Wedding Checklist

After he pops the question, you have to get to work planning the big event, especially here in Denver. Venues, photographers and vendors get booked quickly so this wedding checklist should help you plan your event.

12 Months in Advance of your wedding

Printable Version

  • Have your families meet one another (if they haven’t already met)
  • Do some early planning. Try to determine the type of wedding you want. Time of day, where, number of guests, etc.
  • Set the date. Have a couple of backup dates just in case the venue, photographer, officiant, or caterer is already booked.
  • Set your initial budget and decide how you will share expenses
  • Create a preliminary guest list
  • Reserve Ceremony Site
  • Reserve Reception Site
  • Reserve Officiant
  • Reserve Photographer
  • Reserve Caterer

9 + Months in Advance of your wedding

  • Announce Your Engagement (you may want to have your engagement photos done at this point and Kelli includes them in most of her wedding collections)
  • Buy a calendar to keep track of dates, luncheons, showers, get-togethers, due dates, etc.
  • Hire a professional wedding planner
  • Consolidate your guest lists. Your list, your family’s list, his list, his family’s list, etc. Organize them into groups like this: MUST INVITE – SHOULD INVITE – PERHAPS INVITE. That way, you can start to make decisions about who you want to celebrate with you.
  • Determine your color scheme
  • Select Maid or Matron of Honor
  • Select Bridesmaids
  • Select Best Man
  • Select Groomsmen and Ushers
  • Choose and Order your Wedding Dress, accessories, jewelry, headpiece, gloves, and shoes.
  • Select Attendants’ gowns and let both mothers know about the color selection so that they can plan their attire accordingly.
  • If you are having the ceremony or reception at home, you should start making improvements in the home or yard.
  • You will need a copy of your birth certificate for your marriage license so order that now.
  • Order Passports and Visas for traveling abroad
  • Reserve blocks of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests
  • Reserve your DJ or band and select music
  • Review Florists and select
  • Choose stores and create your bridal registry.

Six – Nine Months in Advance of your wedding

  • Reserve florist and pick arrangements. Also order your boutonnieres and bouquets for the wedding party & corsages for the moms
  • Make appointments with cake makers and sample their creations. Yummmmy
  • Review and choose your videographer (Hopefully that is us! See my demos)
  • Choose your flower girl and ring bearer and choose their attire
  • Schedule dress fittings and delivery dates for yourself, flower girl, attendants, and ring bearer.
  • Book your honeymoon
  • Order the “Save the Date” cards, your invitations, stationery, and your thank you cards. Also offer maps to the ceremony and reception locations for your guests
  • Book your hair stylist and make-up person
  • Groom’s parents should begin to arrange a place for the rehearsal dinner.

Four – Six Months in Advance of your wedding

  • Reserve your rentals like tables, chairs, tents, etc.
  • Order your wedding cake from the designer you choose
  • Reserve the attire for your groom, groomsmen, and ushers
  • Choose wedding favors. If you are making favors, then start now!
  • Book your hotel room for your wedding night
  • Get physical exams if required for your marriage license
  • Put final touches on your guest list
  • Address the “Save the Date” cards and invitations or hire a calligrapher
  • Book valet parking attendants (if applicable)
  • Begin monthly facial or beauty treatment regimen

Eight – Twelve Months in Advance of your wedding

  • Mail your “Save the Date” cards
  • Confirm in writing all of the menu and decorating details with your caterer
  • Double check with bridal salon, photographer, videographer, musicians and other vendors to confirm arrangements
  • Discuss your wedding ceremony with the officiant
  • Buy your stockings and special undergarments. Your dress may require special undergarments
  • Choose readings for the ceremony and give the copies to the readers that you have chosen
  • If you are writing your own vows, you should do that now
  • Schedule the rehearsal time and the rehearsal dinner
  • Plan the bridesmaid’s luncheon or any other wedding weekend functions
  • Find a printer for the programs
  • Book transportation for your wedding day. Here in Denver, carriages and trolley busses are nice
  • Purchase the gifts for the wedding party and for your groom
  • Wear your shoes around the house to break them in

