Congratulations on your engagement! This is such a special and exciting time. It’s also a time when things can get very busy and your calendar may feel overwhelmingly full. As you prepare for your big day, a wedding planning checklist is incredibly helpful to make sure nothing gets missed. Here are some things you’ll want to make sure you check off on your wedding planning journey.
Set Your Wedding Budget
Costs add up quickly. When establishing your budget it’s important to prioritize which aspects of the wedding day are most important to you. It also helps to have a general idea of your guest count. Knowing these things will help you immensely as you allot an appropriate portion of your budget for each aspect of your day. I also recommend adding an extra 5-10% to your overall budget for unforeseen expenses. They happen!
Choose Your Wedding Date
There are so many things to consider when choosing your wedding date. It’s wonderful to have a date that is meaningful to you, but you’ll also want to consider vendor availability. This is especially important if you have a particular vendor you’ve always dreamed of working with, like a particular photographer, DJ, or florist. If a particular vendor is an absolute must, be sure to check their schedule before setting a date. Also, don’t rule out a weekday wedding! Choosing Sunday through Thursday can greatly increase your chance of getting your ideal venue and vendors.
Choose Your Vendors
I suggest you make a list of your dream vendors, including venue, wedding planner, photographer, videographer, DJ, caterer, professional hair stylist, makeup artist, floral designer, wedding cake bakery, artist, decorators, rentals, officiants, etc. This way you will know exactly who to contact as the date gets closer.
Schedule and Book!
Once you have your date chosen, budget set, and a list of vendors in hand, it’s time to start scheduling and booking. This can feel overwhelming if you do it all at once. Here’s a timeline I recommend to make things flow smoothly.
Wedding Planning Checklist for 18 to 24 Months
18 to 24 months before your wedding you’ll want to book your:
- Wedding planner
Wedding Planning Checklist for 12 to 18 Months
12 to 18 months before your wedding, it’s time to:
- Choose your wedding party
- Shop for your dress
- Book your hair and makeup artist
- Schedule any necessary transportation
- Order the wedding cake
- Hire a wedding artist
- Book your florist
Wedding Planning Checklist for 8 to 12 Months
8 to 12 months before the big day is the ideal window to book:
- Wedding rentals
- Guest accommodations
- Men’s attire
- Band/live music
This is also when you will:
- Choose bridesmaid’s dresses
- Do a final tasting with the caterer
- Choose your cake
- Buy wedding bands
- And book your honeymoon!
Wedding Planning Checklist for 1 to 4 Months
1 to 4 months before your wedding it’s time to start taking care of some of the finer details. This is the perfect time to:
- Send out invitations
- Book your dress fitting
- Get the marriage license
- Book your hair and makeup trials (Yes, Norabloom does provide wedding and bridal makeup in the Ithaca/Syracuse/Rochester area of New York!)
- Write your vows
- Buy gifts for the wedding party
- Nail down your timeline with your photographer
- Complete all your final payments
- Collection outstanding RSVPs
- Figure out seating charts and place cards
- Choose your wedding songs
- Venue walkthrough
Wedding Planning Checklist for 1 Week
It’s only 1 week until your wedding! Over the next few days you’ll build the anticipation by taking care of a few last-minute details like these:
- Refresh your hair color
- Treat yourself to a gentle facial (I hope I’ll see you in my Ithaca spa!)
- Indulge in a mani/pedi
- Final dress fitting
- Clean your wedding ring
- Submit the final headcount to your venue
- Finalize the seating chart
New York Wedding Photography
Yes, there’s a lot to do when planning a wedding. But I hope this wedding planning checklist has made things feel a little more managable! As you spread the preparation out over several months, you’ll find that it’s very doable, and even an exciting part of the process. And if you end up booking Norabloom as your New York wedding photographer, I’ll send you my complete guide, filled with valuable tips and advice to make your day truly magical!