Wedding Planning

Wedding ceremony Guidelines: Your Finish-All-Be-All Information


Oh hey did you simply understand you want a marriage guidelines? As a result of after the preliminary “HEY HEY WE’RE GETTING ENGAGED” interval, there’s typically a fairly tough comedown once you understand that oh, now you must plan your wedding ceremony. Don’t fear… we’ve bought your again. Since we are able to’t actually swoop in and plan it for you, we’re going to offer you as many instruments as doable. Again away from the “my loopy wonderful wedding ceremony concepts” Pinterest board, it’s time to determine what you’re truly doing.

Planning a marriage will not be for the faint of coronary heart. Truthfully, if anybody is aware of, it’s us. We’ve been serving to of us identical to you navigate the method for effectively over a decade. So, allow us to simply say this: You’ve bought this, and we’ve bought you.

What Type Of Planner Are You?

I deliberate my wedding ceremony finances on a post-it that I saved on my desk with a tough define of a finances on it. Whilst you ought to undoubtedly not observe my lead (now we have actually strong wedding ceremony budgeting suggestions), suffice to say I used to be not a brilliant type-A organized planner. A marriage guidelines with 100 steps would have simply careworn me out. (Actually, I signed up for one, blacked out once I checked out it, and by no means checked it once more.) When you’re like me and might’t deal with 1,000,000 half guidelines, Brooklyn-based skilled wedding ceremony designer, Michelle Edgemont recommends breaking your wedding ceremony guidelines into extra manageable large image chunks earlier than you get into the main points of your to-do checklist. She says:

As a lot you is likely to be attempting to be a chill engaged individual, you’re nonetheless placing collectively a excessive stakes occasion. This occasion, aka your wedding ceremony, has a whole lot of shifting elements—just like the ceremony, meals, drinks, leisure, trend, and so on. The easiest way to maintain it organized is with a giant guidelines of todos. To begin, I like to put in writing down all the massive issues that must occur:

  • Location
  • Foods and drinks
  • Vogue
  • Decor
  • No matter else is sensible with your personal wedding ceremony

Then I break down every class into smaller steps, as a result of “ebook a venue” appears like a frightening process with out smaller duties to make it manageable. Like this:

  • Analysis venues (or micro-wedding places)
  • Make appointments for walkthroughs (or digital walkthroughs)
  • Go on walkthroughs (or digital walkthroughs)
  • Ask for contract
  • Overview contract
  • Ship deposit and signed contract

No matter kind or dimension of wedding ceremony you’re planning, break down your wedding ceremony planning guidelines into smaller actionable steps. It’ll make it simpler to get by means of and simpler to delegate to your associate, associates, or household. As a result of you’ll be able to’t do the whole lot your self, regardless of how unhealthy you wish to.

The Lowest Key Wedding ceremony Guidelines

Earlier than we get into an enormous guidelines, let’s step again and take a look at the entire image. We created this flowchart—that can assist you work out the massive image of how wedding ceremony planning goes to work. This walks you thru the truth that you might want to work out the place you’re getting married first, then ebook your most necessary distributors, and you recognize… perhaps then purchase your gown (or excellent wedding ceremony outfit). It will assist maintain your priorities straight once you’re tempted to, say, spend $500 on decor earlier than you’ve bought your venue locked down. Pin it to your Pinterest board, or put it in your fridge and simply observe the overall large image steps.

Our Free Printable Wedding ceremony Planning Guidelines

BUT. Typically what you want is a whole lot of element, and a whole lot of choices, and typically you need one thing you’ll be able to write on, examine issues off, and scribble throughout,  so that you don’t miss something… even when issues change a mile a minute. (Joke about how I forgot that I needed to pay for postage on our wedding ceremony invites, hahahaha sob.) So lastly we’ve created a free printable full wedding ceremony guidelines for you. Truly, we created an book with each single wedding ceremony guidelines you could possibly presumably want (assume: 12-month, 6-month, day-of, elopement, and there’s even one in there that’s extra particular to #CovidCouples, as a result of whereas we’re on the opposite aspect, issues nonetheless are… ahem… totally different).

Obtain your free book with each wedding ceremony planning guidelines you could possibly ever want proper right here.

