Wedding planning checklist

Planning your dream wedding can be a lot of work that can turn very stressful quickly. But if you follow a schedule and use the following checklist, it can be as easy and fun as the big day itself.

Sixteen to Nine Months Before

1. Start a wedding folder or binder.
2. Work out your budget.
3. Pick your wedding party.
4. Start the guest list.
5. Hire a planner, if desired.
6. Reserve your date and venues.
7. Book your officiant.
8. Research photographers, bands, florists, and caterers.
9. Throw an engagement party, if you wish.

Eight Months Before

1. Hire the photographer and the videographer.
2. Book the entertainment.
3. Meet caterers.
4. Purchase a dress.
5. Reserve a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests.
6. Register.
7. Launch a wedding website.

Seven to Six Months Before

1. Select and purchase invitations.
2. Start planning a honeymoon.
3. Shop for bridesmaids’ dresses.
4. Meet with the officiant.
5. Send save-the-date cards.
6. Reserve structural and electrical necessities.
7. Book a florist.
8. Arrange transportation.
9. Start composing a day-of timeline.

Five to Four Months Before

1. Book the rehearsal and rehearsal-dinner venues.
2. Check on the wedding invitations.
3. Select and order the cake.
4. Send your guest list to the host of your shower.
5. Purchase wedding shoes and start dress fittings.
6. Schedule hair and makeup artists.
7. Choose your music.

Three Months Before

1. Finalize the menu and flowers.
2. Order favors, if desired.
3. Make a list of the people giving toasts.
4. Finalize the readings.
5. Purchase your undergarments.
6. Finalize the order of the ceremony and the reception.
7. Print menu cards, if you like, as well as programs.
8. Purchase the rings.
9. Send your event schedule to the vendors.

Two Months Before

1. Touch base again with all the vendors.
2. Meet with the photographer.
3. Review the playlist with the band or deejay.
4. Send out the invitations.
5. Submit a newspaper wedding announcement.
6. Enjoy a bachelorette party.

One Month Before

1. Enter RSVPs into your guest-list database.
2. Get your marriage license.
3. Mail the rehearsal-dinner invitations.
4. Visit the dressmaker for (with luck!) your last dress fitting.
5. Stock the bar.
6. Send out as many final payments as you can.
7. Confirm times for hair and makeup and all vendors.
8. E-mail and print directions for drivers of transport vehicles.
9. Assign seating.
10. Purchase bridesmaids’ gifts.
11. Write vows, if necessary.
12. Get your hair cut and colored, if desired.

Week of the Wedding

1. Reconfirm arrival times with vendors.
2. Delegate small wedding-day tasks.
3. Send a timeline to the bridal party.
4. Pick up your dress.
5. Check in one last time with the photographer.
6. Set aside checks for the vendors.
7. Book a spa treatment.
8. Send the final guest list to the caterer and all venues hosting your wedding-related events.
9. Break in your shoes.
10. Assemble and distribute the welcome baskets.
11. Pack for your honeymoon.