In the months leading up to your wedding, you’ll need to organize, book, and buy countless wedding essentials so your wedding comes smoothly together. That’s why our Wedding Checklist is a lifesaver.
It will help you keep you on track to complete each and every wedding “to do” before your big day. We’ve made the most practical and comprehensive Wedding Planning Checklist ever.
It even has color-coordinated action icons, so you know at a glance whether you need to organize, book, buy, mail, contact someone, or get/return an item.
The months given should be used as a guide – so feel free to get things done earlier if you want. Happy wedding planning!
Download our free printable Wedding Checklist PDF to keep on track!
10-12+ months to go…
Engagement Party: What better way to celebrate your engagement than a party with your loved ones? Revel in the happy news by throwing an engagement party.
Wedding inspo: Start collecting material to inspire your wedding from bridal and lifestyle magazines, websites, and blogs. You can display your best finds on an inspo board, wedding folder, or Pinterest.
Budget: Crunch numbers to make at least a tentative wedding budget. Identify areas of priority for you as a couple, and those you can save on. Refer to our wedding budget checklist and read our 60+ tips to plan a budget wedding to save hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars off of your budget!
Bridal Party: Who are the lucky friends and family who will make up your bridal party? After making the call, break the happy news to the lucky few (and remind your fiance to inform their party as well!)
Guest list: Get a head start on your guest list.
Wedding dress: You’ll need to buy your wedding dress at least nine months before the wedding, so start looking now to get your brain ticking.
Honeymoon: How does a week in Hawaii sound? A rendezvous in Rome? Go ahead and begin daydreaming about where you’ll kick off your post-wedding life.
Venue and Wedding Date: Start researching your desired wedding venue and lock down your wedding date. Try to do this as soon as possible, as popular venues and dates get booked out early.
Wedding Officiant: Who will proceed over the ceremony? Research and reserve your wedding officiant as soon as possible. You can ask your married friends for recommendations.
Wedding Planner: If you need some help from the experts, now is the time to organize a wedding planner (optional).
Wedding insurance: If you want to take extra precaution with your wedding day, consider wedding insurance (optional).
6-9 months to go…
Photographer and videographer: Research and hire a photographer and videographer (optional) to capture the best moments of your big day.
Caterer and cake: Conduct some taste tests to determine which caterer and cake designer has the most scrumptious offering, and get them booked.
Entertainment: A great band, DJ or musician will set help set the right atmosphere for your reception. Book one that’s willing to work with you and your partner to create the ultimate wedding playlist.
Florist: Finding a reliable florist that can supply flowers which complement your wedding theme is a must. Make inquiries at a number of places, and select the florist who best understands your vision.
Gift registry: Create gift registries at a couple of different stores. Make sure to include a range of price points to suit guests of all budgets. Here are 10 wedding gifts that you can consider adding to your list!
Hotels: Inquire about hotels for guests arriving out of town, and book your hotel for your wedding night if that’s part of your plans.
Wedding Dress and Bridal Party Dresses: The 9 month mark is an ideal time to buy your dress and bridesmaid dresses so there’s plenty of time for fittings. Make sure to find out the right silhouette for your body.
Rentals: Any items that you want to rent such as linens, chair covers, and decorations should be researched and reserved now. Unique wedding ceremony decorations will add an extra special touch to your wedding day.
Wedding Officiant: Arrange a meeting with your Wedding Officiant so you can discuss what you expect from their services.
Save the dates: Let your loved ones know to keep the day of your wedding free by sending a “save the date” card. You can send it by mail, or by email.
3-5 months to go…
Invitations: Finalize the design and details of your wedding invitations. Need help with how to write and format your wedding invitations? Check out our invitation wording guide, and invitation etiquette guide.
Wedding Dress and Bridal Party Dresses: In the lead up to your wedding organize dress fittings for yourself and your bridal party.
Transport: Will you be arriving to your wedding by limo, or vintage car? However you’ve decided to get there, make a booking with the appropriate vendor.
Hair and Makeup: Set up makeup and hair trials with a handful of reputable vendors, and compare snapshots. Whoever’s skills blew you away the most – get them locked down!
