The Ultimate Wedding-Planning Checklist: Start to Finish
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An engagement is one of the happiest moments of a couple’s life. Everyone should enjoy it for a few weeks before the harried experiences of planning the wedding day. Remember, there’s no rush or pressure.
You get to decide together when and how the events unfold. Plus, as the couple, it’s vital to allow close friends and family to pitch in, so it’s a group effort to disallow stress in joyful memories and a constant celebration.
With the wedding planning checklist, the timeframe allowed to accomplish your tasks should range roughly between a year and 18 months, even longer if you need the time.
There will be moments where you want to step away and take a few days for self-care when it becomes a bit overwhelming, and that’s okay. Then there are days you’ll want to chuck it all and vote for eloping.
That’s okay too. Remember, at the end of the day, the only thing that has to happen with a wedding is a ceremony and perhaps some appetizers and drinks to celebrate.
The traditional components are optional and have the option of being redefined. Follow Dr. Patricia Murugami as she discusses wedding planning vs. reality with this podcast.
So what has to be on your wedding checklist? Let’s figure this out together.
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Why is wedding planning important?
A wedding is the beginning of your life together as a couple. With all intents and purposes, partners hope the relationship will endure the test of time, with many hoping to establish families to pass on their love stories and share their ideas and values. That story starts officially with the engagement and wedding day.
That’s why planning is so important. The couple needs to keep in mind with each step that these details will pass from one generation to the next with retellings of how they met, fell in love, and married.
If there was a dress, a young bride might want to commemorate her beloved relative with her ceremony, and that same theory would apply to a groom who grows fond of a storied tuxedo.
The hope is their lives will be as happy and fulfilling as the romances their family members experienced. These feelings are stimulated by the love stories that came before them. With careful planning, weddings can be the beginning of new love stories.
Here is a video you can watch to know some amazing bridal hacks.
How do I make a wedding checklist?
Planning a wedding checklist can be daunting for a couple unsure where to begin. It takes guidance from family, particularly parents. Some partners with an adequate budget will figure in enough money to incorporate the services of a wedding planner to help with the details.
Each checklist will be unique, and every wedding will be unique, but developing a simplistic outline will help establish realistic goals and times.
The idea is to arrange the duties by priority and set deadlines. Things like developing a guest list, securing vendors, and a venue need to be the initial tasks handled straight away, while more simplistic duties can be added nearer to the date.
You don’t want to forget things like the cake cutting tools, the cake topper, the small details. The suggestion is to set up monthly increments for the tasks considering there will be roughly 12 months to work with.
Find out how not to get married with this book by George Mahood, Photographer.
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What your wedding checklist should include
With a wedding to-do list, you want to keep the priorities at the forefront. The idea is to break it down into monthly tasks considering that the wedding planning timeline will range from roughly 12 to 18 months. A simple checklist will include:
1. The first month or two
The venue is a priority before you’ll be able to set a definite wedding date along with an officiant and a photographer or videographer. During these initial months, before making any arrangements, you’ll need to establish your budget plan with savings set aside for expenditures and develop a preliminary guest list.
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2. The third and fourth months
Vendors, including the entertainment, caterer, florist, and on, should be considered and approached based on their priority. The bridal party needs to be established.
3. The fifth and sixth months
Shopping for a dress, if appropriate, should begin. These are the months you need to work to finalize the guests and send out the “save the dates.” Determine the honeymoon location and start planning.
4. The seventh and eight month
The suggestion is couples should develop a “wedding website” for guests to access pertinent wedding details. You’ll need to set the menu and attend tastings for the food and cake. Appointments should be established for hair and makeup before the ceremony.
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5. The ninth and tenth months
The wedding invitations should be addressed and go out. Shopping for wedding rings as a couple is a fun trip during these months. It’s wise to go for sample hair and makeup sessions to see what you might prefer. Check out varied music options for the ceremony and confirm.
6. The 11th and 12th months
Develop the timeline for the ceremony and the day’s activities. Reach out to the vendors to confirm the day’s duties and finalize invoices. Take care of RSVP confirmations.
You might need an extended period to take care of details for a more elaborate wedding day. It can take as long as necessary, with some people being engaged for as long as three years to plan adequately.
Others speed up their checklist to get married sooner. Everyone is different. This research explains why modern wedding planning takes more time than most people realize.
The ultimate to-do list for wedding planning from beginning to end
Planning a wedding puts tremendous pressure on each partner, armed with their wedding planning checklist. That’s because there are separate things to take care of individually and the ultimate wedding checklist to tend to as a couple.
You can search relentlessly online for the ideal “to do” list to encompass all the tasks needed for your specific ceremony. Still, each is unique and won’t necessarily suit your particular needs.