We’ve structured these checklists across the tremendous fast elopement or micro-wedding timeline, in addition to a twelve-month and a six-month planning course of—as a result of the fact is that each wedding ceremony is totally different and so each planning course of is totally different. Be at liberty to regulate these timelines—stretch it out and do it leisurely, or reduce all of the stuff you’ll be able to’t be bothered with and do it in just a few months. Likewise, do not forget that simply because one thing is on the checklist, it doesn’t imply that you must do it.

How To Use This wedding ceremony planning Guidelines

First, get a crimson pen and cross out the whole lot on the marriage guidelines you don’t care about. Critically. Go loopy. When you’re getting married in your yard, cross out all of the stuff about discovering a venue. When you actually don’t care about flowers, cross out all of the stuff about discovering a florist.

Then be at liberty to reorder issues. We’re wedding ceremony specialists, however we’re not specialists on your wedding ceremony, so if you wish to do issues in a unique order, girlfriend, you do you. (Although significantly, don’t get your gown until you recognize the place you’re getting married. Many an enormous ball robe has been returned when the drive-through chapel in Vegas was picked because the venue…) So begin right here, and make it you. At each level alongside the way in which, we’ve linked to extra detailed articles to offer you all of the steerage you want. (Oh proper, and the #APWPlanner has much more element on this entire planning factor, so in all probability decide that up.)

And keep in mind, if you wish to print out these checklists, you’ll be able to obtain that e-book proper right here

F*ck it, let’s elope Wedding ceremony Guidelines

We’re large proponents of your wedding ceremony being precisely what you need, so… you might wish to simply off and elope once you get the possibility. And, y’all… we’re right here for it. No matter your reasoning, right here’s a listing of issues to consider as you propose on your intimate ceremony and celebration. Don’t fear, that is printable within the book, too!

  • Nail down some fundamentals:
    • When?
    • The place?
    • Who might be there?
    • What’s your finances?
  • Do you want or wish to rent anybody?
    • The massive motive you’re eloping could also be to keep away from all of the hullabaloo. Cool, good for you. However for those who’d prefer to have a photographer, or customized flowers, hair and make-up, or the rest, you’ll wish to make sure that to get that each one scheduled and booked.
  • When you determined to journey to elope, make sure that all of your journey plans are in place.
    • Flights/transportation
    • Lodging
    • Passports
  • Get a wedding license.
    •  Work out the place you will get one, what the authorized necessities are, and so on. on your state and county. Discover out if there may be be a ready interval. There may be often a window of time that claims you will need to get it inside X days of the marriage. Simply make certain you recognize what you might want to know. (And for those who’re eloping abroad, simply know that you just usually must have a ‘authorized’ ceremony right here within the states.)
  • Ensure you’ve bought the authorized stuff lined.
    • Want an officiant? (Metropolis Corridor will cowl that for you, if it’s open. CO, PA and WI don’t require a third-party officiant. Analysis the principles the place you’re.)
    • Want witnesses? (Collect associates, household, or strangers from a bar as wanted.)
  • Will you alternate rings?
    • You don’t should, however if you wish to, ensure you get them organized/purchase them in sufficient time to have them in hand (wink) on the marriage day.
  • Don’t neglect about your outfits. No matter which means for you. And proper now, your greatest gown or outfit is simply excellent.
  • After the very fact:
    • Ship in that marriage license. Make it authorized.
    • Have fun nevertheless the heck you need.
    • Share the thrilling information with the individuals you like. (social media, wedding ceremony bulletins, an internet site with pictures.)

twelve-month Wedding ceremony Guidelines

close up on the hands of a queer non-white couple wearing engagement rings and wedding bands

When You’re Newly Engaged

  • You’re engaged!—have some bubbly, bliss out
  • Inform individuals the massive information
  • Keep away from leaping proper into planning for those who can presumably keep away from it; sit back and revel in
  • Decide up a duplicate of the APW E book and the APW Planner (however don’t begin studying the planner until you’re prepared to actually get planning)
  • Sit down and work out what your wedding ceremony priorities are
  • Provide you with a wedding ceremony mission assertion
  • Join APW’s wedding ceremony planning e-mail checklist so you’ve a built-in wedding ceremony BFF
  • Have an engagement occasion or a brilliant informal engagement toast
  • Resolve if you wish to elope and ditch the remainder of this checklist


a sweetheart table sits in a white room with wood floors. There are two potted tropical plants on either side of the table and a neon sign that says "Chris <3 Sara"

