Wedding Planning Checklist: How To Plan Your Big Day


Last updated: Jun 18, 2021

Gossby Experts

Wedding Planning Checklist: How To Plan Your Big Day

Planning a wedding is a complicated yet rewarding process. If you are finding a way to create a wedding planning checklist for your dream wedding, then you are in the right place.

In this article, Gossby will walk you through the basic steps to throw one of the most important parties in your life and give you some ideas of amazing personalized items that can take your wedding to a new level.

Wondering how to start planning a wedding? Check out our guide below.

Wedding Planning Checklist - Step-by-step Guide

Step 1: Set A Budget

Budget is the first and foremost factor determining every decision you will make to create your perfect wedding. If you have your family members to get your back and contribute to the budget, that will help you big time.

However, it would be best to discuss with them first how much they are willing to spend to ensure that they are comfortable with the spending.

saving money is a wedding checklist

On the other hand, if you and your significant other are footing the bill, you will have to take a close look at your financial situation.

When it comes to the actual budget for this big day, get ready to deal with the reality, as couples may not be aware of the full extent of the wedding. Therefore, stick to that number once you’ve found it!

Step 2: Download Wedding Planning App

After you have set yourself a limit for the wedding expenses, now it’s time to get the hand to the business. One of the most useful tools that can help to organize your plan is the wedding planning app.

wedding planning app

This tool assists you in keeping and finding every information of your plan effortlessly in just a few seconds. Zola Weddings, WeddingWire, WeddingHappy, etc., are among the best apps that ensure everything is in place and on track.

If you are not comfortable using these apps, you can take advantage of classic tools like Excel spreadsheets or Word documents to create a  to-do list and keep everything in check.

Step 3: Get A Book On Wedding Planning

If you have never planned for a big event like this before and you don’t want to hire a professional planner, a traditional wedding planning book will be an ideal guide.

Books, such as A Practical Wedding Planner by Meg Keene, The Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner & Organizer by Jessica Bishop, or The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner by Carley Roney, are just some of the top-rated books that we highly suggest.

wedding book - wedding planning checklist

They can help you visualize what you need to do and prepare for this important event. The information, expert advice, tips, and tricks you get from the book will make your planning process a lot easier.

Step 4: Create A Wedding Checklist

A checklist is a powerful tool that helps you keep everything in your plan on track. It contains details like the budget, reception seating, flowers, honeymoon strategy, etc.

The wedding planning timeline checklist with all the information about the process of decorating the venue, the tasks that you should complete five to six months before, three to four months before, and so on, is essential to have.

wedding day checklist

It also frees you from the mountain of work and ensures you won’t miss any important tasks before your big day. In this way, you will get everything under control and peace of mind.

Step 5: Decide The Dates

Surely, you can’t officially “select the date” before you book the location for the wedding. Still, we suggest picking a few possible dates from the first place since it will be helpful during the process of selecting the venue.

Thinking about which season you want to tie the knot can give you some ideas on the wedding theme. After that, it’s choosing the day; do you see yourself getting married on a weekday or the weekend?

The weekend is more convenient for the guests to attend; however, the price for services or transportation will surely be higher. 

Meanwhile, on the weekdays, everything will be more affordable, and the venue’s waiting list will be potentially shorter since these days are less in-demand.

Step 6: Plan Pre-Wedding Events

You will also have to plan some pre-wedding events alongside your actual wedding ceremony, such as engagement party, bridal shower, bachelor and bachelorette party, etc. These celebrations are also very crucial to have.

They are the ideal opportunity for you to get a chance to spend time with friends and family and get their wishes and advice before your big day. These events don’t have to be too big; even simple small get-together parties are more than enough.

Step 7: Select The Venue

The venue is the factor that influences almost every other thing, from your decoration style to the number of people you invite. Put in the effort to find your ideal location, and you will have to visit venues after venues to finally come across the one that speaks out to you the most.

wedding checklist venue

Another thing to keep in mind is the budget. Try not to go overboard so that you won’t break your bank account. Be patient with this step, it might take a while, but it is surely worth the time.

Step 8: Choose A Theme For The Wedding

Once you get your preferred venue, it’s time for the next step: choosing the wedding theme. The best part is that you can pick any theme you want, it is your wedding after all.

You can get the idea from the Internet; wedding websites or Pinterest are great sources of inspiration. You can even turn your love into the main theme of the wedding and use items like personalized mugs as the decors.

planning wedding theme checklist

These mugs can be the highlight of your wedding decor pieces. You can choose a personalized design that can tell the love story of you and your significant other, making your special wedding more unique and more memorable.

This is when you can let your imagination run wild and find the one that represents your style. Just ensure consulting with your partner on this matter so that they should be part of this process.

Step 9: Pick The Wedding Suppliers

You will want to take the time to choose the suppliers since they are one of the crucial factors that determine the event’s success. Always have the style of wedding, the budget, and the location in mind when you start looking for suitable vendors.

wedding supplies planning checklist

Once you have picked out a few potential suppliers, begin to make some phone calls and write some emails to see how they respond and their attitude towards you as a client. Checking them out on social media to see if they have good feedback from previous clients is also a good idea.

