Planning a wedding is no joke. Along with all of the major stresses like finding the venue, putting together a seating chart and establishing a budget, there are tons of low-key stresses that also pop up as you approach the big day. The good news is that while there will always be people and situations beyond your control, staying organized and on your best wedding-planning game can help take some of the stress out of the whole thing.
That’s where we come in, with our ultimate wedding checklist. If you’re wondering how to plan a wedding like a pro, we’ve got you covered. From nailing the perfect beauty routine and practicing with those beautiful new hair extensions, to nailing the dress and accessories while booking all of your preferred vendors, we’ve rounded up all of the major things to consider as you approach your big day. Check these items off the wedding to do list month-by-month and then all you’ll have to do is hydrate and show up on your wedding day.
One Year Out
Calculate your budget
The first step when you’re figuring out how to plan a wedding is to determine your budget. The amount you have to spend will define what kind of a wedding you can afford. It sounds logical, but it’s easy to get carried away when you’re talking about throwing the best party of your life. So, figure out how much money you have to spend and how much you’re willing to potentially borrow and work backwards from there. Talk to your partner about how much they are willing to contribute and if there will be anyone else who would be contributing to your wedding fund.
Find the venue and set the date
Wedding venues are a hot ticket, so if you’ve got your eye on one it’s best to nail down your spot (and come up with a deposit) ASAP. Otherwise you may be disappointed when you go to book your dream spot only to learn it’s been filled up for the next year. Consider how big your guest list is first which will help you narrow down your venue search.
Figure out your color schemes
It may feel a bit early to nail down all of your color choices, but doing so ensures you have an overall vision for what you want on the big day. From there you can look into vendors who offer the types of designs and products you want, rather than letting the vendors sway you with what they prefer to offer or already have in stock. Creating a consistent color palette early on will also make it easier to decide how you want your wedding invites to look like.
Set your wedding party
Whether you want a lot of your besties by your side or you prefer a more intimate affair, setting your wedding party is basically booking all of the important people in your life. Officially setting your wedding party early can help manage expectations and it allows your friends to put time and money aside to celebrate your wedding and all of the fun events that go with it well in advance. Discuss with your partner on how big or small that wedding party will be.
Hire all the vendors
Like good venues, great vendors book up fast. That’s why you’ll want to figure out catering, florists, music, the photographer, and a videographer in advance. And, if you have the means to do so, now is also the time to hire a wedding planner, who can help you to streamline things and do the heavy lifting for you as you approach the big day. Even a day of wedding coordinator can help a lot so you can focus on your big day rather than stressing about logistics like the limo or flower arrangements.
Start a beauty and haircare routine
They say brides glow on their big day, but the reality is a lot of prep work goes into getting the best hair, nails and skin. If you haven’t already started a good beauty and haircare routine, now’s the time to start. Consider taking vitamins, consult with a specialist on the best facial products to use, and evaluate your overall scalp health.
Building a good haircare routine is key. Whether you are using hair extensions on your wedding day or going with your natural hair, our Wetline hair collection was formulated to work for both your hair and your extensions.
The line includes natural, vegan hair products that are designed to keep your locks looking fresh and full. Whether you need a balancing purple shampoo or a high-gloss smoothing conditioner, we’ve got the product for you.
Plan to destress
No matter how prepared you are, weddings are stressful. So it’s a good idea to plan to manage your stress by starting a new yoga routine, taking up meditation, or investing in some new headphones and hitting the trails to be one with nature. Whatever winds you down, start making time in your schedule to include it, so that as the months tick by it becomes a healthy and de-stressing habit.
Nine to Eleven Months Out
Get the dress
You’ll want to give yourself lots of time to go dress shopping, so make this a priority. If you have a budget you absolutely cannot break, reiterate it to the salesperson so they don’t bring you options you can’t afford. Once you’ve got the dress in hand you can also start thinking about how you want your hair and makeup to feel, and start researching your dream looks.
Hire your beauty squad
Now is also the time to find a hairdresser and makeup artist you love, and book them for the big day. You may also want to consider booking trials for both. When looking at trial dates, consider timing them to align with another wedding event, like your shower or engagement photos. Because once you’re all dolled up, you’ll definitely want somewhere to go!
Find your accessories
Accessories include everything from hair pieces and your shoes to jewelry and the robe you’re going to wear while getting ready on the big day. At Luxy we’ve got you covered with everything from hair extension carriers to pretty bridal-inspired clips that will add polish to your look.
Set up a gift registry
Find one or two places and start shopping for all the pretty and practical things you’ll need in your married life. Or, if you’re already established in your own home, consider signing up for a honeymoon registry, where guests can put money towards certain experiences for the couple to enjoy after the big day. If you really don’t know what to add to the list, consider gift cards to your favorite restaurants when you need a date night in the future or to your favorite shops for future home buys.
Shop for suits and dresses
Once you’ve got your dress down, it’s time to nail the rest of the wedding party’s looks—including the groom’s. Setting that color palette early on will give you a better idea of what outfits will complete the aesthetic you are going for.
Whether you’re looking at a town car, a limo or a horse and carriage, now is the time to nail down all the details about how and where you’re getting around on the big day. When booking don’t just think about yourself and your partner either—ensure you’ve got the whole wedding party covered.
Consider your honeymoon
If you’re going to leave for your honeymoon after tying the knot, now is the time to start narrowing down destinations and booking your stay. It will also give you something to look forward to once all these wedding planning checklist items are complete. Whether you are planning an exotic get away or doing more of a low key staycation, thinking about your honeymoon will help relieve some of that wedding planning stress.
