based in the Alexandria Virginia

available from Coast to Coast
love our work?
Wedding Planning Timeline Checklist

A Simple Wedding Planning Checklist You’ll Love!

posted on

posted by

filed in

Simple Wedding Planning Checklist Essentials

Congrats on your engagement! Now it is time to embark on your wedding planning journey. I am sure you are wondering where the heck to begin. At The Venlist, we are here to make the wedding planning process as seamless as possible. Therefore, we have compiled a wedding planning timeline checklist to help keep you on track. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with this simple checklist of the top wedding planning priorities.

Set a Budget and Stick to It

The first and most important step in wedding planning is setting a budget and sticking to it. Creating a budget helps you prioritize how much you want to spend on each element of your wedding and keeps your spending in check. Once you have an idea of the total amount you are willing to spend, divide it into categories such as venue, catering, photography/videography, decor, etc. This will help keep your financials organized throughout the entire process.

Create a Guest List

Decide on the number of guests you want to invite. Your guest list will impact your choice of venues and your budget. Be sure to consult with both families to ensure everyone’s important guests are included.

Choose Your Wedding Date and Venue

Select a wedding date that works for you and your partner. Popular venues may be booked months or even years in advance, so secure your location early. Consider the time of year, weather, and the overall ambiance you want to create.

Choose Your Venue

Once you have set a budget for your wedding, choosing a venue is one of the most important tasks on your list. Consider factors such as size and location when deciding what venue fits best for both your ceremony and reception. If possible, try and book a single venue that allows both events at once in order to save time and money by eliminating travel between two different locations on the same day.

Secure Your Vendors

You may need vendors for many different aspects of your wedding such as catering services or DJs/bands depending on the type of event you are hosting. Make sure to research local vendors thoroughly before selecting them as they will play a major role in creating the atmosphere of your special day. Start by asking friends or family who have recently been married for recommendations – that way you can trust that they have first-hand experience working with these vendors and can vouch for their quality!

Wedding Decor and Details

Plan the decor and details that will make your wedding unique:

  • Choose colors and themes.
  • Select centerpieces and table settings.
  • Create or order wedding favors.
  • Design and print invitations, programs, and place cards.

Marriage License and Legalities

Obtain your marriage license and ensure you meet all legal requirements for your wedding.

Finalize Details

Confirm all vendor bookings and finalize contracts. Review your wedding timeline and ensure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities.

Rehearsal Dinner

Arrange a rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. It’s a great opportunity to thank your bridal party and family for their support.

Wedding Day Essentials

Prepare a wedding day emergency kit with essentials like tissues, aspirin, safety pins, and a sewing kit. Don’t forget the rings!

Enjoy Your Big Day

On your wedding day, relax, take deep breaths, and savor every moment. Trust that your careful planning will ensure a beautiful and memorable day.

Check out the wedding planning timeline checklist below to make sure your big day goes off without a hitch!

Sixteen to nine months before

  • Start getting a wedding file and Pinterest board together
  • Create a detailed budget breakout
  • Build your wedding party list
  • Settle on a guestlist
  • Hire a wedding planner, if desired
  • Book the venue and wedding date book  the  officiant
  • Research photographers bands, florists, and caterers
  • Compile a list of needed vendors
  • Throw an engagement party, this is totally optional

Eight months before

  • Book the photographer and the videographer
  • Book entertainment
  • Build a registry
  • Purchase a dress
  • Start meeting caterers
  • Reserve block of hotel rooms for guests launch a wedding website

Seven to six months before

  • Start planning your honeymoon
  • Purchase invitations and hire a calligrapher
  • Meet with the officiant
  • Send save-the-date cards
  • Book wedding transportation
  • Reserve structural and electrical necessities book a florist
  • Start composing a day-of timeline

Five to four months before

  • Book the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner venue
  • Check on printing of wedding invitations
  • Find and order the cake  
  • Send the bridal shower guest list to the bridal shower hostess/or Host
  • Purchase shoes and start dress and/or suit fittings
  • Schedule hair and makeup artists
  • Select a first dance songs
  • Plan welcome bags

Three months before

  • Finalize the catering menu and the wedding flowers
  • Order favors, if desired   
  • Create a toast makers’ list
  • Purchase the rings
  • Finalize readings
  • Finalize the order of the ceremony and reception
  • Print menu cards and programs
  • Purchase undergarments
  • Visit the bridal salon for a second fitting
  • Send wedding “day-of” schedule to vendors

Two months before

  • Discuss  locations and shots with a photographer  
  • Review music playlist with the band or the DJ
  • Send invitations
  • Touch base with your wedding vendors
  • Submit a newspaper wedding announcement   
  • Enjoy your bachelorette party

One month before

  • Check and compile RSVPs and phone invitees who have not responded.     
  • Get the marriage license
  •  Mail rehearsal dinner invitations
  • Have a final dress fitting   
  • Stock the bar
  • Send out as many final payments as you can
  • Confirm times for hair and makeup and vendors
  • Make seating chart
  • Purchase bridesmaids’ gifts to hand out at the rehearsal di nner
  • Write vows, if needed
  • Get hair cut and colored,  if needed

Week of

  • Reconfirm arrival times with all vendors  
  • Delegate small wedding-day tasks to friends and family members
  • Send a final timeline to the bridal party
  • Pick up your dress and/or suit
  • Supply the photographer with your “must-have” photos list
  • Set aside checks and tip envelope for vendors
  • assemble welcome baskets 
  • Book spa treatment
  • Break- in  your shoes
  • Send final guest count to caterer and venues 
  • Distribute welcome baskets
  • Pack for the honeymoon

With this essential checklist in hand, all that’s left is to enjoy every moment leading up to the big day! Planning a wedding can seem daunting but if you take it step-by-step using this checklist as guidance, then it won’t be long until the magical day arrives! Good luck with all your wedding planning endeavors!

Need Extra Help?

If you need additional help with planning your wedding day, our online wedding planner is ready to help! If you’re interested in scheduling a consultation, you can schedule a chat here. We’re looking forward to working with you!

Share this post

Leave a Reply

We’re The Venlist


We’re all about making your wedding planning journey way easier. Fueled by equal parts caffeine and passion, we spend our days ensuring your day goes off without a hitch. Your story, your love, is beautiful and we can’t wait to make your wedding vision happen. 

find your way around



Tenth Ward Wedding - Kellyn & John

Salamander Resort Wedding - McKenzie & Blair

The Big Fake Wedding - Courtney & Travis



Stress Free Wedding Day

A lot of moving pieces go into finding the perfect wedding venue and we know it’s easy to feel like a hot mess! Grab our free venue questions guide to help locate your perfect wedding venue.