Step 10: Get The Dresses

The wedding can’t be complete without the dresses. Looking for the right outfit for your big day is always a fun yet stressful journey. To get the perfect dress, keep in mind what style of your wedding is and your budget.

dress - wedding planning checklist

Since it can take months from the moment you finally find your dream dress until it gets tailored perfectly, we recommend you don’t leave this process to the last minute.

This applies not only to your wedding dress but also to the diner rehearsal dress, the after-party dress, and the dresses for the bridesmaids.

Step 11: Pick The Décor For The Wedding

Once you have picked out the event’s theme, now it’s time to pick the décor that matches the theme. Select the decor according to your wedding theme and personal style. A tip that can make this process less stress-free is to start with the crucial items.

wedding decor planning checklist

Items such as flower vases, wedding chairs, tables, etc., are great places to start. You can also add some personal touches by using stunning custom pillows as decorative elements for the wedding lounge.

A wedding lounge is a crucial component since the newlyweds need a nice place to sit and talk during the ceremony. With these custom pillows, not only can you be more comfortable and relax for a bit during this big celebration, but you can also express your love to your partner through the personalized message design on them.

Step 12: Make The Guest List

Unfortunately, you can’t invite anyone and everyone you know. It’s time to decide who you want to see on your big day. The number of people that will show up at your wedding depends on your budget and the capacity of the venue that you booked.

Another factor that influences your decision is who are the ones that are paying for the wedding. If it’s you and your significant other, then you two should get 70 percent of the total invites. 

guest list for wedding checklist

Meanwhile, the parents from both sides will split the remaining 30 to invite their friends and acquaintances.

If the parents are contributing, you and your partner, both sets of parents will share, and each should get one-third of the headcount.

Step 13: Start A Wedding Gift List

Think about what you wish for and include this detail in your invitations. In this way, you will be happy with the gifts, and the guests won’t have to think long and hard about what they should get you, which can be quite stressful.

Although you can ask for anything and everything you want, it would be best to give them a wide range of gift choices with different price points in their comfort zone.

detailed wedding checklist

The simplest gift that you can ask for is some adorable mugs with a customized design on them. The combination of easy access, creativity, and love that one can express through these small items is what makes them become the best gifts that you can ever get.

Step 14: Create A Wedding Website

If you are worried that your guests won’t catch up with the event, wedding planning websites are the go-to solution for this matter. You can make one yourself or hire someone to do it for you.

Every detail of the event will be on the website, such as the dates, locations, details of the room blocks, and so on. With this website, you will get peace of mind that every guest will get the information they need, making your event more organized and well-planned.

Step 15: Choose The Wedding Favors For The Guests

After the guests have attended your wedding, it would be nice to show your appreciation through some small yet meaningful wedding favors. The best wedding favors are the ones that they can use in their daily life.

wedding favors checklist

Some of our suggestions are bottle openers, water bottles, coasters, to name but a few. Still, one of the best weddings favors that we highly recommend is the couple canvases.

They are cute and practical gifts that your lovely guests can use to decorate their houses. Plus, these personalized canvases can also have your message on them as a way to thank your guests and make them even more special.

Wedding Planning Checklist & Frequently Asked Questions

Take a look at the answers to some of the most common questions you might encounter while planning a wedding

1. How Long Does It Take To Plan A Wedding?

Unlike other events such as birthday parties or get-together parties, weddings can take you a lot of time and effort to plan out perfectly since this is one of the most important and biggest milestones in your life. The ideal length to plan this special ceremony is from 12 to 14 months.

Suppose you do not have an early head start; six months is the required time to assure everything goes as planned. If your time is less than that, then your job will be a lot more stressful.

2. What Are The Things You Should Know Before Planning?

To bring your vision of the perfect wedding to reality, here are the things that you need to figure out before getting into planning:

  • How much are you willing to spend on the wedding?

  • When do you want to tie the knot?

  • Where will the party take place?

  • Which one do you want: a big fat wedding or a micro wedding?

As you can see, these simple questions can give you an overall picture of your wedding. Once you have the answers for them, you can start planning around them, and the process will be much easier.

3. Is It Hard To Plan A Wedding On Your Own?

Let’s keep it real; it is one of the most demanding jobs in the world. If you have no prior experience organizing events, the planning process can be slightly overwhelming.

You’ll need to pay attention to many factors that contribute to the success of the wedding. Inviting the guests, choosing the venue, the dresses, the supplies are just the tip of the iceberg.

That said, it does not mean you can do it on your own. The process can be intimidating at first, but you get to be involved in every step of planning your dream wedding in exchange. Be patient and consult the opinions of your friends and family, and you will soon get what you want.

Bottom Line

So there you have our complete guide on how to create the best wedding planning checklist. Also, keep in mind that one of the best ways to make your day even more special is to add meaningful, personalized items as the decors. 

Hopefully, you will feel less stressed about setting up the event and know what you have to do after reading this guide. Thank you for reading!

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