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 Wedding Planner Checklist

Twelve-Eigh​teen Months Prior

​​__1.  Book your ‘Eye on the Shore’ Bridal Tour(s)

__2. Start a wedding folder or binder

Start collecting ideas and themes by leafing through bridal, lifestyle, fashion, gardening, design, and food magazines for inspiration

__3. Work out your budget

Determine how much you have to spend, based on both of your families’s contributions as well as your own

__4. Select your wedding party

Give this decision special thought. Beyond personal relationships, it is also a big financial commitment, especially when asking more than one member of the same family. 

__5. Start the guest list

Make a head count database to use throughout your planning process, with columns for contact info, RSVPs, gifts, and any other relevant information

__6. Hire a wedding planner/bridal consultant, if you’re not up for the coordinating

A planner will have relationships with various vendors while also keeping the stress level down

__7. Reserve your date and venues

Decide whether to have separate locations for the ceremony and the reception

__8. Book your Officiant

Roman Catholic services require in church ceremonies ONLY/Non denominational ceremonies are flexible on location and ceremony content

__9. Research photographers, bands, florists, and caterers

Keep their contact information in your binder

__10. Throw an engagement party-if you wish

Those invitees should be on your wedding guest list as well

Eight-Twelve Months Prior

__11. Hire the photographer and the videographer

Whomever you’re considering should be open to taking poses in locations that are most meaningful to you

__12. Book the entertainment

Attend gigs of potential acts-Bands or DJ’s-to see how they perform in front of audiences

__13. Meet Caterers

If your wedding venue doesn’t offer its own catering service, ask for referrals

__14. Purchase or Rent your dress

You’ll need to schedule time for at least three fittings. Veil shopping can be postponed for another two to three months

__15. Reserve a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests

Select three hotels at different price points close to the reception venue

__16. Register with a Bridal Registry for your Shower gifts

Sign up at a minimum of three retailers in different price points

__17. Launch a wedding website

Create your personal page through a free provider such as Note the date of the wedding, travel information, and accommodations. Send the link to invitees

Six-Eight Months Prior

__18. Select and purchase your wedding invitations

Hire a calligrapher, if preferred

__19. Start planning a honeymoon

Check that credentials (passports etc) are current

__20. Shop for bridesmaids’ dresses

Allow at least six months for the dresses to be ordered and sized. When

making selections for the bridal party, be considerate of the many expenses that will be expected of them. Consider letting them wear their own shoes, or chose a dress that they can wear again with some alterations.

__21. Meet with the Officiant

Map out the ceremony and confirm that you have all the official documents for the wedding (these vary by county and religion)

__22. Send save-the-date cards

A postcard with a refrigerator magnet is ideal

__23. Reserve structural and electrical necessities

Book portable toilets for outdoor events, extra chairs, etc...if needed

__24. Book a Florist

__25. Arrange transportation

Consider limos, minibuses, trolleys, and town cars for yourselves, your bridal party, your parents and immediate families

__26. Start composing a day-of timeline

Schedule of the day’s events ie: cake-cutting, the first dance, etc

__27. Book the rehearsal and rehearsal-dinner venues

Negotiate the cost and the menu. Also, plan the day after brunch for overnight guests.

__28. Check on the wedding invitations

__29. Select and order the cake

Some bakers require a long lead time. Attend tastings before committing to any baker

__30. Send your guest list to the (hostess) of your shower

__31. Purchase wedding shoes and start dress fittings

Bring the shoes along to your first fitting so the tailor can choose the appropriate length for your gown

__32. Schedule hair and makeup artists

Make a few appointments with local experts to try them out. Snap a photo at each so you can compare results

__33. Choose your music

What should be playing when the wedding party is announced? During dinner? To kick off the dancing? Keep a running list of what you want—and don’t want played

Four-Six Months Prior

__34. Finalize the menu and flowers

The flowers should reflect the colors and theme and style of your event

__35. Order favors, if desired

If you’re planning to have welcome baskets for out-of-town guests, include them as well

__36. Make a list of the people giving toasts

__37. Finalize the readings

Determine what you would like to have read at the ceremony-maybe a personal story of how you met-or consider a romantic poem

__38. Finalize the order of the ceremony and the reception

__39. Print menu cards, as well as programs

No need to go to a printer, if that’s not in your budget: You can easily create these on your computer

__40. Purchase the rings

This will give you time for resizing and engraving

__41. Send your event schedule to the vendors

Giving them a first draft now allows ample time for tweaks and feedback

Twelve-Sixteen Weeks Prior

__42. Touch base again with all the vendors

Make sure any questions you or they had on your first draft have been answered

__43. Meet with the photographer

__44. Review the playlist with the band or D.J.

Six-Eight Weeks Prior

__45. Send thank you’s out for shower gifts

__46. Send out the invitations

The rule of thumb: Mail invitations six to eight weeks before the ceremony, setting the RSVP cutoff at three weeks after the postmark date

__47. Submit a newspaper wedding announcement

If you’re planning to include a photograph, check the publication’s website: Some have strict rules about how the photo should look

__48. Enjoy your Bachelorette party!

Arranging a night out with your girlfriends generally falls to the maid of honor.

__49. Enter RSVPs into your guest-list database

Phone people who have not yet responded

__50. Get your marriage license

This process can take up to six days. If you are changing your name, order several copies

__51. Mail the rehearsal-dinner invitations

__52. Visit the dressmaker for your last dress fitting

Schedule the last fitting the week of your wedding

__53. Send out as many final payments as you can

__54. Confirm times for hair and makeup and all vendors

__55. E-mail and print directions for drivers of transport vehicles

__56. Assign seating

Draw out table shapes on a layout of the room to help plan place settings

__57. Purchase bridesmaids’ and groomsmen's gifts

Present them at the rehearsal dinner

__58. Get your hair cut and colored, if desired

Seven-fourteen Days Prior

__59. Reconfirm arrival times with vendors

__60. Delegate small wedding-day tasks

Choose someone to bustle your dress, someone to carry your things, someone to be in charge of gifts (especially the enveloped sort), someone to hand out tips, and someone to be the point person for each vendor

__61. Send a timeline to the bridal party

Include every member’s contact information, along with the point people you’ve asked to deal with the vendors, if problems arise

__62. Pick up your dress

Or make arrangements for a delivery

__63. Check in one last time with the photographer

Supply him or her with a list of moments you want captured on film

__64. Set aside checks for the vendors

Put tips in envelopes to be handed out at the event; set aside a  table at the reception for the vendors; determine if you will be providing them a meal

__65. Book a spa treatment

Make an appointment for a manicure and a pedicure the day before the wedding (You might want to get a stress-relieving massage, too)

__66. Send the final guest list to the caterer and all venues hosting your wedding-related events

Typically, companies close their lists 72 hours in advance

__67. Break in your shoes

__68. Assemble and distribute the welcome baskets

__69. Pack for your honeymoon

__70. Order flowers for your parents

to arrive during your honeymoon as a 'Thank you'

__71. Arrange to have an area for your Gift Envelopes at a Gift table

__72. If you are having animals or young children in the ceremony, you’ll want to designate someone to supervise them. Assign an adult to be responsible for taking the dogs home as well as returning the children to their parents after the ceremony

__73. If children will be guests at the reception, have something for them to do at their table. Set up a ‘Kid Zone’ at a separate table with coloring books, games or a craft-or consider booking a babysitter to keep little ones entertained

__74. Send thank you’s out for wedding gifts (after) the honeymoon


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