Wedding Planner Checklist (Printable)

Keepsake Crafter’s Wedding Planner Guide

9 months or more ahead:

  • Announce your engagement to family and friends.  Arrange an engagement party for them to meet; plan a family get-together at a park, restaurant or family member’s home.
  • Have an engagement picture taken, if desired.  This is also a good time to start talking to photographers for your wedding, as they book jobs 6 months to a year in advance. 
  • Announce engagement in local newspapers, don’t forget to use your engagement picture!
  • Determine your budget and division of expenses.
  • Determine size of the guest list.
  • Select your wedding date
  • Scout for venue locations for both the wedding ceremony and the reception.  Have backup dates in mind and be prepared to be flexible in case the site, caterer, or officiant is already booked.

6 to 9 months ahead: 

  • Choose your attendants and ushers.
  • Select a Wedding Coordinator, or assign the job to someone that is detail oriented and you trust to follow through on all of the details.
  • Book your Officiant (the person that will perform your wedding ceremony).
  • Book your photographer and videographer.
  • Book your musicians or DJ.  Start to plan for special songs you’d like played at different parts of the wedding. Once you have a list together, make sure you give a copy of the list to your musicians/DJ and wedding coordinator.
  • Shop for the bridal and attendant dresses, veils, gloves and shoes.
  • Select the caterer for your wedding reception.  Decide what role they will play in your wedding.  Some caterers strictly supply your food, while others will plan every aspect of your wedding.  Shop around and decide what style works best for you.  The caterer is a great resource for ideas of style and design of your wedding. 
  • Book florist; choose bouquets, boutonnieres, and arrangements.
  • Plan and book your honeymoon.

4 to 6 months ahead:

  • Order men’s rental formalwear.
  • Order stationery, including invitations, announcements and thank-you notes.  Book calligrapher, if you will be using one.
  • Order bank of rooms if you have out-of-town guests on your invitation list.
  • Book a room for your wedding day.
  • Reserve any rental equipment, such as tables, chairs, and tents.
  • Register for gifts.
  • Order wedding cake.
  • Purchase wedding rings; have them engraved.
  • Choose wedding favors.
  • Start shopping for your honeymoon outfits.
  • Arrange for speakers at the reception.  Make a list of who you want to have speak and in what order, make sure your wedding coordinator has a copy.
  • Finalize invitation list.

2 to 4 months ahead:

  • Meet on site with wedding consultant to review floor plans and finalize details
  • Experiment with bridal hairstyles and make-up.
  • Schedule rehearsal time and rehearsal dinner.
  • Choose gifts for wedding party and for each other.
  • Purchase accessories for bride; shoes, stockings, lingerie, jewelry.
  • Purchase accessories for groom; shoes, dress socks, jewelry, cuff links, handkerchief.
  • Purchase accessories for wedding; guest book, cake knife and serving utensil, garter, toasting glasses.
  • Update passports.
  • Find out requirements for your marriage license, they vary from state to state.
  • Plan your ceremony.  Consult with your officiant on different wedding ceremonies they perform and how you would like to combine your ideas with theirs.  Choose readings and decide who will read them; make sure they get copies to study before the wedding.  If you are writing your own vows, do so now.
  • Plan the wedding party’s transportation to the ceremony and reception.
  • Decide how your wedding and reception will be decorated.  You should already have chosen your floral arrangements, now is the time to decide how everything else will look.  You need to decorate a sign in table and a cake table.  You will need centerpieces on the tables where the guests will sit, and the head table where the bride, groom, attendants and ushers will sit.  Where will the musicians set up?  Will you use ice carvings?  Picture props?  Do you have a theme?  Themes make the decorating easier.  Your wedding colors dictate a large part of your theme, but the rest will reflect your own personal style.

