Create a Wedding Day Checklist
Wedding Planning Organizers
Getting married is an exciting time in your life, but it also poses many challenges.
Wedding planning for your special day can be very overwhelming and can even lead to marital strife before there is even a Mr. or Mrs.
Having a handy wedding day checklist can really keep the stress down and keep the chaos organized.
Wedding Planning Made Simple
There are many wedding planning tools out there and the choices can be overwhelming.
Some brides opt to compile their own organizer from downloaded wedding checklists, bridal magazine inserts, photo references, and more. Other brides purchase pre-made organizers and either go with that or add more information to them.
After researching wedding planning books, wedding magazines, and reading many incomplete wedding checklists I have taken the liberty of compiling a wedding planning guide and complete wedding day checklist that takes you from "Yes I will marry you!" to "I do!".
- Take time to enjoy being engaged. Many couples get into the swing of planning and forget to just be happy that they have decided to commit to one another for a lifetime!
- Figure out your wedding budget.
- Important Decision Time: Type of ceremony (Jewish wedding ceremony? Catholic?), wedding color scheme, wedding theme, close to home or destination wedding?
- Visit ceremony venues, and wedding reception halls.
- Think about purchasing wedding insurance.
- Hire a wedding coordinator if you plan to enlist one.
- Book reception venue.
- Book wedding ceremony location.
- Start a wedding website so your friends and family can keep up with the planning process.
- Speak with an officiate that you would like and see if there are any pre-wedding marriage counseling required to secure their services.
- Start your wedding scrapbook - add ideas, pictures, notes and whatever else inspires you. This will give both the bride and groom a clear grasp on what appeals to them (and if you are unsure, you will quickly notice a theme from one picture to the next and that will reflect your unknown desires)
- Prepare a draft wedding guest list.
- Look at wedding dress pictures to get ideas of what you want.
- Choose your bridal party members.
- Start looking into honeymoon destinations and prepare any necessary documents such as passport, visas. (If passport will be expiring, arrange to get a passport with your new name to be valid from date of marriage)
- Get travel vaccinations if you require them for your honeymoon location.
- Check into vacation days and time from work for your honeymoon and pre-wedding days for rehearsals, travel, etc.
- Finalize wedding guest list.
- Send save the date cards to wedding guests - be sure to include local hotels for out of town guests.
- Begin dress shopping - enlist your maid of honor, mother of the bride and any others you wish to help you pick the perfect wedding dress. (Note: Too many CAN be a bad thing so be sure you bring people who will not overwhelm you in this important decision!)
- Book wedding florist - discuss your wedding flower options (Price tip: Pick flowers in season for cheaper prices!)
- Choose your bridesmaid dresses.
- Make sure your bridesmaids and mother of the bride have ordered their dresses.
- Book wedding photographer (Price tip: Check into deals for free engagement photos for booking a full day service - you never know what you can get if you just ask!)
- Book your wedding musicians: Are you having a live band or a DJ?
- Check into hairdressers - have a few hair trials to see which wedding hairstyle will suit you. Find one you like? Secure your hairdresser now! (Price tip: See if they offer a discount for you if your bridesmaids also get their hair done through them.)
- Book makeup artist if you choose to have one - have makeup trials to see what look fits you for the day. (Price tip: See if they will also offer a bulk deal for the bridal party.)
- Book wedding transportation: Are you having a limo? A coach? Horse drawn carriage?
- Order your wedding dress and accessories.
- Book caterers and think about your menu.
Let Everyone Know! It's time to Save the Date!
4-5 Months Before
- Order wedding cake or wedding cupcakes (Price tip: See if they will give you a discount on a groom cake or bridal shower sweets with purchase of cake)
- Order Unity Ceremony supplies (Sand ceremony? Unity Candles? Shell ceremony?)
- Secure your dream honeymoon.
- Check into travel insurance.
- Book first night accommodations.
- Decide what type of wedding favors you want to give your guests.
- Begin your wedding gift registry.
- Order stationary if you plan to DIY wedding invitations or check into vendors that will create your dream invitations, wedding programs, table numbers, etc.
Paint the Day provides hand painted wedding invitations and watercolor wedding invitations and stationery at reasonable prices for the DIY bride, or completely assembled for you - highly recommended!
- Purchase your wedding accessories - bridal shoes, garter, veil, headpiece (tiara, flowers), bridal jewelry -- think about your something borrowed, something blue here!