It leaves you scrambling for guidance or having to set aside money in the budget to get help from a planner, which can be substantial.
However, it’s easy to become overwhelmed due to the scale these events can grow to and the potential for forgetting specific components if there’s not a list to spark a memory, especially if you’re handling things between the two of you with no other help.
Check out the highlights from what would constitute the optimum checklist most partners can work from despite the uniqueness of their wedding.
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1. Within the first six months, these are some of the critical tasks
Initially, it’s vital to take care of the most critical duties as a priority. The more generic tasks can wait until closer to the date but need to be included on the to-do list for wedding planning, so there’s no chance of forgetting things like perhaps learning to dance for your “solo performance” or preparing for the honeymoon.
Planning in tandem means it sometimes gets neglected, but ensuring your chosen destination will be accessible is vital. Follow this checklist.
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2. Establish your budget
Hopefully, you have savings set aside expressly for your wedding day. With that in mind, it’s crucial to establish a budget beginning with the venue, which will also dictate the specific date for the ceremony. Selecting the venue will go hand in hand with this step.
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3. The guest list will be preliminary at first
You will work with your partner to establish a preliminary guest list based on the venue and contribute to other essential components, including the catering.
4. The caterer should be booked
Many venues offer catering services, but if yours is not one of them, you will need to invest in one. Close friends and family can often provide references for the best options for these services.
5. Add wedding planning services into the budget
Everything you need for a wedding will be considered by a wedding planner with little missed from a wedding planning checklist or forgotten.
If you hope to prevent stress and ensure the event goes without problems, it’s wise to set aside the budget to include a planner well in advance. The expert can start with the venue booking and help with all the selections.
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6. Within roughly the next three months before the wedding day
Things to plan for a wedding begin to get somewhat more detailed with more in-depth detail and hiring vendors. Here we continue with the wedding planning checklist.
7. It’s time to choose the invitations
With technology, many partners opt for “video” invitations for their nuptials instead of sticking with the traditional options. Whatever you decide should match your specific personality and the vibe you want to send.
Related Reading: Wedding Invitation Wording Etiquettes
8. Do you want a videographer, photographer or both
When working with a complete wedding checklist, either a photographer or videographer must be on the list. The memorable moment needs to be captured in some way.
Many people opt for both mediums to have the photos and the live ceremony. Still, don’t forget to get snaps before the event.
9. Entertainment will bring the reception to life
People remember the wedding not only because of the ceremony but the entertainment from the reception. Some couples will go all out with a live band and dancers to get people moving. That would be an excellent addition to your wedding planning checklist.
Related Reading: 11 Best Wedding Reception Ideas for an Amazing Event
10. Hair and makeup trials are a good idea
Not only do you need to add hair and makeup to your wedding plan timeline checklist in advance to avoid losing out on the top talent, but you also need to schedule a day to experiment with varied styles for face and hair.
This way, you won’t get stuck with something you find unflattering on the wedding day.
11. Go shopping
One of the primary components of the wedding planning guide is going shopping for the outfits, accessories, or anything you have on your wedding planning checklist that needs to be bought for your attire.
Three months is sufficient since it will allow time for adequate alterations, potential discounts, and the ability to look at many options. Make sure to take close friends. They will give opinions without being judgmental or harsh.
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12. Plan for the honeymoon
Take a weekend and sit down together to plan for the honeymoon. That will include selecting your ideal destination, making all the arrangements, setting up an itinerary, and possibly making the booking.
13. Set up the final guest list and arrange accommodations
With the RSVPs, it’s essential when working with the wedding planning checklist to confirm these to establish a final guest list. From that, you can arrange accommodations for those coming from town.
The final two months before the ceremony
Within the final two months, things could become somewhat more stressful. Still, with the wedding planning checklist, you can ensure things run smoothly since everything should be written down according to your wedding’s specific needs.
There may be showers and parties throughout these months, but the wedding parties typically plan these. That means there will be fewer things you need to worry about with your checklist.
One thing that will be important is to follow up with all the vendors, the officiant, the venue, and everyone you’ve hired to confirm all is set for the ceremony and reception.
Plus, try on the outfits a couple of times before the actual day to ensure no need for any last-minute alterations.
One good rule of thumb is to always have a “Plan B” for varied items on your checklist in case anything is to go wrong. When you hedge your bets, the day won’t be ruined.
Related Reading: 5 Tips For a Stress-Free Wedding
A wedding is the most exciting event in a couple’s lifetime. It will likely demand a tremendous amount of time, and attention, including stress, frustration, and overwhelming growth.
Still, with an adequate wedding planning checklist and a backup plan just in case, it should be a smooth ride and a glorious story to tell.
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