The Ultimate Wedding checklist

Wedding checklist printable

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We have compiled the most complete and up to date wedding checklist that you will need to plan your wedding. This is the Ultimate wedding checklist and includes absolutely everything, of course planning your wedding is all about staying organised and creating your own lists, not only do you need your own personal wedding checklist but you need to be able to put this into your own timeline. Many couples use a 12 month wedding timeline as this generally is how long couples take planning their wedding. However, you might be planning your wedding in superquick time or on a different time frame altogether so what I am saying is no one size fits all you need to create your own.

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The Wedding Checklist


Wedding Checklists are absolutely essential to help you prepare a detailed wedding to do list that is relevant to your wedding and will help you get things done on time so you can host a successful and amazing wedding.  Wedding plans can soon unravel and descend into chaos if the event is not organised properly, ensuring clear and timely communications with guests and suppliers is absolutely key.  Having a detailed wedding checklist allows you the chance to get super organised and delve into the details, because there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to planning a wedding and details easily get overlooked. Don’t you get frustrated when you think you have a full list of everything you need only to find new tasks pop up that you need to do.  In addition having a robust wedding plan in place from the off  will really help you stay calm and focused and not only save time but also money.

  1. Short List Venues
  2. Book the Church/Registrar
  3. Set the Date
  4. Create a weather plan
  5. Think about a back up plan and assess the risks
  6. Plan the Budget
  7. Start a Savings Plan
  8. Buy a wedding planner/organiser
  9. Get wedding Insurance
  10. Pick your bridal Party
  11. Create a to do list for your bridal party
  12. Delegate jobs to family and friends to help out
  13. Work out who is picking up things in the last week
  14. Determine rough Guest numbers
  15. Create a Moodboard of Ideas
  16. Buy Wedding Rings
  17. Source Wedding Dress
  18. Outfits for the Groomsmen
  19. Outfits for the Flowergirls/Page Boys
  20. Plan Hair and Makeup Trials
  21. Book and meet your Photographer
  22. Organise Videographer
  23. Plan Cars/Transport
  24. Book Entertainment
  25. Source Flowers
  26. Book Cake
  27. Confirm wedding stationery
  28. Source Decor/Props
  29. Finalise your guest list
  30. Plan Ceremony Readings
  31. Organise Ceremony Songs
  32. Finalise Reception playlist
  33. Plan the Honeymoon
  34. Schedule Final fittings and alterations
  35. Organise Visas/Passports/Insurance
  36. Plan a Hen Party
  37. Thankyou gifts for parents/helpers/bridesmaids
  38. Organise Thankyou Cards for guests
  39. Pick Menus/Food and Drinks for the Reception
  40. Create a countdown planner
  41. Make an order of the day plan
  42. Venue Setup kit list and to do list
  43. Create an emergency contact list of all your suppliers
  44. Make sure there is a point of contact for suppliers
  45. Gift for your groom or bride to be given on the morning.
  46. Finalise guest numbers for the venue, chase up any late replies

Best Wedding Planners and Wedding Spreadsheets

Our go to place for all things beautiful, unique and creative is Etsy and they have a wonderful selection of wedding planners, wedding spreadsheets and wedding checklists which you can easily download and print at home.

Wedding planner printable

Etsy design studio teti


Wedding spreadsheet

Etsy shop Manja sheets


Wedding planner pdf

Etsy design studio teti

The Wedding Timeline

When it comes to compiling your own wedding checklist you need to think in terms of time lines, there is the general wedding planning checklist that gets all the main organisation done. Secondly you will have a number of jobs to do in the run up to your big day, that week or month before needs a separate wedding checklist. Finally, there is everything that needs to happen on the day itself and this really deserves its own wedding checklist. Keeping all of these time frames organised separately will make sure your not feeling overwhelmed and keep you super organised.The wedding time line your planning your wedding within should set the pace of your organisation. It really doesn’t have to be done in a 12 month window, or all at once.  For instance, the time frame can be collapsed and items ticked off much quicker or later, if that suits.  Therefore, some items in the list might be irrelevant to you so just cross these out. 

Wedding checklist printable

55 Point Wedding Checklist

1 Short List Venues

This should be pretty high up on your wedding checklist given the importance of this one task. In order to start selecting venues you need to have an idea on how much you can or are willing to spend, how many people you intend having at your wedding day and  the style of wedding you are aiming for.  

