First off, congratulations on your engagement! Cue the emotions and excitement!!
Yet as soon as you come down from the clouds, the reality of everything can become stressful, because every little detail matters, whether you’re planning a luxe intimate celebration or the whole big shebang. A wedding checklist can help a ton. That is why I want to make things smoother for you and your partner.
Here we go, your ultimate wedding checklist:
12 – 16 Months Out
- Select a date.
- Work out your budget. This is top priority because in order to get things right, there needs to be a limit to your necessities I don’t believe in going into a mountain of debt at the beginning of your marriage. So if you know there will be significant family contributions great but if not honestly consider what you can afford to spend on this celebration of love..
- Discuss with family involvement and expectations including financial contributions and any potential strings attached.
- Collect design inspo. This means saving internet posts, magazines, snapping pics, pinterest, etc. (Here’s ours!)
- Narrow down wedding colors and style or theme. Don’t forget it should be a mixture of both partners desires.
- Who is coming? Make a list of all your people, and your partners people, and don’t forget to consider your peoples people; aka plus ones.
- Hire a planner. It’s not a must, but if you know this can be a handful, Syd Boss Events & Adventures has your back!
- Lock it down. Book the venue and establish the wedding date according to the family’s availability (and yours of course).
- Hire priority services first. Priority services are generally physically present for a large percentage of your day and once booked no longer available to other clients. This includes food and beverage if not included in venue, photography and videography, officiant, floral, and entertainment (musician/band/DJ)..
- Start dress shopping.
- Consider engagement photos.
8-11 Months Out
- Select wedding party, pop the question and discuss expectations.
- Discuss menu and service styles with caterer.
- Wedding outfits. Purchase the dress, suit or whatever you want to wear for the big day. Don’t forget alterations, consider timing and costs.
- Room blocks. If you have out of town guests, now is the time to reserve hotel room blocks if necessary.
- Start wedding website and registry for gifts.
- Send out save-the-dates. This is so that everyone will be able to make it.
- Start working on wedding party attire. Choose vendor, style(s), color(s), establish ordering timeline. Look into permits if necessary.
- Start your gift registry.
- Create wedding website.
- Look into permits if necessary.
- Key vendors to select and secure: Photographer, caterer, florist, officiant, ceremony music, reception music/mc/ entertainment
5 – 7 Months Out
- Invitations. Select or design the invites you like the most.
- Honeymoon planning. Start planning that getaway with your honey! Don’t forget any passport updating and visa or health requirements.
- Meet with the officiant. Make sure you have official wedding documents!
- Start working on floor plans and layouts.
- Choose rentals company and start working on rental order. Tent, tables, chairs, linens, decor, china, etc. .
- Choose wedding bands.
- Arrange/reserve transportation. Limos? Minibuses? Uber/Lyft codes? Make a plan for safe rides home.
- Secure any additional vendors. Cake/Dessert if not included in the catering package, beauty team, photo booth, additional entertainment, valet, etc.
- Day of Timeline.. Make sure to arrange a schedule of each event and time slot so that everything goes right. A planner can and should help you do this…
- Begin honeymoon planning.
- Apply or renew passports if necessary.
- Choose cake baker or other dessert option if not included in catering
4 Months Out
- Bridal shower.
- Food tasting and catering details meeting. Finalize menu and discuss food and beverage related rentals.
- Floral design meeting. Discuss with florist colors, style, needs, timing etc.
- Make a plan for the ceremony rehearsal and coordinate with officiant and wedding party.
- Rehearsal dinner or welcome party reception? Farewell Brunch? If you’re planning to have any additional festivities now’s the time to plan those details too.
- Invitation check. Revise and make sure the example invitation is what you want.
- Cake tasting.. My FAVORITE! If using a specific cake/dessert vendor schedule a time to taste all of your options and choose your dessert selections.
- Purchase wedding accessories, start breaking in shoes and attend outfit alterations fittings.
