Welcome to “The Ultimate Wedding Checklist” — a comprehensive and meticulously curated guide designed to help you navigate the beautiful yet intricate journey of planning your dream wedding. Planning a wedding is an exhilarating adventure, filled with excitement, anticipation, and a myriad of details to consider. It’s a labor of love that culminates in a day that marks the beginning of your shared lifetime journey.

Welcome to “The Ultimate Wedding Checklist” — a comprehensive and meticulously curated guide designed to help you navigate the beautiful yet intricate journey of planning your dream wedding. Planning a wedding is an exhilarating adventure, filled with excitement, anticipation, and a myriad of details to consider. It’s a labor of love that culminates in a day that marks the beginning of your shared lifetime journey.


9-12 Months

Determine who will need wedding day styling services.

6-8 Months

Research options for hair stylist and makeup artists.

Book a hair stylist and makeup artist.

4-5 Months

Decide where you will be getting ready.

Set the wedding day styling schedule with your stylist(s).

2-3 Months

Look for hair and makeup styles to share with your stylist(s).

Schedule a hair and makeup trial session.

3-4 Weeks

Begin whitening your teeth.

Get your hair cut and colored for the wedding day.

Attend the trial session with the hair and makeup stylist(s).

2 Weeks

Schedule manicure/pedicure appointments.

Reconfirm wedding day beauty schedule and make changes as needed.

1 Week

Get a manicure/pedicure.

Wedding Day

Relax and enjoy wedding day pampering with your favorite gals.


9-12 Months

Begin shopping for a wedding gown.

6-8 Months

Order your wedding dress.

4-5 Months

Confirm the delivery date of your dress and schedule dress fitting appointments. 

Purchase lingerie before the first fitting appointment.

2-3 Months

Purchase a veil or headpiece.

Purchase shoes before the fitting.

Complete your look by purchasing earrings, necklace, bracelet, etc.

5-6 Weeks

Purchase a garter, if desired.

Have your first dress fitting.

3-4 Weeks

Have your second dress fitting.

Break in wedding shoes.

2 Weeks

Have final dress fitting.

Have dress steamed.

1 Week

Pick up the dress and learn how to bustle the train.

Gather all of your personal items (dress, shoes, jewelry, lingerie, etc.) and pack them together for the wedding day.

After Wedding

Make arrangements for your gown and veil to be professionally cleaned and preserved. 


9-12 Months

Research and book a coordinator for the wedding.

1-8 Months

Collaborate with your planner to hire vendors and organize details of the wedding.

1 Week

Finalize wedding schedule.

Handoff decorations to the planner to be set up.


6-8 Months

Choose bridesmaid dresses and share the details with your bridesmaids.

4-5 Months

Confirm that all bridesmaids have scheduled fittings and have ordered their dress.

2-3 Months

Choose the shoes and jewelry to go with the dresses and share the details with all bridesmaids. 

Confirm the delivery date of the dresses.

1-2 Months

Arrange alteration options for when the dresses arrive.

2 Weeks

Make sure that bridesmaids have all accessories.

Confirm that all dress alterations have been completed.

1 Week

Arrange for bridesmaid dresses to be steamed.


4-5 Months

Purchase or reserve groom’s attire.

Select groomsmen attire and share details with your groomsmen.

Purchase accessories for the groom: shirt, tie, cufflinks, pocket square, suspenders, etc.

2-3 Months

Purchase groom’s shoes.

Get measured and schedule necessary fittings for tailored pieces.

1 Month

Make sure all groomsmen have purchased or reserved attire.

1 Week

Pick up attire and try it on to assure the perfect fit.

Confirm groomsmen have picked up their attire and have everything they need (socks, shoes, etc.).

Make arrangements for someone to return rentals after the wedding.

4-5 Month

Purchase or order wedding bands.

2-3 Months

Pick up wedding bands. 

Add rings to the insurance policy.

1-2 Months

Purchase ring pillow or alternative, if desired.

Determine who will bring and hold the wedding bands during the ceremony.

1 Week

Clean your engagement ring and band right before the wedding.

