How to Plan a Wedding: A Complete Checklist to Follow

When it comes to gearing up for your big day, what do you and Kylie Jenner’s personal assistant have in common?

Elite planning skills.

At least, that’s what you’re going to need in order to successfully execute a wedding.


If planning isn’t your forte’, or you’ve never undergone anything quite this ambitious before, take heart. We’ve done it many, many times, and are here to share our wisdom (and a handy checklist!) with you.


Most brides give themselves 12 to 14 months to plan, but with a little extra scrambling, hustle, and help from your bridal party, there’s no reason why you can’t have a gorgeous dream wedding in less time.


Before we get started, it’s worth noting that not every single item on this list is something you need to include. It’s your big day, you get to choose how to celebrate.


Alright, let’s get into it.


Determine the Budget

Your budget determines everything from choice of venue to size of the celebration. Figure out your budget, so you can move on to the rest.


Create the Guest List

Small and intimate or large and lavish, who’s coming?


Wedding Planner: You or Someone Else?

If you’re planning the wedding, great! If not? There’s someone out there who will.


Keep it Together

Find a system that works (electronic or paper) to keep everything wedding related in one place.


Select Your Bridal Party

You know who they are! Share the good news, and know they’re here help you with this process, if need be.

Choose Your Theme

You’ve probably been Pinning all things wedding related to your Pinterest board for months (years?), or maybe you have a collection of ideas torn from glossy magazines.

Choose your aesthetic and colors, or at least begin to narrow them down.


Hire Vendors

Start researching vendors. This includes caterers, your photographer, hair and makeup team, baker, florist, and DJ.


Hire Photographer

Hire your photographer, and schedule a time for engagement photos.


Tour & Select Your Venue

Be sure to ask what’s included with each property you view.


Start Looking for Your Dress

This includes bridesmaid dresses too! You probably already have some ideas about where to look for your dress, but if you’re stumped when it comes to bridal gowns, Bella Bridesmaids has some absolute stunners in all different styles and colors.

And don’t forget the groom’s tux!


Out of Town Guest Accommodations

If you have guests coming from out of town, look into booking accommodation. If there’s quite a few, inquire about block rates.


Take Engagement Photos

You guys are so cute!


Sign Up for Wedding Website

Wedding websites are convenient ways to share your registry and the details of your big day – and guests can conveniently RSVP there, too.


Send out Save the Dates

This should be done 8 months before your big day.


Complete Gift Registry

This can be done on Amazon, or the wedding website you chose.


Buy Your Dress

Don’t leave this one to the last minute.


Book Honeymoon

Google Travel is an easy way to see what’s out there, and snag some deals while you’re at it.


Book Rehearsal Dinner Space

This can also be hosted at a home, or hotel.


Select your Officiant

It can be a clergy member, or someone who’s special to you and your fiancée.


Hire Band or DJ

Let them know your must-have songs.


Send Invites

Ideally, these should be sent out six to eight weeks before the wedding.


Go Cake and Menu Tasting & Hire Caterer

Remember to take different dietary concerns into consideration.


Create Signature Cocktail

They’re a great way to add a little pizazz to the celebration.


Order Cake

Vanilla is the most popular, but again, you get to choose.


Hire Florist

Ask to see some mock ups of how they’ll deck out the space.


Arrange Transportation

Arrange the transportation you’ll use to get you to and from the venue.


Final Fittings

Don’t forget to include bridesmaids and groomsmen too.

If you haven’t picked your shoes and accessories, now’s the time.


Hair and Makeup Testing

Try out a few different styles before choosing the winner.


Order the Little Things

You know. All those little décor details that make your day special, and start any crafting or DIY pieces.

Don’t forget to make the place cards.

Create Seating Chart

At this point, most people will have RSVP’d.


Buy Wedding Rings

…and keep track of them.


Write Vows

Make sure to have printed copies.


Pay Vendors

Mark each off after it’s settled.

Venue Walkthrough

Make sure everything’s ready to go for the big day!



Let this list guide you through each stage of what’s bound to be an unbelievable day. Cheers to you!