Six – Eight Weeks prior to your wedding

  • Mail your wedding and rehearsal invitations which should include maps for out of town guests
  • Have your programs printed
  • Have your final fitting for your wedding dress
  • Have the makeup artist to a trial run
  • Have your hairstylist to a trial run with the headpiece
  • Schedule to have your hair, makeup, nails done for the wedding morning
  • Have your formal wedding portrait made
  • Send wedding announcement and photograph to the newspaper
  • Complete the documents to change your name. You can send them when you get back from your honeymoon
  • Record all RSVPs and gifts that you receive
  • Write thank you cards as you receive gifts. It will be easier than all at once
  • Obtain marriage license
  • Finish shopping for your wedding day accessories like toasting glasses, ring pillow and guest book.
  • Set up an area or table at home to display gifts as you receive them
  • Decide if you would like to have a guest book attendant and where and when to have the guests sign it
  • Finalize reception menu and estimate the expected number of guests with caterer. Also finalize the beverage and alcohol order.
  • Purchase your going away outfit if you are changing out of your dress
  • Pick up your wedding rings and check to see if they fit correctly
  • Confirm florist details and times for delivery
  • Layout the reception room and seating with the site manager of the caterer. Write names on place cards for any arranged seating.

Two – Six Weeks prior to your wedding

  • Confirm your ceremony details with the wedding officiant
  • Schedule the final fitting for the bridesmaids’ dresses
  • Finalize the rehearsal dinner plans and arrange seating and write the place cards
  • Choose the music for your ceremony, first dance, parent dances, and party. Give the music selections to your band or DJ and your other musicians
  • Do you want a receiving line? If so, determine from when to when.
  • Meet with your photographer and confirm any photos you may want.
  • Meet with the videographer (me) and confirm special events or people you want filmed
  • Make a detailed timeline for your vendors and wedding party.
  • Confirm details again with all vendors
  • Contact any guests that have not responded
  • Remind bridesmaids of when and where to pick up their dresses.
  • Purchase any lipstick, nail polish or other make up that you want your bridesmaids to wear
  • Pack for your honeymoon
  • Any special ceremony seating should be determined and that list should be given to the ushers
  • Write toasts for the rehearsal dinner and reception
  • Delegate duties for the wedding day to family and friends

One – Two weeks prior to your wedding

  • Finish your honeymoon packing
  • Confirm travel arrangements and pick up tickets and traveler’s checks
  • Arrange with the post office to hold your mail
  • Make sure all of your wedding attire fits properly
  • Make sure all clothing and accessories, make-up, and jewelry for the bridal party are ready
  • Do a final guest count and notify your caterer
  • Gather everything you will need for the rehearsal and wedding day
  • Give timeline to vendors. Review the schedule and any last minute changes or details with them
  • Learn your guests names so that you can greet them in the receiving line
  • Make arrangements with a friend or family member to deliver your wedding gifts to your home
  • Reconfirm guest accommodations with hotel
  • Wrap the wedding party gifts

One Day before your wedding

  • Get a manicure and massage
  • Assign last minute responsibilities like giving out corsages and boutonnieres to your bridesmaids
  • Arrange for someone to bring your accessories (flower basket, guest book, pen, ring pillow, toasting glasses, cake knife, etc.) to the ceremony and/or reception site.
  • Give each bridal party member the detailed timeline for the wedding day
  • Remind best man and maid of honor to sign the wedding certificate
  • review list of things to bring to the rehearsal
  • Confirm transportation plans (i.e.. Limo, carriage, trolley, etc.)
  • Put suitcases in getaway car
  • Review the schedule with your vendors
  • Rehearsal dinner: Give bridal party gifts with a personal note in each.
  • Give best man the officiants fee and any other checks yet to be paid with instructions on how to pay them.
  • Arrange for someone to mail the marriage announcement the day after the wedding.
  • Arrange for someone to return rental attire, cake stand, etc.
  • Rehearse ceremony and all other details for participants in the wedding
  • Rehearsal dinner

Wedding Day

  • Review list of things to bring to the ceremony
  • Give the groom’s ring to the maid of honor. Give the bride’s ring to the best man
  • Follow your schedule of events
  • Thank your parents and your guests
  • Oh yeah, don’t forget to say “I Do!”