Pack wedding bands together and keep in a safe spot to take to the wedding.


9-12 Months

Research and consider ceremony and reception venue options.

Book the ceremony venue.

Book the reception venue.

6-8 Months

Purchase liability insurance or permits if needed.

1-2 Months

Determine a contingency plan for an outdoor ceremony.

Determine a contingency plan for an outdoor reception.

Schedule a final walk-through at the ceremony and reception location(s).

2-3 Weeks

Review timeline, ceremony layout, and guest count at the final walk-through at the ceremony venue.

Review timeline, reception layout, and guest count at the final walk-through at the reception location.

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9-12 Months

Research and review photographers and their package options.

Book your photographer.

Schedule your engagement photo session.

6-8 Months

Take your engagement photos

2-4 Months

Create a list of family photos you want taken after the ceremony.

Create a shot list of must-have images at your wedding.

2 Weeks

Review the wedding day timeline with your photographer. 

Determine the location(s) of off-site bridal party photos.

Day Before Wedding

Give photographer your room number for getting ready photos.

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9-12 Months

Research and review videographers and their package options.

Book your videographer.

2-4 Months

Create a list of must-have shots for your wedding video.

2 Weeks

Review the wedding day timeline with your videographer.

Day Before Wedding

Give videographer your room number for getting ready video.


12+ Months

Discuss and decide on general ceremony preferences (civil, religious, etc.).

Research religious requirements for pre-marital counseling.

Review officiant options.

9-12 Months

Confirm/book your wedding officiant. 

Begin pre-marital counseling.

4-5 Months

Review marriage license requirements for the location of your wedding. 

Discuss ceremony personalization and preferences with your officiant. 

For a Jewish wedding, order a Ketubah and yarmulkes.

Select readings for the ceremony.

2-3 Months

Confirm readers for the ceremony and share the chosen readings.

Begin writing your own vows, if desired. 

Decide on the standing order for the bridal party, processional, and recessional. 

Start working on the ceremony programs. 

Determine the day and time for the wedding rehearsal with the ceremony venue.

3-4 Weeks

Obtain a marriage license. 

Finalize and print the ceremony programs.

Finish writing your personal vows. 

Designate ushers for the ceremony and communicate their responsibilities. 

Determine who will be the witnesses for the marriage license.

2 Weeks

Share all final details, including the processional, recessional and ceremony outline with your officiant. 

Provide a copy of your personal vows to the officiant.

Confirm rehearsal date and time with the ceremony venue.

Purchase items for the unity ceremony (candle, sand, etc.), if needed.

Determine how many rows need to be reserved for family.

Day Before Wedding

Attend the wedding rehearsal to practice the ceremony.

Provide the officiant with the marriage license.

Day After Wedding

Mail the signed wedding license to the courthouse (if not handled by officiant).


9-12 Months

Discuss ceremony and reception entertainment preferences.

Research and review entertainment options for both the ceremony and the reception.

Start a playlist of songs that you like for the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception.

6-8 Months

Book musicians or rent a sound system for the ceremony. 

Book a band or DJ as reception entertainment. 

4-5 Months

Begin taking dance lessons, if desired.

2 Months

Finalize the ceremony song list and share it with your ceremony musicians. 

Finalize the reception song list and share it with your reception entertainment.

2 Weeks

Reconfirm all entertainment details and timeline with entertainment providers.

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9-12 Months

Discuss general catering, menu, food allergy, and service preferences. 

Review catering options and schedule tastings.

6-8 Months

Book caterer and develop a preliminary menu. 

Design place settings and determine rental needs.

Order catering equipment not provided by the caterer.

1 Month

Provide timeline and reception layout to the caterer and confirm the arrival time and set-up schedule. 

2 Weeks

Provide caterer the final guest count.


9-12 Months

Write out the bar menu, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. 

Review bar supplier options (caterer, venue, bar service, or self provided).

6-8 Months

Book bar and bartending services with chosen provider.

1-2 Months

Purchase champagne flutes for toasts.

If providing your own bar, confirm beverage shopping list and quantities based on the final guest count.