  • Do some research first, perhaps check in advance the wedding date is free and they can accommodate your guest list numbers before you get your hopes up.  Furthermore, the wedding venue is what you will spend the most amount of your wedding budget on and of course spend the majority of the wedding day here, therefore choosing the right venue is pretty important.  
  • Try not to do more than 2 -3 venue visits in one sitting, because you will be utterly bewildered and narrowing the choices down later will be much harder

2. Book the Church

This will be one of your first big decisions post engagement, where you will actually be married.  Church weddings did appear to go out of fashion in favour of the more modern and convenient alternative of being able to have the complete wedding day all in one place.  However, wedding ceremony decor used to be a few chair covers in a room which was hardly inspiring for the most important part of the day.  A church setting can be seen to offer a far more impactful and meaningful setting that is pretty low maintenance as opposed to hiring in lavish ceremony altar decor which is very on trend. The main thing is that there are certain places where your wedding can legally take place, so if your thinking barefoot on the beach it would probably have to be humanist ceremony which is non legal. Basically you would need to get the legal wedding done beforehand in order to do this.

  • Church Ceremony
  • Civil Ceremony at your venue
  • Registrars Office 
  • Non religious wedding ceremony (non legal)

3. Set the Date

“When is the big day?”  This is probably the number one question that will be asked as soon as the engagement ring is on your finger.  Setting the date can often be a sticking point for some couples, work constraints,  and family availability are often the main kinks to be worked out before setting the date.  Thereafter, you may have your heart set on a particular date or season, church or venue .  However, before any announcements can be made check that you can get married on that date.  Setting the date is like juggling moving parts when you have a few elements to consider and co-ordinate. The key is to be open and flexible but at the same time decisive, you may not be able to please everyone but nothing would get organised if you had to wait for everyone’s input.  


4. Plan the Budget

This is a big subject to cover, the wedding budget deserves its own wedding checklist. Weddings are expensive no matter what end of the wedding budget spectrum your aiming for, it is still a good chunk of money.  Be open from the beginning with each other regarding what is important and look for areas of compromise. 

  • WEDDING TIP:  The larger the guest list the bigger the budget you will need, often savings can be made by trimming the guest list sooner rather than later.  Check out this more detailed post on how to plan your wedding budget.  Be mindful of sending out save the dates until this is really iron clad. Once the save the dates have gone out it will be harder to back track and trim the guest list later.

5. Get Wedding Insurance

Regardless of whether you are having an expensive wedding or a more low key budget wedding, getting wedding insurance from the get go is really important.  There are all kinds of reasons that lead to a cancelled wedding and typically no one ever thinks any of these things will happen to them.  The main reasons being serious health problems affecting a family member, urgent medical problems or a bereavement;  financial issues or relationship problems can often derail the wedding day too.  Wedding Insurance is literally the backstop/safety net in place to help when things go wrong.  Invariably things can go wrong, especially with so many variables to contend with. Venues and suppliers can and do go bust – no one is immune from this and no amount of vetting in advance, will safeguard your money if this happens. Many suppliers are single business owners working from home, when things go wrong they can soon disappear off the face of the earth.  Scamming online has also left people seriously out of pocket.  The whole point is that hopefully you will never need it but when and if you do you will be thanking your lucky stars instead of being incredibly stressed out.

6. Bridal Party

We have all seen the endless pictures of the bride surrounded by their maids that look like they have hopped off the runway. Don’t feel pressure to follow this trend for one extra bridesmaids is going to put a strain on the wedding budget there are outfits to buy, hair and makeup, transport and accommodation it all adds up.  On the flip side if you ask your bridesmaids to pay their own way they will feel the extra financial pressure. The main point is don’t get carried away. Sisters/Best friend can pretty much have you covered on this one.  The Groom needs to pick a best man and ushers if you want these and the big job of who will escort you down the aisle. Think Prince Charles and Meghan Markle!

7. Determine Guest List Numbers

Add this on your wedding checklist and highlight for importance.  Guest list numbers are the one area that will have family members wanting to have their say and it can often cause upset. It often helps to be consistent, if you decide, no children then stick to this across the board. Plus ones can bump the numbers up too. Don’t be afraid to be strict with your numbers, it is your day.

