The Ultimate 12-Month Wedding Planning Checklist

Planning a wedding is no easy task, but with our handy 12-month wedding planning checklist you’ll feel like it’s a breeze. Here’s a rundown on the most important to-dos for your big day.

Venue: The St. Regis Punta Mita

12 Months

  • Start putting together your guest list! This is the first step in creating your budget.
  • Set a wedding budget
  • Create a wedding Pinterest board for inspiration.
  • Book your wedding venue/caterer
  • Set an official wedding date (once venue is confirmed)
  • Start trying on wedding dresses
  • Begin your skin care regime. For tips, visit our recent Ask The Expert Feature How to Prepare Your Skin for Your Wedding


10 Months

  • Purchase wedding dress
  • Create wedding registry
  • Create a wedding website for guests to get info on the big day/registry
  • Choose your wedding party/ask them to be involved
  • Book your wedding night hotel
  • Book wedding hotel blocks for guests
  • Send out save the dates (this time frame is particularly important for destination weddings)


9 Months

  • Book a photographer
  • Book a videographer
  • Book a “day of” wedding coordinator
  • Book florist
  • Book an officiant and make any pre-marital counseling appointments (if necessary)


6 Months

  • Finalize guest list and send out save the dates (for local affairs).
  • Book hair and makeup artists
  • Finalize and book any necessary venue rentals
  • Decide on bridesmaid attire
  • Ask Maid/Matron of Honor about bachelorette party details and wants
  • Start planning honeymoon
  • Take engagement photos (if desired)


4-5 Months

  • Send out wedding invitations
  • Book DJ or music for wedding
  • Order wedding cake
  • Buy or rent the groom’s tuxedo
  • Decide on groomsmen attire
  • Begin bridal dress fittings
  • Finalize honeymoon details
  • Make sure you have all your legal documents needed for a marriage certificate and honeymoon.


3 Months

  • Buy your wedding rings
  • Finalize catering menus and florals
  • Order place cards, table numbers, ceremony programs, etc.
  • Book any necessary transportation


2 Months

  • Buy thank you gifts for bridesmaids, groomsmen and parents (and most importantly, your bride or groom!)
  • Purchase and wear your wedding-day shoes
  • Check in with all vendors to confirm details, payment due dates, etc.
  • Check with wedding party to ensure they have everything you need them to get (dress, accessories, etc.).
  • Create a wedding day-of timeline
  • Finalize ceremony details with officiant


1 Month

  • Do a “test run” with hair and makeup artists to make sure you’re happy
  • Get final RSVP count and pass info on to vendors
  • Book final dress fitting
  • Get marriage license
  • Create a seating chart
  • Secure rehearsal dinner and guest list
  • Meet with your photographer and videographer to discuss shot list
  • Write your vows
  • Confirm all travel and honeymoon plans


Week Of

  • Send out day-of timeline to wedding party and parents
  • Make sure your vendors are confirmed. If you are using a wedding planner, be sure they are on top of this. Don’t assume everyone will show up.
  • Get engagement ring cleaned at the jeweler
  • Book any of your regular beauty treatments (nothing new that you’ve never tried before), including a mani/pedi.
  • Pack for your honeymoon


Day Before

  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Drink plenty of water and eat healthy meals throughout the day
  • Pack your overnight bag
  • Assemble your must haves for your reception clutch
  • Prepare in envelopes any vendor payments and tips. Give envelopes to your designated helper
  • Pack your car with any items you may be bringing to the venue
  • Charge your cell phone and make sure it is on silent so you can get some needed rest
  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Do some yoga, meditate, breathe and relax!


Day Of

  • Take day of checklist with vendors’ cell phones and emails
  • Take ceremony & reception items
  • Take emergency kit
  • Take speech(es)
  • Have fun!

Happy Planning!

Xx, The Planning Society


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