12 Month Wedding Planning Checklist
Hosting a memorable, gorgeous wedding that you’ll remember for years is an easy, obtainable goal.
You’ll need to do everything in a specific order so that the planning goes efficiently and smoothly; staying within a good time-frame will reduce stress and help you avoid any last-minute fees.
Keep track of everything you’ll need for you wedding, from upcoming payments to appointments with vendors. Wedding planning can feel overwhelming; let us help you figure out what needs to be done and when.
Since it takes about one year to plan a formal wedding, efficiently and thoroughly, we’ve put together a 12-month wedding planning checklist. Following THE SPRINGS’ checklist is the best way to ensure everything goes perfectly.
Use THE SPRINGS’ Wedding Checklist to keep track of every nuance of your wedding and make sure everything is perfect. Create your own tasks and assign due dates.
You are more likely to have a stress-free wedding experience if you have the checklist. We Promise.
During the year before your wedding, you’ll have a lot to do; getting started right away is a great idea.
Just don’t get too far ahead of yourself or you will feel overwhelmed.
Follow the guide below of what to take care of this month, and leave everything else for later in the checklist.
In this section, you’ll plan the basic outline of your wedding and make a few decisions that are not totally solid yet. Plan your budget, consider themes, and determine a general time frame for your wedding.
Start looking for ceremony sites and venues early, as the date you choose may be booked. As soon as you know when and where, reserve it!
Start the guest list; make cuts and determine if you’re allowing guests and, or, children.
This can change over time, but most vendors will want a head count, so this should be one of the very first things you do.
In month 11, you should choose your wedding date and venue.
Since Texas wedding venues book quickly, you should reserve your date as soon as you have a solid decision.
Booking the venue allows you to make other decisions in month 11 as well, like catering options and florists. Venue rules determine many things. For example, the open-bar decision is ultimately up to the venue you choose; if they don’t offer it, you can’t either.
Begin your search for all vendors, including a wedding cake baker, photographer, and videographer.
These are key elements of your wedding and their importance calls for enough time to make a sound decision on who you hire.
Begin these now because it could take you months to find one with whom you can connect.
Ten months before your wedding is when things start to come together.
By now, you should have your color scheme planned, your ceremony and reception venues booked, and you should have an idea of your wedding party, even if you haven’t officially asked everyone yet.
During month ten, you can focus on other wedding accents like lighting, photo booths, unique decorations, and DJs/wedding entertainment.
You can start thinking about your wedding song as well.
You can also start looking at wedding and bridesmaid dresses to get an idea of what you like, but remember you will want time to think on these decisions.
Nine months before your wedding, you’ll want to finalize your guest list, and officially propose to your wedding party.
If you’re having a destination wedding, determine early who will make it and who can’t. You’ll want to make all the legal arrangements if you’re having a wedding out of country.
If you plan to stay here, book all vendors you’ve decided on.
You’ll also want to consider the ceremony, from the music to the unity candle. Have a general idea of what you’d like to include.
Begin your search for an officiant and ceremony location.
Pay attention to how the two work together, some officiants will work only in approved venues.
Now that you have a color and you’ve chosen your wedding party, it’s time for the entourage to go look at dresses.
Make a day of it, host a lunch and plan some icebreakers for your bridesmaids.
Get their opinions on dresses and colors and try on a few examples.
If you have out-of-town guests, reserve a few blocks of hotel rooms for them.
Once you’ve done that, you can plan and send out your save-the-date cards.
During month 8, you want to be closer to a decision on your wedding gown.
If you haven’t found one you love yet, just keep looking. If there’s one you can’t stop thinking about, it’s time to buy it.
If your venue doesn’t offer table and chair rentals, you want to find out before month 6.
Gather all the information you can about what you’ll need and look into wedding suppliers.
During month 7, you’ll also want to consider rehearsal dinner venues, your final wedding invitations, placeholders, and more.
If you’re doing a wedding program, get started on writing it/ordering it soon.
Also, try to make a solid decision on all vendors and your wedding dress before month 6.
With half-a-year until your wedding, you should have a lot done.
This doesn’t mean you’re off the hook though.
At this point, you’ll want to finalize all your vendor decisions. Confirm your appointments and leave nothing hanging.
Search for a professional to consult with about hair and makeup plans.
Determine a hairstyle and choose a dress for your bridesmaids. Ask them to have theirs ready and tailored at least three months before your wedding.
In month five, you’ll want to make a final decision about your hair and makeup.
Once you’ve done so, you’ll want to make the necessary appointments for everyone.
At this time, you should have an idea of the grooms’ attire, so you should make arrangements for that before month four.
Finalize your invitations for the month, and place your order.
Start looking at honeymoon travel expenses, and book soon.
Before month 3, you should also have your entire ceremony and reception scheduled out.
If you do not have a detailed timeline and this checklist completed up until month 4, get started now.
Review the checklist up until this point and prioritize anything you’ve left undone.
This is the ideal time to book accommodations for your wedding night, and you should send out your invitations during this month.
This is also the month to plan Bridesmaid accessories and buy their gifts.
Month four is about the time your wedding party should plan your shower and bachelorette/stag parties.
During month three, it’s all about confirmation.
Confirm your appointments and vendors, and confirm again.
Confirm with your wedding party to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
During this time, you’ll also want to plan transportation options for your guests, as well as luxury transportation for the wedding party.
At this time, you also must schedule last minute fittings and purchase your wedding bands.
During the two months before your wedding, you can begin to relax.
You’ll feel more excited and happier than you did in the previous planning months, as you’ve completed most of the work already.
During this time, you will purchase and order your wedding bands, attend final fittings, and pick up all clothing as it’s ready.
You’ll also plan the rehearsal dinner, and you’ll create or review your wedding day timeline.
By now, you should feel nothing but excitement.
The hard part is essentially over. By now, you have everything confirmed, paid, and scheduled for your event.
At this point, it’s fine-tuning, like teaching your maid of honor how to tie your bustle or printing your ceremony programs for your guests.
This is an ideal time to review the checklist in its entirety, because with one month to go you have time to fix anything you might have missed.