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The Complete Wedding Planning Checklist

Twelve months of engaged bliss feels like an eternity to bask in your new status as a fiancée. Keep this printable wedding planning checklist handy as you enjoy all the delights as an engaged couple to ensure you stay on track for your dream wedding.

Key Takeaways:

  • Book large vendors and your venue as early as possible
  • Order your wedding stationery six months before the wedding
  • Enlist family and friends to help out with small tasks to make your to-do list easier
Engaged couple kissing on rooftop

12 Months

Congratulations on your engagement! Let’s start your wedding planning by knocking out some big wedding checklist items.

  • Write up a wedding planning list: As a couple, write a list of what you want in your wedding – or absolutely don’t want.
  • Decide on a date
  • Plan a budget: Find out who’s contributing toward what
  • Start looking at major vendors: Book your DJ, caterer, photographer, and planner
  • Book a venue for the ceremony and reception: If it’s an in-demand location or destination, try and do this a little earlier
  • Take engagement photos: You can use them on your wedding website and announcements
Engaged couple

11 Months

Your wedding is starting to feel real. You got this!

  • Choose your wedding party: Maid of honor, bridesmaids, best man, groomsmen, flower girl, ring bearer
  • Design your wedding website: Include pictures, wedding details, your registry, and accommodations and travel for out-of-town guests
  • Start your wedding registry: Include items from at least three major retailers
  • Choose a wedding theme: Make an idea board, scrapbook, or Pinterest board to save your ideas for designs, décor, and colors
  • Create your guest list: Enlist the help of both sets of parents
  • Look at wedding stationery designs: Feel free to order a few samples
  • Start a beauty routine: Work on a skincare or fitness routine if you would like, though you are already stunning as you are!
Hazel letterpress wedding invitations

9-10 Months

Time to let others know about the big day.

  • Send out your save the dates
  • Start looking at wedding invitation designs: Choose your vendor and begin talking about designs and enclosures for your suite
  • Begin wedding dress shopping: Don’t forget all the fun accessories like shoes, jewelry, veil, and undergarments
  • Hire any remaining vendors: Book musicians (like a wedding singer), photo booth rental, entertainers, or artists
  • Book the officiant
  • Book accommodations for out-of-town guests: Book them at 12+ months for destination weddings
  • Plan your honeymoon: Book your accommodations, travel, and think of activities to do during the honeymoon
Bride trying on her wedding gown

7-8 Months

You are doing so well. Here’s a few more items on your wedding planning checklist.

  • Pick out bridesmaids’ attire: Choose a dress or select a color scheme and ask the bridesmaids to pick their dresses
  • Pick out groom and groomsmen clothes: Get them fitted and order the clothes
  • Purchase wedding rings: Get them insured
  • Attend cake tastings: Pick out the design and flavor of your wedding cake
  • Reserve rentals: Décor, chairs, tables, linens, tableware, and entertainment
Wedding cake tasting

6 Months

You’re halfway there – keep up the good work. It will be worth it, we promise.

  • Find a hairstylist and makeup artist: Plan a trial run and settle on your look
  • Plan the ceremony: Meet with the officiant and talk about the ceremony, vows, and order of service
  • Order your invitations: Agree on your wedding suite design and information for the inserts
  • Order thank-you cards: Have thank-you cards ready for when gifts begin coming in
  • Book your wedding transportation: Transportation from the ceremony to the reception, then a getaway car for the couple after the reception
Hazel letterpress wedding invitations

5 Months

The wedding is getting close. It’s time to knock out some of the small details.

  • Choose flowers: Bridal bouquets, bridesmaid bouquets, décor
  • Schedule your dress fitting
  • Book a place for your wedding night
  • Order gifts: Bridal party, groomsmen, parents
  • 4 Months

    Don’t forget to add some romantic couple time together. Plan a date night or getaway amid this month’s to-do list.

