Crystal Horton Photography | Premium Wedding Checklist for Every Bride

Premium Wedding Checklist for Every Bride

May 29, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

How to have a Smooth Wedding Day Series

Premium Wedding Checklist for Every Bride

Woohoo. You know it is that time when you need to start planning your wedding, and let’s be real it is never too early to start planning. They always say the early bird catches the worm, and no that doesn’t mean you have to get up at 4am.

If you are part of my decadent email series “How to Have a Smooth Wedding Day” then you already know why a checklist is beneficial and which writing of a checklist is the most efficient for weddings. (If you aren’t then maybe you should sign up HERE because I always give extra bling to the email series before every blog.) But for now I get to help you with actually creating a checklist for your wedding.

Premium Wedding Day ChecklistPremium Wedding Day ChecklistA Checklist is one of the first and most important steps in making sure that your wedding day is smooth.


Where to Begin

First of all, how far from your wedding are you?

  • 2 Month Engagement…umm; best of luck?
    • This isn’t an ideal situation.
    • You will be quite stressed and pressed for time and money BUT!!
    • You can still benefit because you still need this information.
  • 6 Month Engagement…Not bad
    • It will be a challenge, but I have seen a few spectacular weddings
    • You get just barely enough time to find an okay quality venue, and pros.
  • 12+ Month Engagement…Now We’re talking
    • The average bride gives herself 12 months or more to plan and pay off her entire wedding!
    • Budgeting is a way to work smarter, not harder.
    • It’s a lot harder to find sale items in a few weeks rather than a year.



Let’s get serious

The very first thing you need to decide is what is most important to you and how soon you want to book that important item.

In the list we are about to make rearrange these items so that your priority vendors/professionals are booked immediately so you don’t miss out on a good quality.


Now let’s write!

I am going to have black bullet points which are the key items you should focus on and then I have indented bullet points which are just additional thoughts, notes, and optional to write down.

FINAL NOTE: if you really want to be ambitious, pull up your cell phone calendar and add these things into it directly. It might take a little longer, but it saves you from having to do it later. Just a thought.



12 Months

  • Choose at least 1 or 2 wedding expos to attend.
    • Get a feel for How Many brides you’re up against when booking pros
  • Choose a wedding date
    • Are there birthdays or other big events that will get in the way?
    • This may change if you want a venue but they are already booked
  • Set a budget for Wedding & Honeymoon
    • We all want a Hollywood wedding but really, we need to have “A” number to start with. Choose 5k, 10k, 13k, 17k, 21k, 28k, 32k; It’s up to you
    • Oh, make sure your S.O. agrees with this number since “what’s yours is mine” starts now.
  • Start writing a general guest list.
    • No need to get addresses at this time, just get a general idea
    • 50 people? 80 people? 120 people? 200 people? 250 people?
    • You need this number for most of your venues like caterer & photographer
  • Prioritize your vendors
    • What is most important?
    • Music? Location? Photographic Memories? Food? Dream Gown? Planner?
    • Pick which ones you want THE MOST and get those booked asap. Typically, Reception Venues and Photographers book the fastest. No joke!

10 Months

  • Pay a Deposit (and get a receipt!!) & get contracts for:
    • Reception Venue (will it hold your guest count?)
    • Ceremony Venue (same location?)
    • Photographer (these usually book up second fastest next to reception venues)
    • Caterer/Food (is this supplied by the venue?)
    • DJ/Musicians
    • Florist
    • Planner (hire them if you love them!)
    • Hair & Makeup Artist
  • Research Wedding Gown styles
    • Schedule at least 1 or 2 fittings for fun or you can wait

8 Months

  • Select Brides Maids and Groomsmen.
  • Go Official Dress Shopping
    • Order your wedding gown
    • You need time for alterations or any shipping issues
  • Get a Gift Registry
  • Put a deposit on remaining vendors/professionals you have left to book
  • Finalize Guest list
    • Get Guest’s addresses
  • Schedule Cake Tastings (BEST PART EVER!!)

7 Months

  • Hire the Cake Baker you like
  • Schedule Bridal Shower(s) Date(s)
  • Take Mom(s) dress shopping for their dresses
  • Make a decision about your centerpieces and decoration
    • Sometimes you can find holiday deals at craft stores!
  • Book your Engagement Photography session if you have one

6 Months

  • Check your Budget.
    • Need More or Spending wisely?
  • Mail Out Save the Dates! (Especially for out of town guests or Destination Weddings!)
  • Schedule Bachelorette/Bachelor Party weekends

5 Months

  • Research, meet, and email Hair & Makeup Artists
  • Start Planning Honeymoon
  • Research Out of Town Guest Accommodations
  • Start a Skin & Hair regiment

4 Months

  • Book Rehearsal Dinner Reservations
    • Book morning after brunch if needed
  • Book Your Makeup & Hair Artist
  • Decide on Wedding Day Transportation
  • Get Wedding Dress Alterations!
  • Book Honeymoon flight/hotel/resort
  • Order Initiations & Thank You Cards
  • Do Maid’s dresses need alterations?
    • Get those in asap!

3 Months

  • Get details about Marriage License
  • Early mail out for Invitations
  • Select Groomsmen Attire
    • Buy/rent this if customized
  • Decide on music for ceremony/reception
    • Deliver music to DJ/Musicians
  • Confirm vendors, vendor’s contracts, and location of wedding!!
    • You NEED to do this incase you need to find a last min replacement.

2 Months

  • Decide on a Thank You favors for guests
  • Mail Invitations Last chance
    • Ask RSVP’s by 30days prior at the lates
  • Design a Wedding Day Itinerary
    • 1min planning, saves 10min in execution
  • Final Dress Fitting

4 Weeks (1 Month)

  • Deliver final head count to Caterer/venue
  • Makeup & Hair Trial Run
    • Can book earlier like when you do your engagement photographs.
  • Create a Rain Plan! (Trust me it’s worth it!)
  • Give final Wedding Itinerary to all important people and vendors
    • Church, Reception, Caterer, Photographer, DJ, Hair & Makeup, Baker, ect
  • Confirm Honeymoon bookings and flights

3-2 Weeks

  • Get Marriage License
  • Create Seating Arrangements
  • Freshen hair if dying and start a skin treatment
    • Also, if you want teeth whitening and skin tanning

WEEK OF (WooHoo You made it!)

  • Create a Day of Checklist (Items you can’t forget!)
  • Get dressed steamed or pick up from alterations
  • Pick up groom’s attire (& groomsmen’s attire)
  • Get nails done and unwanted hair waxed
  • Box/Pack all wedding day items (or give to planner in advance)
  • Final Confirmation with all vendors on time and location!
  • Pack for Honeymoon


When you sign up for my Smooth Wedding Day Series, you will instantly get the Blank Wedding Day Itinerary and more downloadable files through my series. Click the link above to get that instantly and directly to you!



- - - - - - - - - -   ~  - - - - - - - - - -


Check out Timeless Wedding Services here


Have a quick question: Click Email me HERE! and a new email should pop open.


Meet me HERE on my Personal About Page before you actually “meet me” or jump right to setting up a Free Coffee or Consolations Here since I only book 30 Weddings each year.


Desire to see why Bride & Groom’s recommend me. See these Reviews!


Proud Wedding Photographer of Cincinnati, Dayton & Franklin Ohio




No comments posted.