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The Ultimate Wedding Checklist

Updated on August 23, 2013

Planning a wedding can be hectic whether you have family, friends or bridesmaids to help you or not. There is a long list of things you need to know when planning a wedding. For example, you must figure out how many guests you are planning to invite and then choosing a date and location for the event. Furthermore, what is your budget for the wedding and do you want to DIY wedding favors or wedding invitations. Many people are starting to DIY things that can be done by their own to save cost like making your own destination or beach wedding invitations. Whether you are having a grand or budget wedding, here is a timeline of things you should know when planning a wedding.

16 to 8 Months Before

  • Start a Wedding Binder –This is helpful to organize wedding information such as vendor contact information or wedding dress inspirations.

  • Decide On Your Budget – Determine how much you are willing to spend and estimate family and friends contributions.

  • Pick Your Wedding Party – This part is important because usually the bride does all the planning for the wedding and she needs all the help she need. Make sure to choose bridesmaids that will help you and not stress you out.

  • Start a Guest-list – Collaborate with both side of the family and your fiancé to see who will be invited to the wedding. This is important to determine the ceremony and/or banquet location. Helpful hint: If you want to keep cost low, cut down on the guest-list.

  • Hire a Wedding Planner – If you have the budget for a wedding planner or coordinator, then it will lift off some stress on your shoulder.

  • Book Venue and Reserve Date – Decide if you will have a ceremony and/or banquet and will it be in the same location.

  • Book Your Officiant – If your fiance and you will have a ceremony, it’s a good time to book your officiant to ensure that they are available on your wedding day.

  • Research Photographers, Florists, and Caterers – Once you have found your desire vendors keep them in the wedding binder.

  • Plan an Engagement Party – This is not as important but if you have a budget for an engagement party make sure your guests will be on the wedding guest list.

8 Months Before

  • Hire the Photographer – You don’t need to go into details about the wedding day, but hiring a photographer and videographer early is to ensure that they are available on your wedding.

  • Book the Entertainment – Once you have researched and decide what kind of entertainment you want for your wedding, it’s now time to book it.

  • Meet Caterers - If the venue of your wedding doesn’t offer catering, then now is a good time to hire caters.

  • Purchase the Dress – It’s a good time to look for the wedding dress and evening gowns. Make sure to allocate time for at least three dress fittings.

  • Register – Sign up for wedding registry from at least three major retailers. This is helpful for people who can’t think of unique gift ideas.

  • Launch a Wedding Website – With the 21st century, everyone surfs the net and research information online. Create your personal wedding website from a free provider. Include important information such as wedding date, accommodations and travel information. This is a great way to keep guests informed or use it as a “Save the Date” invitation if you’re on a budget.

7 to 6 Months Before

  • Select and Order Wedding Invitations – Start looking at wedding invitations and decide the style you want for the wedding invitations.

  • Start Planning the Honeymoon – Make sure your passports are up-to-date and see your doctor to ensure you have taken all the necessary shots for the location you’re visiting.

  • Shop for Bridesmaids’ Dresses and Groomsmen Suit – This is to ensure the all the dresses and suits are ordered and sized.

  • Meet with the Officiant – If you are having a ceremony, confirm and map out the ceremony with the officiant. Also, make sure you have all the necessary official documents.

  • Send Out Save-the-Date Cards – If you have the budget for Save-the-Date cards, now it’s the time to let guest know and save the date for your wedding. If you’re on a budget, send guests the wedding website you created or create an event on social network like Facebook to notify guest.

  • Reserve Tables and Chairs Necessities – Book all the portable toilets for outdoor events, extra chairs, lighting and etc. that you may need for the wedding.

  • Hire a Florist – After you have decided on a wedding theme/color, it’s good to talk to a florist at this time.

  • Arrange Transportation – Book all the limos, minibuses, trolleys and etc. that you may need on your special day.

  • Start Composing the Schedule for the Wedding Day - Start putting together a schedule for the day of the wedding like ceremony, cake cutting, father & daughter dance and etc.

5 to 4 Months Before

  • Book the Rehearsal Venues – This is to ensure the desire place is available and make sure to negotiate cost and the menu.

  • Check on the Wedding Invitations – Check to see if the information is correct, revise anything you want to change and finalize invitations.

  • Order the Cake – Decide on the design of the cake and schedule a tasting before committing to any baker.

  • Send Guest-list to the Host of Your Bridal Shower – This will let the host know who you want to invite to the bridal shower.

  • Purchase Wedding Shoes and Start Dress Fittings – Once you have purchase your shoes, you should bring it to your tailor and they can adjust the length of the dress.

  • Book Hair and Makeup Artists – Research for your desire hair and makeup artists and book the ones you like the best.

  • Choose Your Music – What kind of music do you want to be played during the march-in, first dance, during dinner and etc.

3 Months Before

  • Finalize the Menu and Flowers – Since food and flowers are affected by season, now would be a great time to choose your desire food and flower.

  • Order Wedding Favors - Decide what kind of favors you want to give to the wedding guest and start ordering them.

  • Make a List of the People Giving Speeches – Who do you want to invite to give a toast, it would be a great time now to let them know and prepare.

  • Purchase Your Undergarments and Schedule a Second Fitting – Once you have purchased your undergarments, it would be a great idea to schedule a second fitting of the dress to ensure nothing will peek out.

  • Finalize the Schedule of the Ceremony/Reception/Banquet – This is important to keep events organized.