8. Secure the Venue

Time to dot the i’s and cross the t’s make sure you review the venue terms and conditions and if in doubt ask for clarification in writing before you sign up. There will most likely be a non refundable deposit payable at this point

9. Book the Photographer

These people will be with you throughout the day, you have to make sure they make you feel comfortable and your happy to be around them. Check their work in advance, ask for references and follow them up. Checkout their reviews but be mindful these can be faked. Ask for recommendations. Meeting suppliers at wedding fairs is no guarantee of their authenticity. 

10. Start Wedding Dress Shopping

If you are on a budget then decide what you can afford, you should cut your cloth accordingly. As a a result Facebook groups, ebay and high street labels are good places to look for a bargain.  

  • WEDDING TIP: Out of courtesy always ring a bridal shop first to book an appointment. Ask for their price ranges and discuss sizes you may want to try on. This will save you a huge amount of time and avoid any disappointment arising, from not having anything to try on. Furthermore visiting a shop that is clearly out of your price range is just a waste of your time.  

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11. Write out the Guest List

Time to get those save the dates out to      people you will be inviting to the day time reception. Furthermore, this is more important if you plan to host the wedding on a weekday when people may have to arrange time off work or take children out of school.

12. Source Wedding Stationery 

Think about the information guests will need in there invitations, directions, gift registry, menu choices, rsvp details. Accommodation and Transport contacts. Stationery could also extend to orders of service, menu cards, place cards, table numbers and evening reception details. Remember you won’t need an invite for every guest. Always proof the stationery before sending to the printers and if in doubt a second pair of eyes is better than one. Stationery should tie in with your overall theme,  elements of these such as menu cards and name cards will appear at the reception so consider this when choosing designs.

13. Create a Wedding Moodboard 

A Wedding mood board will help cement your ideas together to get a cohesive look. It is easy to get carried away and have bits of this and that, which just won’t work as well together.  We advise preparing a moodboard for the style of the wedding and reception decor, invitations and flowers and also a moodboard for the bridal party looks, hair, makeup and nails, dress, hair accessories shoes, can all be included on this moodboard. What would we do without Pinterest… you will be swamped with ideas,a word to the wise too much time on here will create overwhelm, make sure you reign yourselves in from time to time. 

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14. Decide on Gift Registry

Think about whether you will suggest gifts that guests can give. If you decide to forgo the idea of physical gifts, alternative ideas to consider could be a collection for a charity, a honeymoon gift registry, this is where you can nominate honeymoon experiences that could be contributed towards. Don’t leave guests to guess – without suggestions you will end up with multiple toasters, glasses and picture frames.

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15. Send Wedding Invitations

Factor in postage costs to your wedding budget, it is unnecessary and not generally expected to send prepaid rsvp envelopes. Give people the option to email or text their RSVP’s this way you will more likely get quicker answers. Set an RSVP date and mark it in the calendar so you can chase any outstanding replies – there will be people to chase up!

16. Plan the Honeymoon 

It is important to consider your honeymoon options at the point of setting the date, if you have something specific in mind this may be affected by the date you set. Don’t forget to book the time off work. Allow for time off before the wedding and double check with the powers that be that this will be authorised before putting any deposits down. The honeymoon is unlikely to be covered by your wedding insurance, so get your travel insurance organised. Check passport and visa requirements

17. Travel Insurance

It is always advisable to get your travel insurance as soon as you book, especially when you book quite far in advance.  If anything happens before you go then you could be covered.

18. Passport and Visas

Start planning the honeymoon early, use Pinterest for research purposes and download our Honeymoon calendar. This will tell you the best destinations for the month you are expecting to travel.  

19. Wedding Dress Shopping

As tempting as it might be to start trawling your local wedding dress shops, you should research some ideas beforehand for yourself.  Most bridal shops will ask you to keep an open mind and try on designs, you might think wasn’t what you were looking for.  If you have something specific in mind, seek it out and go there first, it might be exactly what you want or may be one that can be ruled out early on. If you don’t get the chance to try it on, you might always wonder,what if…

20. Find Accessories for the bridal party

The bridesmaids are likely to need  hair accessories, jewellery and shoes to match in with their outfits. Decide on whether you will be providing these or expecting the maids to supply their own.

