Are you planning for a wedding and your cold feet is hampering your progress in checking what’s done and what’s not? Fret no more. We have prepared for you the ultimate 12 months wedding planning checklist. It is a detailed list that you can use to refer as you organize your wedding. I found having a complete list helps a lot in making the preparation goes smoothly and organized. Print it out, and you may even share it with those who are a part of the planning team!

 

What to Do After Getting Engaged?

Many people think that there is not much to do after the engagement. The truth is that the preparation for a wedding should start right after you receive the ring!

It takes a lot of discussion and brainstorming before the actual bookings, ordering, and implementation take place!

Here are some quick checklist items for you to do right after you received the proposal from your fiancé!

1.

Decide the theme of your wedding

Discuss with your fiancé your dream weddings – fairytale, classic, garden, lavish-hotel, lake, etc.

 

2.

Decide the venue of the event

Is it going to be in your hometown or his? Is it going to be at the Grand Seasons Hotel or a small country house?

 

3.

Agree on the budget

The bigger the budget, the better the event and theme

 

4.

Set the date

Ask your family and close friends their availability and decide the one that works well with them

 

5.

Decide on the bridesmaids and groomsmen

Make sure they are free on your wedding date

 

 

12 Months to 9 Months Before the Event

Now that all the important decisions have been made and agreed upon, it is time to move forward with the execution. In this ultimate 12 months wedding planning checklist, I have prepared the item lists that you need to do 12 to 9 months before your wedding.

1.

Create a folder of guest list

Create a special folder that contains the list of guests that you and your fiancé would like to invite. Store info like contact numbers, address, and gifts

 

2.

Prepare a folder for wedding theme

Keep cut-outs of wedding gowns, cakes, catering, or designs that you get from magazines for inspirations

 

3.

Search for potential venues

Do it early to get the best place

 

4.

Search and hire a wedding consultant

Ask your friends and families for tips. Hire when you find the suitable one

 

5.

List a group of friends or helpers for your wedding

Decide who handles cakes, rings, dresses, flowers, etc.

 

6.

Research wedding suppliers and services

You will need florists, caterers, photographers, stylists, dress designer, décor, music bands, and wedding officiant

 

7.

Dress shopping

Reserve fitting sessions and let your heart (and wallet) guides you

 

8.

 Send out ‘save the  date’ card

If your wedding is during the holiday or peak season, make sure you send this card to your guests early

 

9.

 Book your selected  photographer and  videographer

Make sure you discuss the kinds of shots you wish to have

 

10.

Register wedding gift registry

Provide a list of presents you wish to receive from your guests

 

 

9 Months to 6 Months Before the Event

1.

Book food caterer

 Decide the menu for the wedding and if your venue does not  offer catering services, find and book one

 

2.

Take wedding insurance

 Find an insurance that suits your wedding scale as it provides  security to all your cash deposits

 

3.

Confirm entertainment services

 Find the music band, host, DJ, magicians, or fireworks for your  wedding and book them early

 

4.

Finalize your dress

 

 

5.

Book transportations for you and your guests

 Some transport options are minivans, limos, buses, trolleys or  town cars

 

6.

Reserve hotels

 For your out-of-town guests, plan which hotel to book and how  many rooms

 

7.

Book florists

 Book the florists of your choice to handle floral decorations

 

8.

Book a décor company

 Contact several décor companies and book the one that can  provide you with what you need at the best price

 

9.

Finalize gowns and suits for bridesmaids and groomsmen

Finalize and book dresses and suits for your bridesmaids and groomsmen. Ask them for their sizes

 

10.

Launch a wedding website or FB event

Include all the important details of your event (date, venues, GPS locations, accommodations, travel guide, etc.) in the website or FB page

 

11.

Meet with your officiant

Inform him your ceremony and finalize the official documents. Agree on the order of service

 

12.

Confirm tents, tables, chairs rental

Important if you need to do the renting yourself

 

13.

Confirm electrical and structural items

Confirm lighting and fanning/heating components. Book portable toilets if the event is in the outdoor

 

14.

Plan honeymoon

Discuss with your fiancé and decide on the honeymoon destination and date

 

15.

Finalize event itinerary

Write down the agenda of the event – from start to finish

 

16.

Order a wedding cake

Decide the design of your cake, attend tasting sessions and book from your favorite cake maker

 

17.

Book make-up and hair stylist

Discuss with your make-up and hair stylist the look for your wedding

 

 

6 Months to 4 Months Before the Event

1.

Buy shoes and accessories

Shop for your heels and fiancé’s men shoes that suit well with the gown and suit

 

2.

Book your honeymoon hotel

Find a hotel in your honeymoon destination and make an early reservation to get the best price

 

3.

Prepare wedding vows

Get some ideas on what to write and have them on your smart gadget or notebook

 

4.

Choose your music

If you have some preference on the songs for the dancing and dinner sessions, have them ready early

 

5.

Finalize and book your wedding invitation cards

Check the samples of the invitation cards, make changes on the design accordingly, and book them

 

6.

Confirm rehearsal venues and dinner

Find the place to do the rehearsal (if needed) and organize a dinner for guests after the rehearsal

 

7.

Attend pre-marriage counseling

For Catholic events, you will need to attend a pre-marriage counseling

 

8.

Confirm music, prayers, readings

Discuss with the priest or registrar to finalize the prayers, music or readings for the ceremony

 

9.

Make a list of addresses for the guests

It is time to send out the RSVPs so make a list of addresses of your guests

 

10.

