12 Month Wedding Countdown Checklist
Congratulations on your engagement! It’s a time where your will, wit, organizational skills, and humor will be tested. Weddings take a lot of planning and you will probably spend over 100 hours on the phone, visiting vendors, planning, and chasing after details.
To help you get off to a good start, I’ve put together a complete outline of the things you’ll need to do for your wedding and the approximate timeline for getting those things done.
6 – 12 Months Before Your Wedding
____ Select a wedding date, time and possibly a backup date
____ Announce your engagement in the paper
____ Plan an engagement party with family and friends
____ Talk with a bridal consultant or wedding coordinator
____ Find out what bridal shows are on locally and attend them
____ Agree on a preliminary budget
____ Decide who will pay for what and how expenses will be shared
____ Call your church or synagogue for an appointment with the Officiant
____ Consider and ask friends and family to serve as wedding attendants
____ Start a “planning system” and system of organization
____ Start your wedding guest list
____ Start thinking about ideas/themes for your reception and catering plans
____ Determine what type of entertainment you want to have for your reception
____ Decide the type of wedding you would like to have (size, formality, and setting)
____ Think about your color schemes
____ Explore pre-marital counseling
____ Start health and fitness plan if you’re not already in one!
____ Select your reception location
____ Select your professional photographer
____ Select your videographer
____ Select professional caterer (if necessary)
____ Select Musician or Disc Jockey
____ Select your florist
____ Shop together for your wedding rings
____ Select wedding dress and headpiece, and set a date for fittings and delivery
____ Select your bridesmaids’ dresses and accessories
____ It’s time to choose a honeymoon and location
4 Months Prior to the Wedding
____ Check the requirements for marriage license
____ Select and discuss your color schemes with the florist/decorator of choice
____ Again consider pre-marital counseling
____ Reserve your wedding day rental equipment
____ Decide upon a gift registry and select your gift choices
____ Order your invitations and related stationery needs
____ Start shopping for the men’s’ wedding attire
____ Reserve your wedding day transportation
____ Research and select readings for ceremony
____ Make music selections for ceremony and reception
____ Decide upon and order favors
____ Select your baker, then choose your cake, and groom’s cake
____ Help both mothers coordinate and find their wedding day clothing
____ Review your contracts with all of your vendors and service providers
2 Months Before Your Wedding
____ Have engagement portraits taken
____ Place your engagement announcement in the newspaper
____ Mail out invitations and announcements
____ Decide on the men’s wedding attire
____ Arrange and plan your rehearsal dinner
____ Purchase your wedding day accessories
____ Arrange attendant’s parties
____ Prepare accommodations for out-of-town attendants and guests
____ Consider a hairdresser and/or makeup artist and book appointments
____ Finalize all honeymoon plans
1 Month Left
____ Final wedding dress fitting
____ Final fitting for your wedding attendants
____ Obtain marriage license
____ Have your attendant’s parties
____ Purchase your going-away outfit
____ Create a calendar of events for the wedding day
____ Make sure your accessories are in order (rings, pillow, garter, etc.)
2 Weeks Remaining
____ Finalize arrangements with the entertainer(s)
____ Provide a list of music you would like played (or not played)
____ Finalize music during special events such as first dance, dance with dad, etc.
____ Pick up your wedding rings and make sure that the engravings are correct
____ Make sure they fit!
____ Contact the guests who have not responded to your invitations.
1 Week to Go!
____ If you can, take the week, or part of the week off from work!
____ Make sure your marriage license is in order
____ Prepare seating arrangements, if necessary
____ Purchase travelers checks, confirm honeymoon reservations
____ Pack your baggage for your honeymoon
____ Have your wedding ceremony rehearsal
____ Instruct your wedding party on what they will be doing on the day of the wedding
____ Have your rehearsal dinner
____ Make sure all wedding attire fits properly
____ Give the best man the amounts your vendors are to be paid on the wedding day
____ Inform your caterer of the total guest count
____ Confirm out-of-town guests have transportation and sleeping accommodations
____ Check with your florist and/or balloonist to make sure they will arrive when scheduled
Your Wedding Day
____ Your primary goal today is to get married! Have fun!
____ Relax, enjoy yourself, and remain calm!
____ Allow at least two hours for dressing
____ Allow plenty of time to apply your makeup and style your hair
____ If professionals are doing your hair and/or makeup, determine the time they need
____ If photographs are to be taken before the ceremony, allow plenty of time for that!
____ Remember to bring the rings and marriage license
____ Seat guests as they arrive
____ The groom’s parents should be seated about 5 minutes before start time
____ Mother of the bride is normally seated last
____ Take a deep breath, don’t worry, be happy and smile!
Whew, you made it 🙂
You’ll find even more great ideas for ensuring your wedding goes to plan in my free wedding planning newsletter. Don’t be scared of the planning; subscribe to my newsletter, for free, and let me guide you through the process of creating the fabulous wedding you’ve always dreamed of!
Best wishes, and happy planning!