Wedding Planning Checklist

Wedding Blog

Wedding planning insights from the experts.

Wedding Planning Checklist

Country Club Receptions

Congratulations! You've recently become engaged and are now ready to plan one of the biggest days of your life.Wedding Dance

As you start envisioning your dream ceremony, remember to keep your relationship at the forefront of your mind—as important as it is to create a ceremony that tells your unique love story, it's equally important to remember that every couple is different, as is every wedding. Make the most of the planning process, and yours will be a beautiful and lasting tribute to the love you and your significant other share.

To help you tackle the larger details while staying on top of smaller ones, Country Club Receptions has created a Wedding Planning Guide. The guide demystifies much of the wedding planning process, and offers valuable information on topics ranging from choosing the right wedding gown to tips for assembling a dream team of vendors. It also contains a series of checklists that offer an insider's glimpse into details you don't want to miss, such as what goes into booking a ceremony and reception venue, or hiring that perfect photographer and florist.

To make sure no detail is overlooked, we've also compiled a companion piece to the Wedding Planning Guide. In it, you'll find an even more extensive set of checklists matched to an ideal timeline for completing each task. After downloading the document (here), use a three-hole punch to insert it into your wedding binder; with room for notes on each page, you'll be as organized as a pro!

When it comes to planning your wedding, staying organized is perhaps the most valuable asset you and your fiancé have for creating your dream day. While the process can seem overwhelming at first, taking time early on to get organized will help you meet your wedding goals with as little stress as possible, allowing you to fully enjoy this exciting time. Our planning tools will not only help keep you organized, they'll also help you stay informed and confident—two key qualities that ensure success as you start your new and inspired life.


12+ Months Prior to Wedding

Establish a budget you feel comfortable with. Remember: it's possible to create your dream day without going over budget! Once you've determined how much money you have to spend for each category, stick to it and eliminate vendors that exceed the amount earmarked. (See “How to Set a Budget that Works”). 

Research venues. Create a comparison chart to analyze potential options according to services offered, cost, and how closely the venue matches your sense of style. 

Make a wedding binder divided into sections that correlate with tasks and important details. Suggested tabs are: Ceremony Venue; Reception Venue; Colors/Theme; Invitations; Guests; Attire; Music/DJ; Photographer; Food/Cake; and Flowers/Décor. 

Determine the style of wedding you want. Start by clipping magazine photos and filing them in your wedding binder. Images can be collected online with Pinterest, and a stroll through the fabric aisle of your local craft store can also be a great place of inspiration for color, patterns, and style ideas. 

Connect with other brides by creating an account on TheKnot and WeddingWire.

Decide on guest list. 

Choose bridal party members.

Hire a wedding coordinator, if desired.

Shop for wedding dress.

Shop for rings.

Plan engagement party.  


11 Months Prior to Wedding

Reserve wedding venue, and select date.

Design Save-the-Date cards.

Research following vendors:




Hair and make-up artist;

Photographer and/or Videographer—these you'll need to hire as soon as possible;


Caterer, if needed.

Choose wedding theme.

Research honeymoon destinations.

If desired, create a website to keep friends and family informed. Ewedding, TheKnot, WeddingWire, and WeddingWindow are all great resources that enable you to build a beautiful site with ease.

Browse invitation samples and determine a style to match your theme.

Determine what wedding details you'd like to create yourself, and which ones are better left to vendors.

Research hotel(s) for guests.


Six – Eight Months Prior to Wedding

Hire the following vendors: 

Hair and make-up artist;



Order invitations.

Discuss bridal shower possibilities with maid of honor.

Discuss with bridal party any plans for bachelor/bachelorette parties.

Finalize honeymoon plans. Make sure passports are current, and arrange for any necessary house- or pet-sitters.


Four – Six Months Prior to Wedding

Purchase wedding gown, decide on alterations. The first dress fitting should take place eight weeks prior to ceremony.

Finalize all bridal party attire.

Arrange ground transportation for guests.

Activate gift registry, making sure to include lots of options via different stores and items of varying price.

Order rentals: chairs, tables, tents, and linens.

Finalize flower arrangements.


Three Months Prior to Wedding

Address invitations.

Order wedding cake.

Order programs.

Decide on favors, if having them.

Plan post-wedding brunch, if hosting one.


Two Months Prior to Wedding

Mail Invitations.

Purchase welcome baskets for guests staying at hotels.

Decide on vows, or compose your own.

Finalize the following:

Bridal party gifts;

Ceremony readings and music;

Reception songs, including father/daughter dance, first dance, mother/son dance;

Photographer’s shot list;

Rehearsal dinner.

One Month Prior to Wedding

Apply for marriage license.

Contact any guests who neglected to RSVP.

Decide on seating arrangements, if applicable, and write place cards.

Make reservations for spa treatment, if desired.

Send announcement to newspaper.

Purchase gifts for wedding party, fiancé, and any applicable family members.

Break in wedding shoes! Also, if needed, select a pair to change into at the reception.

Two Weeks Prior to Wedding

Write wedding or rehearsal dinner toast.

Finalize details with all vendors, including final guest count.

Confirm transportation.

Make appointment for haircut and color, if applicable.

Schedule ceremony rehearsal.

Pick up programs, menus.

Finalize seating chart.

Print escort/place cards.


One Week Prior to Wedding

Pack for honeymoon.

Prepare gratuity and final vendor payments.

Email wedding-day itinerary to bridal party.

Confirm marriage license.  

Day Before Wedding

Deliver welcome baskets to hotel rooms.

Review details for floor plan, seating, rentals, music, and transportation.

Send reminders to anyone assigned a special task for the wedding.

Attend ceremony rehearsal.

Attend rehearsal dinner. Remember to distribute bridal party and family gifts, and also to take a moment to give your fiancé his gift in private!