Newly Engaged? It’s such an exciting time, but the thrill and shininess of your ring-adorned left hand comes with anxiousness to get started on planning your wedding! If you have no clue where to start, we have compiled a planning checklist.
12+ Months Out
Celebrate your engagement! – Now is the time to hint you would like an engagement party! Get your families and friends together! An engagement party is the PERFECT way to extend introductions to each side and a great enough excuse to throw a party!
Discuss your wedding vision – This is crucial to furthering communication channels with your beau. Ask each other important priorities from colors to dress styles to guest experiences and honeymoon ideas. Write your ideas down in a notebook of sorts. (You can personalize your notebooks on Zazzle.com)
Budget – As a couple, you must discuss your wedding budget. Staying on the same page with money is always a great way to remove any potential stress and misunderstandings during wedding planning. This may be the first daunting task in steps towards your marriage—especially if you don’t already live together. Money is one of the #1 reasons couples fight. This conversation will be great to get everyone on the same page, seeing how much you need to start saving, and speak to your parents if they are willing to contribute at all. (We will have a budget guide coming soon)
Pick a wedding season or month – You can’t know your wedding date yet, but you can at least narrow it down to the season or month you want to get married in. This helps with contacting venues to see their availability.
Hire a wedding planner – If you have touched on venue and vendor contact and realize that you will have a second full time job—planning your wedding—hiring a wedding planner may be your saving grace. Planning and design are not for everybody, but benefiting from those aspects are. Partner up with a professional. Make sure you jive well and truly appreciate their talent, experience and professionalism. This is key to also finding great vendors through them—you attract what your are!
8 – 10 MONTHS OUT
Schedule Dress Shopping – So exciting! Find a few cute bridal boutiques and schedule time for you to try on glorious wedding gowns! Make sure to invite your mom, sisters, besties for them to be there when you find THE ONE!
Meet with Planner about wedding design– You’ve booked your planner based on their packages and portfolio. Now its time to meet with them and share in more detail what you want for wedding design aspects. Colors, personal elements from your journey as a couple, napkin folds, seating style are all some topics to touch on.
Choose and propose to your wedding party – Once you know the people you want at your side while you marry your best friend, it’s time to ask them. You can be as straightforward as taking them to dinner or as creative as preparing a “proposal box” Either way, hopefully they feel excited and honored to join you at the alter!
Set up your gift registry – Decide where and how you want to register and get to bleeping!
Reserve guest room blocks – Contact hotels local to your venue and set up room blocks for your wedding guests. If you have a lot of out of town guests, you might want to consider hotels that provide shuttle service to the venues. OR – arranging shuttle services to and from the venue
6 – 7 MONTHS OUT
Order invitations – Find a stationer that can design invitations based on your wedding design
Send Save-The-Dates — Send out your save the dates with a formal invitation to follow.
Choose and order bridesmaids dresses – Find a a dress or couple of dresses for your bridesmaids to choose from. Finalize during this timeframe so alterations can be arranged if need be.
Think about your honeymoon plans – Find a Travel Agent to arrange your post-wedding dream trip!
Vendors to secure at this mark: Officiant // Travel Agent
4 – 5 MONTHS OUT
CAKE TASTINGS!!! – Meet with cake artists and schedule tastings! (our favorite part!)
Finish your shower guest list and give to Hostess—
Plan your Rehearsal Dinner– Arrange reservations at a restaurant or venue, compile guest list for all attending, prepare to send a simple e-vite for guests.
Gown fittings! – Yay! You haven’t seen your dress since you ordered it! Now you get to begin your alterations to make it 100% to your figure!
2 – 3 MONTHS OUT
Attend your Bridal/Wedding Shower – Whether its an all gals shindig or a couples BBQ, enjoy the festivities as a little reward for making it this far in your planning!
Rent/order Groom + Groomsmen Attire —Make sure you’ve decided on colors, style and where you’re renting/purchasing from. Spread the word to the Groomsmen.
Mail Invitations – Assemble and insert your invitations. If you want guests to RSVP via card, provide a stamp on the return envelope. If you have heavier invites, take them to the Post Office to get weighed for the proper stamp amount
Finalize these items: Menu // Flowers // Favors
1 MONTH OUT
Final Dress Fitting – Have your final fitting and take that baby home to a safe place!
Confirm wedding vendors and Wedding Weekend Itinerary — This is where a Day-Of Coordinator comes in SUPER handy—the loose ends! Get your wedding day timeline arranged and finalized to send to all Vendors!
Finalize song selections and playlists for ceremony – Songs needed: [Ceremony]: Bridal Party Procession, Bridal Procession, Recession | [Cocktail hour]: Wedding Party Intro, Newlywed Intro | [Reception]: First Dance, Parent Dances, Bouquet+Garter Toss, Cake Cutting, Last Dance of the Evening.
Print Wedding Programs –
3 WEEKS OUT
GET MARRIAGE LICENSE -Don’t get this too soon as they do expire in certain counties. Here’s a helpful link.
Review RSVPs and Follow up when needed— Check your RSVPs and reach out to the the guests that didn’t to confirm their attending status.
Turn in final guest count to caterer/venue/planner –
Finalize your seating chart – Have table assignments or seat assignments per table? Finalize and arrange in alphabetical order for escort cards or Seating Chart
Print Place Cards –
1 Week Out
Press Gown – Get it out of the bag, steam it or press it and let it fall a bit if there are wrinkles. Check the rump and front hips region for photo purposes!
Retrieve Formal wear – Pick up Groom and Groomsmen Attire
Arrange out-of-town guests transports from airport – If a lot of out-of-town guests, provide information for shuttles to hotels etc.
Prep Gratuities for Vendors – When preparing gratuities for wedding day delivery people and vendors, make sure to put them in individual sealed envelopes labeled with names so your planner or Best Man know who gets what.