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Monday, Jan. 29th 2018

Ultimate Bridal Checklist

Civil partnership planning diary

Pre-wedding Planning   

Planning your wedding can be a stressful undertaking!  Having a solid plan in place is the best way to head into the planning.  We regularly hear about brides who are stressing over exactly what all they have left to plan.  So we’re headed out to do some research! 

What We Found

While searching for making the planning process as easy as possible we found that brides love checklists!  It’s a plan where they can check off exactly what is done and see what all is left to do.  For many, we found that having a timeline mixed with their checklist was most efficient for most brides.  During our search we found this awesome checklist for your wedding planning!  Check it out here!  Or check out the summary below!

Your 12-Month Wedding-Planning Checklist

12 Months Out

  • Determine your budget
  • Make a guest list
  • Hire a wedding planner
  • Decide formality and overall theme
  • Select the venue
  • Select the caterer

11 Months Out

  • Choose color theme and start thinking of overall design
  • Hire vendors who book up quickly, including your photographer, band, DJ, and videographer

10 Months Out

  • Start shopping for your wedding dress
  • Book hotel-room blocks for guests
  • Create your wedding website
  • Take engagement photos

9 Months Out

  • Buy your wedding dress
  • Send save-the-dates

8 Months Out

  • Register for gifts
  • Select the bridesmaids’ dresses and schedule fittings within the month
  • Meet with potential florists

7 Months Out

  • Book the rehearsal-dinner venue
  • Hire the ceremony musicians
  • Order rentals items, such as specialty chairs, linens, draping, lounge furniture, white dance floor, etc.
  • Hire an officiant

6 Months Out

  • Start looking at invitations
  • Hire a lighting technician

5 Months Out

  • Book transportation for guests, if needed
  • Book the bride and groom’s transportation (limo, specialty car, etc.)
  • Book the honeymoon
  • Buy or rent the groom’s tuxedo
  • Begin premarital counseling

4 Months Out

  • Have your final tasting with the caterer
  • Choose your cake
  • Buy wedding bands
  • Select groomsmen’s attire and schedule fittings within the month
  • Hair and makeup trial

3 Months Out

  • Order the invitations and hire calligrapher
  • Create or plan your menu
  • Brainstorm guest favors and gift bags
  • Book a photo-booth rental
  • Write your vows
  • Select readings
  • Meet with the officiant and invite him or her to the rehearsal dinner
  • Start crafting any DIY items if you haven’t already

2 Months Out

  • Send the wedding invitations (with RSVPs due one month before the wedding)
  • Send out rehearsal-dinner invitations (these can be included with the wedding invitations if you like)
  • First dress fitting
  • Pick up your marriage license
  • Buy wedding-party gifts
  • Do a floral mock-up with your florist
  • Give the song selections to your band or DJ
  • Give the song selections to your ceremony musicians
  • Buy all small items, including table numbers, toasting flutes, cake topper, cake stand, cake knife, guest book, card box, ring-bearer accessories, flower-girl accessories, a cute hanger for your dress, and a garter. Also consider purchasing pashminas, flip-flops, and sunglasses for guests to change into at the reception, as well as baskets for them. You’ll also need to buy any signs (“Welcome,” “Guest Book,” “Dancing Shoes,” etc.).

1 Month Out

  • Assemble gift bags
  • Pay your vendors in full
  • Create a seating chart
  • Order or make your escort cards and place cards
  • Have a final venue walk-through
  • Put cash in tip envelopes for your planner to distribute. You don’t need to tip people that own their own business, such as photographers, videographers, and florists. It’s customary to tip the following vendors: musicians, DJs, hair stylist, makeup artist, drivers, bartenders, and servers. Many couples tip the wedding planner as well.

Final Week

At this point, your wedding-planning checklist is basically complete. “I want brides to be doing as little planning as possible during the final week. That last week should be focused on personal care,” says Brand.

Take care of things like:

  • Refreshing your hair color
  • Getting your eyebrows done
  • Manicure
  • Pedicure
  • Getting a massage (why not make it a couples massage?)


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