bride and groom portraits at dee bar ranch

Wedding Checklist For Engaged Couples

This wedding planning checklist is for engaged couples….So you got engaged!! congrats bestie. You’re ready to start planning your wedding! But wait— turns out there’s SO MUCH to do. Well stress not ya cute thang, use this checklist to divide the tasks into monthly sections. In addition to hiring a wedding planner, having a list set up to help you month by month and week by week makes things easier. (Also this is free, you’re welcome boo.)

Remember that this is a generic list and you don’t have to do all of these. Pick and choose what things you want to include that go with the wedding that you’re planning! Not everyone is planning 12 months out, so make this list your own.

wedding planning checklist blog post free list for engaged couples

12 Months

❏  Choose a date

❏  Talk budget

❏  Decide wedding style

❏  Make a guest list

❏  Explore ceremony & reception venue options

❏  Start assembling a dream team of wedding pros

❏  Engagement photo session

11-10 Months

❏ Hire vendors

❏ Reserve ceremony & reception venues

❏ Purchase wedding dress, veil, undergarments 

❏ Choose bridal party attire & accessories

❏ Book officiant

❏ Mail Save the Dates

wedding planning checklist for engaged couples planning a destination wedding
More photos of this autumn engagement here

9-8 Months

❏ Choose wedding party

❏ Create wedding website

❏ Begin browsing Save the Date designs

 ❏ Order sample Save the Date

❏ Order Save the Dates

❏ Begin researching wedding dress and veil styles

❏ Create wedding style mood boards on Pinterest

❏ Find hotels at different price points for out-of-town guests

 ❏ Browse wedding invitation designs

❏ Refine guest list

❏ Create gift registry

❏ Begin planning honeymoon 

7-6 Months

❏ Reserve rentals

❏ Hire ceremony musicians

❏  Book transportation to and from venues

❏  Research wedding day hair and makeup styles

❏  Meet with officiant to discuss run down of ceremony

❏  Choose cake style & schedule tastings

wedding planning checklist for engaged brides planning a destination wedding
Photos from this luxury elopement here

5-4 Months

❏ Order wedding cake

❏ Meet with florist

❏ Schedule dress fittings

❏ Book honeymoon flights & hotels 

❏ Book room for wedding night

3 Months

❏  Hair and makeup trial

❏  Book a photo booth rental

❏  Finalize readers and readings

❏  Finalize honeymoon plans and ensure all documents are in order

❏  Plan reception seating

2 Months

❏ Mail wedding invitations

❏  Begin writing vows

❏  Review ceremony details with officiant

❏  Finalize seating arrangements

❏  Buy wedding-party gifts

❏  Apply for marriage license

❏  Purchase gifts for guests

❏  Lay out the content for wedding programs

1 Month

❏  Final dress fitting

❏  Pick up marriage license

❏  Call vendors to confirm date, time & location

❏  Confirm honeymoon reservations

2 Weeks

❏ Decide groomsmen attire

❏ Personalize & order wedding invitation sample

❏ Purchase wedding bands

❏ Order wedding invitation suite

 ❏ Order thank you cards

❏ Prepare a playlist for DJ/band

❏ Finalize guest list

❏ Compile rehearsal dinner guest list 

❏ Book rehearsal dinner venue

❏ Order rehearsal dinner invitations

❏ Purchase toasting flutes, serving pieces, guestbook, flower basket and ring bearer pillow

❏ Finalize reception menu with caterer

 ❏ Order menu cards

❏ Finalize fittings for wedding party and parents

❏ Create wedding day timelines and send to vendors, officiant and wedding party

❏ Decide on “something old, something new, something borrowed & something blue”

❏ Book spa and beauty treatments for you and bridal party

❏ Pick up wedding rings

❏ Order wedding programs

❏ Write thank you notes as gifts are received

❏  Begin breaking in wedding shoes

❏  Make arrangements for the caring of pets & plants while on honeymoon

❏  Follow up with guests who have not RSVP’d

❏  Give final guest count to caterer

❏  Send playlists to DJ/band/ceremony musicians

wedding planning checklist for engaged brides planning a destination wedding
More photos from this wedding

1 Week

❏ Get haircut & freshen up color 

❏ Update registries

❏ Send directions to wedding day

transportation driver

❏ Delegate someone to return tuxes, rentals & tend to wedding dress

❏ Prepare wedding day emergency kit

❏ Give photographer & videographer your image & video requests

❏ Give readers their scripts

❏ Prepare final payments to vendors & cash tips for service personnel 

❏ Lay out wedding clothes & gather all accessories

Day Before

❏ Treat yourself to a mani/pedi & massage 

❏ Attend wedding rehearsal

❏ Have fun at rehearsal dinner

❏ Thank everyone around you

❏ Get to bed at a decent hour 

Wedding Day

❏  Eat a good breakfast

❏  Stay off feet as much as possible

❏  Allow plenty of time to get ready

❏  Drink water

❏  Take dress & veil out of the bag & have steamed if needed

❏  Lay out all items you want to be captured by photographer

Beyond The Wedding

❏ Give officiant fee & wedding rings to best man

❏ Exchange notes with fiancé

❏ Relax, smile & soak up every moment of the big day

❏ Ensure tuxes & all rentals have been returned

❏ Get wedding dress to cleaners

❏ Send out thank you cards no later than 3 weeks after wedding day

wedding planning checklist for engaged brides planning a destination wedding

Wedding planning— its overwhelming right? This may seem like a never ending wedding planning checklist of things to check off before your wedding day but if you break it up into chunks week by week it will seem a lot more manageable!

Now, if you have a shorter timeline to plan your wedding, don’t worry. This is not a one-and-done-must-be-done-this-way list. Pick and choose which things are important to your wedding day, and skip anything that doesn’t vibe with your vision! ALSO– employ the help of some people to tag team this list & and just condense it down to whatever amount of time you have until your wedding day ie 6 months or less.

Lastly, hire an experienced wedding planner! They make wedding planning SO much easier, whether your wedding is local to you or a destination wedding. A good wedding planner makes allll the difference when it comes to to having a smooth day and not getting overwhelmed with all the things to get done.

Here’s a few wedding planners I would personally recommend:

Mae&Co Creative

Curated Mess Co

Birch & Honey Collective

Indigo Bride

Okay babe.


& if you’re looking for your destination wedding photographer, here i am 😉

Leave a Reply