- Buy bridal lingerie for beneath your wedding dress - Are you going to use Spanx? Make sure you bring these to your bridal fittings so that your wedding gown alterations come out properly -- Remind your bridesmaids and maid of honor to do the same!
2-3 Months Before
- Discuss music with your ceremony musicians or DJ, decide on what style of music for the different aspects will reflect the mood best.
- Create a song list for your wedding ceremony.
- Decide on the style of music you are having during your wedding reception - Older guests? You might want to rethink playing "I'm Sexy and I Know It" and opt for something tamer.
- Make a list of songs you would like played during your wedding reception - be sure to add styles that are acceptable so the DJ is not limited to just repeating the same list all night -- Add a list of "Do Not Play" songs and unacceptable styles as well! (It would be a disaster if you were having religious wedding guests and the DJ plays something that would be considered obscene just because it fell into "pop".)
- Choose and purchase your wedding rings.
- Secure your headpieces and shoes for the wedding day.
- Send out your invitations - include maps, RSVP cards and any other important information necessary.
- Decide if you will write your own vows or will use premade (if using pre-made vows, decide what suits the couple best) -- will you be having any readings from the bridal party? Make sure you work out these details now.
- Finalize your wedding flowers for the wedding day and make final payments.
- Have your groomsmen and groom arrange suit fittings.
- Order favors and table décor.
- Need dance lessons? Take wedding dance lessons now!
- Confirm ceremony details with officiant and decide on the order of service.
- Have another hair and makeup trail to make sure you are happy with the styles you thought about months ago. Finalize your wedding day hair and makeup styles.
- Buy guestbook, wedding cake topper and any other small accessories that are often forgotten.
2 Weeks Before
- If you are making your own favors or decorations, do so now.
- Create place cards table décor plan.
- Finalize your seating chart and give all necessary vendors (venue, caterers, wedding coordinator) a copy.
- Wear your wedding shoes around the house a few more times to continue to break them in.
- Provide caterers with final headcount and any dietary requirements.
- Finalize any outstanding payments with vendors and suppliers so you are not bound up in red tape on your wedding day.
- Give your photographer and special list of "must have" shots and any special guests you want there to be an additional focus on. Make sure you get great shots of your accessories, dress and any other special touch you've added to your day that you want to be acknowledged.
1 Month Before
- Confirm bookings with wedding vendors and wedding suppliers.
- Bride: Any hair changes need to be done now and no later than 1 month before the wedding - no new colors or cuts after this point.
- Arrange a final fitting for bridesmaids, mother of the bride and flower girl.
- Arrange for the brides final wedding dress fitting. Stop dieting if you've been doing so!
- Have a stag and do, or engagement party now.
- Have a bridal shower.
- Confirm timing with your venue of choice - check into deliveries and order of events.
- Confirm timing for speeches, cake cutting and such with your reception hall.
- Confirm honeymoon times and make sure tickets are secure.
- Buy clothing for your honeymoon - string bikini, floral tankini, one piece bathing suit, a formal dress for a romantic seaside dinner, cute and colorful thong flip flops - Don't forget the honeymoon lingerie for your groom!
- Contact any guests you expected to RSVP who have not to see if they will be there.
- Purchase wedding day perfumes.
- Purchase bridal party gifts.
- Set up your rehearsal date and time with your officiant and inform all parties involved.
- Wear your wedding shoes around your living room to break them in and make sure you can handle them comfortably. Remember you will be on your feet for most of the day and entire evening wearing your wedding shoes so you want to make sure you will be comfortable as you dance the night away.
- Dye your shoes or have them professionally colored if you plan to have a splash of color beneath your wedding dress.
- Want to be bold and unique? Now would be the time to have your wedding crinoline dyed a color that matches your wedding color scheme. This is a great idea for unique brides who want to have something fun and playful in their wedding photographs.
Are you going out of the country for your honeymoon?
1 Week Before
- Pack for your honeymoon. Make sure you have your travel documentation ready to go!
- Purchase any last minute items for your honeymoon (think makeup, travel shampoos, etc.)
- Groom: Get a haircut now so any too short areas can grow a little before the day.
- Give a contact list of the wedding suppliers to the best man, and any other attendant that will be looking to back you up on the day of.
- Finalize arrangements and timing with your makeup artist, and wedding day hairdresser. Make sure you've secured final payment schedule.
