The Wedding Checklist

Congratulations! You just got engaged and you’ve started to think about planning your wedding! Planning an event as big as a wedding can seem daunting, but it always helps to put a checklist together of everything you will need to do for your wedding. The more organized you are, the less stress you will feel. Here are a few things you can include on your wedding checklist:

Once you are engaged:

  • Discuss your wedding budget with your fiancé. It is important to know how much you want to spend for your wedding.
  • Start thinking about your guest list, which will impact your venue options
  • Choose your wedding date, as this will impact many of your other wedding decisions (i.e. such as the wedding venue, etc.)
  • Research venue and ceremony locations
  • Think about your theme and what type of aesthetic you want for your wedding day and determine how formal you want the wedding to be
  • Start researching wedding dress styles!
  • Book a wedding planner if you would like someone to help you with you wedding planning!

 12 Months prior to the wedding:

  • Visit different reception venues and ceremony options. Book the venues for both.
  • If your venue does not have its own catering, research and book a caterer for your event
  • Discuss menu options
  • Choose the members of your wedding party
  • Start your wedding dress shopping! Try on different wedding dresses to determine what style you prefer
  • Start researching other vendors: photographers, florists, DJ/band

10-11 Months prior to wedding:

  • Book your band/DJ for the reception
  • Start looking for hotels for out-of-town guests. Ask for discounted rates.
  • Take your engagement photos
  • Start looking for your bridesmaids dresses
  • Hire photographer/videographer
  • Determine what kind of colour scheme you want for the wedding
  • Consider your options for centerpieces

8-9 Months prior to wedding:

  • Purchase your wedding dress and your veil. Do not wait too long to buy your wedding dress! Under 6 months is considered a rush order for many salons and you do not want to be charged rush fees.
  • Start looking at wedding stationary (enclosures, programs, menu cards, thank you cards and favors)
  • Begin researching honeymoon options
  • Create gift registries at the retailers of your choice
  • Review your guest list and refine the list
  • If you require a pre-marriage course, book the course
  • Meet with potential florists to see options for your wedding
  • If you have any other décor elements, hire companies to rent the items (i.e.. Ceremony/reception, chairs/tables, tents etc.).
  • Send the save the dates for your wedding date
  • Start looking for bridesmaids and flower girl dresses
  • Discuss wedding colours and with the mother-of-the bride and groom to arrange what they will wear to the wedding
  • Shop for wedding accessories (shoes, jewelry, undergarments etc.)
  • Research wedding hairstyles
  • Look at wedding rings

6-7 Months prior to your wedding

  • Book ceremony musicians
  • Look into wedding day hair and makeup options
  • Review and book transportation to the venues and back
  • Start looking at cake options and book tastings
  • Decide what your groomsmen will wear
  • Get a sample invitation ready
  • Meet your officiant to discuss the ceremony
  • Book your florist & choose all flowers for the event
  • Select the bridesmaids/flower girl dresses and schedule fittings
  • Book rehearsal dinner venue
  • Research wedding day music (father of the bride dance, 1st dance, mother of the groom dance etc., music to walk in at for the wedding party etc.)
  • Book any dance lessons if you’d like to be prepared for the first dance

4-5 months prior to your wedding

  • Buy wedding bands
  • Attend the final tasting with the caterer
  • Purchase guestbook, flower baskets and pillow for ring bearer pillow, card box and any other accessories you may need for the reception
  • Purchase the guest favors
  • Book your flights for the honeymoon
  • Book a room for the wedding night
  • Finalize the guest list!
  • Make sure you have your passports updated!
  • Schedule your dress fittings
  • Book transportation for honeymoon
  • Choose the your ushers/readers and the MC for your wedding
  • Order wedding stationary (including the invitations, envelops, stamps, response cards, reception cards, enclosures such as direction cards, thank you cards)
  • Order any accessories you may need at the ceremony (pew decorations, aisle runner etc.)
  • Book your hair stylist for the wedding day and your nails/spa if you plan on hiring a professional to take care of the aesthetics for the day

2-3 months prior to the wedding:

  • Assemble invitations and test the weight of the invites at the post office
  • Send out invites to the wedding
  • Finalize all the details with your vendors (photographer, DJ, music, cake maker, caterers)
  • Order the programs for the wedding
  • Do not forget the legalities of marriage - marriage license, name change, bank documents, health card etc.!
  • Purchase any gifts you are buying for your wedding party
  • Determine the seating arrangements for the wedding
  • Write your vows
  • Write the speeches/toasts that you will make at the wedding
  • Write out place cards
  • Make a schedule for the flow of the wedding day
  • Order wedding day programs

1 month prior to wedding:

  • Do a run through of your hair and makeup
  • Wrap gifts you’ve purchased for your wedding party
  • Discuss music/song lists and the schedule for the wedding day with your DJ
  • Confirm the wedding duties for the ushers, readers etc.
  • Attend your final fitting

 2 weeks before wedding

  • Provide final guest count to caterer
  • Confirm all services and any reservations you’ve made
  • Pick up wedding gown
  • Prepare the envelopes for payment for all the vendors

1 week before wedding:

  • Make sure you take some time to relax
  • Pack for the honeymoon
  • Put together your emergency kit for the wedding day (including bobby pins, hair sprat, mini perfume, makeup etc.)

There are many details to consider when you are planning an event as big as a wedding. But, not to worry, there are also many tools that you can use to stay organized so that you are ready for the big day! What would you include on your wedding list?

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