A Monthly & Weekly Wedding Planning Checklist

I know how much goes into a wedding (even a smaller, more intimate wedding) & it can be a lot of work. But it can be overwhelming to know where to start! This wedding planning checklist is long & it doesn’t cover absolutely everything but it will be helpful to refer back to during your wedding planning journey. This checklist will help you know where to start & how to plan your wedding & get you on the right track!

9-12 Months Before the Wedding: Setting the Foundation

Embarking on your wedding planning journey starts with laying a solid foundation for planning your day. This phase is all about making big decisions that set the stage for your special day. From announcing your engagement to booking key vendors, each step is a building block towards your dream wedding. You can also create your own wedding planning checklist to keep yourself on track.

Wedding Checklist for 9-12 Months Before the Day

  • Announce Your Engagement: Share your exciting news with family & friends through a special gathering or a social media post.
  • Select Your Wedding Date: Choose a date that is significant to you, or one that fits best with your schedule & preferred season.
  • Determine Your Budget: Discuss with all contributing parties about who is paying for what, & create a detailed budget.
  • Hire a Wedding Planner: Consider whether you need a full-time planner or just a coordinator for the day of the wedding.
  • Decide on the Wedding Style: Think about the location, theme, formality, & time of day. This will shape your entire event.
  • Organizational Tools & Expense Tracking: Use a binder or a digital planning app to keep track of all your appointments, contacts, & documents. Keep a detailed record of payments & their due dates to avoid any last-minute surprises as well as what your total spend will be.
  • Draft Your Guest List: Start with a rough list of guests to get an idea of the number of attendees.
  • Book Your Venues: Secure your ceremony & reception sites early to ensure availability. Or if getting married at another location, be sure you have the permits in place.
  • Order Your Wedding Attire: A wedding dress can take awhile to get in, if you are ordering a wedding dress. Suits & other attire usually doesn’t take quite as long.
  • Engagement Photos & Photographer: Book your photographer & schedule an engagement photo shoot.

6-9 Months Out from Your Wedding: Solidifying the Details

As your wedding date approaches, it’s time to dive into the details that will bring your vision to life. This period focuses on defining the elements of your ceremony & reception, ensuring your wedding feels as personal & special as your relationship.

Wedding Checklist for 6-9 Months Before the Day

  • Catering & Officiants: Book your caterer & officiant to secure high-demand professionals.
  • Wedding Party: If you are having a wedding party, choose your wedding party & explain their roles & responsibilities. Do not feel obligated to have a wedding party though! If you do have one, be sure to choose people who actually mean something & who are reliable.
  • Attire for the Wedding Party: Decide on & order attire for the bridesmaids, flower girls, & parents, if needed.
  • Music & Memories: Book your band or DJ & videographer. You can also book other fun vendors during this time such as a photobooth vendor.
  • Florist & Decor: Choose a florist & begin discussing your floral arrangements. If you have a planner, talk with them to help with decor. Browse Pinterest for inspiration but don’t get too caught up in a “Pinterest perfect wedding”.
  • Gift Registry: Start your gift registry to guide your guests with their gift purchases.
  • Wedding Stationery: Begin looking at designs for your invitations & other stationery.

4-6 Months Prior to Your Day: Bringing It Together

With the big day getting closer, now is the moment to start bringing together all the elements of your wedding. This is when you’ll see your plans begin to materialize, from finalizing guest lists to beginning your honeymoon plans. It’s about turning what was once a dream into reality.

Wedding Checklist for 4-6 Months Before the Day

  • Fittings & Marriage Prep: Schedule fittings for bridesmaids’ dresses & arrange for any desired marriage preparation courses.
  • Rental Items: Reserve necessary rental items like chairs, linens, & lighting. At this point more of your decor is going to be coming together, so don’t rush to make decor decisions at the very beginning. Budget will also play a factor.
  • Finalize Guest List & Invitations: Confirm your guest list & order & send out your wedding invitations.
  • Honeymoon Planning: Start planning your honeymoon, considering destinations & making reservations.
  • Get Together Your Personal Items: Purchase gifts for each other, your parents, & the wedding party, you’ll also want to select your wedding rings.

2-4 Months Out: Final Touches

The final touches are what transform a good wedding into a great one. These next few months are crucial for adding those personal touches that will make your wedding memorable. It’s also the time to ensure all logistical aspects are handled, from engagement photos to beauty trials.

