The Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist For a Modern Couple

After the engagement emotions have settled down, now what? It is time to plan for the wedding day. Wedding planning takes time, resources, commitment and great organization skills. You have to know what needs to be done when.

Wedding planning can be overwhelming! With all the planning involved, give yourself enough time to plan and organize the tasks month by month. With or without a wedding planner you can be able to plan a stress free wedding by using a wedding planning checklist. Working with a wedding timeline helps you be more focused and less stressed.

The timeline allows you some flexibility, so don’t beat yourself up when you miss a few tasks. The wedding checklist should only be a general guideline. Feel free to adjust it if your timeline is different.

Wedding & Portrait Photography

We offer you a standard 12 month wedding planning checklist

10 – 12 months

Announce your engagement to family members and close friends. Plan for an engagement party and invite those who close to you both.

Start the wedding planning process

Settle on a wedding date – you can select a few days in case your first doesn’t work.

Draw a preliminary guest list and compile their current addresses

Work on the wedding budget – establish your top priorities. Choose where to save or splurge.

Start researching for wedding ideas, get a pinterest board and begin pinning ideas. Browse bridal magazines to get ideas for your wedding styles and color palette.

Sign up for a wedding website to start inputting wedding details

Send save the date cards if you plan to have a destination wedding or your wedding is around a public holiday.

Hire a wedding planner or buy wedding planning software. Aids you in organizing everything with ease.

Choose your wedding venue and reception venue

Decide on your wedding party – maid of honor, best man, bridesmaid, groomsmen, flower girls and paige boys if any.

Begin shopping for wedding vendors – wedding caterer, florist, photographer, officiant, and wedding videographer.

Start shopping for your wedding dress, grooms suit, and the wedding party attire

Buy a wedding planner organizer or calendar. Aids to keep track of all the details, appointments, and important details.

Get wedding insurance if you need it

Start researching where you want to go for your honeymoon

Wedding & Portrait Photography

6-9 months

Set up your wedding registry

Order or buy your wedding gown plus other bridal accessories – wedding shoes, veil, undergarments gloves, etc.

Continue shopping for wedding vendors – DJ or live band

Decide on floral arrangements with your florist

Visit your caterer for food tasting and plan for the cocktail hour

Choose your wedding cake and do a tasting

Come up with the style and wording of your wedding invitations

Keep updating your wedding website

Plan for hotel rooms to accommodate guests from out of town

Arrange for transportation and book them in advance

Plan for the bridal shower/bachelorette party details plus the guest list and the host

4 – 6 months

Choose the wedding stationery – invitations, envelopes, thank you cards etc. in readiness to sending them out

Select wedding favors and wedding accessories – personalized wedding ribbons, labels, boxes etc.

Finish buying all the wedding ceremony and reception decorations – aisle runners, candles etc.

Complete the details on the wedding cake

Book your honeymoon and verify all your travel documents – tickets and visas

Book your wedding night room

Book for hotel rooms and arrange for any other accommodations needed for your guests

Book your rehearsal dinner venue and get every detail involved planned out

Put together your rehearsal dinner guest list

Send out the rehearsal dinner invitations

Reserve for all the necessary party rentals and linens

Order the wedding favors for your guests

Write your wedding vows

Concentrate on finalizing the following details:

Guest list and mailing addresses

Wedding invitation wording

Wedding vows and readings

Bridal party and bridesmaids dresses

Wedding menu – food, beverages and al catering details

Timeline of the reception

Shop for wedding bands/ wedding rings

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2 – 4 months

Find out your state’s requirements for obtaining a marriage license

Finish ordering any wedding party attire that is still pending

Meet with the wedding officiant and discuss the ceremony details and wedding vows

Buy thank you gifts for your wedding party, flower girls and ring bearer

Shop for a gift for your spouse to be

Book any specialties like photo booths, sculptures etc.

Buy any necessities for travelling and honeymoon attires to avoid last minute rush

Do a makeup and hair trial. Come up with your own beauty and fitness schedule for that perfect look on your big day.

Book your stylist and makeup artist

1 – 2 months

Receive your rsvps

Complete name change documents

Complete change of address form if required

Have the wedding ceremony programs printed

Buy a guest book and other wedding accessories like cake knife, toasting glasses, ring pillow etc.

Update your wedding website with the details and directions of the event venue


2 wks – 1 mnth

Create a seating chart for the wedding reception.

Make table numbers and place cards. You can DIY them or have a calligrapher work on them

Contact your caterer with final guest numbers

Print out a timeline of events for your wedding vendors and party

Meet with the wedding photographer and videographer and finalize your wedding photo list

Contact your florist to confirm final flower order and any other décor details

Finalize on your own wedding ceremony and reception playlist with the DJ or live band

Confirm all hotel reservations for you and your town guests

Pick up your wedding bands and try them to see if they fit well

Go for your final dress fitting

Pick your marriage license

1 week

Write checks to make final payments to the vendors. Hand them over to your wedding coordinator to distribute them after the wedding.

Confirm all the transportation reservations

Pack for your honeymoon and confirm all the travel details

Go for a spa day to help you relax before you say I do

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Wedding & Portrait Photography

The day before

You have done a great job, take a deep breath!

Go for your manicure and pedicure treat

Welcome out of town guests who arrive early

Attend the rehearsal dinner

Wedding day checklist

Wake up early and do some easy exercise or take an easy walk outdoors. Try as much to soak up the beauty of the day before you walk down the aisle.

Eat a healthy breakfast or brunch depending on the time of the wedding

Enjoy your day – It’s finally here and your planning was not in vain. Enjoy your big day as much as you can!

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