After the success of our wedding planning budget spreadsheet, it only made sense to create the best wedding planning checklist & timeline too!
In this wedding planning checklist, we’ve created a neatly presented timeline of absolutely everything you need to complete each month to ensure a smooth and stress-free wedding day.
Each task includes a link to the best resource we could find, whether on Bridal Musings or elsewhere, to help guide you through the task-at-hand.
You can browse the list below and revisit this page when needed, or if you prefer something more portable – we’ve also created a free PDF, as well as a free Google Sheets and Excel Version for you too.
Whether you’re just getting engaged or are deep in wedding planning mode, this practical guide will help you get started (or keep going!). So grab a cup of coffee, put your feet up, and let’s get started!
The Free Wedding Planning Checklist Spreadsheets & PDF
Free Google Sheets Wedding Planning Checklist
1. Make sure you’re logged in to Google / Gmail
2. Click this link
Free Excel Spreadsheet Wedding Planning Checklist
Super straight forward, click this link
Free PDF Spreadsheet Wedding Planning Checklist
Also a piece of cake, just click this link
The Wedding Planning Checklist
When’s your special day?
Talk to your partner’s parents
Asking the parents can be a daunting task. Here are a few things to remember when asking the parents to make sure it goes off without a hitch.
Hide the ring
When you’re getting ready to propose, the last thing you want is for your engagement ring to get lost, stolen or found by your partner! Here are a few ideas that will help keep your jewelry well hidden.
Plan Proposal and Post-Proposal Plans
Plans for a proposal can be as intricate as the proposal itself. If you’re thinking of popping the question, there are some things to keep in mind. In our Ultimate Guide to Proposing we walk you through everything you need to know.
Plan a Proposal Shoot (or have a family/friend capture it on camera)
How special would it be to be able to capture your proposal on camera? You could plan a proposal shoot with a professional photographer or have a friend or family member snap photos and videos. Here’s a great guide to pulling off the perfect proposal shoot.
Enough dilly-dallying, propose already! 🙂
Enjoy the moment, you’re only ‘just engaged’ once!
So. Many. Congrats!
Announce your wedding to loved ones
So you’ve just got engaged! Beautiful news! Now comes the fun part of telling your loved ones. How do you announce your engagement in a way that is special and memorable? Here are some ideas to get you started.
Set 2-3 preferred dates for wedding
This article will help you figure out when’s the best time to say “I do.”
Research wedding locations and reception venues
This wonderful guide is packed with expert tips on finding the perfect venue.
12 Months Out
Wedding Planning Checklist
Budget and decide who is contributing what
I know everything in the wedding planning process seems important, but this really is. This article outlines who typically pays for what when getting married, and this spreadsheet is a helpful tool to make sure you keep all the costs in check and that there are no surprises.
Shortlist wedding & reception venues, schedule viewings & book venue
Book the venue as soon as possible to have the greatest chance of getting your dream venue on your ideal date. Here’s 10 tips to choosing your wedding venue.
Collect names and emails for guest list
One of the trickiest & most frustrating parts of putting together a guest list is collecting everyone’s contact information to send save-the-dates and invites to! Here are a few tips to help make the process as easy as possible.
Insure the Engagement Ring
Protecting your ring with insurance is a smart decision, and it’s easy to do. Here’s a quick guide to walk you through it.
11 Months Out
Browse wedding dress styles
Here’s a helpful quiz to help you decide which wedding dress style is for you.
Prepare a folder for vendor receipts and contracts
Getting married and dealing with vendors can get messy. It’s important to make sure you’re organized and prepared for all of the paperwork and planning that goes into it.
10 Months Out
Organise the Newlyweds’ Transportation
Organising transport to-and-from the wedding venue sounds straight forward but in reality it can get complicated. Here’s a helpful guide with everything you need to know.
9 Months Out
Research honeymoon options
The honeymoon! Such a beautiful time… but it can be stressful to plan and there’s so many destinations to choose from. This list will give you some great ideas for honeymoon spots.
8 Months Out
Choose bridal party attire and accessories
And you thought picking your wedding dress was tough! 🙂 Here’s a great overview of how to dress the bridal party.
Meet with florist to finalise flowers
Flowers are an important part of your wedding. But what do you do if you’re unsure what flowers to choose? Or how many to order? Don’t worry, we’re here to help with 22 questions to ask your florist! .
