The following Wedding Planning Checklist itemizes everything you need to do or consider when planning your wedding, and the best time in which to accomplish each activity. 

This checklist assumes that you have nine months or more to plan your wedding. If your wedding is less than nine months, just start from the beginning of the list and try to catch up as quickly as you can!


  • Announce your engagement. 
  • Select a date for your wedding. 
  • Hire a professional wedding consultant. 
  • Determine the type of wedding you want: location, formality, time 
  • of day, number of guests, etc. 
  • Determine budget and how expenses will be shared. 
  • Develop a record-keeping system for payments made. 
  • Consolidate all guest lists: bride's, groom's, bride's family, groom's family, and organize as follows:              
  • 1) those who must be invited            
  • 2) those who should be invited            
  • 3) those who would be nice to invite 
  • Decide if you want to include children among guests. 
  • Select and reserve ceremony site. 
  • Select and reserve your officiant. 
  • Select and reserve reception site. 
  • Select and order your bridal gown and headpiece. 
  • Determine your color scheme. 
  • Send engagement notice with a photograph to your local newspaper. 
  • Buy a calendar and note all important activities: showers, luncheons, parties, get-togethers, etc. 
  • If ceremony or reception is at home, arrange for home or garden improvements as needed. 
  • Order passport, visa or birth certificate, if needed for your honeymoon or marriage license. 
  • Select and book photographer. 
  • Select maid of honor, best man, bridesmaids and ushers (approx. one usher per 50 guests). 



  • Select flower girl and ring bearer. 
  • Select and book reception musicians or DJ. 
  • Schedule fittings and delivery dates for yourself, attendants, flower girl and ring bearer. 
  • Select and book videographer. 
  • Select and book florist. 


  • Start shopping for each other's wedding gifts. 
  • Reserve rental items needed for ceremony & reception. 
  • Finalize guest list. 
  • Select and order wedding invitations, announcements and other stationery such as thank-you notes, wedding programs, and seating cards. 
  • Address invitations or hire a calligrapher. 
  • Set date, time and location for your rehearsal dinner. 
  • Arrange accommodations for out-of- town guests. 
  • Start planning your honeymoon. 
  • Select and book all miscellaneous services, i.e. gift attendant, valet parking, etc. 
  • Register for gifts. 
  • Purchase shoes & accessories. 
  • Begin to break-in your shoes. 


  • Select bakery and order wedding cake. 
  • Order party favors. 
  • Select and order room decorations. 
  • Purchase honeymoon attire & luggage. 
  • Select and book transportation for wedding day. 
  • Check blood test and marriage license requirements. 
  • Shop for wedding rings and engrave them. 
  • Consider having your teeth cleaned or bleached. 
  • Consider writing a will and/or prenuptial agreement. 
  • Plan activities for your out-of-town guests both before and after the wedding. 
  • Purchase gifts for wedding attendants.  


  • Mail invitations. Include accommodation choices and a map to assist guests in finding the ceremony and reception sites. 
  • Maintain a record of RSVPs and all gifts received. Send thank-you notes upon receipt of gifts. 
  • Determine hair style and makeup. 
  • Schedule to have your hair, makeup and nails done the day of the wedding. 
  • Finalize shopping for wedding day accessories such as toasting glasses, ring pillow, guest book, etc. 
  • Set up an area or a table in your home to display gifts as you receive them. 
  • Check with your local newspapers for wedding announcement requirements. 
  • Have your formal wedding portrait taken. 
  • Send wedding announcement & photograph to your local newspapers. 
  • Change name & address on drivers license, social security card, insurance policies, subscriptions, bank accounts, memberships, etc. 
  • Select and reserve wedding attire for groom, ushers, father of the bride and ring bearer. 
  • Select a guest book attendant. Decide where and when to have guests sign in. 
  • Mail invitations to rehearsal dinner. 
  • Get blood test and health certificate. 
  • Obtain marriage license. 
  • Plan a luncheon or dinner with your bridesmaids. Give them their gifts at that time or at the rehearsal dinner. 
  • Find "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a six pence (or shiny penny) for your shoe." 
  • Finalize your menu, beverage and alcohol order. 


  • Confirm ceremony details with your officiant. 
  • Arrange final fitting of bridesmaids' dresses. 
  • Have final fitting of your gown and headpiece. 
  • Finalize rehearsal dinner plans; arrange seating and write names on place cards, if desired. 
  • Make final floral selections. 
  • Make a detailed timeline for your wedding party. 
  • Make a detailed timeline for your service providers. 
  • Confirm details with all service providers, including attire. Give them a copy of your wedding timeline. 
  • Start packing for your honeymoon. 
  • Finalize addressing and stamping announcements. 
  • Decide if you want to form a receiving line. If so, determine when and where to form the line. 
  • Contact guests who haven't responded. 
  • Pick up rings and check for fit. 
  • Meet with photographer and confirm special photos you want. 
  • Meet with videographer and confirm special events or people you want videotaped. 
  • Meet with musicians and confirm music to be played during special events such as first dance. 
  • Continue writing thank-you notes as gifts arrive. 
  • Remind bridesmaids and ushers of when and where to pick up their wedding attire. 
  • Purchase the lipstick, nail polish and any other accessories you want your bridesmaids to wear. 
  • Determine ceremony seating for special guests. Give a list to the ushers. 
  • Plan reception room layout and seating with your reception site manager or caterer. Write names on place cards for arranged seating. 


  • Pick up wedding attire and make sure everything fits. 
  • Do final guest count and notify your caterer or reception site manager. 
  • Gather everything you will need for the rehearsal and wedding day as listed in the Wedding Party Responsibility Cards. 
  • Arrange for someone to drive the getaway car. 
  • Review the schedule of events and last minute arrangements with your service providers. 
  • Confirm all honeymoon reservations and accommodations. Pick up tickets and travelers checks. 
  • Finish packing your suitcases for the honeymoon. 
  • Familiarize yourself with guests' names. It will help during the receiving line and reception. 
  • Have the Post Office hold your mail while you are away on your honeymoon. 


  • Review list of things to bring to the rehearsal as listed in the Wedding Party Responsibility Cards. 
  • Put suitcases in getaway car. 
  • Give your bridesmaids the lipstick, nail polish and accessories you want them to wear for the wedding. 
  • Give best man the officiant's fee and any other checks for service providers. Instruct him to deliver these checks the day of the wedding. 
  • Arrange for someone to bring accessories such as flower basket, ring pillow, guest book & pen, toasting glasses, cake cutting knife and napkins to the ceremony and reception. 
  • Arrange for someone to mail announcements the day after the wedding. 
  • Arrange for someone to return rental items such as tuxedos, slip and cake pillars after the wedding. 
  • Provide each member of your wedding party with a detailed schedule of events for the wedding day. 
  • Review ceremony seating with ushers. 


  • Review list of things to bring to the ceremony as listed in the Wedding Party Responsibility Cards. 
  • Give the groom's ring to the maid of honor. Give the bride's ring to the best man. 
  • Simply follow your detailed schedule of events. 
  • Relax and enjoy your wedding!