21. Secure the Wedding Dress

Check and confirm the lead time for your dress and any other accessories your are ordering from the bridal shop. Do not assume that items are shipped from stock. Most gowns are made abroad typically expect to wait 3-6 months to take delivery. 

22. Find a Florist

One thing to note is that no two florists are the same, they will interpret your brief and quote for this. If money is a factor set your self a limit and explain this to your florist up front. If you give them a smaller budget to work with you then have wiggle room to add to it later.  Requesting specific flowers will push the price up, give the florist flexibility to order flowers from the market that week will save you a lot of money. 

23. Find a Cake maker

Check past work that the cake maker has done and look for similar examples of the designs you are considering. Not all cake makers excel at everything, hand painting etc. Is an individual art skill. Also suggest a cake tasting session to ensure you are going to be happy with the final results. Let your cake maker know if you plan to serve the cake as a desert as portion sizes will need to be adjusted accordingly.

24. Decide on Decor for the reception

Venues often have open days where you can see the venue set up for a wedding. This is a good opportunity to see particular colour schemes in action at your venue.

25. DIY or buy

The motivation to DIY over buying should mostly be based on, creating something personal for your big day. DIY can sometimes be a false economy, so research and cost out your ideas before going mad in hobbycraft. Allow plenty of time for your DIY projects, making metres of bunting and 150 handmade favours will take more time than you will anticipate.  Create a seperate wedding checklist for all your wedding DIY projects. 

26. Find suits for the groom

Research options to buy or hire suits and decide if there will be a dress code for the ushers.

27. Find outfits for the bridesmaids

Bridesmaids outfits can soon add up if you choose to shop via a bridal shop. Check out maxi dresses and occasion wear on the high street to get a more cost effective solution. 

28. Find outfits for the flowergirls, pageboys

Flowergirls and pageboys Suits and dresses can be a challenge as children grow quickly and sometimes suddenly.  Don’t start too early and or make too much of a big deal, kids can be fickle. They may try on a princess style ball gown only to decide 3 months later they hate it. 

The best way is to try and buy possibly 3 months before the wedding. Look online and on the highstreet rather than made to measure, especially for the younger children.

29. Decide on Readings for the ceremony

Check with the officiant on the kind of readings they would suggest and or if there are any restrictions.  It is usual to have two readings at the ceremony, you may ask your children to do this or close friends or siblings.  Make sure you ask them well in advance and that they are comfortable standing up and reading in front of everyone.

30. Decide on songs at the ceremony

There will be a song needed for arriving in church, walking down the aisle and during the service. Also, music while you sign the register and when you both exit as a married couple.  Talk to your officiant about your song choices and what would be appropriate and acceptable for your style of ceremony.  There may be the option of a choir if your getting married in church and some couples choose live music to accompany the service.  

31. Decide on transport and Logistics

Transport and Logistics covers getting everyone to the service and to the reception.  That does not mean you are responsible for organising the guests transport.  Although you will need to provide details in your wedding invitations such as directions and timings.  However, you do need to co-ordinate with your bridal party especially how they will get home after your wedding, perhaps they are staying at the hotel, perhaps they need to get home.  Either way the least you can do is make this part as simple as possible for them.  Transport and Logistics also cover how you will get all your goods and services to your wedding, communication with suppliers, organising collections and possibly returning equipment after the day.  Make a complete list and make sure everyone knows what is expected.  

32. Create a playlist for the reception

Think about the music you want to hear at your reception. You don’t need to decide every track but perhaps make a list of  key tunes and artists you like. If your having a DJ then this avoids them playing the kind of  music you don’t want. 

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33. Add Entertainment to the wedding checklist

If your guests are going to be with you all day and into the night then plan to include some entertainment  to break up the day. Energy levels will tend to sag after the meal so to keep everyone going an interval of entertainment might be a good idea.  

34. Consider a beauty regime on your wedding checklist

A bad breakout leading up to your wedding is the last thing any bride wants. My advice is to start early with a professional beauty regime, additional treatments may be necessary make sure you schedule these on your wedding checklist. 

35. Lifestyle changes

There is nothing quite like the significance of a wedding to motivate you to make positive lifestyle changes. The health and wellbeing of you and your partner is something that you both have a vested interest in this goes way beyond losing weight to look good in your dress. This is about setting a positive example for each other to be as healthy as you can be. 

