The Ultimate Wedding Checklist

Planning a wedding can be hectic without the knowledge of how to plan one.

A wedding checklist is a great way to organize your thoughts and plans so that you can relax during your engagement. Following a specific timeline determined by the wedding checklist will assist you in planning a happy union.

Planning anything can be difficult, and a wedding is no exception. Even for the organized person, a pre-made wedding checklist can do wonders on easing up a frantic mind. Take a look at this detailed wedding checklist provided by to help you maintain a cool head while under the pressure of planning a wedding.

Your Wedding Checklist: essential wedding tasks month by month

Easy Wedding Checklist

Start your wedding planning with an easy-to-use wedding checklist that will keep you organized and on top of things! I suggest you print out these wedding checklists and put them in your wedding notebook for easy reference.

Your Wedding Checklist: 10 to 12 months before your wedding

____Read The First Ten Steps for a Newly Engaged Couple
____Tell your parents, important family members, and close friends the good news! How to Announce Your Engagement
____You might also want to announce your engagement in the newspaper, on a wedding website with an email sent out to all your friends, or in the most traditional way, with mailed engagement announcements
____Have an engagement party, if you’d like
____Envision the tone of your wedding: Formal or casual? Day or evening? Religious or secular?
____Consider having a wedding theme, which will help pull together the style, look, and feel of your wedding
____Choose your wedding colors, which will add visual unity.
____Set your budget, read Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding
____Decide who will pay for the wedding. Will your parents cover it all? Can you contribute? How will expenses be split?
____Start your guest list
____Select date and time. Have backup dates in mind, in case a key element is unavailable.
____Select and reserve your ceremony and reception sites
____Hire a wedding consultant, if you’re using one
____Choose and book your wedding officiant
____Choose bridesmaids, groomsmen and ushers
____Meet with florists, caterers, and musicians.
____Arrange for a tasting with your caterer

Your Wedding Checklist: 8 to 10 months before your wedding

____Shop for and order your wedding dress and accessories, including veil, gloves and shoes

____Sign a contract with your wedding caterer

____Book wedding florist and choose arrangements
____Book your musicians and/or DJ for both ceremony and reception
____Select and confirm your wedding photographer (and your videographer, if you’re using one.)
____Look into wedding insurance and decide if it’s a good option for you
____Plan your honeymoon
____Shop for and order your bridesmaid dresses
____If you’re making your own wedding favors, start doing so now.
____Meet with wedding cake designers or bakers and arrange for a tasting (Yum!)

Your Wedding Checklist: Four to six months before your wedding

____Send save-the-date announcements or call out of town guests to let them know the final date, time, and location of the wedding.
____If you’re purchasing wedding favors, do so now
____Start planning your rehearsal dinner. Give the host(s) your guest list
____Examine your beauty regimen. Read Five months to perfect wedding day beauty
____If your caterer isn’t doing it for you, reserve any rental equipment you’ll need, including dishes, tables, chairs, linens, tents
____Register for gifts
____Select your wedding cake designer, and order your wedding cake
____Arrange wedding transportation
____Order stationery
____Select a calligrapher, if you’re using one
____Select the groom’s tuxedo or other attire, what the groomsmen will wear, and arrange to purchase or rent
____Purchase your wedding rings. Consider having your wedding rings engraved.
____Book wedding night accommodations and accommodations for out-of-town guests
____Buy gifts for your wedding party, parents, and each other.
____If you’re changing into “going away outfits” before you leave the reception, purchase those now

Your Wedding Checklist: Two to three months before your wedding

____Give a list of “Must Take” photographs to your wedding photographer
____Discuss your wedding menu with your caterer
____Meet with your officiant to discuss the wedding ceremony
____Write your wedding vows
____Attend any bridal showers
____Mail your wedding invitations
____Think about your wedding hair and makeup – If you’re doing your own, try out hairstyles, purchase any extra makeup, think about having a “makeover party” with your girlfriends.
____Book your hairstylist and/or makeup artist, if you’re using them. Meet with each of them to experiment with styles and colors
____Schedule your wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
____If your state requires it for a marriage license, make blood test appointments
____If you’re going to change your name, complete those documents
____Send wedding announcements to local newspapers

Your Wedding Checklist: The month of your wedding

It’s finally here! There’s just a few more things to do to make sure everything’s perfect
____Apply for your marriage license.
____Have your final gown fitting. It’s helpful to have a bridesmaid with you to learn how to bustle your train and fasten any tricky buttons (and help you go to the bathroom, if you’ve got a big wedding dress!)
____Check with your bridesmaids and groomsmen to make sure they’ve gotten their attire, confirm arrival times, and answer any last minute questions
____Contact your vendors (caterer, officiant, cake baker, photographer, videographer, florist, musicians, transportation, hotels) to confirm arrival and delivery times.
____Write and print your wedding program
____Create welcome baskets or bags for out-of-town guests
____Send change-of-address information to post office
____Write thank you cards as you receive wedding gifts
____Ask your mother or maid of honor to contact any guests who have not RSVP’d
____Read Top Tips for Perfect Wedding Day Beauty

Your Wedding Checklist: One to Two Weeks Ahead

____Arrange seating plan, and write place cards
____Give your final head count to your caterer, and confirm any last minute details
____Write toasts for the rehearsal dinner and reception
____Try on your wedding shoes, and wear them on carpeted surfaces around the house
____Arrange for a plant waterer/pet sitter/babysitter while you are on your honeymoon
____Pick up your wedding dress
____Attend your bachelor party or bachelorette party, if you’re having them
____Send your travel plans and contact information to a family member and your house sitter (in case of emergency)
____Finalize seating chart

Your Wedding Checklist: The Day Before Your Wedding

____Do something to relax and enjoy the company of your out-of-town friends
____Assign responsibilities to your wedding party (handing out corsages and boutonnieres, greeting and seating guests, checking on vendors)
____Confirm wedding day transportation
____Have a manicure and pedicure or other pre-wedding spa pampering.
____Give your wedding party gifts
____Rehearse ceremony
____Hold the rehearsal dinner

Your Wedding Checklist: Day of the Wedding

____Give thank you gifts to your parents
____Enjoy your wedding!

With the guidance of this wedding checklist, your big day is sure to be a success! It may all seem overwhelming with so many tasks to do, but each crossed off assignment on your wedding checklist is a step closer to a fantastic wedding. Weddings are supposed to be filled with joy and happiness, not stress and anxiety. A wedding checklist is a smart and practical way to ensure that the joy far outweighs the stress.

A great place to book a wedding is the Salem Cross Inn, where you can create your own wedding package. We work to stay within the client’s set budget and cater to their every need. Our customized wedding packages will help you organize your event without needing a wedding planner, and makes crossing off your wedding checklist a breeze.