Planning a wedding and need a checklist that reflects how you really go about wedding planning activities? Scroll down for a wedding guide checklist you can use no matter how long you have to plan the wedding! And if you’re looking for a complete wedding checklist timeline by month instead, click here for that!
This post is LONG.
It contains the checklist for you to read and refer to online. Followed by a customizable version, you can adjust and have emailed to you to print. To help you along the way, here’s how I’ve laid out this post:
7-Step Wedding Guide Checklist
The steps you go through when planning your wedding cover seven areas, each more focused as the big day draws near. I’ve separated this wedding guide checklist into seven parts, or steps, each reflecting the type of activity you’re involved in during that stage:
(1) Let’s Get the Ball Rolling!
(2) We’re Picking These Pros & Vendors
(3) Here’s What We are Doing Ourselves
(4) Other Items to Choose and Buy
(5) Let’s Not Forget to Do This!
(6) Last Minute Week-Before Details, and
(7) Last Second Day-Before Details.
You can also download this wedding planning cheat sheet in PDF here.
Ready? Here we go!
Before the actual planning you, of course, must go about telling everyone the great news!
☐ Announce to Family and Friends
☐ Set the Date (Shop Save the Date Announcements)
☐ Buy Engagement Ring(s) or Wedding Set
☐ Have Engagement Photos Taken
Step 1: Let’s Get the Ball Rolling!
☐ Number of Guests
☐ Budget (Use the budget calculator here). Who’s paying for what and/or contributing?
☐ The Wedding Party
- Maid/matron of honor and bridesmaids (Get Bridesmaid gift ideas in the blog post here.
- Best man and groomsmen
- Flower girl and ring bearer
- Ceremony – Deposit amount and due by?
- Reception – Deposit amount and due by?
☐ Open a Pinterest account (Follow My Online Wedding Help here)
Step2: We’re Picking These Pros & Vendors.
What is the deposit amount and due date for each?
☐ Cake Baker
☐ Band or DJ
☐ Hair Stylist
☐ Make-up Artist
☐ Limousine / Other Transportation
☐ Miscellaneous Rentals
Step 3: Here’s What We’re Doing Ourselves.
- Side Dishes
☐ Cake (Shop wedding cake toppers)
- Bouquets and corsages
- Floral centerpieces
- Floral decorations: ceremony
- Floral decorations: reception
☐ Music / Entertainment
☐ Favors (Shop wedding favors)
☐ Non-Floral Centerpieces
☐ Non-Floral Decorations
Step 4: Other Items to Choose and Buy.
☐ Wedding Bands
- Hers (Shop her wedding band)
- His (Shop his wedding band)
☐ Invitations (Shop DIY and printable wedding invitations)
☐ Wedding Programs (Shop wedding ceremony programs)
☐ Thank You Notes (Shop wedding thank you cards)
Wedding Party Attire
☐ Groom(s) and groomsmen
- Tuxedos or suits
- Cummerbunds or vests
- Cuff links | (Shop personalized cuff links)
- Hair decor
☐ Flower girl
- Dress (Shop flower girl dresses)
☐ Ring bearer
Supplies and Decorations
☐ Ceremony Supplies and Decorations
- Guest book (Shop wedding guest books)
- Ring bearer pillow
- Flower girl basket
- Aisle runner
- Pew decorations
- Sand ceremony or unity candle set
☐ Reception Decorations (or DIY supplies to make)
- Entrance arch or other decoration
- Wall decor
- Ceiling drape
- Head table decor
- Table numbers
- Chair covers and sashes
☐ Reception Supplies (or DIY supplies to make)
- Place cards or escort cards
- Card box (Shop popular card boxes)
- Table clothes
- Silverware or plastic cutlery
- Cake serving set
Step 5: Let’s Not Forget to Do This!
