The Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist

We know that planning a destination wedding can seem like a daunting task; but don’t start panicking just yet, because we have a complete wedding checklist to keep you on track leading up to the big day! Allocating your time accordingly for the next few months is important, so follow our month by month guidelines to make sure that all your boxes are checked, sealed with a kiss, and ready to celebrate your wedding day.


8 to 10 months in advance


Set your wedding budget. What amount do you have set for the wedding ceremony, reception and cocktail hour? You should not include travel in this budget as it should be wedding event specific. Meet with family members to discuss the division of expenses.


Start selecting locations for the wedding including your ceremony, cocktail, and wedding reception.


Select the members of your wedding party and think of a creative way to ask them to be a part of your wedding festivities.


Decide what you are going to do with printed materials (invitations, save the dates, menus, and programs). Browse through the Minted if you haven’t already!


If you’re having a legal wedding, make sure all legal documents are ready and alid such as your passports, religious requirements, etc.


Start thinking about photography and videography. If you are hiring a coveted photographer, book now! You should also confirm that your wedding location will allow outside vendors, or determine the stipulations in advance.


Start shopping for your wedding dress and the groom’s tuxedo!


Create your wedding website and register for gifts. You can add this information to your website.

4 to 7 months in advance


Confirm your color scheme and theme for personalization and décor.


Choose your bouquets, boutonnieres, ceremony flowers and centerpieces.


Choose your musicians (soloists, live band, or DJ).


Narrow down the menu selections for your cocktail hour and reception dinner.


Select your wedding cake flavors, style, icing and décor. Start searching for the perfect cake topper.


Put together a wedding event itinerary for your guests. Consider a welcome cocktail party, off-site excursions, a golf outing, group activities, private dinners, and morning-after brunch!

2 to 3 months in advance


Finalize your flower selections, musicians, and dinner and drink menus.


Shop for footwear, outfits for the wedding weekend including the rehearsal dinner, good swimwear (don’t forget about tan lines!), and any other necessities.


Create a list of photography shots you would like the photographer and videographer to capture of your ceremony, cocktail hour and reception.


Confirm your officiant and make sure you have all documentation ready if having a religious or legal ceremony.


Send out dinner selection requests to your guests, if required by hotel or restaurant.


Send out the formal wedding invitations.


Compile music for a DJ request form or an IPOD set list. If you’re hiring live musicians, start selecting songs or send them sheet music to learn in advance.


Buy wedding accessory items that you will need such as a guest book and pen, flutes for the toast, and cake cutting knife.


Call or email any invited guests who have not sent back their RSVP.


Set the seating arrangement for the reception tables once the final guest list is confirmed.

1 month in advance 


Meet with bridal party to confirm and coordinate their responsibilities on the wedding day.


If you have decided to get civilly married ahead of time at home, then obtain your legal wedding certificate.


Schedule the final dress fitting for yourself and your bridal party. Make sure to bring the correct shoes for the final fitting!


Start working on your speech and wedding vows.


Start getting organized with your packing for the wedding, vacation and honeymoon.


Pick up your wedding dress and obtain a secure bag for travel. Do not ship your wedding dress beforehand!


Make sure your rings are packed in your carry-on luggage.

Day of the wedding


Eat breakfast.  Don’t skip this opportunity, because it will be a busy day!


Have your hair and make-up done.


Spend some quality time with your immediate family before your wedding as well as some girl time with your bridal party.


Get into your wedding dress and put on your jewelry and shoes.


Relax, say “I do” and live happily ever after! Savor this experience. When it’s over, it’s back to normal life, so be mindful of how wonderful today is and how lucky you are.


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