Your Complete Wedding Planning Checklist

Countdown to your wedding day with our timeline of to-dos, plus a free wedding budget and guest list manager.

Diane Hall

Editor

Congratulations, you’re engaged! Start planning your one-of-a-kind celebration with our compete wedding checklist. We’ve put together a timeline of wedding to-dos to make your planning journey easy and stress-free. From announcing your engagement to walking down the aisle, we have all the tips and tricks you need in a handy, completely customizable wedding planning worksheet. 

Typically, couples start planning a year in advance of their big day for less stress, more options when it comes to wedding venue and vendor selection, and to give guests plenty of notice—so our wedding timeline checklist starts at 12 months before the wedding date. However, it is possible to plan a wedding in 6 months or even less if that's what your hearts desire. Simply delete or add to the 130 tasks listed and adjust the timeline to suit your unique circumstances.

Wedding checklist formats

We’ve provided this free wedding planning checklist template in multiple formats so you can choose the best one (or two) for your planning needs.

1. Printable wedding checklist

Keep track of tasks with a printable wedding checklist. Simply download and print page 1 and page 2.

2. Wedding planning google doc

For easy access from any device and planning on the go, make a copy of this detailed wedding planning checklist (bonus: you’ll get a wedding budget worksheet, guest list manager, and vendor contact list, too!). All you need is a google account to make a copy of your own wedding planning google sheet and collaborate with your partner, wedding planner, and any other loved ones you need to keep in the loop. 

3. Wedding planning checklist excel

Prefer an excel workbook? Download this wedding planning excel template to your computer. File includes wedding checklist, budget worksheet, guest list manager, and vendor contact list.

4. Wedding checklist web page

Don’t forget to bookmark this page! We’ve got a simple wedding checklist below including links to more wedding ideas, venues and suppliers.

Here is your complete wedding planning checklist.

10 - 12 months before

 Announce your engagement

 Choose a city and season

 Start your wedding guest list

 Figure out your budget

 Plan an engagement party

 Research and hire a wedding planner

 Select a theme and colour scheme

 Research wedding officiants

 Choose your wedding party members

 Research wedding venues with a few dates in mind

 Start your wedding gift registry

 Start collecting guest list info

 Book your ceremony and reception venues and set the date!

 Research and book your wedding catering

 Create a wedding website

 Start researching photographers

 Schedule an engagement photo shoot

 Create a weather "Plan B"

 Research live musicwedding DJs and entertainment for your reception

 Meet with a few photographers

 Start looking at wedding dresses and groom's attire

 Update the guest list

 Confirm your wedding party

 Book your photographer

 Create and order your save the dates

7 - 9 months before

 Book your reception live music and/or DJ

 Start researching wedding party attire

 Come up with a wellness plan

 Reserve hotel blocks for your guests

 Start researching videographers

 Start looking at florists

 Start researching how to get married in your state

 Book your videographer

 Research decorations for your ceremony and reception

 Start researching wedding invitation designers

 Book your florist

 Research wedding rings

 Start looking at honeymoon destinations

 Make a few appointments at wedding attire shops

 Choose your wedding attire and schedule your first dress fitting

 Update your vendor team on your plans

 Schedule a bachelor and bachelorette party with your VIPs

4 - 6 months before

 Book your wedding officiant

 Research rentals like tents, place settings, chairs, and aisle runners

 Research headpieces and veils

 Update your registry

 Confirm your honeymoon plans!

 Research cake vendors and schedule a tasting

 Send save the dates

 Order your invitations and thank you cards

 Book your ceremony musicians(s)

 Book rental, decoration and lighting professionals

 Book photobooth

 Book entertainment and games

 Book transportation for you and for your guests

 Research rehearsal dinner venues

 Start researching hair stylists

 Start researching makeup artists

 Book your cake vendor

 Prepare to send the invitations - confirm guests' addresses!

 Book your hair and makeup professionals

 Use Guest List tab to collect guest info (RSVP's, meal selections, etc.)

 Look into getting a marriage license

 Buy or rent men's formalwear

 Book accommodations for your wedding night

 Schedule your ceremony rehearsal

 Order wedding party attire

 Order your wedding favours

 Think of wedding band engravings

2 - 3 months before

 Purchase fashion accessories

 Address and send your wedding invitations

 Purchase your guest book

 Purchase your wedding rings

 Research/book a day-of-coordinator

 Check on passports, vaccines and visas!

 Think of a signature cocktail

 If you want a hair cut, book now!

 Purchase a wedding gift for your spouse-to-be

 Think of something unique!

 Sit down with your photographer again

 Decide on hair and makeup styles

 Double check with your transportation

 Order any wedding party accessories

 Check in with your officiant

 Confirm meal selections and notify caterer and dessert vendor of any food allergies

 Book a bartending or alcohol service, if not included in your venue or catering

 Finalize the song list for your reception

 Make a packing list for your wedding/honeymoon

 Create your ceremony and reception timelines

 Order ceremony programs

 Order menus/place cards/seating chart or escort cards/signage

 Make sure your wedding party knows the timeline

 Buy wedding party gifts

 Start thinking of your vows and speeches

 Pick up your rings

The last month

 Hair and make up trial!

 Review the guest list and call guests that haven't RSVP'd

 Finalize vows

 Next-to-last wedding dress and attire fitting

 Confirm rehearsal ceremony and dinner timeline and attendance

 Finalize and share the seating plan with your reception venue

 Make sure the speeches are ready

 Start practicing for your first dance

2 weeks before

 Pamper yourself!

 Double check your ceremony programs and place cards

 Pick up your marriage license

 Pick up your wedding attire and partner's attire

1 week before

 Confirm details with wedding party

 Confirm final details with all your vendors and put tip money aside

 Pack for your honeymoon

 Write a sweet note to your partner

 Pack emergency kit(s)

The day before

 Pull together all the essentials

 Drop off decor to the venue(s)

 Relax and set your alarm

Wedding day

 Smile. It's your big day!

 Package up wedding cake

 Gather up keepsakes and gifts

After the wedding

 Return rentals

 Preserve your bridal bouquet

 Arrange for gown and veil to be cleaned and preserved

 Post reviews of your vendors on The Bash

 Order wedding photos

 Share wedding photos and video

 Write and send thank-you notes

 Arrange for gift deliveries and exchanges; look into completion discounts

 Update insurance policies

 Do paperwork for name change (if required)

 Store marriage license in safe place

 Distribute change of address info

Let’s get started

Access and make your own copy of The Bash's free wedding planning google doc or download this excel file to customize your wedding checklist, plan your budget, manage your guest list, and keep track of your progress.

Or, download our free printable wedding checklist (2 pages).

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Find wedding ideas, venues, suppliers and entertainment in The Bash Wedding Planning Guide »