11 months earlier than your wedding ceremony

10 months earlier than your wedding ceremony

9 months earlier than your wedding ceremony

close up image of wedding DJ spinning records on a turntable

8 months earlier than your wedding ceremony

close up of a bride wearing a backless lace gown carrying a wild bridal bouquet with protea

7 months earlier than your wedding ceremony

6 months earlier than your wedding ceremony

  • Take into consideration rehearsal dinner choices
  • Begin to plan any further occasions related to the marriage (after occasion, brunch, welcome occasion)
  • Finalize your visitor checklist (we’ve bought spreadsheets for that.)
  • Arrange a gathering together with your officiant to debate the ceremony and begin marital counseling (if related)
  • Begin desirous about your wedding ceremony vows and ceremony plan
  • When you’re having a buddy officiate your wedding ceremony, now is an efficient time to ask them about doing so
  • When you’re not having a buddy officiate your wedding ceremony, ensure you’ve booked somebody (or the church/shul/mosque/temple)
  • Arrange your wedding ceremony registry. (Even for those who don’t need one, it’s clever to register for just a few issues so that you don’t get a fugly vase made out of a tree #truestory.)
  • Have a gathering with everybody who helps (or begin sharing these Google Docs!) and ensure all of them perceive what is predicted
  • Discover a baker on your wedding ceremony cake, and for those who can schedule cake tastings, achieve this
  • If somebody is throwing you a bridal bathe, ship that individual the following pointers

a mixed gender wedding party sits in a minimal room with modern furniture wearing black suits

5 months earlier than your wedding ceremony

an asian bride wearing a floral robe and a modern updo talks on her cell phone while getting ready for her wedding

4 months earlier than your wedding ceremony

  • Finalize rehearsal dinner, and ebook something you may must ebook
  • Purchase your wedding ceremony rings
  • Be certain your passport is updated, for those who’re leaving the nation on your honeymoon
  • E book wedding ceremony transportation
  • Create a spreadsheet for RSVPs and visitor checklist addresses.
  • Speak to whoever is planning your bachelorette occasion, and hook them up with this guidelines (similar goes for any wedding ceremony showers)

a close up of a ketubah that says "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine"

Wedding ceremony Guidelines: 3 months earlier than your wedding ceremony

  • Tackle and mail your wedding ceremony invites (double examine the postage!)
  • Take into consideration what ceremony extras you may want (chuppah, aisle runners, and so on.), and purchase or lease them
  • Begin planning out your wedding ceremony ceremony script
  • When you’re DIYing something on your wedding ceremony, begin now or cross it off your checklist
  • Schedule gown fittings, as wanted
  • Analysis your native marriage license, civil union, and home partnership guidelines

a woman writes her wedding vows in a small notebook with A Practical Wedding's wedding vow checklist pulled up on her screen

2 months earlier than your wedding ceremony

  • Start working in your wedding ceremony vows in earnest
  • Be certain everybody in your wedding ceremony occasion has purchased what they’re sporting
  • Work out what you’re sporting to your rehearsal dinner
  • Put collectively a listing of what you wish to pack on your honeymoon, for those who’re having one

close up on a black bride lifting up her wedding dress slightly to show her hot pink platform wedding shoes

