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Want to cover all bases? Use our detailed wedding planning checklist:

  • At least 12 months before
    • Date You need to choose the date, or at the very least the month of your wedding. Be ready to be flexible to accommodate the space and the minister.
    • Time of day An evening wedding does not require the same kind of planning as an afternoon one.
    • Engagement Decide if you want to have an official engagement party.
    • Budget Look at your finances and consider what kind of financial help you will get from your and your partner’s parents, if any.
    • Reception Reserve the location for the reception.
    • Minister Choose an officiant for your wedding and reserve the date.
    • Size Decide if you want a big party or an intimate reception.
    • Guest list Write down an initial guestlist according to the reception size.
    • Rings Look at online catalogues or go shopping for your rings.
  • 9 to 12 months before
    • Contributions and gifts You can go the traditional way and let guests bring gifts, or ask them for a financial contribution towards the reception in its place.
    • Gift register If going for gifts, book your gift list with your favourite store and let your guests know.
    • Dress Order your wedding dress and the bridesmaid’s dresses online or at your local wedding dress store.
    • Photo/videographer Look at portfolios of photographers and choose one whose style you like.
    • Catering Choose your caterer and reserve the date with them.
    • Decor Choose your colors and meet with a decorator you like. Order the linens and chair covers, if any.
    • Flowers Book the date with your florist. Build up a basic bouquet with the colors you chose.
    • Cake Order a cake from your favourite bakery. Many bakeries have online portfolios.
    • Rentals If you need to rent any specific equipment, do so well ahead.
    • Entertainment Book your entertainer, whether it is a DJ or a live band.
    • Out-of-town guests If any of your guests plan to stay at a hotel, book it now, especially if your wedding happens during tourist season.
    • Honeymoon If going on a honeymoon, book it now with your travel agency or an online provider.
  • 6 to 9 months before
    • Menu Meet with your caterer and plan the menu for the reception.
    • Music for the ceremony If you will have a singer or musicians at the ceremony, book them now.
    • Transport Reserve your transportation to the ceremony with a limousine or car company.
    • Stationery Go to a designer and order your invitations and other stationery.
    • Wedding favours Plan your wedding favour and order its components. You can save money by putting them together yourself.
    • Mothers Buy or reserve both mothers’ outfit, leaving time for modifications if required.
    • Licence Verify the requirements for a marriage licence in your state or country.
  • 3 to 6 months before
    • Final guestlist Write down the finalized guestlist for the ceremony and the reception.
    • Reader Choose a reader for your ceremony within your friends and family.
    • Flowers Confirm the flower arrangements with your florists, and make last-minute changes.
    • Men’s attire Choose and reserve the wedding attire for the groom and the best man.
    • Hair Make your appointment with your favourite hairdresser. They are very busy during wedding season, so it is good to do so well ahead.
  • 2 months before
    • Invitations Mail your final invitations, leaving enough time for those who need to get overseas. Notify them by email before the invitation comes, if needed.
    • Vows Write down your final vows with your partner.
    • Menu Finalize the menu with your caterer. Make any last-minute changes, and make sure the caterer knows about specific dietary requirements.
    • Ceremony Confirm the date and time of the ceremony with your officiant and musicians.
    • Programs If you are giving out programs, go to your designer and have them printed.
    • Gifts Buy the gifts for your parents and the attendants.
    • Beauty care Make an appointment with your favourite aesthetician for your nails and make-up.
    • Dress fitting Arrange for the final dress tailoring.
  • 1 month before
    • Licence Request your marriage licence.
    • Rehearsal Arrange a date for the rehearsal dinner with your attendants.
    • Photo/video Meet one last time with your photographer to finalize the details.
  • 2 weeks before
    • Party Throw your party for your attendants.
    • Speeches Start drafting everybody’s speeches at the ceremony and the reception.
    • Reception Confirm the last details with the space provider, caterer and entertainers.
    • Guests Contact guests who have not replied and confirm their attendance.
    • Beauty Consult with your hairdresser and aesthetician to choose style and colors.
    • Music Choose your music and give the list to your entertainer.
    • Honeymoon Confirm your trip with your travel agency or tour operator.
  • 1 week before
    • Seating plan Make the seating plan and confirm with family and friends for any conflicts.
    • Place cards Write down or print your place cards according to the seating plan you’ve drawn up.
    • Procession Build the procession and decide the order.
    • Rehearsal Have your attendants over for your rehearsal dinner.
    • Accommodations If you have made reservations with hotels for out-of-town guests, confirm the reservations with the hotel and your guests.
    • Attire Get the groom’s attire and have it checked for last-minute fittings.
    • Catering Confirm the final costs and menu with your caterer.
    • Transport Call the limousine company and confirm your transportation.
    • Licence Give your licence to your officiant so he or she can perform the ceremony legally.
    • Wedding favours Choose the person who will give out the wedding favours to the guests.
    • Rentals Make a friend or family member responsible for returning any rental items after the wedding.
    • Cheques Write any cheques that need to be handed out on the wedding day.
    • Honeymoon If going on a trip, start packing. You will be too busy for the rest of the week.
  • Wedding day
    • Rings Give the rings to your best man.
    • Cheques Give your best man the cheques that need to be handed out to the providers.
    • Gifts Give the gifts to the parents and attendants.
    • Enjoy your day! You deserve it!
  • After the wedding
    • Notes Mail or email the thank-you notes for those who purchased gifts for you.
    • Providers Send thank-you letters to your providers as well.
    • Dress If you are keeping your dress, have it cleaned and prepared for preservation. You may also have it cleaned and bring it back to the store if you are selling it used.

Detailed Wedding Planning Checklist Tips

Although this is a detailed wedding planning checklist, you should customize it to your own situation. Simply click on the Use List button to save it to your checklist account. You can then remove tasks or add your own. Don’t forget to share the list with your loved one. It’s a great time start sharing your workload and your life. After all, this is what the wedding is all about: an intro to your mutual life.

Detailed Wedding Planning Checklist
  Sherry M. Lewis

on December 25, 2011

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