Wedding Planning Checklist
Planning your big day can be overwhelming, especially if you do it without assistance of family members or event planners. Whatever you choose, the following checklist can be handle to help you coordinate all the existing details that will make your memorable day just that.
Make the Big Decisions First!
- Pick a tentative wedding date and time.
- Decide on the approximate amount of people to be invited.
- Tour reception sites. (keep in mind the theme or feel you would like for your reception and how many guests will fit in the room)
- Determine a budget and who is contributing.
- Choose an officiant and a ceremony site.
- Book your reception site (do you have to use a certain caterer at this reception site or can you bring in a caterer)
- Decide on a caterer. Determine price per head and a rough sketch of the menu.
- Choose your color scheme based on the colors of the reception site, ceremony site and the theme or look you want to create. (simple contemporary, classic white, vibrant fresh or elaborate formal)
- If you choose to hire a wedding consultant, you should have one before moving to the next step.
Pick Your Vendors
- Do you want a band or DJ for your reception? Interview and hear samples before deciding.
- Finalize guest list and bridal party.
- Start shopping for bridal gown and bridesmaid dresses.
- Order invitations. Find a printer and determine the design, wording and card stock that will be used. Include where you will be registering for gifts.
- Contact the hotel of your choice to set aside rooms for out of town guests. Will the two of you and wedding party need rooms also?
- Many bakeries have cake tasting days. Determine the size, design and flavor of cake when choosing a decorator.
- Reserve the chairs, tables, and/or any other rental equipment that you will need. Communicate with reception site and caterer to determine what tables, chairs, linens and serving equipment are available before renting.
- What floral scheme do you want? Choose florist after negotiating prices and flowers that will be available.
- Find a photographer and videographer, if you so choose.
- Start planning the honeymoon. Arrange transportation and lodging.
- How are you, your spouse, the wedding party and out-of-town guests getting to the reception? Arrange transportation, if necessary.
- Order wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses. Make sure they arrive at least 3 weeks before the wedding to allow time for alterations.
Add the Details
- Send invitations. Request RSVP 3 weeks prior to wedding in order to get accurate count.
- Plan rehearsal dinner. Arrange food, space for dinner, time available to practice, notify bridal party and parents.
- Shop for and purchase wedding bands. Arrange for them to be engraved.
- Decide on tux or suit rental company. Inform groomsmen where to get fitted.
- Choose and buy accessories needed with wedding dress and bridal party attire. Jewelry, shoes, cuff links, gloves, headpieces etc.
- Wedding gift registry. Don't forget to sign up.
- Research specific marriage license requirements, changing last name with social security, passport (for international honeymoon), health insurance etc.
- Arrange special readings, music, and vows during wedding ceremony.
- Make or buy favors for reception and gifts for the bridal party.
- Print ceremony programs,place cards and/ or menu cards. Buy guest book and box or basket for cards.
The Final Touches
- Have trial run hair appointment to ensure the perfect up-do. Bring veil.
- Work out wedding day timing and details. Make sure vendors have access to the site when they need it.
- Ask appropriate family members or vendors to set out the extras like menu cards, favors, guest book, ceremony programs, etc.
- Get final guest list and inform caterer, hotel, banquet space, table and linen rental companies of any changes in head count.
- Make sure all contracts are signed and arrange payment of vendors.
- Have final fitting of all dresses and tuxes.
- Confirm honeymoon plans.
- Relax and enjoy the memorable day.