- Schedule hair and makeup trial and send inspo.
- Discuss music playlist. Make sure your guests can groove to what you choose… the DO NOT play list is just as crucial to a good DJ as the list of special songs.
- Rings. Choose or design wedding band(s) if engagement ring(s) were not part of a set.
- Ceremony planning. Begin discussions with the officiant about ceremony script and vows. Select ushers and readers if applicable.
- Start writing vows
- Finalize couple lodging for the night before and of event
- Plan pre and post wedding festivities (welcome reception, rehearsal, farewell brunch)
3 Months Out
- Send invitations.
- Write vows if necessary.
- Select groom/groomsmen attire.
- Finalize the menu, rentals and floral orders.
- Catering menu selection and tasting.
- Make a toast giving list. Who do you want to speak for the toasts?
- Finalize the readings for the ceremony.
- Finalize transportation (shuttles or limos for couple, bridal party, guests, etc.
- Purchase undergarments before final fitting.
- Determine processional order.
- Design menus and other signage and printed materials. D
- Rings. Resize and/or personalize.
2 Months Out
- Finalize ceremony.
- Design of printed materials and signage (menus, programs).
- Choose specific music (processional, recessional, introduction announcement, dances).
- Confirm groom/groomsmen attire.
- Dress alterations.
- Finalize floral order.
- Touch base with the pros you hired and send a tentative timeline for the day. Finalize couples accommodations for wedding weekend and establish locations for beauty services and wedding party getting ready.
- Meet with the photographer. Discuss timeline and shot list.
- Review the playlist with your band or dj. Tell them which songs you need for the special moments and the no go list.
- Enjoy bachelor or bachelorette parties.
1 Month To Go… OMG
- RSVPs into a trusted guest list spreadsheet, and contact them.
- Get your marriage license.
- Visit the tailor for final gown fitting.
- Finalize accessories.
- Beauty trials.
- Stock the bar. Finalize liquor order with beverage provider. If you can, send out final payments to pros.
- Confirm arrival and exit times for vendors.
- Finalize floor plans and seating charts.
- Purchase thank-you cards and gifts.
- Start seating chart if necessary.
- Review details with planner and all vendors.
- Confirm all honeymoon arrangements.
- Follow up with non rsvps.
- Finalize your vows if necessary.
14 Days Out
- Submit final numbers.
- Send final timeline to vendors and VIP’s including wedding party and family.
- Confirm arrival and exit times for vendors and VIP’s.
- Give DJ or Band music selections.
- Finalize floor plans/layouts.
- Confirm arrival timing of bridal party.
- Confirm rehearsal with all participants.
- Finalize last details with wedding planner
7 Days Out
- Assign small wedding day tasks to people (someone in charge of gifts, someone to carry your things, etc.)
- Re-send a timeline to the wedding party.
- Pick up attire and gather all accessories in one place.
- Organize all attire and accessories together.
- Make all final payments and set aside cash tip envelopes.
- Pamper yourself. Whether you plan a full on spa day or just do a little at home DIY self care routine do something special for yourself!
- Continue to break in your shoes.
- Pack your wedding weekend bag. Everything you need from the preparation process for the big day up to the lingerie or jammies for the night of.
- Pack for the honeymoon.
- Hydrate, eat well, rest!
- Enjoy your last days of engagement!
About Syd Boss Events & Adventures | Colorado Wedding, Event and Travel Planner Based in Denver, CO
Hi! I’m Syd Boss Hart. I’ve been planning events, weddings and travel for years and in fact, my passion for planning began all the way back as a kid playing pretend planning. Perhaps you could also say it’s written in the stars that I would become the boss of my own wedding planning business with “Hart” (my last name)…. And truly, I put my heart into everything I do. If you want personalized, laid-back wedding, event, or honeymoon travel planning, consider a consultation to see if we’re a good fit. I can’t wait to meet you. Let’s get our plan on!
Further Reading & Resources: