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The Best Wedding Planning Checklist (To Keep You Sane)

Oh hey did you just understand you need a wedding guidelines? As a result of after the preliminary “HEY HEY WE’RE GETTING ENGAGED” interval, there’s usually a reasonably rough comedown if you understand that oh, now it’s a must to plan your wedding ceremony. Apparently, Pinterest/David Tutera isn’t going to swoop in and plan it for you. Or you’ve realized that planning an enormous event whereas holding down a full-time job might not truly be in your wheelhouse. In any case, the day comes when it’s a must to step away from the “my crazy amazing wedding ideas” Pinterest board and work out what you’re truly doing. Which is why we’ve partnered with the web wedding ceremony registry and free wedding ceremony planning app Zola to give you a foolproof step-by-step wedding ceremony planning checklist. You know, one with some measure of sanity and helpfulness.

What Sort Of Planner Are You?

I deliberate my wedding ceremony price range on a post-it that I stored on my desk with a tough outline of a finances on it. When you ought to undoubtedly not comply with my lead (we’ve got really strong wedding ceremony budgeting ideas), suffice to say I was not an excellent type-A organized planner. A wedding guidelines with 100 steps would have just careworn me out. (The truth is, I signed up for one, blacked out once I checked out it, and never checked it again.) In case you’re like me and may’t deal with one million half guidelines, Brooklyn-based professional wedding ceremony designer, Michelle Edgemont, recommends breaking your wedding ceremony guidelines into extra manageable massive picture chunks earlier than you get into the small print of your to-do record. She says:

As much you is perhaps making an attempt to be a chill engaged individual, you’re nonetheless putting together a party for what could possibly be over 100 individuals. This celebration, aka your wedding ceremony, has numerous shifting elements—just like the ceremony, food, drinks, leisure, trend, and so forth. The greatest option to hold it organized is with an enormous checklist of todos. To start out, I like to put in writing down all the large things that have to happen:

  • Location
  • Food and drinks
  • Trend
  • Decor
  • Whatever else is sensible with your personal wedding ceremony

Then I break down every category into smaller steps, as a result of “book a venue” seems like a frightening activity with out smaller duties to make it manageable. Like this:

  • Research venues
  • Make appointments for walkthroughs
  • Go on walkthroughs
  • Ask for contract
  • Evaluate contract
  • Send deposit and signed contract

No matter sort or measurement of wedding ceremony you’re planning, break down your wedding ceremony planning checklist into smaller actionable steps. It’ll make it simpler to get via and easier to delegate to your companion, pals, or family. As a result of you’ll be able to’t do every little thing yourself, regardless of how dangerous you need to.

A method to determine what ought to find yourself in that massive image bullet point record is to start out with what you don’t need in your wedding ceremony after which construct your guidelines from there. We’ve received a useful copy of the getting began worksheets from my e-book, the A Practical Wedding Planner, right here, that can allow you to slender down what should find yourself in your remaining wedding ceremony planning checklist. Here’s an excerpt from the planner on the best way to use it:

As an alternative of supplying you with a to-do record, I’m supplying you with a “pick what you really care about” listing that spans from the helpful to the probably absurd.  You and your associate should every seize a unique coloured pen and run by way of this record, crossing out things you possibly can critically  care less  about, circling  things that matter  to you (double circling  and starring issues that you simply really worth is inspired), and scribbling in gadgets you don’t see listed. When you’ve narrowed down All of the Wedding Issues to a smaller collection of items you truly care about, you possibly can each fill out the listing of your prime three wedding ceremony planning priorities and then try to create a joint record. You can consider this train as a approach to determine what makes a marriage feel like a marriage to every of you.

The Lowest Key Wedding Checklist

We’ve additionally created a simple wedding ceremony planning checklist—or, really, flowchart—that will help you work out the large picture timeline of your wedding ceremony. It will help maintain your priorities straight once you’re tempted to, say, spend $500 on decor before you’ve acquired your venue locked down. Pin it to your Pinterest board, or put it in your fridge and simply comply with the overall massive image steps.

BUT. It’s fairly potential that what makes you are feeling calm is a pleasant lengthy guidelines, with a lot of issues to examine off, and a selected order for doing issues, just to ensure you don’t miss something. (Joke about how I forgot that I had to pay for postage on our wedding ceremony invitations, hahahaha sob.) So finally we’ve created a free printable full wedding ceremony checklist for you, with all the belongings you (may) need.

We’ve structured this checklist round a twelve-month planning process. Nevertheless, you may be planning over two years, or two months. That’s positive! There’s nothing notably magical a few twelve-month planning period. Be happy to regulate this timeline—stretch it out and do it leisurely, or minimize all of the stuff you possibly can’t be bothered with and do it in a couple of months. Likewise, keep in mind that simply because one thing is on the listing, it doesn’t imply that you need to do it. Actually, let’s talk about:

How To Use This wedding ceremony planning Checklist

First, get a pink pen and cross out every part on the wedding checklist you don’t care about. Significantly. Go crazy. When you’re getting married in your backyard, cross out all the stuff about discovering a venue. In case you really don’t care about flowers, cross out all the stuff about finding a florist.

Then be happy to reorder issues. We’re wedding ceremony specialists, but we’re not specialists on your wedding ceremony, so if you wish to do issues in a special order, girlfriend, you do you. (Although significantly, don’t get your gown until you realize where you’re getting married. Many an enormous ball gown has been returned when the drive-through chapel in Vegas was picked as the venue…) So begin right here, and make it you. At each point along the best way, we’ve linked to more detailed articles to provide you all the steerage you want. (Oh right, and the #APWPlanner has much more element on this entire planning thing, so in all probability decide that up.) And if you wish to print it out, properly lookit! We made you a free printable wedding ceremony checklist with packing containers you’ll be able to examine off and every little thing. Simply find the download at the bottom of this submit and it’s all yours.

And if you wish to plan on the go, our printable checklist integrates completely with the free, customizable checklist on the Zola Weddings app, so you’ll be able to access and update your listing anytime and anyplace. Add the tasks you need, delete ones you don’t need, then Zola will assist remind you to get it finished. (They may even personalize your checklist to your religion or culture and then autofill your to-do listing accordingly.) Combine that info with ours, and also you’ll have every little thing you’ll want to cross tasks off your record in type.

Wedding Checklist

close up on the hands of a queer non-white couple wearing engagement rings and wedding bands

When You’re Newly Engaged

  • You’re engaged!—have some bubbly, bliss out
  • Tell individuals the large news
  • Avoid leaping right into planning in case you can probably avoid it; sit back and luxuriate in
  • Decide up a replica of the APW Guide and the APW Planner (but don’t begin reading the planner until you’re ready to actually get planning)
  • Sit down and work out what your wedding ceremony priorities are
  • Provide you with a marriage mission assertion
  • Sign up for APW’s wedding ceremony planning e mail record so you might have a inbuilt wedding ceremony BFF
  • Have an engagement celebration or an excellent casual engagement toast
  • Determine if you want to elope and ditch the remainder of this listing


<img class="aligncenter wp-image-123320024" src="" border="0" alt="a sweetheart table sits in a white room with wood floors. There are two potted tropical plants on either side of the table and a neon sign that says "Chris

11 months before your wedding ceremony

close up on the hands of a bride wearing a lace jumpsuit with long neutral colored wedding nails

10 months earlier than your wedding ceremony

a tropical-themed turquoise wedding stationery set is styled in a layflat on an orange backdrop with ribbons and tropical flowers

9 months before your wedding ceremony

close up image of wedding DJ spinning records on a turntable

8 months before your wedding ceremony

close up of a bride wearing a backless lace gown carrying a wild bridal bouquet with protea

7 months before your wedding ceremony

a still life flatlay of various wedding registry items including a kitchenaid, fine china, and a le creuset

6 months before your wedding ceremony

  • Take into consideration rehearsal dinner choices
  • Start to plan any additional occasions related to the marriage (after get together, brunch, welcome social gathering)
  • Finalize your guest listing (we’ve acquired spreadsheets for that which you’ll be able to then upload into your Zola app. You can even acquire visitor addresses that you simply don’t already have immediately within the app too.)
  • Arrange a gathering together with your officiant to debate the ceremony and start marital counseling (if relevant)
  • Start desirous about your wedding ceremony vows and ceremony plan
  • Should you’re having a good friend officiate your wedding ceremony, now is an effective time to ask them about doing so
  • When you’re not having a good friend officiate your wedding ceremony, be sure to’ve booked someone (or the church/shul/mosque/temple)
  • Set up your wedding ceremony registry. Our associate Zola allows you to build the registry you truly need, with a choice of over 50,000 presents, experiences and subscriptions (plus money options and more.)
  • Have a gathering with everybody who helps (or begin sharing those Google Docs!) and make sure they all understand what is predicted
  • Discover a baker on your wedding ceremony cake, and should you can schedule cake tastings, achieve this
  • If somebody is throwing you a bridal bathe, send that individual the following pointers

a mixed gender wedding party sits in a minimal room with modern furniture wearing black suits

5 months before your wedding ceremony

an asian bride wearing a floral robe and a modern updo talks on her cell phone while getting ready for her wedding

four months before your wedding ceremony

  • Finalize rehearsal dinner, and ebook something you may have to ebook
  • Buy your wedding ceremony rings
  • Be sure that your passport is up to date, when you’re leaving the country in your honeymoon
  • Ebook wedding ceremony transportation
  • Create a spreadsheet for RSVPs and guest listing addresses. Should you’ve signed up with Zola above, you’ll be able to gather addresses a number of methods (together with by importing our spreadsheet instantly) and handle your listing out of your desktop or straight out of your telephone.
  • Speak to whoever is planning your bachelorette social gathering, and hook them up with this checklist (similar goes for any wedding ceremony showers)

three months earlier than your wedding ceremony

  • Handle and mail your wedding ceremony invitations (double examine the postage!)
  • Take into consideration what ceremony extras you may need (chuppah, aisle runners, and so forth.), and buy or lease them
  • Start planning out your wedding ceremony ceremony script
  • In the event you’re DIYing anything in your wedding ceremony, begin now or cross it off your record
  • Schedule gown fittings, as wanted
  • Analysis your native marriage license, civil union, and home partnership rules

a woman writes her wedding vows in a small notebook with A Practical Wedding's wedding vow checklist pulled up on her screen

2 months before your wedding ceremony

  • Start working on your wedding ceremony vows in earnest
  • Ensure that everyone in your wedding ceremony celebration has purchased what they’re sporting
  • Work out what you’re sporting to your rehearsal dinner
  • Put together an inventory of what you need to pack in your honeymoon, should you’re having one

close up on a black bride lifting up her wedding dress slightly to show her hot pink platform wedding shoes

6 weeks before your wedding ceremony

  • Begin sporting your wedding ceremony footwear round the house, as wanted
  • Ensure you’re updating your present registry and spreadsheets as presents arrive; send thanks notes now when you can
  • Affirm that out-of-town friends are arrange at motels and lodging
  • Work out if you would like a guest e-book, and make one occur in that case (additionally, check your pens!)
  • Write thanks notes on your shower presents.  In case you registered with Zola, you possibly can easily export an inventory of who obtained you what and when, so then all you need to do is put pen to paper. And then do the identical once more with wedding ceremony presents down the street.
  • Finalize your vows
  • Make certain your wedding ceremony outfits are nonetheless on point
  • Finalize your menu together with your caterer
  • Finalize your wedding ceremony ceremony

wooden wedding seating chart made with hot pink, orange and teal rubber bands and glitter lettering