36. Find entertainment 

Think about what entertainment you will need throughout the day of your wedding. There is music and readings at your ceremony. There is often a lull for guests between the reception and the arrival of evening guests. Entertainment for children if your inviting any is a consideration. 

37. Gifts as Thankyou’s

This is an area that can soon get out of hand make a list of individuals you need to acknowledge and gifts if your providing them ready to hand out during the speeches. Most couples would provide gifts for parents and the bridal party. However, extended families can make this quite an extensive list. 

38. Savings plan

Set up a savings plan so you can ring fence your wedding budget costs. Set up a seperate account for your wedding expenses so it doesn’t get mixed up with your every day expenses. 

39. Wedding Film services

This is often cited as a big regret that couples didn’t invest in a wedding film. Wedding films are slowly ditching their cheesy image and are often cool and trendy. 

40. Props to hire

Make a list of Props that you may need to hire and don’t forget to check their full terms and conditions so you understand the suppliers policies on returning the equipment. 

41. Ceremony Decor

Your ceremony style is just as important as your reception styling. Even though your guests will only be at the ceremony for an hour the ceremony is the most meaningful part so take your time to make this as beautiful as possible. 

42. Gift for Groom/Bride

A small gift or heartfelt note for the bride and Groom to be given to each other on the morning of the wedding. It’s the last word you will see before you meet each other at the aisle 

43. Accommodation and Transport for guests

The little things really matter I was once a bridesmaid and was not factored into the transport arrangements which was a bit awkward stood at the church in the rain. Make sure you take the time to make sure you know your guests and bridal party are all organised and make sure everything is communicated. Is there a room reserved at the hotel on the evening for certain guests and who pays for this will all need to be clarified beforehand. 

44. The hen party

The hen party can be just as stressful as organising the wedding, extra financial strains on your friends can have them bailing out of arrangements. Make sure that all the people you want can attend and it’s not cost prohibitive for them to do so. It is fine for you to organise your own hen party. 

45. The stag party

As above. If you haven’t been involved in any of the planning make sure someone is looking out for you, if there are certain things you wouldn’t want to go along with. 

46. Decide on the kind of ceremony you want.

This might be an obvious choice for some or perhaps less obvious but either way you have a number of options. The first thing is to make sure you are legally married with the correct documentation in place. Usually this is done via your local church or the Registrar. 

47. Meet with Church, celebrant or officiant

It’s always important to have a meeting with the person that is going to marry you so that you understand what the ceremony will entail. 

48. Prepare a bridal emergency kit for the day

Looking for last minute things on your wedding day when nerves are already on edge is something that can be avoided by being prepared ahead of your wedding day. 

49. Prepare a wedding countdown calendar

As wedding planning goes there is usually lots to organise in the beginning and then months of nothing but waiting and then the last month suddenly everyone is asking questions and all the fine details need to be organised and communicated. Communication is absolutely key especially amongst the suppliers that you will be relying upon on your wedding day. Basic things like set up times, collections, any offloading and delivery issues will all need to be organised between the suppliers, your venue and also a point of contact on the day. As presumably you won’t be the one chasing up the delivery of the cake, if things go wrong. 

Related post:How to make a Wedding Countdown calendar

50. Create or buy a wedding planner

Get the 100 page wedding planner right here. This fabulous planner is easily downloaded and pages can be printed as needed.

Wedding planner pdf

51. Decide what help you need setting up on the day.

This can be more involved than you think make sure you have friends and family on hand to muck in. Create a separate wedding checklist for on the day tasks that need doing. 

52. Source suppliers and check contracts before signing up. 

Always always check your suppliers terms and conditions and suppliers contracts before you agree anything. 

53. Prepare a styling kit for any on  the day set up.

If your setting up your own wedding decor make sure you have basics such as scissors, sticky tape, string etc. Trying to get these things when you might already be up against the clock will put you under more pressure. Mock up your table and take a picture of it so if anyone is helping you then they know what your setup needs to look like. 

54. Final Fittings and alterations and dry run

Factor in these extra appointments, remember you may need to take time off work so make sure you co-ordinate this as perhaps your already using holidays for your honeymoon. 

55. Hair and Beauty Trials

If you can always have a hair and makeup trial ahead of the day especially if these are suppliers that you have not worked with before. Take a picture at the trial so that they have a reference point, this could be useful if someone else has to step in for your professional at the last minute.