Book service booklets

Prepare order and invitations of service booklets for your guests

 

11.

Shop for wedding rings

Decide on the engraving and size

 

12.

Renew passport for honeymoon

Check the expiry date of your passport and make a renewal if necessary

 

13.

Shop undergarments

It is time to handle the small (but important) details like your undergarments

 

14.

Create and print menu cards

Use your computer to create menu cards for your events and print it out

 

 

3 Months Before the Event

1.

Decide who will give a toast

Think about who you want to give a toast speech during the reception and ask for their availability

 

2.

Finalize flowers

Meet with your florist again and pick the choice of flowers available for your event – it is seasonal

 

3.

Schedule second fitting

Bring your purchased shoes and undergarments. Wear a complete attire together with your dress

 

4.

Send event schedule to service providers

It is time to keep your vendors in the loop. Send them the finalized schedule or itinerary

 

5.

Send out invitations

Send the cards formally and officially to all guests. Allow them three weeks to reply with RSVP

 

6.

Arrange gifts for families, bridesmaids, and groomsmen

Decide, shop, and organize gifts for your parents, siblings, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and other attendants – to be given during rehearsal dinner

 

7.

Book session with make-up artist and hair stylist

Arrange a trial session to confirm the hair and make-up styles

 

 

2 Months Before the Event

1.

Meet with videographers and photographers

Walk them through with the schedule of the event and the location. Discuss and finalize necessary shots

 

2.

Have a second meeting with vendors

Ask them their worries and let them know yours. Get them sorted out.

 

3.

Meet with DJ and music band

Confirm the music playlist and scripts

 

4.

Send out wedding announcement

If you plan to submit wedding announcement to your local newspapers, make sure you send the photo and rules on how you want it to be published

 

5.

Plan a bachelorette party

Typically, your bridesmaids will plan for it. In case you haven’t heard from them (very unlikely), it does not hurt to ask and plan together

 

 

1 Month Before the Event

1.

Send out rehearsal invitation

Send out invitation to rehearsal and post-rehearsal dinner party to your guests via email

 

2.

Get your marriage license

Check with the local bureau in your town. Order several copies if you plan to take your husband’s family name

 

3.

Make last-minute adjustment with vendors

 

 

4.

Organize welcome basket for guests

Create an in-hotel-room basket for your out-of-town guests

 

5.

Enter RSVPs into guest list

For each RSVP you have received from the guests, include them in your guest database.

 

6.

Plan last fitting

It is the last fitting session before you wear your dress in your wedding ceremony

 

7.

Confirm date and time with vendors

Make sure they save the date and time of your event

 

8.

Make final payments

It is to confirm reservations

 

9.

Plan guest seating arrangements

Sit down with your fiancé or wedding planner, draw the table layout and decide which guest sits where

 

10.

Confirm arrangement with drivers

Send emails to the drivers of your transports (limos, vans, cars, etc.) and give them the map and direction to your venue

 

11.

Confirm date and time with hair and make-up artists

Make sure they know and aware of the date and time of your ceremony

 

12.

Finalize your vows

 

 

13.

Cut or color your hair if necessary

To be done after agreement with your hair stylist

 

 

 

2 Weeks Before the Event

1.

Confirm dresses and suits with bridesmaids and groomsmen

Give your bridesmaids and groomsmen a call and make sure they have their gowns and suits ready

 

2.

Create wedding program handouts

 

 

3.

Prepare speeches and thank yous for dinner

Make a special speech to be given during dinner or reception

 

4.

Review final RSVP list

Contact those who have yet to respond

 

 

1 Week Before the Event

1.

Confirm headcounts with your vendors

Let the vendors know the numbers of expected guests. Send final guest list to your venue host and caterer

 

2.

Confirm on the arrival time

Check with your vendors what time they will come and set up everything

 

3.

Plan delegation tasks

Plan tasks for your helpers (who handles your dress, rings, gifts, vendors, etc.)

 

4.

Pick up your dress/suit

 

 

5.

Prepare payments for vendors

Get the checks (and tips) ready in an envelope with a label on top of it

 

6.

Check with your photographer and videographer

Prepare a final list of shots or moments you want to be captured as agreed earlier

 

7.

Write down timeline of the party

Share the schedule with your planner, helpers, and vendors so that everyone is on the same page regarding the timing and order of execution

 

8.

Distribute welcome basket

 

 

9.

Finalize table plan

Make changes to your table plan if necessary and finalize it

 

10.

Make a list of vendors

Create a final list of suppliers with their names, contact numbers and office address for your helpers’ reference

 

11.

Pack your honeymoon

Get the luggage and passport ready for your romantic honeymoon

 

12.

Book a manicure, pedicure, waxing, and spa session

Pamper yourself before the big day

 

13.

Sleep early

The night before the event, let go of everything. Your helpers and wedding planner will handle everything. Relax and sleep early

 

 

Additional References

If you need extra information, check out these useful reference links.

  1. The Knot
  2. Real simple
  3. One Fab Day
  4. Plan Your Perfect Wedding
  5. The Balance

 

The Conclusion

So, how do you find the ultimate 12 months wedding planning checklist above? Are they helpful?

The items that I have prepared above consists of every big and small thing that we, as brides and grooms, need to do before the big day – from 12 months and up to 1 week before the event.

I found them helpful, and I think you will feel the same too. Share this list with your friends if you like it and share with us your opinions in the comment section below!

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