The Ultimate Wedding-Planning Checklist and Timeline


Congratulations on your engagement! As a dedicated wedding planner, I understand that planning a wedding involves a multitude of tasks and deadlines. To ensure a stress-free and organized planning process, I present to you “The Ultimate Wedding-Planning Checklist and Timeline.” This comprehensive guide will serve as your roadmap, providing a step-by-step breakdown of essential tasks from the moment you say “yes” to your walk down the aisle. Let’s embark on this exciting journey together!

12-18 Months Before the Wedding:

☐ Determine your budget and establish a realistic financial plan.
☐ Create a guest list and gather contact information.
☐ Research and select potential wedding dates.
☐ Begin scouting and visiting venues that align with your vision and accommodate your guest count.
☐ Hire a wedding planner to guide you throughout the process and provide expert advice.
☐ Start researching and booking key vendors such as photographers, videographers, and caterers.
☐ Begin dress shopping and schedule fittings.
☐ Consider hiring a wedding stylist or designer to help bring your vision to life.
☐ Settle on a theme, color palette, and overall aesthetic for your wedding.

9-12 Months Before the Wedding:

☐ Finalize your guest list and send out save-the-date cards.
☐ Secure your chosen venue by signing a contract and making a deposit.
☐ Book your officiant and begin discussing ceremony details.
☐ Continue meeting with and booking vendors such as florists, musicians, and transportation services.
☐ Begin planning your honeymoon and ensure your passports are up to date.
☐ Create a wedding website to keep guests informed and provide important details.
☐ Begin exploring wedding invitation designs and start working with a stationery designer.
☐ Start planning accommodations for out-of-town guests.
☐ Research and book any additional services, such as hair and makeup stylists or a wedding planner.

6-9 Months Before the Wedding:

☐ Choose and order your wedding gown and bridal party attire.
☐ Select and order wedding rings.
☐ Arrange transportation for the wedding day.
☐ Meet with the officiant to discuss the ceremony script and any personalized elements.
☐ Arrange any necessary rentals, such as tables, chairs, or lighting.
☐ Begin thinking about your wedding menu and schedule tastings with potential caterers.
☐ Plan and book accommodations for yourselves and immediate family members.
☐ Start looking into wedding favors, welcome bags, and other thoughtful touches for your guests.
☐ Begin finalizing details for the ceremony and reception, including seating arrangements and floor plans.

3-6 Months Before the Wedding:

☐ Send out wedding invitations and track RSVPs.
☐ Book accommodations for out-of-town guests.
☐ Arrange any necessary transportation for guests on the wedding day.
☐ Finalize contracts with vendors and communicate any necessary details or changes.
☐ Schedule hair and makeup trials for yourself and your bridal party.
☐ Plan and book any pre-wedding events, such as the rehearsal dinner or welcome party.
☐ Create a detailed day-of timeline and share it with your wedding planner, vendors, and bridal party.
☐ Arrange for wedding-day attire fittings and alterations.
☐ Begin finalizing details for decorations, centerpieces, and tablescapes.

1-3 Months Before the Wedding:

☐ Follow up with guests who have not RSVPed and provide a final headcount to vendors.
☐ Plan and purchase wedding favors, welcome bags, and other guest-related items.
☐ Schedule your final dress fitting and make any necessary alterations.
☐ Finalize the wedding-day timeline, ensuring all vendors are in sync.
☐ Apply for your marriage license.
☐ Confirm details with your officiant, including ceremony readings and vows.
☐ Plan and purchase gifts for the wedding party, parents, and

other important individuals.
☐ Coordinate with vendors for delivery and setup times on the wedding day.
☐ Confirm all transportation arrangements for the wedding party and guests.
☐ Purchase any necessary accessories or décor items for the ceremony and reception.
☐ Schedule a final meeting with your wedding planner to review all details and expectations.

2-4 Weeks Before the Wedding:

☐ Finalize the seating arrangement and create place cards or a seating chart.
☐ Provide a final headcount to the caterer and venue.
☐ Confirm final details and payments with all vendors.
☐ Prepare and distribute the wedding-day timeline to all key parties.
☐ Arrange for a wedding rehearsal, including the bridal party and immediate family.
☐ Organize all necessary documents and items for the wedding day, including vows and marriage license.
☐ Pack for your honeymoon, ensuring all necessary travel documents are in order.

1 Week Before the Wedding:

☐ Confirm all final details with vendors and double-check delivery times.
☐ Finalize the seating arrangement and provide it to the venue and caterer.
☐ Delegate tasks to trusted friends or family members for the wedding day.
☐ Confirm final numbers with the caterer and venue, including any dietary restrictions.
☐ Reconfirm transportation arrangements for the wedding party and guests.
☐ Have a final dress fitting and pick up your gown.
☐ Prepare an emergency kit with essential items such as safety pins, tissues, and touch-up makeup.

The Wedding Day:

☐ Relax, enjoy, and savor every moment of your special day!
☐ Trust your wedding planner and designated team to handle any last-minute details or unexpected situations.
☐ Allow yourself to fully embrace the love, joy, and celebration that surrounds you.

Remember, this checklist serves as a general guideline, and it’s essential to personalize it according to your unique needs and preferences. Working with a wedding planner ensures that you stay on track, receive expert guidance, and enjoy a stress-free planning process. Wishing you a magical and unforgettable wedding day!


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