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Wedding Planning Tip #1 - After the engagement...

Your Complete Wedding Checklist

Now that you are engaged and may be wondering what's next? Well, wonder no more because we are here to help. What to do after you are engaged

Engagement ring - wedding planning - Wedding blog - Weddings by K'Mich - Wedding Planners - Philadelphia PA

Use the following timeline/checklist to help you with the (ideal) timetable of twelve months. However, if you’re planning your wedding on a shorter schedule, just start at the beginning of the list and try to catch up as quickly as possible. Check off each task as you complete them.

The Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist

9 to 12 months prior to your wedding day:
  • Arrange a gathering for you and your parents.
  • Determine your budget and how expenses will be shared.
  • Discuss the size, style, location, and scope of the wedding you want.
  • Choose a target wedding date and time. (The actual date will depend on venue availability.)
  • Create a binder to store and organize ideas, worksheets, receipts, brochures, or start a Pinterest board, etc.
  • Visit and reserve wedding and reception sites.
  • Meet with your officiant.
  • Start compiling your guest list to estimate headcount. Consider the budget when thinking about “must-invites” versus “nice-to-invites.”
  • Begin shopping for the wedding gown.

6 to 9 months prior:
  • Choose the members of your wedding party.
  • Enroll in wedding/shower gift registries.
  • Hire a photographer and a videographer.
  • Book an engagement photo session, especially if you plan to include a professional engagement picture with Save-the-Date cards.
  • Hire a caterer.
  • Hire a florist.
  • Make arrangements for music to be played at the ceremony and reception. (Tasks might include booking a band or solo musician, hiring a DJ, choosing significant musical selections, and so on.).
  • Reserve a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests. (Ask about group rates.)
  • Send out Save-the-Date cards. (Include lodging info and maps, as possible.)
  • Shop for wedding rings.
  • Select and order wedding gown, leaving ample time for delivery and alterations.
  • Shop for bridesmaids’ dresses.
  • Schedule wedding cake design appointments and tastings.
  • Start planning your honeymoon.

4 to 6 months prior:
  • Finalize the guest list.
  • Order invitations (25 extra) and other wedding stationery (i.e., place cards and thank-you notes).
  • Plan wedding-day beauty preparations; ask your stylist how far in advance they book wedding parties, and whether they are willing to work on the wedding site.
  • Finalize all honeymoon plans. If traveling outside the country, arrange for visas, passports, and inoculations.
  • Hire your wedding day transportation (carriage, limousine service, etc.).
  • Plan the rehearsal dinner.

2 to 4 months prior:
  • Obtain a marriage license. Bring all the necessary documents.
  • Order tuxedoes for the groom and groomsmen.
  • Meet with the caterer to go over menus, wine selections, etc.
  • ***Order the wedding cake.
  • Order your wedding rings.
  • Confirm the wedding ceremony and reception music.
  • Book a hotel room for the wedding night.
  • If you plan on writing your own vows, start writing them now.

4 to 8 weeks prior:
  • Mail the wedding invitations 8 weeks before your wedding date. 
  • Do a hair and makeup run-through (including wedding veil, if applicable). 
  • Confirm all transportation plans

2 to 4 weeks prior:
  • Work on seating arrangements for the reception.
  • Finalize arrangements for out of town attendants and guests.
  • Confirm details with the photographer, florist, and other vendors.
  • Have final fitting for your bridal gown and bridesmaids’ dresses.
  • Write your rehearsal dinner toast.
  • Purchase gifts for the wedding attendants.
  • Compile a list of all of the wedding vendors and wedding party, with contact information. Carry this list with you everywhere you go (just in case).
  • Communicate rehearsal dinner details to those who will attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
  • Look into where the bride, groom, and attendants will dress for the ceremony.
1 week prior:
  • Enclose any fees due on the wedding day in envelopes for easy distribution.
  • Give the caterer a final headcount.
  • Appoint a trustworthy person to bring important items (cake knife, toasting glasses, etc.) to the reception.
  • Appoint someone to act as an “organizer” to handle any last-minute problems.
  • Review final details for those in the wedding party.
  • Get final beauty treatments (manicure, facial, massage, waxing, brow shaping, etc.)

 The day before the wedding:
** Gather together the following:
  • Something old Symbolizing continuity with family and heritage
  • Something new Symbolizing optimism and hope for the new life ahead
  • Something borrowed An item from a happily married friend or family member
  • Something blue Symbolizing love and fidelity
  • Confirm honeymoon arrangements.
  • Pack for the honeymoon.
  • Enjoy a relaxing day with family and friends.
  • Attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner; give gifts to attendants.
  • Give the rings, and officiant’s fee, to the best man.
  • Try to get some rest

Wedding Day
  • Relax and remain calm.
  • Remember to eat something.
  • Allow at least two hours for getting dressed.

Related: What To Do If You Don't Like Your Engagement Ring

You may still have questions for a wedding coordinator, utilize our FREE 30-minute consul, today! 

Last updated July 5, 2021


  1. Great advice! Planning a wedding is stressful!


    1. Thank you and thanks for visiting! #Kcacols


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