The Complete Wedding Planning Checklist

Your partner has popped the question, and you couldn’t be happier to finally have that ring on your finger. But now, the hard work begins. It’s time to start planning your wedding.

Regardless of if you’ve been dreaming of your big day through Pinterest boards or haven’t thought about it at all, wedding planning is complicated.

From the guest list to the food to the honeymoon, you’re going to need a lot of help to pull this off.

You want to be sure you don’t forget anything important, so you need a wedding planning checklist to keep track of everything. If you’re looking for a place to start, take a look at these critical wedding planning items.

1. Determine Wedding Budget

Before you dive into renting the classiest venue or booking the trendiest band, get together with your partner and set a budget. After all, you don’t want to return from your honeymoon and realize you’ve drained all your life savings.

You and your soon-to-be spouse can do some research and compromise on what pieces of the wedding are worth splurging on and which won’t be worth the extra cost.

2. Rough Draft Guest List

Writing up a guest list is especially important if you haven’t decided if you want a big, small, or somewhere-in-between wedding.

You and your partner can compare lists of everyone you would consider inviting to your wedding. Then, you can decide who you actually want to be there, and whose invites would be pity-invites.

Your best friends make the cut, but your coworker’s sister probably doesn’t need to attend.

3. Hire a Wedding Planner

Before you get too over-your-head in deposits and liaising, hire a wedding planner. Preparing a wedding isn’t a feat you and your partner can conquer yourselves.

A wedding planner can relieve your stress and handle all the details for your special day. Plus, when it comes time to walk down the aisle, you won’t need to make sure the groomsmen are ready or the flower girl isn’t having a meltdown.

4. Select Your Venue

Typically, you’ll want to allow yourself about twelve to fourteen months to plan for your wedding. Early on in that process, you’ll want to decide where you want to get married and what kind of venue you want to get married in.

If you wait, your favorite venues are more likely to be booked out months or years in advance.

5. Select Your Caterer

Similarly, you’ll want to start taste-testing potential caterers early on. As you mull over what theme you’re wedding will be, you can select what kind of cuisine will best accompany the rest of your wedding day.

6. Pick a Theme

The color scheme for your big day is a critical foundation you’ll need to determine before other tasks can get done, like picking bridesmaids’ dresses and table settings.

Choose a theme or colors that can flexibly mix with the location and venue. You might also consider the season and pick brighter, warmer colors for summer and cooler, darker colors for winter.

7. Hire Vendors

Let’s face it, you don’t want to get stuck with your cousin’s old camcorder for your wedding videography.

That’s why it’s crucial to book vendors like photographers, videographers, DJs, and bands early on before their schedule books up.

8. Begin Wedding Gown Shopping

Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for: wedding dress shopping. While this item may be at the top of many people’s wedding checklists, you don’t need to start shopping right away.

But about nine or ten months away from your wedding, you should have bridal appointments booked. Depending on what bridal boutique you visit, you can have a true “say yes to the dress” experience with your bridal party.

Your consultant will have your drinks ready and a nice private area for you and your friends to swoon over every gown you try on.

Once you find the dress of your dreams, you’ll want to be sure you have a quality wedding dress seamstress for any custom work or alterations.

9. Engagement Photos

You can often use the same photographer for your wedding for your engagement photos. That way, the photos will have the same style.

Plus, you can use your engagement photos as practice for posing in front of a camera. Your photographer can also help and direct you, and they’ll make the experience as comfortable and fun as possible.

10. Mail Out Save-the-Dates

Now that you have the perfect engagement photos, it’s time to send out the save-the-date cards. Make sure all your guests know when you’re getting married so they can block off the date on their calendar.

11. Book the Honeymoon

Amidst all the wedding planning chaos, you will also want to book your honeymoon.

Even if you’re not leaving for a couple of weeks after your wedding, you will want to have all those details ironed out before your big day so you can truly enjoy every moment.

You might be torn about where to go on your honeymoon.

To brainstorm, you and your future spouse should find places where you can do all your favorite activities. And you’ll also want to have a cozy hotel or Airbnb to relax in and spend quality time with each other.

12. Write Your Vows

You’ll probably try to write your vows over and over again in the months before your wedding. Don’t be afraid to write drafts that are totally cheesy or way too sappy.

After getting all your thoughts in order, you’ll be able to find the perfect words to tell your partner how much you love them.

13. Wedding Planning for Your Day

Your wedding day can be all that you imagined and more. If you follow this wedding planning checklist, you and your partner will have a day you’ll never forget.

If you’re eager to get started on your wedding dress shopping, you can get started right here on our site by booking an appointment.

Say yes to the perfect bridal fitting appointment here.

candice gold, bridal shop owner with bride

Hi, I'm Candice!

I’m a Native Houstonian, a mom, a firefighter wife, and the owner of Evangeline Bridal. I’m slightly obsessed with all things French, and it certainly shows in the boutique. I love the charm of downtown Tomball and the community that encompasses it, and I believe our spot on Main Street is a perfect one. When you visit us, look for the “Bonjour, Tomball” mural on the side of our building.

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