1 month before your wedding ceremony

a queer mixed race couple sits on a school bus and takes a selfie with their iphone. One of the brides is wearing a giant floral crown and the other wears a bow tie and suspenders

two weeks before your wedding ceremony

  • Examine in with visitors who haven’t RSVP. Should you’ve acquired your visitor record loaded up into the Zola App, their guest record supervisor allows you to monitor RSVPs in real-time and talk immediately together with your visitors to see who’s coming.
  • Affirm head counts, menus, and supply together with your caterers and bakers (additionally affirm vendor meal requests)
  • Affirm your photograph requests, required family, and timeline together with your photographer
  • Be sure that everybody who is delivering one thing to the wedding (leases, flowers, and so forth.) has a confirmed, remaining timeline
  • Send a transportation schedule to move suppliers
  • Be certain that any clothes you need cleaned or pressed is taken care of
  • Guarantee that there is a plan for wedding ceremony venue setup and breakdown

wedding guests and a bride count money on a table at a wedding

one week before your wedding ceremony

  • Pack an in a single day bag and embrace your toothbrush, birth control/condoms, something to sleep in, an outfit for the subsequent day, honeymoon luggage, and your passport
  • Get your wedding ceremony manicure and pedicure (if it’s occurring in any respect)
  • Be sure that a replica of your honeymoon plans is left with household and associates
  • Put your remaining funds and ideas for vendors in labeled envelopes, and give this to another individual to manage
  • Get your wedding ceremony day “oh shit kit” put together (you’ll want aspirin, make-up, safety pins, mints, snacks, and so forth.)
  • Decide up your gown (if it wasn’t delivered to you)
  • Attempt on your whole wedding ceremony ensemble
  • Give your whole vendors an emergency quantity to call, simply in case (observe: not yours!)
  • Assign a family member to be the photographer’s point of contact
  • Hand over your whole planning docs to your wedding ceremony stage manager (together with a replica of the seller delivery schedule, arrange occasions, and telephone numbers) or DOC and take a step back to take pleasure in this factor!

wedding guests stand against a light blue wall carrying celebration flags and music speakers

1 day earlier than your wedding ceremony

a layflat of day-of wedding essentials including gold high heeled shoes, printed foiled vows, and wedding rings

last-minute belongings you may overlook

(AKA, rip this record out and stick it to your entrance door)

  • Rings
  • Vows
  • Marriage license
  • Clothes
  • Fits
  • Drivers license
  • Pockets
  • Cash
  • Passport/ID
  • Socks, underwear, bra
  • Equipment
  • Snug footwear
  • Ideas for distributors
  • Wedding playlist
  • Umbrella
  • Snacks and water

a recently married queer couple of color show off their new wedding rings while walking on a cobblestone street

on your wedding ceremony day

  • Be sure to pause and respect your loved ones, pals, and one another
  • Take a couple of minutes every now and then to breathe and focus; smile at your folks, give hugs, be within the moment

After the marriage

  • Send out your thank you notes (to people who helped with the marriage AND for presents)
  • Be sure your distributors have been paid in full
  • Comply with up and ensure you know if you’ll get your wedding ceremony pictures back
  • Be sure that rentals, clothing, and equipment have been returned (as wanted)
  • Toast your marriage! You did it! Now the great things begins for real

Fairly superb record, huh? We even made you a snazzy FREE printable Wedding Checklist model— Click on right here to obtain.

This publish was sponsored by Zola. With Zola, you’ll be able to build the registry you truly want; add gadgets from a number of over 50,000 presents (plus add from any retailer) or if physical objects aren’t your fashion, register for experiences and subscriptions—heck, with Zola you possibly can even register in your blowout. And with Zola Weddings, now you’ll be able to handle your wedding ceremony checklist and your guest record too. Other perks embrace group gifting, delivery management (aka you tell your registry if you need to obtain stuff), and the bottom bank card processing charge in the business for cash presents, for those who choose to add a money registry choice. Click on here for a full listing of Zola’s features and sign up for Zola immediately!