1 to 2 months ahead:

  • Finalize details of every aspect of your wedding.
  • Provide list of “must take” photos and finalize details with photographer.
  • Provide names of bridal party and family members to be announced and finalize details with musicians.
  • Arrange parking for ceremony and reception sites
  • Purchase all wedding decorations.  Wedding coordinator will store these items and make sure they arrive safely and in a timely manner to both the ceremony site and reception site.
  • Address invitations and mail them 6 weeks before the wedding date. 
  • Keep track of guests’ response cards and special requirements.
  • Have final fittings for you and your attendant’s dresses.  Don’t forget to bring along the shoes and lingerie you are going to wear on your wedding day.
  • The best man should coordinate final fittings for the groom and ushers, and arrange for pickup of the rental garments.  He should also arrange to return the groom’s tuxedo.
  • Confirm all wedding-day beauty and grooming appointments well in advance.
  • Finalize arrangements with the florist.
  • Write wedding day programs, follow your theme; have printed.
  • Discuss details of menu with caterer.
  • Discuss details of service with officiant.
  • Send wedding announcements to local newspapers.
  • Start all address/name changes. Send change-of-address information to post office. 
  • Try out hairstyle with headpiece.
  • Record gifts received and write thank-you notes as you receive them.
  • Arrange for gown cleaning and bouquet preservation after wedding.  Give information to wedding coordinator who will forward the gown and bouquet to appropriate vendors.
  • Obtain marriage license.
  • Pick up wedding rings.

2 weeks before wedding:

  • Complete your trousseau.
  • Contact guests who have not RSVP’d and get a confirmation.  Although this seems awkward, do it!  This is critical for giving the final count to your caterer. 
  • Arrange seating plan and write place cards and/or seating chart. Don’t forget to include the seating plan for head table.
  • Give caterer your final head count of guests.  This can be stretched out depending on your caterer.  Many would like to have a final count but will add on extra guests up until the day before your wedding.  But, you will be liable to pay for the final count you give, even if you have guests that confirm, but don’t show up.
  • Write toasts for rehearsal dinner and reception.
  • Address announcements.  Give them to your wedding coordinator to mail out the day after your wedding.
  • Designate someone to look after your home while you are on your honeymoon.  Give this person instructions and a set of keys.
  • Assign someone to transport gifts, guest books, and personal belongings from reception site.

1 week before wedding:

  • Wedding coordinator will type up wedding day itinerary and give copies to bride, groom, all attendants and ushers, all vendors, caterer, photographer, vidoegrapher, florist and musicians.
  • Pick up wedding dress or have it delivered.  Make sure you have a safe place to keep it until your wedding day!
  • Confirm details with caterer.
  • Confirm travel arrangements.  Give your itinerary to a friend or family member in case of an emergency.
  • Confirm transportation arrangements for ceremony and reception.
  • Prepare emergency wedding basket with sewing items, aspirin, etc.
  • Pack for honeymoon.  Purchase travelers checks; exchange some currency if traveling to another country.
  • Pamper yourself, have manicure and pedicure!  This should be done 2 – 3 days before your wedding.
  • Prepare envelopes with final payments to all your vendors.  Give these envelopes to your wedding coordinate to distribute on wedding day.

Day before Wedding Day!

  • Remind men to pick up and try on their formalwear so there won’t be any surprises tomorrow!
  • Rehearse ceremony. Rehearse with all participants, provide them with wedding day event schedule, and review their responsibilities.   Inform ushers of seating arrangements for ceremony.
  • Hold rehearsal dinner.  Hand out gifts to your wedding party along with a personal note.
  • Load your car with items that are safe to sit in car overnight.  The less you have to worry about tomorrow the better. 
  • If going straight to honeymoon destination from wedding reception, place everything you’ve packed by the front door and load car you will be leaving the reception from, in the morning.  Don’t forget: car keys, any necessary directions and maps, airline tickets, your updated passports, money and hotel confirmations.

Your wedding day!

  • Eat a good breakfast; it may be your only food all day!
  • Check into hotel or confirm late registration.
  • Have hair and make-up done, allow plenty of time.
  • Give gifts to both sets of parents to thank them for their help and support.
  • Begin getting dressed 2 hours before your wedding.
  • The bride should transfer her engagement ring to her right hand.
  • Don’t forget: wedding attire and accessories, car and house keys, wedding rings, marriage license.
  • Give wedding rings to best man and maid of honor.
  • Relax and enjoy your day.  If you have followed this Wedding Timeline, you can feel confident that your day is well planned and as ready as it can possibly be.  Your coordinator is well prepared and ready to see that this is a day that you will look back on with joy for many years to come.