Your Wedding Planning Checklist Will Save the Day

Published on: March 07, 2019 ,

wedding planning checklist

The stage is set. Everything and everyone are in place. It’s time!

You enjoy the last fleeting moments of being single as your closest friends smile and head towards the alter. And as you look at your Mom and Dad, you know each detail is perfectly in place. Peacefully and joyfully you take the first step to walk down a beautifully decorated aisle to the love of your life and your new journey together.

Or picture a different, more stressful scenario: It’s the most important day of your life. As you try to get ready someone interrupts asking when the cake is supposed to arrive. Five minutes later, someone asks are the pew bows really supposed to be lime green? Does anyone have the number of the photographer who was supposed to be here 30 minutes ago?

Why isn’t anything going like it’s supposed to? What’s the difference?

A detailed and thorough wedding planning checklist.

The Historic Post Office is here to help! We’ve created a Wedding Planning Checklist for our brides and their wedding parties, families, and vendors to ensure the special day has no missed details and is an event joyfully remembered.

Here are some of the most important highlights from our wedding planning checklist.

18 to 12 Months Before the Wedding:
Decisions! Decisions! Decisions!

One of the most important things to remember is: the sooner you make decisions, the more time you have to implement those decisions.

Figuring out what style of wedding you would like, what you can afford, when it should be, and where you want it to be is essential to ensure you and your wedding party are well prepared for the celebration.


  • Start researching for inspiration and ideas.
  • Knowing what style of wedding you want, and don’t want, can make all the many decisions that follow much easier!
  • Check out online wedding sites such as The Knot and Wedding Wire for inspiration.
  • Pick up a couple of wedding magazines at your local bookstore or head to the library for books on wedding planning, etiquette, decorating, and more.

Work out your budget

  • This is a challenging, but necessary step! All the parties involved need to have an honest conversation about who is covering which expense.
  • There are a lot of traditions associated with the budget; however, if those traditions don’t work for you and your intended, work out what does and communicate clearly and lovingly.
  • A budget can also help you with your many decisions. If your budget is $12K and the event space you like is $20K, you easily know you need to look somewhere else.

Select a wedding date and at least 2 backup dates

  • While choosing the anniversary of your first date may be romantic, your chosen wedding site may already be reserved! Many wedding venues are solidly booked at least a year in advance, so a couple of backup dates can save a lot of heartache.
  • Your wedding venue may be available, but what about the important people in your life. Your preferred officiant? Your maid-of-honor/best man? Future mother- or father-in-law? Make sure all of those you must have at your wedding are available before you make a deposit on a venue.

Choose your guests and plus ones

  • Depending on where and when you have your wedding, your preferred attendants may need time to save up for the trip, the clothes, and all the other expenses associated with being part of your wedding. The sooner you ask them, the better!
  • Officiants, caterers, DJs, florists, and other vendors sometimes need weeks, if not months, to work their event magic. Again, the sooner you can ask or make a reservation, the better!

12 to 9 Months Before the Wedding:
Start Making Those Reservations

  • Your big “To Do” in this time frame is purchase your wedding dress! You’ll want to schedule at least 3 fittings and a delivery date, so your bridal shop will need plenty of time for the alterations.
  • If you haven’t done so already, reserve your vendors: caterer, baker, florist, DJ, band, photographer, videographer, etc.
  • Don’t forget to check into the marriage license requirements!

9 to 6 Months Before the Wedding:
Communication is the Key

  • This is a great time to launch a wedding website. Include information such as the date of the wedding, dress code, parking, travel, accommodations, and gift registries.
  • Just like your wedding party needs time to plan, so do your guests! Finalize your guest list and send Save the Date cards. This is the perfect time to order wedding invitations and thank you notes. You’ll also want to prepare for your guests by reserving a block of hotel rooms near your wedding venue.
  • Start planning your honeymoon. If you’re leaving the country, be sure to research passport/visa requirements for both entry to your destination and re-entry into the U.S.

6 to 2 Months Before the Wedding:
Start Completing Your Checklist

  • It’s time to send the invitations. Be sure you have looked at them before they go to final print and that they include a clear way to RSVP.
  • Take a Saturday – or two! – to visit area jewelers and decide on your wedding ring sets. Buy your wedding rings and have them sized.
  • Begin thinking about the vows and readings for your ceremony. Is there a poem, verse, or saying that is particularly meaningful to you and your intended? Be sure to talk about the possibilities and save your favorites.
  • Think through your wedding day and create a “day-of” timeline. If you jot down when things are scheduled to happen, you won’t panic if you can’t remember when the flowers are supposed to arrive. You’ll simply check your timeline!

1 Month Before the Wedding:
Finalize Important Details

  • Apply for and pick up your marriage license. Be certain you know who must be there when you apply, what ID you need, when you can pick it up, and how long you have until it expires. Don’t leave this until the day before your ceremony!
  • Work with your officiant to finalize the ceremony. Include the vows you’ve worked on and any special readings.
  • Make final confirmations. A few quick phone calls can assure you that the wedding party attire, rehearsal dinner, transportation, etc. are finalized and ready for your special day.
  • Go to your final gown fitting. Be certain to take along all your accessories such as jewelry, shoes, and undergarments.

2 to 1 Week Before the Wedding:
Just a Few Details Left

  • Send your “day-of” timeline to your vendors and confirm with them. Once these details are set, send the timeline to your wedding party and family to be certain everyone is on the same page.
  • Pick up your wedding gown and have it pressed or steamed.
  • Pack for the honeymoon.
  • Break in your wedding shoes. Wear them while you do chores around the house or run errands around town.

The Day Before the Wedding:
Relax as You Prepare

  • Pack up all wedding day items including your wedding emergency kit and a steamer.
  • Attend the rehearsal and dinner. Relax and enjoy!
  • Present gifts to the wedding party and give the wedding license to your officiant.

After the Wedding:
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  • Write thank you notes for the gifts you’ve received. Be sure to do it in a timely manner rather than months later.
  • Thank vendors and post reviews to their websites or social media pages.
  • Enjoy your happily ever after!

Make Your Wedding Day Exceptional with The Historic Post Office

Ready to start planning? Download a version of this checklist.

These highlights from our wedding planning checklist will help you have a wonderful wedding day. Starting with an idea of the style of wedding you want and the budget you have will help you arrive at the wedding of your dreams.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, or want a partner who cares about making your day as exceptional as you do, let the experienced and dedicated staff at The Historic Post Office help! We work tirelessly to exceed all your expectations.

Connect with us today to schedule a tour and fall in love with the character of The Historic Post Office event venue. Get in touch by calling 913.305.7172, emailing, or using our contact page.