Honeymoon: If you haven’t finalized your honeymoon booking, do it now. The earlier you buy plane tickets, hotel rooms, and organize what you’ll do, the more likely you’ll be able to score a good price!
Men’s formalwear: Remind your partner to get his own suit sorted, as well as his groomsmen’s formalwear. A gentle reminder about accessories like ties and shoes may be needed as well.
Wedding rings: You’ll want to start shopping around for the perfect wedding rings before making a decision. If you’re thinking of buying second-hand, you may need to get the ring resized, so factor in time for that.
Wedding favors: Shop for wedding favors so your guests will have a token to always remember your special day. If you’re stuck on ideas, these 10 wedding favor ideas will be a hit with your guests.
Vendors: Finalize details with all wedding vendors: your caterer, entertainment, photographer, videographer, invitation vendor… It’s best to get everything in writing so you’re all on the same page.
2 months to go…
Seating arrangements: Create the seating plan for your reception, and if necessary, your ceremony as well. Deciding who will sit next to who is one of the trickiest parts of wedding planning, so don’t delay organizing it.
Vows: Grab a pen and paper, and start writing your wedding vows. Discuss with your partner if you’d like to go for a standard verse, or each write something more personal and original.
Readings: Decide who will have a spoken role at your wedding, and what exactly they should say. Let your readers know of their responsibilities.
Dance class: Do you have two left feet? Consider booking some dance classes- you’ll wow your guests with your new moves (optional).
Maid of Honor: Contact your Maid of Honor to suss out some important details about your Bachelorette Party. You’ll want to find out the date and if you need to prepare anything in advance, and perhaps set a few boundaries!
Invitations: Mail out your invitations to your loved ones. Heads up – expect to receive a couple of excited phone calls and messages!
1 month to go…
Marriage License: Apply to get a Marriage License – a vital document which authorizes your marriage. Check here to find out the specific rules for your county.
Wedding program: Your guests will need to know the order of the day. Organize a wedding program so everyone is in the loop.
Thank you gifts: Show your appreciation for the support your wedding party and parents have given with a small thank you present (optional).
Guests: Contact any guests who still haven’t given their RSVP.
2-3 weeks to go…
Bachelorette Party: Celebrate your pending nuptials with your closest girlfriends. Relieve all that wedding planning stress by getting a bit crazy!
Shoes: Make sure your shoes are their most wearable by breaking them in. Purchase some gel shoe cushions if you find your shoes are rubbing against your feet.
Wedding day survival kit: Buy or DIY a Wedding day survival kit prepared with everything from bandages to breath mints for your big day (optional).
Vendors: Touch base one last time with your vendors to ensure the details about your big day are correct and confirmed.
1 week to go…
Honeymoon: Grab your suitcase, and get packing for your honeymoon! Here are some “do’s and don’ts” of packing for your honeymoon.
Vendor payments: If you have the time, why not make your final payments to your vendors now? You’ll be thankful to have money issues out of mind on your big day!
Wedding dress: Pick up your wedding dress, or have it delivered to your house.
The final days before…
Rehearsal dinner: Hold your rehearsal dinner to polish up on all the final details of the reception to ensure everyone knows what to say and do.
Rings: This one’s a biggie! Double and triple check your precious wedding rings are packed/given to the best man or ring bearer.
Legal documents: Ensure that key documents such as your Marriage License are organized and are packed and ready.
Spa/massage: Treat yourself to a pamper session at a spa or masseuse. It will do wonders to relieve stress and give you a little extra glow (optional).
Manicure and pedicure: Make sure your nails are in tip-top shape by heading with your bridal party to get a mani and pedi (optional).
Your wedding day!
Check out our Wedding Day-of Checklist for a comprehensive guide to everything you should do on your wedding day!
After the wedding…
Wedding dress: Take your wedding dress to the dry cleaners as soon as you can to make sure it’s preserved for years to come.
Thank you cards: Send thank you cards to your wedding guests and any professionals who helped you put your wedding together.
Rented items: Return any rented items like tuxedos to their respective vendors, and give back any items borrowed from family and friends.
Honeymoon: Now you can go relax on your honeymoon – you’ve definitely earned it!
You did it! Enjoy married life!
Do you have any tips to prepare for the countdown to your wedding? Which month was your busiest? Comment below and join in the conversation!