrapher, double check their work, if the addresses are done by hand, count on 100 addressed envelopes being done each week. When ready send the wedding invitations out with the RSVP to be returned about 2 months before the wedding due date.

Next up, start looking at bridal registries, your goal if under 200 wedding guests set up 2 bridal registries of stores you like, if over 200 wedding guests set up 3 bridal registries. Select gifts in a bunch of different price ranges. You might be smart to have a mother's day of shopping with both your mother and the groom's mother if possible to look for dresses for them and include a luncheon if they don't live too far apart. A good chance to get them to bond. You also want to start researching wedding guest favors, bridesmaids favors and groomsmen favors. Your pre-marriage counseling sessions might be kicking in.

You also want to start researching wedding hairstyles and wedding makeup in magazines at book stores, the library, and online. Finally your research is done and interview and book both your wedding hairstylist and makeup artists. You also might attend food tastings with your caterer and wedding cake baker. You might check out photo booths, chocolate fountains, candy buffet bars, pyrotechnics, and fireworks. Also focus on honeymoon requirements such as getting your passport, VISA, and medical requirements and get them in order.

3 Months Before Your Wedding

You want to put more focus on reception hall needs, do you have all the supplies you need, including tables, chairs, linens, and dishes. Are there needs for serving your wedding day food? Also you need to identify your bartending needs, do you need more bartenders and what alcohol will you need for your wedding. Is there additional wait staff you will need and do you need any rental equipment. Also some wedding couples have a wedding week activity. It's like a reunion, a day with old friends in a hot air balloon, go white water rafting, go skiing, have a picnic, a cocktail hour, visit a winery, or go on a sports outing.

It's time to send out wedding invitations with RSVP cards. It's also a good time to review what songs disc jockeys and wedding musicians will play at your wedding. Also review what photos and shoots a photographer and videographer will take. Order your wedding guest favors, bridemaid favors, and groomsmen favors. Order 10% more wedding guest favors over your wedding guest head count for late comers and surprise visitors.

2 Months Before Your Wedding

Your RSVPs should be coming in as the RSVP due date nears. If 3 days after the due date, an RSVP card has not been received make contact with any wedding guests who have not sent the card back make contact with them either by calling them or electronic message them to see if they are attending the wedding. If any guests are not coming, go down your wedding guest list and you could invite additional could invites. Meet up with your reception location and caterer and firm up food entres.

Start developing your seating chart for your wedding reception. Meet with officiants and ceremony sites and focus on needs for the ceremony and for decorational needs. Verify accommodations with out-of-town guests, find how many guests you are short to be offered a wedding couple discount. Call out-of-town guests if they did not book a room at the hotel to see if they are interested. Check out creating a slideshow of the wedding couple for the rehearsal dinner or pre-reception cocktail hour. This is a good time to interview and book your wedding limousine, make sure the vehicle you book is less than 3 years of age.

6 Weeks Before Your Wedding

Maid of honor coordinates with bride's mom running a bridal shower. Hold a meeting with the bridesmaids, learn how to do wedding day hair and makeup. Check in with your wedding florist, wedding decorator, and wedding cake baker, and ice sculpture company. Form bachelor/bachelorette rules for weekend before wedding.

1 Month Before Wedding

Make arrangements for final fittings of wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, and groomsmen tuxedos as well as flower girl and ring bearer. Review entranceway of ceremony site and reception venue. Arrange meeting with venues and officiant with wedding vendors such as photographer, videographer, djs, and wedding musicians. Check in with Bridal Registries every Thursday or Friday up to the wedding to make changes and adjustments to the registry.

It's a good time to buy wedding presents for each other and family members. Develop seating place cards, wedding directions, wedding programs, and day of wedding schedule. Book and coordinate rehearsal dinner, remember groom's family pays if they are able. Finalize catering, alcohol, bartending, condimints, and soda needs.

3 Weeks Before the Wedding

Determine photo needs from the wedding photographer, concentrate what type of pictures for the wedding album, picture frames, photos to hand out, and on line wedding photos. Write wedding vows. Check in with readers and toasters. Create a bridal emergency kit. Check your bridal registry every Thursday or Friday and make adjustments.

2 Weeks Before Wedding

This would be the time for a bridal day of pampering, Prepare and wrap wedding favors and/or prepare chocolate edible favors. Make contact with ceremony site and reception hall to see if all is in order. Pick up wedding guest book and review wedding guest book table and review entranceway needs. The bridemaids should pick up their wedding day dresses. Check your bridal registry every Thursday or Friday and make adjustments.

1 Week Before the Wedding

Prepare wedding tip envelopes. Check in with every wedding vendor to answer any questions and to remind them not to forget your wedding. Send directions to limousine company. Pick up wedding dress. Pick up leased groomsmen tuxedos. Review wedding day schedule especially hair dresser and makeup artist and time and whom to meet for deliveries. Review bridal etiquette. The week before your wedding possibly have a bachelor or bachelorette party. Check your bridal registry on Thursday or Friday and make adjustments.

Wedding Day

Whew! Congratulations, you made it, you created a beautiful wedding!


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