Wedding Checklist for 2-4 Months Before the Day

  • Engagement Photos: Take your engagement photos if you didn’t get them done earlier.
  • Wedding Cake & Favors: Order your wedding cake & select favors for your guests.
  • Decor & Transportation: Finalize your wedding decor themes & book transportation for the wedding day. It can be helpful to do a mock setup of tables & list out which individual pieces of decor go to each table or area of your wedding venue.
  • Beauty Trials: Go for hair & makeup trials & book your stylists.
  • Permits & Invitations: Get any remaining permits & send out your wedding invitations. Be sure to send one to your photographer so that they can have it to photograph!

6-8 Weeks to Go: Confirming the Details

As you enter the final weeks before your wedding, your focus should shift towards confirmation & follow-up. This stage is all about ensuring everything you’ve planned is aligned with your expectations, & that your vendors are ready to bring your day to life exactly as you envision.

Wedding Checklist for 6-8 Weeks Before the Day

  • RSVP Tracking: Keep a record of RSVPs & begin to follow up with guests who have not responded.
  • Attire for Groomsmen or Wedding Party: Finalize & reserve the groomsmen’s attire or any last minute attire for the wedding party.
  • Final Vendor Confirmations: Touch base with all your vendors to finalize details. Talk with your planner & photographer about finalizing a wedding day timeline to share with everyone.

2-6 Weeks: The Countdown

The countdown is officially on! These final weeks can be the most exhilarating as you make the last adjustments & preparations for your wedding. It’s a time filled with excitement & anticipation as you finalize everything from the seating chart to the day-of timeline.

Wedding Checklist for 6-8 Weeks Before the Day

  • Final Fittings & Meetings: If you have a wedding dress, arrange your last gown fitting & confirm all event details with your venue & other wedding vendors.
  • Wedding Rings & Seating Plan: Pick up your wedding rings & finalize the seating arrangements. Contact guests who haven’t replied.
  • Music & Day-Of Timeline: Finalize your music playlists & create a detailed timeline of the wedding day events.
  • Food & Beverages: Finalize all food & beverages for wedding.
  • Finalize Timeline: Make a detailed wedding day timeline & send a copy to all vendors.
  • House Sitting or Pet Sitting: Arrange for someone to watch your place or pets if needed.

Week of the Wedding: The Home Stretch

The week of your wedding is finally here. It’s time to dot the i’s & cross the t’s of your wedding planning checklist. This week is about final confirmations, packing for your honeymoon, & making sure everything is ready for your big day. It’s the home stretch to starting your new life together!

Wedding Checklist for 1 Week Before the Day

  • Final Headcounts & Packing: Provide final headcounts to caterers & start packing for your honeymoon (if you are leaving right after the wedding).
  • Honeymoon Packing: Pack for your honeymoon.
  • Finalize Gifts: Finalize reception favors & gifts for wedding day helpers, wedding party, parents, etc.
  • Make a List: Make a complete list of absolutely everything you need to bring to your ceremony & reception.

The Day Before Your Wedding

The day before your wedding the excitement & tension might be high. Your day is coming so soon!

Wedding Checklist for the Day Before

  • Have Decor Ready: Drop off all accessories & decor at ceremony & reception locations.
  • Final Payments: Have final payments ready for vendors if some still need paid
  • Final Honeymoon Preparations: Make sure everything is ready to go for your honeymoon. If you need them, don’t forget your passports!
  • Inform Your Wedding Party: Make sure wedding party has their itinerary & knows where they need to go & when.

Your Wedding Day!

Your wedding day has arrived! Today is about celebration, love, & joy. Remember to breathe, take it all in, & enjoy every moment. This day marks the beginning of your next great adventure together, so make sure to savor it fully.

Wedding Checklist for the Day of Your Wedding

  • Stay Nourished & Relaxed: Eat a good breakfast (seriously, eat something), stay hydrated, & take moments throughout the day to just breathe & reflect on your day.
  • Pack Everything on Your List: Pack anything on your ‘to bring’ list into cars. Make sure someone has the rings!
  • Payments & Itineraries: Prepare payments for vendors & distribute itineraries to the wedding party.
  • License & Permits: Make sure you have your marriage license & any necessary photography or special use permits printed out.

Remember to take a moment to enjoy the details of the day that you planned so long & hard for!


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