Step by Step Wedding Checklist

The following wedding checklist is based on an engagement of nine to twelve months. You can be flexible with the time depending on how many months your daughter's engagement will be.

A lovely wedding can be planned in 2 weeks. However, the bride's mother will be in serious need of a long vacation after that--perhaps at the local psychiatric hospital!

Some engagements last for more than a year. That would certainly allow you to proceed at a more leisurely pace.

Whether you are working in a short period of time or a long period of time, use the following wedding checklist as the order of planning.

Nine-Twelve Months Before

___1. Bride's and groom's families need to meet if you don't already know each other

___2. Announce your engagement at a party if you choose to

___3. Announce your engagement in the newspaper

___4. Discuss and decide on budget

___5. Pick a date --but be flexible until you see how this date works out with the venues you want

___6. Have your engagement portrait taken

___7. Start looking around for a wedding planner if you need the help

___8. Choose your bridal party and ask them to be a part of your big day

___9. Make your guest list ___10. Book site for ceremony and reception ___11. Discuss plans with your clergyman

___12. Start looking for and book photographer , caterer, and musicians ___13. Start the wedding dress search

Six-Nine Months Before

___1. Hire

videographer ___2. Book florist ___3. Choose attendants' dresses and accessories

___4. Reserve any rental equipment that you might need such as tent, tables, chairs, linens, china, etc.

___5. Meet with caterer to plan menu and schedule tasting

___6. Order wedding stationery such as invitations, thank you notes, etc.

___7. Mail save the date cards to out of town guests

___8. If you are choosing to have your wedding at home, begin any improvements or landscaping work necessary

___9. Reserve a block of hotel rooms for out of town guests

___10. Begin honeymoon planning

___11. If honeymoon is out of the country, make sure you have necessary travel documents such as passport or visa and any required immunizations

___12. Register for gifts

Four-Six Months Before

___1. Make honeymoon reservations

___2. Decide on favors and purchase or make them

___3. Schedule wedding rehearsal with the clergyman and venue you have chosen

___4. Discuss the rehearsal dinner with the groom and his family

___5. Choose tuxedos

___6. Meet with the florist

___7. Order wedding cake and groom's cake

___8. Decide on gifts for the bridal party

___9. Purchase bridal accessories

___10. Mothers' of bride and groom should choose their dresses

___11. Address invitations

Two-Four Months Before

___1. Mail information to out of town guests concerning hotel accommodations, transportation and local attractions

___2. Plan the post wedding brunch if you are going to have one

___3. Be sure you know what is required to get a marriage license in your state

___4. Arrange transportation for wedding party and families on wedding day

___5. Meet with officiant to discuss service and counseling requirements

___6. If you are going to write you own vows, start now

___7. Select readings and songs for the ceremony and ask those you want to read or perform

___8. Select ceremony music and reception music for special events such as first dance, father-daughter dance, cake cutting, bouquet toss, garter toss)

___9. Have the first fitting of the wedding gown. Be sure to have the appropriate undergarments and shoes

___10. Buy the wedding rings

___11. Bride's and groom's gifts need to be purchased, if you are exchanging gifts

___12. Purchase presents for the parents

___13. Decide on going away outfit (if you are changing out of your wedding clothes)

___14. Send invitations (six to eight weeks before wedding)

___15. Find out information about submitting a wedding announcement to your local newspaper

___16. Have a trial run with hairstylist and makeup artist and schedule appointments for the wedding day

Four-Six Weeks Before

___1. Get your marriage license at the appropriate time

___2. Make your ceremony programs

___3. Plan bridesmaids' luncheon

___4. Make welcome baskets for out of town guests

___5. Give list of songs you want or don't want to DJ

___6. Have final dress fitting

___7. Pick up ordered tuxedo or suit for grooom and attendants if purchasing

___8. Begin arranging the reception seating plan

___9. Pick up wedding rings

Two Weeks Before

___1. Give final head count to caterer

___2. Finalize seating plan; write place cards

___3. Discuss shot lists with photographer and videographer

___4. Compose toasts for rehearsal dinner and reception

___5. Make a detailed schedule of reception events (first dance, cake cutting, dinner, etc.) to give to all service providers

___6. Be sure your shoes are broken in

One Week Before

___1. Pick up dress

___2. Pick up tuxedos if renting

___3. Confirm reservations for wedding night and honeymoon

___4. Obtain crisp bills from bank for gratuities and put them in label envelopes and seal

___5. Prepare final payments for service providers who need to be paid on the wedding day

___6. Pack for the honeymoon

___7. Purchase traveler's checks for honeymoon

___8. Make a list of everything you need to bring to wedding and and gather all items

___9. Host bridesmaids' luncheon (many times done the day before the wedding because of out of town bridesmaids)

___10. Confirm final details with all service providers

___11. Arrange for mail to be held at post office

___12. Have stores where you are registered to hold deliveries

___13. If bachelor or bachelorette parties are to be held, suggest (insist) they are held at least a week before the wedding

One Day Before

___1. Drop off welcome baskets for out of town guests at hotel

___2. Get manicure and pedicure

___3. Conduct the rehearsal, hand out gifts to wedding party if you haven't done that yet

___4. Assign tasks to wedding party the next day

___5. Attend rehearsal dinner

___6. Give parents their thank you presents

___7. Give groom his gift if you are exchanging presents (can also be done on wedding night)

___8. Get a good night's sleep

The Day of the Wedding

___1. Eat breakfast (even if you don't feel like it)

___2. Take a relaxing bath or shower

___3. Get hair and makeup done (be sure to wear a button down shirt when getting hair done!)

___4. Put on dress and veil and prepare to enter into the holy state of matrimony!

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