The Complete Wedding Planning Checklist

The time has finally come for you to plan your dream wedding with your dream man, but where do you start? There are many aspects of a wedding that you need to take into consideration and timing is key! Let’s break down a month to month guide to understand what needs to be done and when.

12 to 10 months to go

Pinterest: Breakout that secret Pinterest page you have with hundreds of wedding ideas! They will come in handy throughout this entire process.

Bridal Party: It’s time to choose your bridal party! Your best friends know you better than anyone, they are going to be the best people to help you make any hard decision. It’s also important to understand what the maid of honor, best man, and bridal party will be responsible for during the planning process.

Guest List: Start that guest list! Make things easy and organized by putting the guest’s names and contact information on an excel sheet.

Wedding Planner: If you wish to hire a wedding planner, this would be the time to do so. Wedding planners will have experience and relationships with the vendors you are talking to!

Venue Estimates: This will help narrow your venue search, and most places will ask you for this information. Be sure to ask for a sample estimate from each venue you consider based on the same guest count number so you can compare them easily.

Venue: Start looking for the perfect venue that you’ve dreamed of! Let’s just say, if you were looking for a gorgeous New Hampshire mountain, we at the Pats Peak Banquet Center would love to have you!

Save the Date: Once you found your perfect venue and booked your date, let your guest list know! This way even the busiest of people can make sure they are able to celebrate with you.

Vendors: Start looking for the vendors. If you need a caterer, florist, bands, photographer, videographer, officiate, this is the time to start calling. If you don’t know where to start, we have a list of the best New Hampshire wedding vendors!

Create a Website: Create an easy to use and helpful wedding website to keep yourself and your guests organized on all wedding updates and needed information! We recommend The Knot and Wedding Wire! 

Time to party! Around this time is when the parents of the bride traditionally throw the engagement party. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the love!

6 to 9 months to go

Vendors: You did the research, now it is the time to book!

Dress Shopping: Here comes the best part, start wedding dress shopping! The bridal show will have hundreds of choices, we suggest to try on a few different styles first to narrow down your options.

Color Scheme: Choose a color scheme for your wedding party dresses, decorations, and overall aesthetics. There are typically five ways to choose your wedding day colors:


Engagement Photos: Having your engagement photos is a a special moment between you and your fiance! It is also a great way to try out a photographer for the wedding, making sure you can all work well together in important.

Gift Registry: It’s time to start that gift registry! First, find out what stores have what you and your fiancé need and start registering away. Make sure to include where you registered for your bridal shower invitations and wedding website!

Hotel Rooms: Make sure this is the time you are blocking off hotel rooms for out of town guests! All you need to do is call up the hotel and ask them to block off the number of rooms you think you’ll need and they will give you a code for your guests when they do book their stay.

Bridesmaid Dresses: Now, it is time to take your wedding party to get their bridesmaid dresses! Start looking for the perfect dresses that match your color scheme.

Transportation: Start booking any wedding transportation you will have for the wedding! This means flights, car rental, limousine, and transportation to and from the reception site.

Honeymoon: Start looking into honeymoons! Wheather you are planning an extravagant vacation or an intimate getaway, it’s time to book.

3 to 5 months to go

Rehearsal: Book your rehearsal at your venue and rehearsal dinner! Ask your venue for suggestions on where to have the rehearsal dinner or if your offer rehearsal dinners there.

Wedding Night: If you haven’t already, its time to book your wedding night accommodations!

Wedding Favors: It’s time to start making or buying all of your wedding favors to thank your guests for celebrating this special day with you!

Tuxes: Make sure those wedding tuxes are rented, bought, or cleaned.

Finalize: It’s time to make sure everything is in place. Make sure all of the RSPV’s are in and counted for, purchase the wedding invitations, chose the ceremony readings and finalize the reception timeline.

Hair Trial: Book your hair and makeup trial run to find your perfect style!

Rings: Shop around for your perfect wedding rings! You should also consider wedding ring insurance just in case something happens!

Honeymoon: Finalize your honeymoon plans!

Cake: Schedule a wedding cake tasting and order your wedding cake.

6 to 8 weeks to go

Invitations: Mail out your wedding invitations and make sure you have a system for writing down RSVP’s and meal choices, the excel spreadsheet you made earlier will come in handy!

Vows: Sit down and take some time to finalize your wedding vows and ceremony details.

Vendors: Give your vendors a call to finalize any special details! This includes meeting with the florist to pick out your flowers.

Wedding License: Time to get your marriage license and name change information if you wish to change your last name. Make sure to understand the entire process from the state you are getting married in.

Dress Fitting: Time to get fitted for your dress! Be sure to buy the right undergarments first. Don’t forget your shoes! The seamstress will want to tailor the dress to your height with your wedding shoes.

Dresses: Make sure all the bridesmaid’s dresses start to arrive!

Thank You Cards: Don’t forget the thank you card for the engagement party and bridal shower!

3 to 5 weeks to go

Finalize: Finalize the photo list with your wedding photographer, the song list with your wedding DJ or Band, and the reception timeline with your venue.

Rings: Pick up your rings!

Something Blue: Make sure you have something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue!

Final Purchases: Purchase the guest book, toasting flutes, cake server, and decorations!

Final Fitting: Schedule your final dress fitting!

Printed Materials: Don’t forget to get your escort cards, ceremony programs, and other print needs.

1 to 2 weeks to go

Final Count: Give the final count to the wedding venue and caterer!

Seating Chart: Make sure your seating chart is finalized.

The Gown: Pick up the gown!

Send the Timeline: Make sure the vendors have the timeline for the day!

Packing: Start the honeymoon packing!

One day to go

Packed Up: Make sure everything is packed and ready!

Final Payments: Figure out how you will be tipping the vendors and make the final vendor payments!

Rehearse: Have your rehearsal, so everyone knows where they stand…literally. Then head off to your rehearsal dinner!

Get some rest! Tomorrow is the big day! Try to get to sleep early!

Today is the day

Enjoy: Relax and enjoy the day you’ve planned so carefully! If any wedding day problem occurs, stay calm and ask for help!

After the wedding

Save the Cake: Take the top of your wedding cake and carefully wrap the cake up with plastic wrap and an air-tight container to save your wedding cake to beshare on your one-year anniversary.

Preserve the Dress: Have your wedding dress preserved by a professional and always store the dress in a dark and dry atmosphere until it is properly protected.

Thank You Cards: Write and send out thank you cards to all of your guests!

Feedback: Give feedback to vendors on Wedding Wire, The Knot, Facebook, and Yelp.

Photos:  Touch base with your photographer for the wedding album.

Enjoy! Enjoy your new life!

2 thoughts on “The Complete Wedding Planning Checklist

  1. Pingback: Our How to Guide on Wedding Bookings | Pats Peak Wedding Blog

  2. Pingback: Building a Wedding Website | Pats Peak Wedding Blog

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