Wedding-Planning Checklist

Engaged, FOR BRIDES, Wedding Wednesday

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January 6, 2023

Are you getting married this year?

Do you feel like you’ve been waiting for this year to finally get here and you’re making wedding plans but don’t have a wedding planner? Or maybe you’re just feeling a little overwhelmed by it all?

I can help you with that! I’ve created the 12-month wedding-planning checklist just for you.

12-14 months is usually the ideal timeframe for an engagement, every couples engagement time is different. In shorter engagements, condense the list to a shorter list and complete a few tasks each month with the help of friends and family that you trust to delegate tasks to. Lastly, this is only a suggestion or helpful example. Please add or take away any task that you have or don’t need on this list. Creating a system that works best for you is the most important thing. 

12 Months – Determine Budget and book Venue 

It’s nice to figure out who’s paying for what while also discussing the goals you have for your wedding. From there you’ll want to determine what’s a priority and what’s not? Since these numbers might change as you plan, it’s best to start an expense tracker such as a spreadsheet or there are some you can download and use on canva.

11 Months – Hire Vendors (photographer, videographer, catering service, etc.) 

Assuming by this time you have already chosen your wedding color and theme, start thinking of your overall design. Creating a Pinterest board is a good place to start. This is a good time to hire your wedding planner if you haven’t already. This will depend on your budget and if it allows for it. Vendors that are important to hire are your photographer, band, DJ, videographer, and any other vendors that book up quickly or far in advance.

10 Months – Book Honeymoon 

Now is a great time to book your honeymoon and also: create your wedding website, book hotel-room blocks for guests if needed, and start your wedding guest list if you haven’t already.

9 Months – Buy Dress 

It’s time to say “YES” to the dress! You can also send save the dates at this time if you’ll be sending them. Remind your bridesmaids/matron of honor/made of honor to get fitted. Maybe they can go shopping with you so you can see them in the attire IRL (in real life)–if they live close by.

8 Months – Engagement Session

Now is a good time to take your engagement photos if you haven’t already. This gives your photographer plenty of time to edit great pictures for you. Start looking at wedding invitations and registering for gifts.

7 Months – Start DIY projects early 

DIY projects are beautiful and cost-efficient but can also be time-consuming–remember to give yourself enough time to create. You can also book your Rehearsal Dinner Venue or location, hire an officiant, and meet with your potential florist if you haven’t already. Order rental items, such as tables, chairs, and linens.

6 Months – Choose Cake

You’re probably starting premarital counseling at this time. Remember to also have your final taste testing with the caterer, and choose your cake. This will be your cake as a couple and you can also consider a groom’s cake. You’ll need a baker, find a reputable one who’s available on your date, and happy to take on your dream design.

5 Months – Hire a day of wedding coordinator if you don’t already have a planner 

You’ll want to consider hiring a day-of-wedding coordinator if you don’t already have one. Normally, for ‘Day of wedding coordination you will start working with your coordinator 1-2 months before your wedding date to iron out the details. If you don’t plan on getting one let your photographer know this in advance to ensure they’re able to handle the capacity of this. Photographers are usually on a strict schedule for picture purposes but are always happy to help where they can.

4 Months – Hair and Makeup Trial

Look back at old photos of times when you really liked your makeup. Feel free to search social media for other inspiration. Order invitations and hire a calligrapher if needed.

3 Months – Remember to breathe, you got this! 

You’re doing a good job and it’s good to remind yourself of that every once in a while. If you haven’t already now is a good time to start brainstorming guest favors and gift bags for the wedding party. Book a photo-booth rental if you’ll be having one. They’re always a lot of fun. Write your vows too.

2 Months – Rent Tux(Guys 3/2 months in advance is okay) and Send Wedding Invites, (Destination Weddings or for families who have to travel a longer distance, send invites 3 months in advance)

Meet with your officiant and invite them to the rehearsal dinner. Send Wedding invitations if you haven’t already, Send rehearsal-dinner invites (this can be included in your wedding invitations if you like). Don’t forget your marriage license and purchase any undergarments you’ll need when getting fitted for your dress.

1 Month – Create a seating chart if necessary 

Create a seating chart if you’ll be having one for your guest. Give song selections to your Band or Dj. Assemble gift bags, pay vendors, have a final venue walk-through, and break in your wedding shoes.

2 weeks – Final dress fitting 

Final dress fitting, a friend or bridesmaid should come with you for support and to learn how to bustle your dress if needed.

1 week – Enjoy all that you have worked hard to plan

CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve made it to the final week of wedding planning. Deep breaths, most of the hard work is over.

  • Manicure/pedicure
  • Refresh hair color
  • Have a massage
  • Get your eyebrows done
  • Clean your ring
  • Practice your vows out loud
  • Write your partner a note

Night Before and Day of Wedding

Your Big day is finally here. Intentional planning and hard work have got you here. It’s time to enjoy the moment.

The Night Before

  • Eat a healthy meal
  • Get enough sleep
  • Drink Water
  • Load up any boxes, bags, or things you’ll need

The Morning of

  • Eat breakfast
  • Drink more water
  • Say thank you to everyone around you

Well done! You did it!

Are you looking for a wedding planner or day-of-wedding coordinator? @martinezbrownevents is one of our preferred vendors who can help you out. The whole team is amazing and committed to helping.

Thanks for reading,


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