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The Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist

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Alyssa Swedick Photography

Throughout the past few weeks we’ve taken you through your wedding to-do list from start to finish. From those first few months after you get engaged, to the final details, we’ve got you covered. If you’re looking for an easy reference to keep in your back pocket keep reading to see our ultimate wedding planning checklist. This handy list will help you as you navigate through every task for your wedding.

Need to find out more information about a to-do item? Visit our corresponding blog posts for each step of the process.

10 – 12 Months Before Your Wedding

  1. Decide what you and your partner are comfortable spending for your wedding. Find out if family members will help with any of the expenses.

  2. Flip through magazines and scroll Pinterest for inspiration and to find your wedding style.

  3. Sit down with your partner and create a first-draft guest list. This rough estimate will be helpful when searching for venues that will accommodate your approximate guest size.

  4. Choose members of your wedding party and ask if they’ll be part of your special day.

  5. Find your wedding venue and choose your date.

  6. Say yes to your dress (and wedding accessories).

  7. Start booking wedding vendors. We recommend starting with:

  8. Caterer

  9. Photographer/Videographer

  10. Officiant

  11. Create your wedding website. Sites including Zola, The Knot and Minted offer beautiful templates to get you started.

  12. Daydream about your honeymoon. Are you imagining a tropical paradise, or an adventurous 10-day road trip? Talk with your partner and start thinking of ideas.

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Photography Du Jour

6 – 9 Months Before Your Wedding

  1. Continue booking wedding vendors. Start reaching out to florists, DJs, musicians, bakers, calligraphers and any other professionals you need to hire.

  2. Arrange overnight accommodations at your venue, or a local hotel for out-of-town guests.

  3. Create your gift registry. You can do this online or at your favorite home goods store.

  4. Go shopping for bridesmaid and flower girl dresses.

  5. Send save the date cards.

  6. Decide on the style and wording of your wedding invitations.

  7. Book your honeymoon.

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Krysta Norman Photography

4 – 5 Months Before Your Wedding

  1. Reserve rental items. If you are planning to use a vintage furniture vignette, now is also a good time to reserve those items.

  2. Book any transportation for yourself and your guests.

  3. Rent suits/tuxedos for your wedding party.

  4. Book your rehearsal dinner location. Put together a guest list and book a location that can accommodate your party.

  5. Provide your maid of honor/best man with a guest list for your wedding shower and bachelorette/bachelor parties.

  6. Schedule a tasting with your caterer.

  7. Schedule your hair and makeup trials.

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Love and Grace Photography

1 – 3 Months Before Your Wedding

  1. Order/print and mail your invitations.

  2. Order/print menu cards, programs and place cards.

  3. Purchase wedding favors.

  4. Confirm your wedding party has all of their attire ordered, from dresses and suits to shoes and specialty socks.

  5. Choose and purchase your wedding bands.

  6. Write thank you notes after your wedding shower.

  7. Purchase any little extras, including your guest book, unity candle, toasting flutes, etc. Now is also a good time to purchase gifts for your wedding party, parents and future spouse.

  8. Complete your seating chart for your reception.

  9. Obtain your marriage license. Do your research to make sure you don’t get it too early or too soon. Every state has different rules. In Virginia, your marriage license is only valid for 60 days.

  10. Have your final dress fitting.

  11. Confirm the final details with your vendors, from itineraries to your photo shot list.

  12. Assemble gift bags for overnight guests.

  13. Relax with a spa day.

  14. Write your vows.

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Captured by CM Photography

Last Minute Details

  1. Break in your wedding shoes.

  2. Put together a wedding emergency kit.

  3. Confirm your honeymoon details and pack.

  4. Put together tip envelops for your venue, caterer and vendors.

  5. Take a deep breath, relax and enjoy your wedding day!

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