The Complete Wedding Planning Checklist: All the Things You Must Keep in Mind

Complete Wedding Planning Checklist

You’re in the home stretch, so it’s time to get to business. Finish up any last-minute projects like:

Send out your save-the-dates and finalize your guest list (you’ll need this number to give your venue next month). Buy gifts for your bridesmaids, groomsmen, and parents. Write your thank-you cards.

Set Your Budget

The first step in the wedding planning process is setting your budget. This will help you determine what you can afford to spend on your day and allow you to prioritize each vendor category.

If you’re having family members contribute to the wedding, make sure you have “The Talk” early on to decide how much each party can contribute. This will help avoid any misunderstandings down the road.

Finalize Your Vendor Agreements

In-demand vendors book up to a year out, so get your dream planner, photographer, and catering company on their calendars as soon as possible. Also, decide if you’ll rent or buy the groom and groomsmen’s tuxes and place orders.

Cultivating genuine connections with your vendors will elevate your wedding planning Kennebunkport ME experience. After all, their expertise helps bring your vision to life, resulting in an extraordinary celebration that authentically reflects your love story.

Book Your Vendors

The next thing on your wedding planning checklist is booking vendors. In-demand vendors can book up to a year in advance, so make your first inquiry as soon as possible.

Narrow down your options for each vendor category so that you can focus on consultations with the standouts. Also, at this time, many venues and caterers will offer a menu tasting. Keep a running Google doc of all vendor communication to keep track of due dates and timelines.

Schedule Consultations

Setting clear boundaries about who can be present during the initial consultation is essential. Bringing too many people can cause confusion and miscommunication, leading to an unorganized process.

Discuss the style of food and food service, too (if applicable). It’s best to get this done during the first meeting. It’ll give the couple a sense of progress!

Create Your Wedding Day Timeline

Once you have your wedding date and time set, it’s time to create your day-of-wedding timeline. You should send this to all of your vendors (including photographers, venues, and caterers) so that everyone can clearly understand what is happening and when.

Work backward from your ceremony start time, accounting for hair and makeup times, travel between venues, and any pre-ceremony rituals or group photos you want to take. Add extra time for unforeseen delays.

Finalize Your Budget

If you’re paying for your weddings or asking your parents to contribute, it’s time to finalize your budget. This is an essential step because it’ll help you determine your priorities and where you want to splurge a bit.

It’s also an opportunity to reassess your wedding registry and ask yourself if you need toasters or flatware sets.

Purchase Gifts for Your Vendors

Whether they receive tips, your wedding vendors should be thanked for their work. A handwritten thank you card, as well as a small gift, is always appreciated.

For example, a self-care box filled with bath salts, scented candles, and tea would be perfect for your planner, photographer, or videographer. They put a lot of work into your day and deserve to relax afterward.

Schedule Your Engagement Photos

Many wedding planning templates and tools are available to make your life easier. So use them!

Make sure you have an end time for your event, and double-check that with your venue and vendors. This can prevent unexpected overtime fees!

Register for the things you and your boo need. Consider your hobbies and lifestyle to tailor your registry to your future home together.

Schedule Your Hair and Makeup Trials

Your hair and makeup trial is crucial to avoid surprises on your wedding day. Make sure you wear a top that resembles your dress and any hair accessories (such as a veil) to your trial so the artists have something to work with.

Be honest with your artist if you don’t like what they did, rather than be disappointed on the big day. It also helps to bring ideas, including pictures from Pinterest or Instagram.

Send Out Wedding Shower Invites

If you’re hosting a bridal shower, you’ll want to send out invites at least six weeks in advance. This will give guests enough time to RSVP and make travel arrangements if necessary.

Remember only to invite people who are also invited to the wedding. This is especially important for out-of-town guests. Also, be sure to include the return address of your host (if applicable). This will help you keep track of RSVPs.