So, your fiance has popped the question, you said yes, and now what? Preparations for the wedding can begin, but where exactly should you start? Since we know how overwhelming wedding planning can be, we have created an ultimate wedding checklist that can help you. With this checklist, your planning should become more relaxed. The year is broken down by months so you don’t feel overwhelmed when you do your wedding preparations. The best option for you and your partner is to be engaged for a year, so you can prepare everything on time.
12 Months Out
- Determine your Wedding Budget
First things first – it’s time to do the math and determine your wedding budget. Break it down, see how much money you have saved, how much you can expect from your family, and how much you should spend on each and every thing. The best thing to do is setting priorities and seeing which things you can splurge on and where to save.
- Create a Guest List
You simply can’t invite everyone to your wedding. Creating a guest list this early can be handy because you can consider your budget spreadsheet as well. Also, keep in mind where your wedding will be, and how big the venue is.
In some cultures, when parents are included in a wedding, they can invite people too. However, it is a protocol that they pay for them.
- Select a Venue
Choosing the venue is one of the most important things you should do. The location chosen carefully is everything you need right now. This depends on how many people you should invite as well as how much space you will have for the decoration. Select a venue that will suit your budget, style, and guess count.
- Hire a Wedding Planner
If your wedding budget allows, we recommend hiring a wedding planner. This person will be your right hand, helping with the things you don’t even think about. The wedding planner will do all the logistics, find the perfect venue and select the best decor for your big wedding day.
11 Months Out
- Hire Vendor, Photographer, and the Band
These are the people that will make your night fun. Pick a photographer carefully since he or she will be responsible for keeping those memories forever on camera.
10 Months Out
- Pick Your Wedding Dress
Whether you have already decided what your wedding gown should be like, or you are still searching, 10 months before the wedding is the ideal time to start looking. Check out JJ’s House for the best wedding dresses.
- Book a Hotel for Guests
If you will have a destination wedding, now is the right time to book a hotel for guests. It is a thoughtful gesture that all your guests will appreciate.
9 Months Out
- Send Save the Dates
You can now officially let everybody know when and where the wedding will take place. The rule is that everybody who gets a save-the-date card should get an invitation too.
8 Months Out
- Pick the Bridesmaid Dresses
You can do a ton of research on JJ’s House and organize an evening with your bridesmaids to pick the dresses you all like.
7 Months Out
- Book the Venue for the Rehearsal Dinner
Groom’s parents traditionally should pay for rehearsal dinner. However, it is still up to you where this dinner will take place and which decoration should be included. You can opt for a restaurant where you usually go out as a family, or an even more casual option – barbeque in the backyard.
5 Months Out
- Book the Honeymoon
Traditionally, it was on the groom to organize a surprise honeymoon for the bride. However, nowadays couples usually do it together. If you’re on the same page about the budget as well as the location, book the honeymoon at least 5 months before the wedding.
- Book the Transportation for Guests and Limo
If needed, you can also book transportation for your guests. You can count on this if your venue doesn’t have enough parking space, or if you are planning a destination wedding. You can also consider booking a limo for you and your fiance.
- Buy or Rent Tuxedo for the Groom
Based on the formality of your wedding, the groom should pick a tuxedo or a suit. He can also decide if he wants to buy or rent. The groom should also have his five minutes of fame as well as the bride, so make sure the tux or suit suits him perfectly.
4 Months Out
- Choose the Cake
You will have enough time to settle with your partner about the taste and the look of your cake. Don’t stress about keeping all the guests happy about the taste. It is important that you and your partner are happy with it.
- Buy Wedding Bands
Go in pairs and buy wedding bands. You can find the band that is compatible with your engagement ring so you can wear them both.
- Hair and Makeup Trial
Feel free to search social media for inspiration. Making a Pinterest board will help both you and your stylist before deciding about hair and makeup. Trials are great since you will have enough time to change things you don’t like.
3 Months Out
- Order Invitations
To make sure the invitations will arrive on time, order them at least 3 months before the wedding. You should also order more than you have guests predicted. Just in case something goes wrong. The invitations should match the wedding vibe, as well as the theme.
- Write your Vows
No matter if your wedding is traditional or not, you and your partner should write your vows. You will have plenty of time to think about how you want your vows to sound and to make them personal as much as you can.
2 Months Out
- Send the Wedding Invitations
After you have selected guests as well as style, you can now send your wedding invitations. If you are organizing rehearsal dinner, make sure to include those invitations as well. On the other hand, you can send rehearsal-dinner invitations separately.
- Set a Date with a Florist
You will have a final date with your florist where you can see all the flowers and consult if they match the wedding theme.
- Pick Up Marriage License
Oh, the paperwork. We don’t like it either, but you need to have those papers. Since every country and state has some rules，Google which laws and requirements to look for.
- Refresh your hair color or dye it completely
- Manicure and pedicure
- Do your brows
- Do a final dress fitting with a bridesmaid that will learn how to lace you up if required
- Practice your vows
- Pack the bags for your honeymoon