Planning a wedding is a beautiful journey, but it can also feel like a whirlwind of tasks and decisions. Whether you’re passionate about planning or find it all a bit overwhelming, having a complete checklist is key to making sure nothing falls through the cracks. So, here’s my go-to wedding planning checklist to help you gracefully navigate the process of planning your dream day!
Define Your Price Point
Set your overall spending limit and distribute funds for each element of your special day. A lot of this will come down to discussing with your partner what areas will take priority for you both. Having approximate spending goals can really help when you start planning the details for the day.
Create Your Guest List
Sit down with your partner and figure out the number of guests you want to invite. This number may be guided by your price point as well; many venues, caterers, or bar services will have a price per person, so consider this when deciding your guest size. Once you have this number. put together a list of guests with their names and addresses. (And don’t forget about accounting for postage costs!)
Pick the Perfect Date and Venue
Choosing the perfect date and venue for your wedding can influence the overall tone and experience of your special day. The date you select should consider factors such as the weather, the availability of key guests, and personal significance. Additionally, the venue you choose should align with your vision and style. Careful consideration of these elements ensures that your wedding is a meaningful and unforgettable occasion that reflects your love story. For more tips and advice on this step, check out these other posts:
Consider Hiring a Wedding Planner
This step is optional, but it can be extremely helpful. If you’re seeking expert guidance, think about hiring a wedding planner to handle all the nitty-gritty details. Most engaged couples have never planned a wedding before, so working with someone who has experience and personal connections in the industry can take a load of stress and work off your plate.
Assemble Your “I Do Crew”
Select your bridesmaids, groomsmen, and all the incredible people who’ll stand by your side on your big day.
Send Your Save-the-Dates and Invitations
Give your guests a heads-up about the celebration by sending out save-the-date cards or emails well in advance. It’s typically suggested to do this 6-8 months before the wedding date. If you’re planning a destination wedding where more accommodations will need to be made, you should send them 8-12 months in advance. Invitations to obtain your final guest count should be sent about 2 months before your wedding. Be sure to set an RSVP deadline to avoid too many last-minute changes to the guest count and seating chart.
Embrace a Theme or Style
Infuse your personalities and preferences into your wedding by choosing a theme or style that speaks to your hearts. Whether you’re drawn to a rustic, vintage, beach, or even a fairytale theme, selecting a theme allows you to weave a consistent and personal narrative throughout every aspect of your wedding, including invitations and decor.
By incorporating elements that reflect your shared interests, hobbies, or love story, you can make your wedding feel more intimate and meaningful while helping your guests connect with your love story in a more profound way.
Moreover, having a theme can simplify your decision-making process. It can guide your choices for colors, flowers, centerpieces, and even the music playlist.
Find and Secure Your Dream Team of Vendors
When it comes to pulling off a wedding day, it takes a village! Or at least a great team of vendors. Here are the big ones you want to make sure not to forget:
– Caterer: Arrange for delectable food and beverages.
– Photographer/Videographer: Capture your moments with a professional touch.
– Florist: Bring your wedding dreams to life with stunning floral arrangements.
– Entertainment: Book the perfect DJ, band, or entertainment to keep the party going.
– Officiant: Choose someone special to officiate your ceremony.
– Wedding Cake: Find a bakery and decide on your dream cake.
– Rental Services: Secure any necessary items, from tables to linens.
– Hair & Makeup: Beauty prep for wedding days should have a professional touch. These artists use special products designed to create a natural look that photographs well and will last throughout the whole day.
Select Your Wedding Attire
– Bride’s Dress: Find the gown that makes your heart sing.
– Groom’s Attire: Suit up and decide whether to buy or rent.
– Bridesmaid and Groomsmen Attire: Coordinate attire and fitting dates with your wedding party.
Plan Ceremony Details
– The Vows: Decide whether you’ll be reciting traditional vows or writing personal vows.
– Ceremony Program: Decide the order of events during your ceremony. Design and print programs for your guests if you want one.
– Ceremony Music: Choose your favorite music selections or hire live musicians for the ceremony.
Plan Reception Details
– Seating Arrangement: Craft a seating chart that ensures everyone has a blast.
– Decorations: Define your reception’s ambiance with the perfect decor.
– Reception Program: Plan the order of events, from speeches to the cake cutting.
– Wedding Favors: Delight your guests with thoughtful wedding favors to remember the day.
Reserve a block of hotel rooms or arrange accommodations for out-of-town guests. This is especially important to consider if you’re planning a wedding in a popular travel location or on a holiday weekend.
Consider Transportation Arrangements
If many of your guests are traveling from out of town, you may want to look into booking transportation for your wedding party and guests. If you’ve worked with a hotel for a block of rooms, arranging transportation can be simplified as most people will be coming and going to the same place.
Obtain Your Marriage License
Don’t forget the legal part! Research the requirements in your area and secure the necessary marriage license before the wedding date. You don’t want to be dealing with red-tape the week of the celebration!
Plan Your Dream Honeymoon
As fun as the wedding day will be, you’ll deserve a vacation after planning all the details! Choose a destination, book your flights and accommodations, and schedule some awesome activities. Hopefully, this is a task that adds some and whimsy fun to this wedding planning checklist!
Organize a rehearsal to ensure everyone knows their roles and the timing. Your venue will most likely help you set this up.
Finalize the Details
– Confirm all vendor bookings and arrangements.
– Create a wedding day timeline/schedule.
– Share any special instructions or requests with your chosen vendors.
If you’ve hired a professional planner, they would come in very handy for this step; most will create your wedding timeline for you and take care of finalizing details with your vendors so you don’t have to worry about this step the week before your wedding.
Wedding Day Emergency Kit
It never hurts to be prepared! And no wedding planning checklist would be complete without prepping for the unexpected! Pack a kit with essentials like safety pins, stain remover, and tissues. If the bride is wearing a dress with button loops, a crochet hook is a lifesaver to bring along too.
Entrust specific responsibilities to trusted friends or family members to help with coordination on the big day. Your wedding day should be yours to enjoy, so don’t be afraid to delegate to minimize your stress and maximize your fun.
The day is finally here! Take a deep breath, relax, and soak in every beautiful moment with your loved ones. This is the most important to-do on this wedding planning checklist!
Congratulations on conquering our ultimate wedding planning checklist! You’ve now armed yourself with some essential tools to navigate this incredible journey. Now, the real fun begins! As you fill in those to-do boxes, remember to stay true to yourselves, embrace the unexpected, and trust your instincts. This checklist is merely a guide. The real magic lies in the personal touches and special moments that will make your wedding uniquely yours. So let the stress melt away, grab your partner’s hand, and let the planning begin!
I’m here to make your wedding journey as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. Let’s create a celebration that’s uniquely yours, filled with magical memories that you can cherish for generations. Reach out to see if I’m available for your date!