☐ Finalize Guest List
☐ Send Save the Dates
☐ Register for Gifts
☐ Research and Buy Wedding License
☐ Arrange Accommodations
- For out-of-town guests
- For honeymoon
☐ Plan Rehearsal Dinner
☐ Choose and Order Wedding Party Gifts (Shop wedding party gifts)
- Flower girl/ring bearer
☐ Choose Music for Ceremony and Reception
☐ Make a Seating Plan
☐ Officially Change Name (Shop name change kits by state)
Step 6: Last Minute Week Before Details
☐ Review Details With All Pros, Vendors, and Rentals
☐ Assure Wedding Party Has Complete Ensembles
- Flower girl
- Ring bearer
- Her mom(s)
- His mom(s)
- Her dad(s)
- His dad(s)
☐ Organize Cash Fees and Tips Into Envelopes
☐ Pack for Wedding Night and Honeymoon
☐ Arrange for Mail to be Held
☐ Gather Everything for Rehearsal and Ceremony
☐ Put Together a Bridal Emergency Kit
Step 7: Last Second Day Before Details
☐ Give Lead Attendants Wedding Bands
☐ Assign People to Important Tasks Marriage license to officiant/clergy
- Miscellaneous items to ceremony and reception
- Coordinate wedding party transportation
- Tips and remaining payments paid
- Gifts moved after reception
- Rentals returned
☐ Get Last Minute Beauty Treatments
☐ Attend Rehearsal and Dinner
☐ Go To Bed Early!
Custom Printable Wedding Guide Checklist
If you’re the type who wants to jot notes into your checklist before printing, the following version is for you. It contains the same checklist as above, but I’ve pre-filled each section with tips and ideas. Simply replace these with your own notes. Then scroll to the bottom to get your own pretty emailed copy.
If you are on mobile and do not see the list below, this means our technologies aren’t playing well together. (I know, I’m frustrated too!) You can download the wedding planning cheat sheet in PDF here.
More Wedding Guides and Checklists
101 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Venue Covering 15 Must-Know Topics
7-Step Wedding Guide Checklist and Printable “Cheat Sheet”
What to Look for in a Wedding Planner for Your DIY Wedding. 10 Area Checklist.
5 Must-Know Wedding Tips When Hiring a Wedding Planner
The 10 Wedding Veil Lengths and Types You Must Consider
How Many Photographers for your Wedding?
Your Complete Wedding Checklist. 10 Steps plus Timeline.
How Stay Within Your Wedding Ring Budget: Metal and Style
Wedding Budget Planner. Free printable with personalized percentages.
How to Choose Affordable Engagement and Wedding Rings that Do Not Look Cheap
Tuesday 9th of May 2017
Great site. Plenty of useful info here. I'm sending it to some pals and sharing in delicious. And of course, thank you to your effort!
Wednesday 29th of June 2016
I just happened to run across this on Pinterest and I'm grateful that I did. We're getting married next year, 12 months from now. My mind is already frazzled and all over the place about all the details to be handled. Seeing this put me at ease.
What should I look for when looking for a planner? Although, that might not be necessary. I can't thank you enough.
Wednesday 29th of June 2016
Glad this helps! As far as hiring a planner, first think about what type of service you are looking for...there are different levels, which are explained here: https://www.myonlineweddinghelp.com/about-planning-sites-for-the-engaged-couple/five-things-you-need-to-consider-before-hiring-an-event-planner
This post also talks about how planners can help: https://www.myonlineweddinghelp.com/about-planning-sites-for-the-engaged-couple/ways-a-wedding-planner-can-help-you-save
You will want to know the person is reputable. One way is to check with the Association of Bridal Consultants to see if they have members in your area. Finally, you should "click" with the planner. She could be the best-rated and professional, but if you do not get along personally it could create unnecessary friction during the planning process.
Friday 23rd of January 2015
Hi, you might be able to help me get a wedding script too? do you have it?
Saturday 24th of January 2015
Sorry, I do not have a script. ~Bobette
Friday 26th of December 2014
I'm extremely pleased to discover this website. I want to to thank you for your time due to this fantastic read!! I definitely liked every part of it and I have you book-marked to check out new stuff in your site.
Sunday 20th of July 2014
I was just writing my list and happened to see this on Pinterest. You did a great job! Thanks for making it available! (Two other corrections I found...accommodations has two "m's" and Place card is two words. Also, I put an extra space between some of the links and the end parenthesis to highlight the website.)
Wednesday 3rd of December 2014
Hi Mary, I've been holding on to your comment meaning to come back and make the corrections you suggested and just got to it! Thank you for the kind words and suggestions.