  • Create a DJ playlist: List the songs you want (and don’t want) at the reception
  • Plan the rehearsal dinner: The parents of the groom will host but help with the guest list
  • Order rehearsal dinner invitations
  • Order passports: If your honeymoon or wedding is out of the country
  • 3 Months

    The wedding is almost here, but a few more items are left on the list.

    • Send out wedding invitations: Assemble the invitations and take them to the post office for stamps
    • Begin your seating chart: Amend the chart as RSVPs come in
    • Ask others to participate in the ceremony: Find readers and ushers, and contact anyone giving toasts
    • Write your vows
    • Finalize the food
    • Order day of wedding stationery: Menus, ceremony programs, table numbers, wedding favor tags, welcome signage
    • Order wedding favors

    2 Months

    Time to finalize all your bookings and make sure everything’s in order

  • Check all your reservations: Vendors, rentals, ceremony, and honeymoon bookings
  • Apply for your marriage license
  • Order small details: Guest book, décor items, ring bearer cushion, flower girl basket
  • Bridal bouquet and couple

    1 Month

    You’re in the last month.

    • RSVP deadline: Get a total headcount for your vendors
    • Finalize the seating chart
    • Finalize playlists
    • Create a wedding day schedule: Give a copy to the wedding party, family, and vendors
    • Confirm your booking with vendors: Give a quick call to make sure they have all they need for the big day
    • Contact guests who didn’t respond: Enlist the help of parents to call guests who haven’t RSVP’d
    • Have a final wedding dress fitting
    • Make after-wedding arrangements: Decide who’s in charge of clean up, returning rentals, returning tuxes, and getting the gifts to your home

    2 Weeks

    Relax – the wedding day is in sight.

    • Take a spa day: Unwind before your big day
    • Pack for the honeymoon
    • Break in your wedding shoes: Avoid blisters on your wedding day
    • Final beauty treatments: Plan your haircut, color, tan, teeth whitening, waxing, threading, and other last-minute treatments
    • Prepare vendor payments
    • Make sure everyone has their scripts for the wedding
    • Lay out the wedding clothes: Make sure there are no wrinkles on them
    • Prepare a wedding day emergency kit: Include band-aids, medicines, and a repair kit for clothes emergencies

    Day Before

    You’ve nearly made it, and your wedding is ready. But first, let's take care of a few last-minute preparations to ensure a smooth day.

    • Arrange for after-ceremony food: You’ll be starving when you and your spouse arrive at your wedding night destination
    • Have a mani-pedi
    • Attend the rehearsal dinner
    • Get to bed early

    Wedding Day!

    It’s finally here!

    • Eat a healthy breakfast
    • Start wedding prep: At least five hours before the ceremony
    • Relax and enjoy your wedding
    Bride and groom on their wedding day

    Wrapping Up the Wedding Planning Checklist

    Congratulations on a memorable wedding. Take time to soak in your new married life. As you do, here are a few items to wrap up your wedding day.

    • Send out thank-you cards: Do this within three months after the wedding
    • Ensure all rentals are returned: Double-check that someone returned everything and paid the vendors
    • Preserve your wedding dress: Clean and preserve your dress

    You Finally Made It!

    We wish you all the best in your new married life. We hope this wedding checklist made the experience more enjoyable and stress-free.

    We will make this process easier for you. Our designers at Shine Wedding Invitations will help you with all your stationery needs, from traditional wedding invitation suites to wedding signage and seating charts.

    Order a free sample of our luxury wedding invitations and stationery to start planning today.

    Photo Credit
    Couple: Annie Zav Photography | Couple lying down: Wander Lynn Photography | Stationery: Shine Wedding Invitations | Dress Fitting: Marina Hardwick | Cake Tasting: Fancy That Cake | Bridal Bouquet: Jordan Voth Photography | Bride and Groom: Niki Marie Photo

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    Request a Free Sample Set

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    Not Sure Where to Start?

    Take our styling quiz to find the right look and configuration for your stationery.

    Bring Your Vision To Life

    Browse our invitations and find the perfect design for your wedding.

    A Difference You Can Feel

    Make a statement with our luxurious letterpress wedding invitations

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