Okay so I have a little secret… Well its not a secret for those of you who know me. I am a bit of a Type A personality. With that said, I am not by any means crazy. I just like things organized. Landon will tell you, I’m the planner. Well, when I was planning my wedding, I really for the most part couldn’t deal with the stress and just told my mom, “You plan it, I’ll show up”. And that is exactly how it went down. I obviously did not have the Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist. It’s not that I didn’t care about our wedding, I was in my senior year of college and taking 6 classes a semester. YES, 6! Trust me I did not know at the time that Landon and I would end up being wedding photographers.
This morning as I was laying in bed I thought, hmmm I wonder if my #hendrickbrides are flipping out. Rhetorical question, I know some of them are flipping out with all that there is to do. So I made the Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist for y’all! Where I find the time to do this, beats me, but if it can help you ladies stay on top of your wedding and keep your skin clear, then I am all about that life! So here you go. Think of it as a wedding gift ;-).
The Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist
12 months or more ahead
- Decide if you want a formal or informal, big or small wedding. Think about the type of wedding you want and when you want it to take place
- Set a budget
- Set the wedding date
- Select ceremony site and reserve
- Select reception site and reserve
- Buy wedding rings, order engravings
- Hire wedding coordinator, if desired . If you’ve been keeping up with our blogs, you already know we highly recommend that you consider hiring a coordinator especially if you’re overwhelmed by this checklist.
- Book your Photographer!!! Our brides typically book us a year to a year and a half from their wedding date and if you have your heart set on a photographer, its best to book them as soon as you’ve locked down a date with a venue!
6 months or more ahead
This is a huge chuck of the wedding planning process so we recommend that you just focus on checking 1 thing off of the list at a time so that you don’t become overwhelmed. I love check lists.
- Order dress and accessories. Don’t forget to include your veil, shoes, stockings, lingerie, etc.
- Compile guest list and organize addresses
- Choose bridesmaids
- Book officiant
- Book caterer
- Book florist
- Order wedding cake
- Book music for reception and ceremony
- Plan and book honeymoon
- Send save-the-date cards. You want to send these as soon as you can to give your loved ones that are traveling, a good amount of time to save and make arrangements.
- Choose favors and plan any details of reception, decorations, balloons, etc.
- Select bridal registry
- Purchase or reserve groom’s attire
- Select bridesmaids gowns
- Select men’s formalwear
- Arrange transportation and limo for the wedding day
- Reserve rental equiptment, such as tables, chairs, tents, etc.
- Order stationary, including invitations and thank-you notes
- Book a room for the wedding night and reserve accommodations for out- of-town guests.
Four months ahead
- Make reservations for rehearsal dinner
- Choose gifts for wedding party
- Write thank-you notes as gifts arrive
- Shop for trousseau
- Set appointment for complete physical exam
- Update you immunizations
- Finalize honeymoon plans
Two months ahead
- Discuss details of menu with caterer
- Discuss service with offciant
- Choose readings for ceremony
- Write your wedding vows, if you choose
- Try out makeup and hairstyle
- Buy guest book
- Have programs printed, if using
- Schedule rehearsal time and rehearsal dinner
- Address and mail invitations
- Check local newspaper for wedding announcement deadline
- Obtain marriage license and request certificate copies
- If you intend to change your last name prepare the necessary documents
- Send change-of-address to post office
- Begin seating plan
- Begin Wedding day Timeline
Two weeks ahead
- Have final dress fitting with shoes, jewlry and lingerie
- Notify caterer of guest count after RSVP Deadline
- Write toasts for rehearsal dinner and wedding reception
- Address announcements
- Break in wedding shoes at home
- Finalize Wedding Day Timeline
- Designate someone to look after your home while you are on your honeymoon
- Finalize seating plan
- Assign specific responsibilities to members of the wedding party
- Pick up dress or have it delivered
- Confirm honeymoon arrangements, and give your itinerary to a friend or family member in case of emergency
- Pack for honeymoon
- Prepare your Wedding Day Emergency Kit
One day ahead
- Confirm transportation arrangements for ceremony and reception
- Have manicure and pedicure
- Rehearse ceremony
- Hold rehearsal dinner, distribute gifts to parents and wedding party
- Prepare envelopes with tips for vendors
- SLEEP!!!!!! The happiest day of your life is only a matter of hours away!!!!
At the end of the day we want you to be this excited about your wedding day!