6 weeks earlier than your wedding ceremony

1 month earlier than your wedding ceremony

  • Put collectively your seating chart
  • Create your escort playing cards
  • Finalize your ceremony define
  • Create a marriage timeline
  • Make any essential nail and spa appointments
  • Affirm all vendor funds (and tip quantities)
  • Create your wedding ceremony playlist, for those who’re doing the DIY DJ route
  • Be certain your wedding ceremony occasion is aware of any crucial data because it pertains to the rehearsal dinner or wedding ceremony day
  • Schedule a ultimate gown becoming
  • Print wedding ceremony packages, for those who’re having them
  • Affirm all leases (and modify your rental order, as wanted)
  • Sit down together with your wedding ceremony stage supervisor or day-of coordinator and stroll by means of all the main points on your wedding ceremony day
  • Get your marriage license
  • And at last, for enjoyable, for those who haven’t picked a marriage hashtag, get shifting on that
  • That is additionally a superb time to overview your wedding ceremony guidelines and general plan, add stuff you missed, and take away stuff you don’t care about anymore

two weeks earlier than your wedding ceremony

  • Test in with friends who haven’t RSVP.
  • Affirm head counts, menus, and supply together with your caterers and bakers (additionally verify vendor meal requests)
  • Affirm your picture requests, required household, and timeline together with your photographer
  • Ensure that everybody who’s delivering one thing to the marriage (leases, flowers, and so on.) has a confirmed, ultimate timeline
  • Ship a transportation schedule to move suppliers
  • Be certain any clothes you need cleaned or pressed is taken care of
  • Guarantee that there’s a plan for wedding ceremony venue setup and breakdown

Bride and groom with horse

Wedding ceremony Guidelines: one week earlier than your wedding ceremony

  • Pack an in a single day bag and embrace your toothbrush, contraception/condoms, one thing to sleep in, an outfit for the following day, honeymoon baggage, and your passport
  • Get your wedding ceremony manicure and pedicure (if it’s occurring in any respect)
  • Be certain a duplicate of your honeymoon plans is left with household and associates
  • Put your ultimate funds and suggestions for distributors in labeled envelopes, and provides this to a different individual to handle
  • Get your wedding ceremony day “oh shit equipment” put collectively (you’ll need aspirin, make-up, security pins, mints, snacks, and so on.)
  • Decide up your gown (if it wasn’t delivered to you)
  • Strive on your whole wedding ceremony ensemble
  • Give your whole distributors an emergency quantity to name, simply in case (word: not yours!)
  • Assign a member of the family to be the photographer’s level of contact
  • Hand over your whole planning docs to your wedding ceremony stage supervisor (together with a duplicate of the seller supply schedule, arrange instances, and cellphone numbers) or DOC and take a step again to take pleasure in this factor!

Long winding wedding table in forest

One Final Wedding ceremony Guidelines: 1 day earlier than your wedding ceremony

  • Rehearse your ceremony together with your officiant and wedding ceremony occasion
  • Affirm your honeymoon transportation, airport drop-off, and so on.
  • Set your alarm (and a backup)
  • Print out your vows (or memorize them)
  • Drop off favors, menus, desk plans, and place playing cards together with your caterer or venue
  • Do a ultimate overview of your wedding ceremony guidelines, and another lists you’ve going

a layflat of day-of wedding essentials including gold high heeled shoes, printed foiled vows, and wedding rings

last-minute belongings you may neglect

(AKA, rip this wedding ceremony guidelines out and stick it to your entrance door)

  • Rings
  • Vows
  • Marriage license
  • Attire
  • Fits
  • Drivers license
  • Pockets
  • Money
  • Passport/ID
  • Socks, underwear, bra
  • Equipment
  • Comfy sneakers
  • Suggestions for distributors
  • Wedding ceremony playlist
  • Umbrella
  • Snacks and water

a recently married queer couple of color show off their new wedding rings while walking on a cobblestone street

in your wedding ceremony day

  • Ensure you pause and recognize your loved ones, associates, and one another
  • Take a couple of minutes every now and then to breathe and focus; smile at your mates, give hugs, be within the second

a pile of instax mini photos sits on a silver tray next to a sign that says "Polaroid Guestbook"

After the marriage Guidelines

  • Ship out your thanks notes (to individuals who helped with the marriage AND for items)
  • Be certain your distributors have been paid in full
  • Observe up and ensure you know once you’ll get your wedding ceremony pictures again
  • Be sure that leases, clothes, and equipment have been returned (as wanted)
  • Throw that wedding ceremony guidelines within the trash. You probably did it!
  • Toast your marriage! Now the good things begins for actual.


Fairly wonderful checklist, huh? You Can Print All of it out as effectively. Proper right here: 


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