Hey there, bride-to-be! We’ve compiled a bridal checklist for your wedding day to streamline your wedding plans and make sure that your special day turns out as beautiful as you’ve always dreamed of it to be. Follow these steps to minimize any surprises:
Bridal Checklist: 10-12 Months Before
- Start the bridal checklist for your wedding day with a binder where you can keep snippets of information, inspiration, and small notes and reminders handy.
- Work out your budget and decide what areas to splurge on, and which areas to save on.
- If you feel overwhelmed, hiring a wedding planner can be a great idea to relieve some weight off your shoulders.
- Start your guest list. Use a database such as Microsoft Excel to keep an accurate headcount as well as keep track of RSVPs and gifts.
- Ask relatives and friends to be part of your wedding party.
- Book a date and venue. Consider if you want to have the ceremony and reception at the same location. If you decide to host them at separate locations, make sure to factor in travel times between the two.
- Book an officiant and confirm that the location of the ceremony works for them.
- Start researching photographers, florists, caterers, and bands/DJs. Keep their information in your binder.
- Throw an engagement party (if you want to add it to your bridal checklist).
Bridal Checklist: 8-10 Months Before
- Now for the highlight of your bridal checklist and the part that everyone looks forward to…finding your wedding dress! Envision, shop for, and pick out your wedding dress. Attend at least 3 fittings to make sure the fit is perfect.
- Decide what kind of food you’d like to serve at the wedding and begin meeting caterers. Attend sampling events and reserve the caterer of your choice.
- Research and interview potential photographers and videographers. You can hire them now and leave finer details closer to the wedding date. Just make sure that they are open to doing what you want.
- Think about your decor and reserve a florist/decorator.
- Reserve accommodations for out-of-town guests.
- Sign up for a gift registry.
- Research and book rental companies for anything you might need to rent, such as chairs, tables, and tents.
Bridal Checklist: 6-8 Months Before
- Select invitations and send them to all of your guests.
- Shop for bridesmaids dresses. Check out Henkaa for some inspiration!
- Meet with the officiant and confirm that you have all the necessary documents for the wedding.
- Start planning your honeymoon. For your bridal checklist, take a look at this must-have honeymoon dress to make sure you’re fully styled for the trip!
- Book ceremony musicians.
- Make arrangements for transportation. Make sure to consider the length of your wedding party’s dresses when booking a limo or minibus (ie. tall SUV limos can become a little tricky if you are all wearing floor length gowns).
- Start composing a rough schedule for the day of the wedding (ie. greeting guests, cake-cutting, the first dance, etc.)
Bridal Checklist: 4-6 Months Before
- Book the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner. Negotiate the cost and the menu.
- Check on the wedding invitations and make sure most guests have responded.
- Select and order your wedding cake.
- If you’re having a bridal shower, send the guest list to your host. That is, if you know about the shower!
- Schedule make-up artists and hair stylists for you and your bridal party. Start picking out looks you would like to see on your wedding day.
- Buy wedding shoes and begin your dress fittings.
- Shop for and purchase your wedding rings.
- Choose your music.
Bridal Checklist: 3 Months Before
- Decide who will be giving a toast.
- Make sure the groom rents formal wear for the groomsmen.
- If you want to give out wedding favors, order them now.
- Research and determine which readings you would like to have read at the ceremony and who you would like to read them.
- Purchase your undergarments. Check out our Henkaa Intimates to see our no-show bras and panties to check this off your bridal checklist.
- Finalize the menu and flowers.
- Finalize the order of the wedding ceremony and reception.
- Send your event schedule to the vendors.
Bridal Checklist: 2 Months Before
- Plan and write out your vows.
- Book trial run appointments with your hair stylist and make-up artist to try out looks for the big day.
- Touch base with all vendors and make sure that all questions are answered on your side and their side.
- Finalize the guest list and make sure to collect any outstanding RSVPs.
- Review the playlist with the band or deejay.
- Meet with your photographer or videographer and make sure to discuss any specifics shots you would like and preferred spots that stand out to you.
- Enjoy a bachelorette party – you deserve it!
Bridal Checklist: 1 Month Before
- Get your marriage license early to avoid any last minute stress.
- Mail rehearsal dinner invitations.
- Visit your dressmaker for (hopefully!) your final visit.
- Call all of your bridesmaids to make sure they have their dresses ready.
- Have the groom contact the groomsmen to make sure their suits have been fitted and tailored.
- Order in-room welcome baskets at the hotel for out-of-town guests.
- Now that you have a finalized head count, stock the bar!
- Send out as many final payments as you can.
- Confirm time and date for hair and make-up with all vendors.
- Assign seating for your guests.
- Purchase bridesmaids gifts which you will give out at the rehearsal dinner.
- Get your hair cut and colored, if you need to.
Bridal Checklist: The Week of the Wedding
- Reconfirm arrival times with vendors.
- Delegate small wedding day tasks such as who will bustle your dress, who will carry your stuff, who will be in charge of gifts, etc.
- Pick up your dress and make sure it looks flawless!
- Make sure the groom picks up his formal wear.
- Send a timeline of the big day to the bridal party.
- Check in with the photographer one last time.
- Give the reception site/caterer the final head count including the photographer, band/deejay and anyone else who will be expecting a meal.
- Print place and table cards
- Set aside checks for the vendors and put a tip in the envelope which can be given at the event.
- Book a spa day the day before your wedding to get a manicure and pedicure done, as well as anything else you’d like to get done.
- Break in your shoes!
- Arrange for guests without transportation to be picked up from the airport or train station.
- Pack for your honeymoon.
Bridal Checklist: Day Before
- Rehearse the ceremony and iron out any details in your bridal checklist.
- Bring ceremony accessories to the site (yamakas, candles, etc.)
- Attend the rehearsal dinner and hand out gifts.
Bridal Checklist: Day Of (YAY!)
- Present parents and each other with gifts.
- Give the wedding bands to the best man and maid of honor to hold during the ceremony.
- Assign a family member or attendant to be the photographer’s contact so he/she knows who is who.
Bridal Checklist: Post-Wedding
- Pre-arrange for someone to return any rentals.
- Plan in advance for someone to take the bride’s gown for cleaning and return the groom’s suit rental.
- Write and send thank you notes to guests who brought gifts and any vendors who were an exceptional help.
- Enjoy wedded bliss!
For more inspiration on bridal wear, check out the Henkaa gallery where you can browse photos by style and color. Good luck and enjoy every moment of planning the bridal checklist for your wedding day and biggest party of your life!
This blog post was originally written by Gloria Chik.
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