Photography by Daniel | Wedding Checklist






Wedding checklist



9 ~ 16 Months Before:


  • Organization and communication is key! Over the next little bit, you’ll be exposed to all sorts of designs, ideas, and wedding venues.  Consider keeping an inspiration folder, binder, or storing the information on your cell phone that can be easily accessed and shared if needed. Be sure to back up your information in case of equipment failure.


  • Start to work on a budget and identify where funding will be coming from. It is critical to have an budget to have how much you can afford for your special day. Start your homework early to give yourself plenty of time to prepare.


  • Start the selection process on who is going to be in your wedding party to give them plenty of notice to start preparing for this special event.


  • Start preparing your guest list to give you an overall idea of how many people will attending. This will be important when considering the venue, food, dance floor size, parking, and information your photographer and videographer along with other vendors will require. 


  • If your budget allows you to, hire a wedding coordinator. If you are working on a smaller wedding, you may consider forgoing this option. However, if you’re planning a larger wedding, it may be to your benefit to have someone there with this level of expertise. They will have strong insight with wedding venues and vendors to help avoid any unforeseen concerns.


  • Select a venue for the wedding ceremony, and consider whether or not you will have separate locations for the reception. Be sure to think about parking, travel time, and other obstacles that may occur between two locations. Majority of the weddings and receptions are at the same location or very close proximity of each other.


  • Start interviewing and select your wedding officiant. Don’t be afraid to ask for references or to see video of past ceremonies.


  • Prepare to throw an engagement party with the same attendees that will be at the wedding


  • Identify what type of photography style you prefer along with a videographer style. It is strongly encouraged that you have open communication with your photographer and videographer because they are the ones that are going to capture your memories for many generations to come. Do not be afraid to ask for references or access to previous ceremonies so you can view their work.


  • Start the process of looking for a band, florist, and any other form of entertainment or vendors you may be considering. Be sure to store the information in your inspirational folder.



8 ~10 Months Before:


  • Depending on your wedding venue, sometimes you are not allowed to have external caterers. Be sure to research that before you book your caterer. Once you have identified what caterers are allowed, you then want to continue with the interview process. Often caterers will offer to cook for you and fiancée so you can get an idea of the quality to be expected.


  • Dress shopping  well in advance will give you plenty of time to schedule the multiple fittings and overcome any obstacles you may face with alterations and purchasing accessories such as shoes and a veil.


  • If you have family and friends that are traveling, you may want to consider hotel accommodations in the local area of the venues. Often you can find great prices online and then call them directly to get them to honor the online price for a group or rooms.


  • If you are interested in a wedding website to keep people up-to-date of how the plans are coming, there are a host of providers that are often free through an Internet search.


6 Months Before: 


  • Your invitations and RSVP cards can be sent out to a third party for them to put something together for you, or there are many programs out there where you can design your own invitations to help save on the cost.


  • Honeymoon preparation is important especially if you are traveling out of the country. Is your passport up-to-date? Do you have an understanding of the currency rate? Make sure you schedule an appointment with your physician to ensure your up-to-date on all your shots. Do you need a power converter? Have fun looking through online travel agencies for great savings.


  • Identify what colors you are going to have for your bridesmaids dresses to proceed with the shopping and selection process. It is not a bad idea to do this this far in advance in case of special ordering and quantity selection.


  • Have ongoing conversations with your wedding officiant to discuss in detail how you wish the ceremony to proceed and that you have all the necessary documents to be legally married.


  • Be mindful if you are reserving at an outdoor venue that they will have adequate power, restrooms, additional chairs, portable dance floors, and additional lighting if needed. Be sure to be detailed with this so they have a full understanding of what they need to deliver with minimal mishaps.


  • Transportation will need to be booked well in advance such as limos, buses, luxury, or horse carriage.


  • Realistic planning for the day of and assigning it to someone that understands the direction and is not afraid to take action if needed. It is recommended that you have ongoing conversations with your officiant, photographer, videographer, DJ, and the wedding venue to ensure appropriate timeline planning is taking place. It is common for people to misjudge how much time events will take during their wedding day. 


5 Months Before:


  • Plan ceremony rehearsal along with the rehearsal dinner. These are good to help work out any obstacles that might be unforeseen in the early planning. 


