The Ultimate Checklist

You’re getting married! Congratulations! Now it’s time to get planning. Just take it one month at a time and the overwhelming job will become quite manageable.

12 months to go

• Set the date.

• Settle your budget. Decide who will pay for what.

• Hire your wedding  consultant.

• Speak with your minister.

• Begin pre-marital counseling.

• Reserve wedding and reception sites.

• Book the caterer, baker, florist, photographer, videographer, musicians and DJ.

11 months to go

• Create the guest list.

• Ask chosen friends and family members to be your attendants.

• Reserve a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests.

10 months to go

• Register with at least three places.

• Begin planning the honeymoon.

• Order your wedding gown.

9 months to go

• Order invitations and announcements.

• Order all the female attendants’ dresses.

• Put together a things-to-do/sights-to-see guide for out-of-town guests.

8 months to go

• Schedule an engagement photo session in time to have photos by Month 6.

• Begin planning the rehearsal dinner.

• Meet with your florist for an ideas session.

7 months to go

• Select music for the ceremony and reception.

• Choose the men’s formal wear.

• Book all transportation.

6 months to go

• Send engagement announcement to papers and submit the information online to Inside Columbia at

• Meet with your baker to choose the wedding cake and groom’s cake.

• Choose your hairstyle and purchase your accessories, shoes, etc.

5 months to go

• Meet with your florist to finalize decisions, place order.

• Order all decorations not covered by florist, including rental items.

• Order napkins and other reception necessities not covered by caterer.

4 months to go

• Meet with your caterer to select menu.

• Meet with your photographer and videographer to select packages.

• Meet with the musicians and DJ to finalize decisions.

• Make an appointment at your nail salon this month to begin prepping your nails.

• Finalize your honeymoon plans, make all the reservations and order all the tickets.

3 months to go

• Order the wedding bands.

• Purchase gifts for all the attendants and your fiancé.

• Plan the seating arrangements for the rehearsal dinner and reception.

• Make two appointments with your hairstylist — one for a trial run and one for your wedding day (if your photographer is taking a bridal portrait, schedule the trial run for the same day).

2 months to go

• Mail the wedding invitations.

• Finalize accommodation arrangements for out-of-town guests.

• Submit all tuxedo sizes with the formal wear store.

• Shop for lingerie.

1 month to go

• Pick up wedding rings.

• Complete all final fittings.

• Have your bridal portrait taken.

• Finalize plans for the rehearsal dinner.

• Prepare all the necessary forms for name and address changes.

• Get your programs printed.

• Write thank-you notes as you receive gifts.

2 weeks to go

• Get the marriage license.

• Give invitations to the rehearsal dinner.

• Make sure you have all the clothes, shoes and accessories you’ll need before, during and after the wedding.

• Buy clothes and supplies for the honeymoon.

• Reconfirm honeymoon reservations.

• Confirm all transportation plans.

• Address announcements to mail on your wedding day.

• Touch base with caterer, baker, florist, photographer, videographer, musicians and DJ.

• Start “breaking in” your wedding shoes at home.

• Create a wedding day schedule to hand out at the rehearsal.

1 week to go

• Provide the caterer with a final guest count.

• Throw or attend the bridesmaids’ party. Give the bridesmaids their gifts there.

• Appoint someone not in the wedding party to handle last-minute concerns.

• Review expectations with all wedding party members.

• Try on everything you plan to wear the day of the wedding, including undergarments and jewelry.

• Go for your final manicure.

• Pack for the honeymoon.

• Pack your wedding day bag.

The day before

• Relax! Enjoy the company of a few close friends and family members.

• Attend rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

• Get plenty of rest.

Enjoy your day!!