  • Print Menu Cards/Programs – Now it’s the perfect time to create the programs and menu cards since you have things finalized. If you’re on a budget, you can print these on your own computer.

  • Purchase the Wedding Bands – Choose the wedding bands and this will allow time for resizing and engraving.

  • Send Your Event Schedule to the Vendors – This will allow vendors to plan ahead and edit the schedule if necessary.

2 Months Before

  • Meet with All the Vendors – Make sure to resolve any unanswered questions and things are going as planned.

  • Meet with the Photographer – Let the photographer know the walk through and specific things he or she must take note of on that day.

  • Review the Playlist with the Band or DJ – Come prepared with the playlist and edit anything.

  • Send Out the Wedding Invitations – Mail out wedding invitations 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding and set RSVP 3 weeks after sending out the invitations.

  • Submit a Newspaper Wedding Announcement – Choose a newspaper source and check on the restrictions for submitting photographs.

  • Enjoy Your Bachelorette/Bachelor Party – The bachelorette and bachelor party should be arranged by the maid of honor and best man respectively. If they haven’t mentioned one by now, feel free to ask.

1 Month Before

  • Compile the List of RSVPs to the Guest-list – Contact people who haven’t reply.

  • Get Your Marriage License – The process can take up to over a week and give you some extra time.

  • Mail the Rehearsal Dinner Invitations – Contact the wedding party about the rehearsal dinner.

  • Schedule for a Last Dress Fitting – This is to ensure everything fits and feels right. This might be better to schedule at least 1 or 2 weeks before the wedding.

  • Stock the Bar – Now that you have a better idea on how many guest are attending the wedding, it’s the perfect time to order drinks.

  • Send Final Payments – Pay off as many payments as you can.

  • Confirm Times for Hair and Makeup and All Vendors – Make sure everything is planned accordingly to schedule.

  • E-mail and Print Directions for Drivers – Print out the necessary information for drivers on the wedding day.

  • Assign Seating – Draw a table of the layout of the venue and write guest names on sticky post so it can be easily moved.

  • Write Vows – If you’re having a ceremony or plan to exchange vows, start writing!

  • Get Your Hair Cut and Colored – Now is the time to get a hair cut or color before the big day.

Week of Wedding

  • Reconfirm Arrival Times with Vendors – Make changes if necessary.

  • Delegate Small Wedding Day Tasks – Appoint someone to zip up your dress, hold your things, guide vendors and etc.

  • Send a Schedule to the Wedding Party - Include everyone’s contact information if you appointed someone to a certain task.

  • Pick Up Your Dress/Suit – Set aside a time to pick up your dress/suit or schedule for a delivery.

  • Check in One Last Time with the Photographer – Let him or her know anything else they must take note of when on the wedding day.

  • Set Aside Checks for the Vendors – Also include tips in envelopes to pass on the wedding day.

  • Book a Spa Treatment – Make an appointment for a massage, manicure and pedicure the day before the wedding to relax.

  • Send the Final Guest-list to the Caterer and All Venues – Some vendors close their list 72 hours prior to the event.

  • Pack for Your Honeymoon – You don’t need to worry about packing right after the wedding; you can just wake up and head out the next day!

Videos on Wedding Planning Tips

5 Beauty Tips for Your Wedding Day

You have planned your wedding for over a year and your big day is right around the corner. Although it’s important to choose the venue, location, date, bridal party and all that you need in a wedding, don’t forget about yourself. You need to look your best on the most important day in your life. The spotlight shines on you all day and all night so here are five beauty tips to help you stay beautiful on your wedding day.

1. Don't Tan

It wouldn’t be a good idea to get too tanned right before your wedding because it would look unnatural in your wedding photos. Especially, if you used those spray tan or UV tanning beds to achieve a natural tan, it can go all wrong. You don’t want to be an orange so it’s better be safe than sorry on your most important day of your life.

2. Don't Get a Facial, Wax Eyebrow, or Cut or Color Your Hair

Plan these services at least a week or two before the big day because you can avoid any rash you may get from waxing your eyebrow or a hair coloring that have gone wrong. Getting it done weeks before the wedding day will give you time to fix any imperfections and look perfect for your wedding day.

3. Don't Wear a Bra the Morning of Your Big Day

Not wearing a bra on the morning of your wedding day will help avoid pinkish color skin and indents to your back or shoulders. Especially those brides who are wearing strapless dress, you would want to avoid wearing a bra in the morning.

4. Don't Drink Wine or Eat Dark-Colored Foods

Try to avoid dark-colored food to ensure that you will have a pearly white smile on your wedding day. Have your teeth professionally whitened or a budget friendly option of drugstore whitening strips. If you plan to use whitening strips, start your regime one month before the big day.

5. Don't Skimp on Water

Increase your water intake at least a month before your wedding day. This will help keep your skin glowing, clear and hydrated to look perfect for photos on your big day. Also, try to limit the amount of alcohol during this time to prevent dehydration for your skin. If you have to drink, try to drink a glass of water in between.


Tell Us What You Think!

What was the most stressful aspect of planning your wedding?

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    • KickStart1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Andrew Armstrong 

      5 years ago from San Francisco, California

      @anndago thanks for visiting the page. Hope this helped you or any of your friends who are getting married soon!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      This is the ultimate wedding checklist! I think you covered everything. Thanks for sharing. Voted up.


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