The Ultimate Wedding Checklist


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ultimate wedding checklist graphic

So, you’re engaged, you just read my advice for the planning process and now you are ready to get down to business! Below is a wedding checklist that I created by taking mine (luckily I had it saved on my Google docs, like all my important wedding stuff), taking out the stuff that was specific to our DIY wedding, and adding in some traditional items back in that I didn’t have.

Why doesn’t your checklist have timing on it? Great question! Most wedding checklists or timelines that are out there have 9-12 months, 6-9 months, etc. Mine does not, on purpose. Our engagement was exactly 8 months & 24 days long. To be honest, the checklists with timing on them frankly stressed me out. Most of them were 12+ months long, so I always felt like i was behind. I found it much more enjoyable to move through the list from top to bottom and cross items off as I completed them. Once you have your timing figure out, you can always group them up to accommodate your goals and set some deadlines for yourself. The wedding checklist below is (mostly) in order from when you say “yes” to “I do”.

The list below is meant to be your base. Take this, copy and paste it into a word doc or Google doc, delete the items don’t apply to you, add those special projects that you know you want to DIY, make it your own. Again, I am so excited to get through the process with you. I will be posting my wedding tips and tricks in (mostly) chronological order, so we can do this together. Go check out the wedding page to follow along and read more.

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  • Decide if you want to do pre-marital counseling (read 9 reasons why you need premarital counseling and what to expect)
  • Create a wedding website (learn how to create a wedding website that will wow your guests here)
  • Send save the dates (I shared 10 creative save the date ideas here)
  • Choose grooms’ attire or book tux
  • Choose groomsmen attire
  • Book DJ and/or musicians
  • Book florist
  • Book transportation
  • Book hair and makeup stylist
  • Book rehearsal at ceremony venue (don’t forget to check with your officiant for their availability)
  • Decide on rehearsal dinner location
  • Decide and book bakery for cake or make other dessert arrangements
  • Select and purchase (or make) invitations
  • Reserve any rentals you will need (linens, lighting, tables, chairs, tents, dance floor) – check back with your venue to see what they provide
  • Complete room blocks at hotels (in varying price ranges) for out-of-town guests
  • Order wedding bands
  • Purchase shoes and any undergarments or accessories needed
  • Dress fitting (bring along your shoes and undergarments)
  • Attend your bridal shower
  • Send thank you cards for shower gifts or any early wedding gifts you’ve received
  • Purchase or create a guest book (great guest book alternatives here)
  • Address & send invites (at least 8-12 weeks prior)
  • Book honeymoon (if going international make sure passports are up to date and get any shots you need)
  • Decide on your wedding night accommodations
  • Hair & makeup trial run
  • Give rehearsal dinner guest list to whoever is planning that
  • Finalize menu items
  • Order (or make) favors, if desired
  • Determine any other needed wedding day items (champagne glasses, cake cutting knife, ring bearer pillow, etc.)
  • Apply for marriage license
  • Start making day-of timeline
  • Start wedding slideshow if you’re making one (if you are, figure out if you need a projector/screen)
  • Meet with officiant to finalize ceremony and vows
  • Check in with all hotel blocks to see how many rooms are remaining
  • Delegate someone to be in charge of transporting your gifts to your home
  • Determine where you will get ready on the day-of (both girls and guys)
  • Ask Best Man, Maid of Honor (or any other people) to give toasts
  • Schedule delivery times for all vendors (and be sure they have address & directions to venue)
  • Ask someone to give welcome speech
  • Ask someone to pray for dinner, if desired
  • Delegate someone to be in charge of transporting your decorations
  • Purchase bridal party gifts (& gifts for anyone going out of their way to help you out)
  • Put together a list of family photos and must-have shots you would like for photographer
  • Book nail appointments for day before
  • Follow up with people who haven’t RSVPd
  • Send rough draft of timeline to vendors for review
  • Begin seating assignments
  • Choose music for ceremony and reception
  • Final dress fitting
  • Delegate someone to help out with family photos
  • Layout mock table set up and take photos to help out the people that are setting up to get your “vision”
  • Finish wedding slideshow and export to the format you need for whoever will run it
  • Make any reservations needed for honeymoon
  • Take care of as many final vendor payments as possible
  • Make escort cards
  • Cut/color your hair, if desired
  • Attend your bachelorette party
  • Finalize all rental orders
  • Buy or reserve any items for reception you will providing yourself (booze, soda, appetizers, dessert, etc).
  • Design and print programs, escort cards, menu cards etc.
  • Organize decorations and label boxes by area
  • Write special cards to all of bridesmaids
  • Start writing vows, if needed
  • Finalize seating chart and floor plan
  • Pack for honeymoon
  • Assemble any remaining wedding day details
  • Finalize wedding day timeline
  • Final dress fitting
  • Give the venue, caterer, any other vendor your final headcount and floor plan drawings
  • Print out honeymoon travel documents (if going out of the country, call bank and credit card companies to notify)
  • Break in your shoes
  • Finalize wedding vows, if needed
  • Confirm all vendors arrival times and send out the final day-of timelines
  • Fill out marriage certificate and have notarized
  • Prepare final payment and gratuity envelopes for vendors, give to your coordinator or trusted person to handle for you
  • Print timeline for bridal party
  • Get some sleep before the day
  • Wake up, grab a cup of coffee (preferably surrounded by your bridesmaids) and go marry the love of your life

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