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Preparing a Wedding To Do List

Wedding Planning

The quicker you start preparing your wedding to do list after your engagement, the more successful you will be at creating a stylish, memorable, and fun wedding.

The Sooner the Better

Once the engagement is official, you and your fiancé should establish the following to set your wedding plans in motion:

  • What is the date? Meet with the clergy person or contact the site where you want to have your ceremony to make sure that date is available.
  • Arrange for premarital instruction if necessary. Some religions and churches require engaged couples to complete a certain amount of premarital courses before saying I Do.
  • What is your overall wedding budget?
  • How many guests will you invite? You will most likely need input from both of your parents to get an accurate count.
  • Where do you want to have the reception?
  • What is the style or theme of your wedding? Do you want a formal, traditional event, or a more intimate, casual affair?
  • Do you want to hire a professional wedding consultant to help orchestrate your wedding plans?

Once you and your fiancé are able to provide clear answers to these questions, you are ready to start planning your wedding to do list!

A Wedding To Do List Timeline

Creating a wedding to do list master plan will help you and all of the members involved with your wedding stay on task and on time for a seamless, enjoyable, and memorable event.

Eleven to Nine Months Before The Wedding

  • Announce your engagement in the newspaper
  • Attend any engagement parties
  • Send Save the Date cards
  • Select bridal and groom attendants
  • Interview and select a professional wedding consultant
  • Determine who will officiate your ceremony
  • Research and book vendors, including the florist, band or DJ, musicians for the ceremony, caterer, and photographer
  • Begin shopping for your wedding gown
  • Begin shopping for your bridesmaids dresses

Six Months in Advance

  • Discuss wedding vows
  • Order wedding gown, bridesmaids dresses, and accessories, including veil, gloves, and shoes
  • Choose floral arrangements
  • Decide what kinds of photos you want your photographer to take – black-and-white, color, posed, or candid.
  • Talk to the musicians you have selected for the ceremony and discuss what kind of music you want them to play when the guests are being seated, when the bridal party walks down the aisle, and when you walk down the aisle.
  • Plan and book your honeymoon
  • Visit stationary stores, research different invitation styles, select your stationary and wording, and order your invitations, inserts, announcements, and thank you notes
  • Decide on reception decorations
  • Register for wedding gifts and write thank you notes as gifts come in
  • Consult with wedding cake designers
  • Establish your wedding transportation needs and reserve transportation

Four Months in Advance

  • Reserve any rental equipment needed, such as tables, chairs, tents, and linens
  • Purchase or reserve groom’s and men’s attire
  • Ask mothers to coordinate and select their dresses
  • Purchase wedding rings
  • Select and order wedding favors
  • Complete wedding list
  • Plan ceremony decorations
  • Finalize details for the ceremony, including readings, vocals, etc.
  • Arrange for guest parking at ceremony and reception site
  • Finalize your menu with your selected caterer
  • Order wedding cake
  • Select flowers for the bridal party, ceremony, and reception
  • Check blood test and marriage license requirements in your state
  • Decide where you’ll live after the wedding
  • Plan rehearsal dinner
  • Finalize all honeymoon plans and make any deposits
  • Book room for your wedding night
  • Purchase going-away outfit
  • Choose gifts for bridal party
  • Make reservations and accommodations for out-of-town guests

Two to Four Months in Advance

  • Pick up wedding rings
  • Review ceremony with officiant
  • If using personalized wedding vows, begin writing them now
  • Finalize ceremony music
  • Select a family member or friend to handle guest book
  • Schedule first fittings for you and your bridesmaids
  • Shop for lingerie for your wedding night and honeymoon
  • Order attire for flower girl and ring bearer
  • Consult with a make-up artist and hairstylist to select a look for your wedding day
  • Make hair, nail, and makeup appointments
  • Final dress fittings
  • Put together directions and accommodation cards for out-of-town guests
  • Mail invitations
  • Confirm final reception details
  • Have all accessories, such as toasting goblets, ring pillow, garter, candles, etc.
  • Start dance lessons with your fiancé for first dance together
  • Give head count to caterer
  • Confirm details with florist
  • Confirm details with musicians, band, and DJ
  • Confirm details with photographer
  • Make rehearsal arrangements

One to Two Months in Advance

  • If you are changing your name, complete proper documentation
  • Send wedding announcements to local newspapers
  • Send change-of-address information to the local post office
  • Buy thank you gifts for attendants and family
  • Give photographer a list of photos you would like to have taken
  • Give musicians a list of music to play

Two Weeks in Advance

  • Obtain marriage license
  • Arrange seating plan and write place cards
  • Write toasts for rehearsal dinner and wedding reception
  • Break in wedding shoes
  • Confirm final guest count
  • Attend bachelorette party
  • Write detailed wedding to do list for the day of your wedding, with a schedule, list of items, and important phone numbers

One Week Ahead

  • Pick up dress, bridesmaids dresses, and groom’s attire
  • Pack for honeymoon and confirm plans
  • Confirm travel arrangements
  • Have facial or other beauty treatment
  • Confirm transportation plans for the wedding day
  • Hand out wedding day schedule
  • Have rehearsal dinner

Day Before

  • Finalize seating chart
  • Delegate different tasks to family members and friends, such as who is in charge of the guest book, helping with decorations, delivering gifts after the wedding, etc.
  • Have a manicure and pedicure
  • Hand out gifts to each member of your bridal party, along with a personal note for each
  • Rehearse ceremony
  • Hold rehearsal dinner

Wedding Day

Relax and enjoy!

Preparing and adhering to a wedding to do list is necessary to help you enjoy one of the most memorable moments of your life.

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