7 Months Out
Order Rental Items
This guide will give you some essential tips on what items you should really consider renting.
Book the Rehearsal-Dinner Venue
6 Months Out
Book wedding night accommodation
Don’t forget to book your wedding night accommodation! It can be a lot of fun to spend your first night as husband and wife in a romantic setting.
Get tastings underway for the wedding cake and order it
Finalise who is giving speeches
Here’s a great run down on everything speeches, including when the speeches take place, how long they should last and more.
Schedule date & location for bridal shower / bachelorette party
Schedule date & location for bachelor party / stag do
Plan for day after wedding
As you plan your wedding, it’s easy to forget about what comes immediately after. The day after the wedding, you’ll likely be feeling tired and perhaps, a little bit hungover so whatever you plan (and here are some ideas), go easy on yourselves!
5 Months Out
Research rehearsal dinner venues
Whether you’re planning a small, intimate gathering or a larger celebration, finding the right venue for your rehearsal dinner can be a stress. Here’s a helfpul guide.
4 Months Out
Schedule necessary time off from work
Four months out is ample time to give notice to your company that you’re going to need a few days off. To ensure the request goes smoothly, The Art of Requesting Time Off is a must ready.
Hair and makeup trial & book stylist
A trial run with a hair and makeup artist will help ensure that you look your best on your big day. And be sure to book a stylist who can help create the perfect look for your wedding day book. Here are 10 tips to make the most of your hair and make up trial.
3 Months Out
Create or order wedding favors & gift bags
Wedding favors are a long tradition and a lovely way to thank your guests for their attendance on your special day. But what do you put in them? Here are some ideas for both store-bought and DIY favors, as well as gift bags for out-of-town guests. And here are the best places to buy them online.
Collate RSVP’s and call guests who haven’t sent a response
Finalise Menu with Caterer
Book a Photo-Booth Rental (or something similar)
Photo booths are a great way to get everyone in on the fun, and they can be a great way to capture memories of your special day.
2 Months Out
Confirm date, time, and venue with all your vendors
Purchase a guest book & don’t forget lots of pens!
A guest book is a wonderful way to keep track of who attends your wedding and to provide a space for well-wishes.
Finalize decor and run through with wedding coordinator/planner
The big day is fast approaching, and there are still a few things to take care of. First, finalize the decor and dig up the best places to buy wedding decorations online.
Give the Song Selections to Your Band or DJ
Set up appointments for any beauty / grooming eg. teeth whitening, hair colour etc.
1 Month Out
Pick Up Your Marriage License
Confirm final headcount & seating plan with your venue and caterer
Confirm reservations for the honeymoon
Make sure groomsmen have clothes in order
Book a manicure and pedicure
The Final Week
Clear your work to-do list so you can only focus on wedding festivities and take it all in
Confirm drop off times and locations with ALL vendors
This will help ensure that everything arrives on time and in the right place.
Get your hair done
Whether you’re opting for a traditional updo or something a little more modern, your stylist will be able to help you achieve the perfect look – here’s some inspiration we think you’ll love.
Getting your eyebrows done
Having a massage – perhaps couples massage?
Clean your ring
A quick clean just before the big day will help it look its best. Here’s a helpful guide to how to ensure your ring is in great shape for the day you tie the knot.
Get a wax
If that’s your thing.
Put any boxes, suitcases, bags to bring to the ceremony or reception in the car
If you’re staying at a hotel/the venue pack clothes for the day after
The Day Before The Wedding
Prepare wedding dress and accessories.
Hang your dress and check for any stains or wrinkles and once you have decided on the items you will wear, lay them out in an easily accessible place so you can get dressed quickly on the day of the wedding.
Get excited – soak it in – you are about to marry the love of your life!
Day of The Wedding
One of the most important aspects of planning a wedding is the timeline for both the ceremony and the reception. So to avoid convoluting this month-by-month checklist, we’ve created separate timelines specifically for the wedding ceremony here and a timeline for the reception here.
After The Wedding
Gather photos from friends & family
Consider Selling Your Wedding Dress
If you’re not interested in keeping it as a memento, you may want to consider selling your wedding dress. There are a number of reasons why selling your dress can be a good idea. Here’s how to do it and the best platforms to do it.