  • Follow-up on your wedding invitations if they have not already came in.  Be sure they are to your liking.  Be sure to keep some for yourself so you can reminisce many years to come.


  • Cake selection is a fun but time-consuming adventure. Be sure to shop around and sample many types of flavors for you and your guests to enjoy. Don’t forget to invite some friends that are not afraid to give you their honest opinion.


  • If you have not already done so, you’ll want to purchase your shoes to go with your wedding dress, start your fittings, and be sure to bring your shoes to your fittings along with your tailor visits so they know the desired length to alter the dress.


  • Identify makeup and hair artist in the local area so you may have the opportunity to try them out and see if you like your work. Don’t forget to take a photo so you can compare the artists work to help you with your final decision. References are always helpful when dealing with vendors. 


  • If you have a certain playlist that you are interested in for your wedding ceremony and reception, you’ll want to coordinate with your DJ compiling ideas. E-mails are very beneficial with this kind of communication using the same e-mail for ongoing correspondence and to minimize confusion between all parties.  Don’t forget to add what songs you do not want to play for whatever reasons.


3 Months Before:


  • Final selection of dinner menu, alcohol selection, room decor including flowers, room lighting, up lighting for walls, draping, chair covers, and table linens is an important
  • Start of the planning process. Be mindful that some selections may be seasonal and you will need a backup plan if that is the case.


  • Coordinate with the people that are giving speeches along with the toast. Be sure to give them plenty of time for preparation.


  • If you’re going to be doing favors such as monogrammed napkins or cookies, you will want to order these now along with any special touches you may have for your out-of-town guest.


  • Determine the readings at the ceremony and who you would like to deliver them.


  • Purchase rings if you have not already done so. This will give you plenty of time for resizing if needed. Be sure to plan in advance for the weather because this will definitely cause your fingers to swell or shrink.


  • Follow-up with your wedding planner, officiant, photographer, DJ, wedding venue, and caterer before sending out finalized schedule. This will give you adequate time to adjust to any obstacles you may face with the scheduling of the day.


2 Months Before:


  • Meet with photographer to share your inspirational folder ideas of wedding shots you have been collecting over the past few months to give them a better understanding of what you desire. 


  • Communicate with your DJ or live entertainers to discuss any changes that might have occurred.


  • Mail your invitations out. You want to send these out approximately 8 weeks in advance before the wedding.


  • If you wish to have your wedding announced in the newspaper, you should check with the paper regarding their restrictions on verbiage and photos.


  • Communicate with your maid of honor about your comfort level regarding your bachelorette party.


1 Month Before:


  • Start gathering the final headcount for your guest list. It is not poor etiquette to contact anyone that has not responded yet. You simply want to ensure that you don’t miss anyone for this beautiful occasion.


  • Proceed to get your marriage license. It can take approximately up to 10 business days to receive your license back. It is a good practice to also order copies if you’re anticipating changing your name.


  • Arrange for your final fitting. Make sure the dress fits to your specifications and inspect your garment for damage or areas it may have been soiled during transport or handling by third parties.


  • Make sure your current with any payments that are remaining with any vendors you have contracted. Many vendors require payment in full 2 weeks in advance.


  • Contact your hair and make up artist to cover any final details you may have.


  • If you have not already done so, you need to determine whether you’re going to have assigned seating or not.  Check with your venue to see if they have a map laying out the room for easy coordination.


  • Purchase gifts for everyone involved with the wedding party. This will be a small token of your gratitude.


  • Determine if you’re going to have your hair cut along with any additional coloring or specific styles. It is not recommended that you do this really close to the ceremony just in case there is a reaction to the color or the trim needs to be corrected.


Week of the wedding:


  • Confirm wedding day responsibilities.  Ensure the responsibilities make sense to the parties that are to see them through. 


  • Communicate with your point of contact for the day of the ceremony covering the responsibilities such as someone to handle final payments to vendors that has a clear understanding of what services are to be performed.


  • E-mail your wedding party and anyone that has involvement with your special event a copy of the schedule/timeline. 


  • Consider treating yourself to a relaxing massage along with any other pampering the day before your wedding to help remove any additional stress.


  • Prepare and pack for your honeymoon.  Don’t forget medications, passport, travel documents, a printed copy of your reservations and flight information, and a local map of where you’re traveling. 



Best wishes from Photography by Daniel!