Six to Eight Months Out
Send out invites
Now’s the time to officially get your date on people’s radars. Whether you’re doing an email or sending out physical invites, get them out now, otherwise your friends and family’s schedules may start booking up.
Hire an officiant
Who do you want to officiate the wedding? If you want to make sure you’ve got someone who jives with your style and beliefs, interview and book your officiant now. Talking to them one on one will give you a better idea of their style of officiating and how they plan to tailor their speech to your love story.
Figure out your favors
Do you plan on giving guests a little something to remember your big day with? Wedding favors are an expected touch, so take time to figure yours out. They don’t have to be big or expensive either—meaningful or practical is usually best.
Book a rehearsal dinner
The wedding rehearsal is important for a few reasons, but most of all it allows everyone involved in your wedding to know where they’re supposed to be and what’s expected of them on the big day. Typically, you’ll want to treat everyone to dinner afterwards as a way to say thank you and to bond before those vows happen. So book your space now.
Buy wedding rings
Wedding rings—especially custom rings—can take some time to craft, so use a day with your special someone and pick them out sooner rather than later so you can get the sizing right!
Set dates for showers and bachelorettes
Don’t just set the dates, ensure everyone in your wedding party knows about the dates too and what they will need to bring. Remember it’s okay to ask for help and your maid of honor can help with the planning so you can enjoy these special moments.
Take engagement photos
With everything going on right now, taking engagement photos should be fun. Invoke your inner glam with stunning and volumizing extensions, get a bit more dramatic with your makeup, or wear something that makes you feel gorgeous. Pick a location that is special to you or your partner or a place you have screenshotted years ago.
Re-evaluate your beauty routine
With six months to go, take some time to check in and see how your beauty routine is going. If your hair has a lot of product build-up, start detoxing your natural locks with our new Luxy Charcoal Detox Shampoo. If you notice a lot of breakage, take advantage of our Detangling Wet Hairbrush. And if you feel like your hair needs an overall pick-me-up, try a DIY hair mask, start using a scalp massager and be sure to prep wet hair with our new Heat Protectant Primer.
Four to Five Months Out
If your venue is out-of-town you’ll want to put a block of rooms on hold—not only for yourself and the wedding party, but in case wedding guests want to take advantage too.
Confirm and finalize details with vendors
Take some time to confirm or finalize details with all of your vendors to double (or even triple) check things are going according to plan. And if there are any outstanding vendors to hire, do so immediately so you aren’t scrambling the week before.
Two to Three Months Out
Finalize the menu and make menu cards
Take some time out to sample your menu and narrow down your choices—from appetizers and canapes to mains, desserts and the wedding cake. Don’t forget to consider friends and family members with food allergies or special diets so the venue is aware of these asks.
Get you marriage license
This is a big one—if you want to ensure your wedding is legal, don’t forget this step! Have this on hand and share with your officiant on the day of your wedding for the signing portion of your ceremony.
Put together a day-of timeline
Considering how much you’re packing into your big day, having a timeline will help keep everyone on track. If you’re not using a wedding planner it will also help you when it comes to coordinating all of your vendors.
Start writing your vows
Trust us—if you’re saying your own, don’t wing it. Drafting those vows early is on our wedding checklist for a reason.
Alter wedding dress and suits
Those final measurements and edits take some time, so don’t delay.
One to Two Months Out
Confirm the guest list
At this point you should have hopefully heard back from all of your guests, but check in with stragglers and get your final numbers for the venue and vendors.
Put together a seating chart
This can be stressful, so plan a whole night to do this. Either order in dinner or plan a spa-night in, complete with hair masks and maybe an exfoliating foot soak.
Make your wedding programs
Remember to include any special readings or tributes, too.
Confirm any outstanding bookings
If you’re the type of person who has a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, do this from under your covers with those twenty minutes or so you usually spend scrolling TikTok.
Put together list of shots for photographer
Hopefully this one won’t take a lot of time, but having it in writing ensures you don’t forget to take any important photos (like one with Grandma!) on the day of, when you’re riding that wedding day high and not necessarily on your A-Game.
Finalize small décor items
If you still need to finalize your centerpieces, a guest book, cake servers or any other small décor items, now is the time to do so.
One Week Out
Deliver your schedule to everyone involved
That way all your guests have the necessary info and will be on the same page. It also allows you to focus on taking care of your own last-minute stuff.
Deliver final guest count to vendors
This is another small task you can do from the comfort of your bed in the mornings before your shower.
Get your hair done
Touching up your color a week out from the big day is a good idea if you want it to feel fresh and bouncy. Just remember not to veer too much from your usual style at this point, unless you’re planning some sort of dramatic wedding reveal, of course.
Wax, thread and pluck yourself
Book all the beauty things, basically. Not only will you feel great and ready to go for the big day, but these appointments may also relax and distract you from the wedding and all of these wedding checklist items you’ve already completed.
Break in your shoes
Want to avoid blisters on your wedding day? Start wearing your wedding shoes around the house.
Finalize your vows
Hey, they say practice makes perfect.
The Day Before
Deliver the rings to the best man
That way if they get lost on the big day, it won’t be on you.
Get a manicure and pedicure
To have the freshest and prettiest nails possible, definitely don’t do this until the day before the wedding.
Pack it up, it’s almost go-time
It’s important to get a good night’s sleep because you’ve probably got an early call time. Pack all your things the night before and eliminate any frantic running around the next morning. Then close your eyes and get some shuteye—you’re getting married tomorrow!
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