3-4 Weeks

Purchase beverages and all bar supplies.

1 Week

If providing your own beverages, designate someone to drop off supplies at the venue and for someone to take home leftover supplies.

Day Before or Wedding Day

Deliver all beverage related items to the venue.

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9-12 Months

Discuss general floral needs, color palette and collect inspiration images.

Research floral designers.

Meet with floral designers to discuss options and pricing.

6-8 Months

Book floral designer.

4-5 Months

Work through the details of your wedding with the florist to update the proposal. 

Purchase a flower girl basket.

2 Weeks

Finalize the floral order using the final guest and table count. 

Provide the wedding timeline to the florist and confirm delivery locations, times, and set-up details. 


9-12 Months

Review and note your stationery needs.

Review and confirm the recommended stationery timeline and RSVP date.

Start looking at wedding invitations. 

Research stationery designers for a custom suite design.

6-8 Months

Create a wedding website.  

Order Save-the-Dates and include your wedding website.

Work on invitation wording, details and design.

Finalize your invitation wording. 

4-5 Months

Update wedding website with travel and hotel information.

Order wedding invitations, RSVP cards, and envelopes.

Book a calligrapher, if needed.

Address invitation envelopes or take them to your calligrapher. 

2-3 Months

Take a complete, stuffed invitation to the post office and weigh for postage. 

Send out wedding invitations. 

Begin working on the ceremony program.

Begin working on reception stationery (menu, place card, table numbers, etc.).

1-2 Months

Track RSVP’s from guests to organize table assignments for place cards and table numbers. 

2-3 Weeks

Finalize the guest seating arrangement for the reception.

Finalize the reception stationery and order or print. 

1 Week

Pick up reception stationery from the printer. 

Organize escort cards in alphabetical order to be set out at the reception.

Hand off printed materials to coordinator to be set up at the wedding. 


6-8 Months

Discuss cake and dessert preferences (style, icing options, flavors, etc.).

Research and review cake decorators. 

Schedule and attend tastings.

4-5 Months

Book your cake decorator.

Determine if you want to serve or save the top layer of the cake.

2-3 Months

Order a groom’s cake, if desired.

1 Month

Purchase a cake topper. 

Purchase a cake knife and server. 

2 Weeks

Adjust your cake order based on your final guest count. 

Designate someone to take home leftover cake.


9-12 Months

Discuss room layout, equipment needs and preferences.

Research and review equipment rental options.

6-8 Months

Select tent style and size. 

Request preliminary rental quote for tables, chairs, linens, dance floor, and lighting.

Book rental company.

2 Weeks

Update rental quote based on the final guest count. 

Finalize equipment order and arrange for delivery, set-up, and tear down.


9-12 Months

Discuss guest transportation preferences and determine if it is needed, including pickup and drop-off locations. 

Discuss bridal party transportation preferences, if it is needed and specific pickup and dropoff locations.

6-8 Months

Discuss if the bride will need separate transportation to the ceremony. 

Discuss if the groom will need separate transportation to the ceremony.

Research transportation options.

Book transportation.

3-4 Months

Set the transportation schedule. 

Make parking arrangements or hire valet services for the wedding and/or reception. 

2 Weeks

Confirm guest count, location and pickup times with the transportation company.


6-8 Months

Reserve a block of rooms at a hotel for guests. 

Add the details of the room block to your wedding website.

4-5 Months

Reserve wedding night accommodations for the bride and groom. 

2 Months

Check the status of the room block and add rooms if needed.

2 Weeks

Get the room numbers that you will be getting ready in and share the info with your photographer and videographer.


3-4 Months

Select favors and determine favor packaging and placement at the reception.

2-3 Months

Purchase gifts and cards for your Maid-of-Honor and Best Man.

1-2 Months

Purchase gifts and cards for your bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl, ring bearer and ushers.

Purchase gifts for parents to thank them for their support.

3 Weeks

Purchase guest favors and packaging. 

Wrap gifts for the bridal party and parents with a heartfelt thank you note. 

Assemble wedding favors. 

Arrange for someone to deliver and set up the favors.

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