- Have your bridal party try on their complete day of outfit (shoes and accessories included) to make sure everything is set and no one is wearing tons of rings or 5 different necklaces that will create tension on the day of for the bride.
- Write thank you cards for your attendants and anyone who helped you for free throughout this process. Add these to your special thank you gifts.
- Make a schedule of all wedding day timing and give to your wedding party.
- Decide on your tipping amounts for your vendors.
- Hang wedding veil up to air out and settle as it was originally made to look. Keep it out until you put it on. - DO NOT steam your wedding veil.
- Lay out your wedding attire and accessories so that everything is ready for the morning of (or make sure everything is securely packed if you are getting ready at another location)
- Give your wedding rings to the best man for safe keeping.
- Confirm packed suitcases for luggage have everything you need for your honeymoon and are set to be picked up by a responsible party or taken with you in your vehicle. Don't forget your airline tickets, passports and any other important documents!!
- Take out any cash for remaining payments needed to be made on the day of.
- Have any remaining wedding decorations (place cards, favors, guest book - don't forget pens!, and any layout plans) taken to the venue.
- Bridal Party: Make sure everyone is aware of your expectations of them and that they know what they need to do to make the day stress free for you.
- Pack an emergency wedding kit: pain killers, makeup, deodorants, hairspray, safety pins, mints, bandaids, 2-3 pairs of panty hose, brush or comb, bobby pins and anything else you can think of.
- Pampering time! Get bridesmaids together and get manicures, pedicures and any other beauty treatments that suit your fancy. (WARNING: Avoid a facial this close to the wedding or you risk looking like an overcooked ham the day of!)
- Relax. Have a nice bubble bath, drink lots of water so you're not puffy the day of and head to bed early so that you get proper beauty rest. Don't forget to set your alarm!
How to Make a Wedding Planner Checklist
- Make sure you eat a healthy breakfast or you will feel sluggish all day and unfocused.
- Confirm the best man has the rings, vows, readings and any other papers needed.
- Have your hair and makeup done.
- Dress 2 hours prior to ceremony to make sure everything goes smoothly and that there is no rush which will lead to nasty sweating.
- Have someone make sure that the wedding bouquet, corsages, flower girl petals and boutonnieres have arrived - make sure they came out properly.
- Relax and prepare for the best day of your life!
Post Wedding Day
- Order wedding photo disks, wedding photo albums and any extra prints.
- Write thank you cards and mail them out.
- Return any rental clothing, accessories.
- Clean and have your wedding dress stored properly. There are many great wedding gown preservation kits out there for DIY, or you can have it professionally preserved.
- Share your photos on social sites and your wedding website.
- Enjoy your married life!
You're Not Alone
It is your wedding day and there will be plenty of people ready and able, such as the mother of the bride, bridal party members, close friends and a local wedding planner to assist you in your planning duties.
By delegating the starting wedding planning tasks to others who care about helping you can focus on the FUN things about wedding planning like cake tasting or shopping at your local bridal boutique for that perfect vintage wedding dress.
Don't forget: This is about celebrating the coming together of two individuals who love each other and want to commit to a lifetime of happiness.
If in your planning you lose sight of this, step back and remind yourselves why you are having this celebration and if the stress is too much for your relationship to bear, then don't bear it!
Have loved ones help you, or change your plans to something that is right for you both.
There is no reason you have to be heading towards divorce before the wedding planning process is over with.
Other Wedding Hubs
- How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Date
Choosing the perfect wedding date is one of the first things done after becoming engaged. There are many other things to consider in your wedding planning when it comes to the perfect wedding date.
- Southern Food for a Lowcountry Wedding in Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head & Isle of Palms
Southern tradition means serving up dishes that are filling and comforting at the same time. There are many different things Southern brides can do to make their wedding day extra special and adding Southern cuisine such as Carolina BBQ...
- Southern Bride: Top 8 Southern Wedding Traditions
There are just some things that can’t be compromised on. That said here are the top eight Southern wedding traditions that should be kept in mind if you are walking down the aisle with a true Southern Belle.
- Indian Brides and Asian Brides: Bring South Asia to Western Weddings
South Asian weddings to Indian weddings are some of the most colorful, elaborately decorated events in the business. The events leading up to the wedding, the almost parade-like precession in the streets, amazing! But how do you bring a wedding of th