Your Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist: A Step-by-Step Guide

Planning a wedding can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. With so many details to consider, it’s essential to stay organized and create a structured plan to ensure your special day goes off without a hitch. To help you navigate the wedding planning process with ease, we’ve created this comprehensive checklist complete with recommended timeframes for completing each task.

Let’s dive in!

12-18 Months Before the Wedding

Establish Wedding Vision (12-18 Months Before):

  • Discuss key priorities and must-have elements with your partner and families.
  • Make sure to have discussions around family and cultural expectations so that you can get clear from the beginning. There’s nothing worse than finding out three months into planning an intimate 50 person wedding that your family expected cousins to be invited. Having discussions early on around your budget and what is most important to you will set you up for success in the long run.

Set Budget (12-18 Months Before):

  • Determine the total budget for the wedding, including expenses for venues, vendors, attire, and decorations.
  • Be sure to have the tough conversations around money with your partner and family early. Knowing exactly what each family member is or isn’t contributing will largely impact your planning enjoyment.
  • Allocate funds for each category based on priority and importance. Remember; this is YOUR wedding. What works for you, your partner and your family and friends is what makes your event so special. Try not to stress about following every other wedding trend but instead curate a day that is true to you. Trust us, this is one decision you will not regret!

9-12 Months Before the Wedding

Finalize Guest List (9-12 Months Before):

  • Create a list of invited guests, including family, friends, and colleagues.
  • Determine the final guest count to help with venue selection and catering arrangements.
  • Keep in mind that your guest list will directly impact your bottom line.

Choose Date and Venue (9-12 Months Before):

  • Select a wedding date that works for you and your partner, considering availability and seasonality. EVNT PLNR TIP – Trying to squeeze your wedding into a popular long weekend can lead to higher quotes and vendors and staff that are stretched thin. With enough notice guests and family can very often accommodate a weekday or off season wedding giving you more attractive pricing. The more flexible you can be on your wedding date, the more you can tap into discounted rates and better service.
  • Research and tour potential venues, considering capacity, ambiance, and location. Also remember to ask about setup and take down times as well as looking at lighting, storage and space for your vendors to eat and store equipment. Make sure to also consider guest parking and transportation as well as loading bays for your vendors.

Send out a SAVE THE DATE (9-12 Months Before)

Book Vendors (9-12 Months Before):

  • Secure vendors such as photographers, videographers, florists, caterers, and musicians. Be sure to choose vendors that are not only talented, professional and reliable but also match your personality and budget
  • Review contracts carefully and ensure all services and fees are clearly outlined.
  • Make sure you account for taxes and gratuities when entering vendors fees into your budget.

6-9 Months Before the Wedding

Wedding Attire and Accessories (6-9 Months Before):

  • Shop for wedding attire for the bride, groom, bridal party, and family.
  • Coordinate accessories such as jewelry, shoes, and hairpieces to complement the wedding theme.

Plan Ceremony and Reception (6-9 Months Before):

  • Select menu options, seating arrangements, and entertainment for the reception.

3-6 Months Before the Wedding

Wedding Invitations and Stationery (3-6 Months Before):

  • Design and send out wedding invitations, RSVP cards, and other stationery items.
  • Include important details such as date, time, location, dress code, and registry information.

Day-of Coordination (3-6 Months Before):

  • Work with an EVNT PLNR or hire a planner to create a detailed timeline for the wedding day, outlining key events and schedules. This step is very important. Having a realistic outline of your day directly impacts your ability to enjoy yourself knowing all important tasks are taken care of. Be sure to consult with a professional to make sure your timeline is realistic and send out to all of your vendors for their questions, comments and approval.
  • Assign responsibilities to wedding party members, family, and vendors to ensure smooth execution.

1-3 Months Before the Wedding

  • This is a great time to schedule any last minute personal appointments.
  • Take time to relax, get sleep, exercise and drink lots of water.
  • Trust your planning and preparation, and embrace the love and celebration surrounding you.

Wedding Day

Morning:

  • Begin your day with a nutritious breakfast to fuel you for the festivities ahead.
  • Allow ample time for hair and makeup appointments for the bride and bridal party.
  • Exchange heartfelt letters or gifts with your partner to start the day on a special note.

Afternoon:

  • Don’t forget to make time for special moments with family and friends throughout the day.
  • Prepare for the ceremony by getting dressed in your wedding attire.
  • Capture candid moments with your bridal party and family during pre-ceremony photos.
  • Gather with your partner for a first look or private moment before the ceremony begins.
  • Don’t forget to eat and drink plenty of water!

Evening:

  • Walk down the aisle surrounded by loved ones as you exchange vows and rings with your partner.
  • Celebrate with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres during the cocktail hour.
  • Enjoy a delicious meal and heartfelt toasts during the reception.
  • Dance the night away with your partner and guests, creating memories to last a lifetime.

Late Night:

  • Bid farewell to your guests with a grand exit or send-off.
  • Reflect on the day’s events with your partner as you begin your journey as newlyweds.

As you embark on this exciting journey of planning your dream wedding, remember that you don’t have to navigate it alone. EVNT PLNR is here to support you every step of the way. From establishing your wedding vision to coordinating the intricate details of your special day, our experienced wedding planners are ready to provide personalized guidance and assistance. Don’t hesitate to book an EVNT PLNR chat to kickstart your planning process or to seek advice whenever you need it. We’re thrilled to be a part of your wedding planning journey and look forward to helping you create the perfect celebration of the love you share.

Cheers to a lifetime of happiness together!

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