Wedding Planning Checklist

Wedding Planning Checklist

Feb 05, 2021

Planning your own wedding can be stressful—no matter how much you've thought about your vision for your wedding and what you want, there's always details you haven't thought about. The entire planning process can be intimidating, no matter how detail-oriented you are! To help you stay on track, we've made this checklist to help you prepare for your big day. 


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24 to 12 Months Before Your Wedding

❏ Share the good news!
❏ Insure your engagement ring(s)
❏ Set up a wedding website
❏ Start a Pinterest board. Ours has a lot of inspiration from Chicago vendors!
❏ Start planning your guest list to get a good idea of numbers
❏ Start your wedding budget. Have a clear and honest conversation of all involved who is paying for what.
❏ Choose your wedding date/season
❏ Choose a wedding theme or style
❏ Host an engagement party
❏ Begin looking at venues



1 Year Before Your Wedding

❏ Book reception facility. Make sure to review change or cancellation policies
❏ Book your officiant
❏ Hire a wedding planner - something brides NEVER regret doing! We love working with Rustique Swan and Sarah Kathleen Events.
❏ Have an engagement photo shoot (hint – this time allows you to connect with your photographer, allowing you both to become more comfortable with each other)
❏ Choose your wedding party
❏ Determine your color scheme
❏ Plan and budget for your honeymoon
❏ Order your passport if you plan to travel for your honeymoon
❏ Find your dream wedding dress (our favorite part!) and book your appointment. Pro tip: look for veils while wearing your wedding dress and read this article on Wedding Dress Shopping Myths and Best Wedding Dress Shopping Tips
❏ Start researching your bachelor/bachelorette parties
❏ Get started on a health and skincare routine. Our friends at Refined Beauty have a great checklist for you! (ps waxing your armpits makes a huge difference, no shadows)



6 to 9 Months Before Your Wedding

❏ Finalize your guest list
❏ Hire your photographer (one of our favs is Photography by Lauryn)
❏ Book your DJ, musicians or other entertainment
❏ Hire your florist, caterer and other wedding vendors
❏ Order your invitations and thank you cards
❏ Purchase your bridal party dresses
❏ Mail out save the date cards
❏ Book any transportation needs and reserve hotel rooms
❏ Book a suite for your wedding night
❏ Revisit your budget to make sure you’re on track and make any adjustments
❏ If you are not using a full service wedding venue, confirm any rentals you may need, including a tent, tables, chairs, linens and table settings
❏ Book your rehearsal dinner



4 Months Before Your Wedding

❏ Order your flowers
❏ Register for marriage classes
❏ Finalize the food for your rehearsal dinner
❏ Decide on your hair and makeup style and book appointments with stylists
❏ Choose your cake and food for the wedding reception
❏ Start writing your vows and choose any ceremony readings
❏ Create a schedule of the ceremony and reception timeline (this is where a planner comes in very handy!)
❏ Schedule dress fittings for yourself and your bridal party
❏ Purchase your rings
❏ Plan the menus for all your pre-wedding events
❏ Purchase gifts for your wedding party (love these artisan soaps)



6 to 8 Weeks Before Your Wedding

❏ Send out your wedding invitations (if you're expecting international guests or planning a destination wedding, earlier is better)
❏ Start tracking RSVPs
❏ Arrange for your marriage license
❏ Plan any name change documents and insurance
❏ Finalize your reception menu
❏ Finalize any outstanding vendor bookings
❏ Purchase a guestbook
❏ Purchase favors
❏ Create a seating plan
❏ Confirm any travel arrangements
❏ Get together (Facetime or Zoom work too) with your bridal party to help you coordinate the details of the day. Trust us, they want to help!
❏ Purchase your wedding accessories including shoes, jewelry, ring box, etc.



1 Month Before Your Wedding

❏ Finalize your wedding vows
❏ Have a trial hair and makeup day
❏ Finish tracking and following up RSVPs
❏ Final fitting of your gown
❏ Find something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue!
❏ Pick up your wedding rings
❏ Start preparing DIY elements of your wedding
❏ Prepare thank you cards
❏ Prepare a shot-list for your photographer
❏ Get a facial and continue with your skincare routine
❏ Order a clear umbrella for you and matching ones for your bridal party - better to prepare than to be running around last minute.



2 Weeks Before Your Wedding

Finalize your guest list and give a final headcount

to your reception facility, caterer etc.

Confirm all final arrangements with your vendors (another great thing planners can help with!)

Send detailed instructions to your bridal party and vendors, including the final schedule for the ceremony and reception

Pack for your honeymoon

Provide a final song-list (must plays and don’t you dare) to your DJ/musicians

Print place cards

Prepare payment for all your vendors

Write speeches

Pick up your wedding dress. Make sure to have a space cleared to store it so it stays wrinkle free


1 Week Before Your Wedding

❏ Build a bridal emergency kit with tissues, lipstick, band aids, a sewing kit, safety pins etc.
❏ Check the weather forecast and make any required alternative plans
❏ Finalize any DIY projects or purchase any remaining event decor



1 to 3 days Before Your Wedding

Get a manicure/pedicure

Wedding rehearsal or pre-wedding dinner

Pack all your wedding day items including your rings, booking receipts, passports, shoes, accessories, vows and your marriage license

Arrange for someone in your wedding party to transport any gifts or flower arrangements before and after the wedding

Arrange for return of rental items

Get as much rest as possible


Your Wedding Day

Give the rings to the best man and maid of honor

Spend a lot of time getting ready

Eat breakfast

Attend hair and makeup appointments

Include your photographer in the wedding preparation process

Give your bridesmaids their gifts

Meet with your vendors and officiant and go over any final arrangements

Get dressed

Get married!


We hope this checklist helps you plan the day of your dreams, stress free! Book your appointment at Bri'Zan Couture today to find your perfect dress!



Download The Checklist



Featured in the Celebration Society
The Knot Best Of Weddings 2023
Best Of Naperville 2019
Best of Naperville Award 2021
Couple's Choice Awards 2020
Best of the best award
Best of the best award