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The Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist. PDF Download. Where to start planning a wedding. How to Plan a Wedding from Start to FinishCongratulations! You’re about to begin one of the best times in your life! Planning might get confusing and maybe a little overwhelming at times, but we’re here to help. This planning guide will link you through to helpful blog posts and keep you on track throughout your planning adventure. We’re so excited to help!

See the many ways we can help you HERE

The Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist

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Nine months & Earlier: Focus- The Big Five

  • Take a FREE Online Email Course on How to Start Planning your Wedding
  • Get organized with a folder or binder- Consider GEG’s I’m Engaged Organizer
  • Guest List: Put together the first draft on a Spreadsheet
  • Discuss budget: with each other first (privately) then with family (include both/all sides of the family)
  • Hire your BIG Five Vendors– Not sure what to ask in the interviews? We have a BOOK for that!
    • Ceremony/Reception
    • Caterer
    • Photographer
    • DJ/or Reception Music/ Ceremony Sound
    • Florist
  • Family Talks: Plan a meeting with family members to celebrate and discuss plans
  • Select a date- and alternatives in order to remain flexible
  • Choose and ask attendants
  • Go try on a DRESS!
  • Protect your Engagement Ring with your home owner’s insurance
  • Follow GEG’s Facebook so you don’t miss any free advice! As well as Instagram!
  • Visit a photographer for Engagement Photo Shoot
  • Launch your Wedding Website (print address on Save-the-Dates)
  • Investigate Save the Dates & Invitations
    • See Blog Post Invitation Etiquette and Prep HERE
  • Choose colors
  • Begin looking into honeymoon destinations
  • Begin building your Project Block Work Book. Find out what we mean HERE
    • Begin Project Zero
    • Identify Ideas & Ingredients for Project Blocks 1-5

Bonus Planning Guide

Project Blocks: The biggest problem that happens on a wedding day is when helpers don’t know what goes where. This issue is where those chaotic stories you hear about mom running around all day like a chicken come from. Our Project Block System will organize every little detail and make for a fast set up with every little thing in the proper place.

You can follow the blog posts throughout your planning and sketch your Project Blocks your own way, or you can purchase and download our coveted Project Block Workbook, A collection of worksheets in a pre-formatted PDF version that you can print and keep in a binder. Use Exclusive Subscriber Coupon CODE: INSPIRED for 20% off at checkout!

How Project Worksheets Work: Whomever you elect as your Big Day lead person, hired or friend, they will walk through your Wedding Day and check off Projects as they are completed. Your wedding down to the last Mason jar will be assigned a Project, time and location for venue set up.

Catch up on or learn some DIY Skills by taking an online class!

Nine to Six Months Before: Focus- Guests and Theme

  • Select & Order Attendant’s dresses at 6 Months
  • Schedule trial runs for Hair & Makeup
  • Book Videographer
  • Book Officiant
  • Mail Save-the-Dates by 7-8 Months prior
  • Reserve rental equipment: Tables | Chairs | Linens | Dance floor
    • Check out pre-loved linens HERE for a great deal!
  • Meet with your caterer to plan menu and set up
  • Book calligrapher
  • Block out a group of hotel rooms
  • Book room for wedding night
  • Start any home improvements- if an at-home wedding or for hosted events
  • Investigate Honeymoon options
  • Update passports and required travel documents
  • Research Ceremony Writing & Vowsstart writing them down
  • Schedule a cake tasting
  • Meet with your Florist to discuss needs
  • Plan “wedding weekend” activities for guests
  • Confirm parking plan and shuttle needs {P1}
  • Decide on a Marriage Contract
  • Plan the Rehearsal Dinner
  • Book Rehearsal Dinner Venue and Caterer
  • Purchase tuxedo/suit or arrange renting
  • Purchase/make/order favors {P5}
  • Make plans for your Cocktail Hour: Signature Drink/Dry/Beer & Wine and Appetizers? {P7, P8 & P9}
  • Decide on your Reception Seating Plan {P10}
  • Complete Project Block ingredient lists for 0 through 10 and give to your Coordinator
  • Identify tasks to complete PRIOR to the wedding for Project Block success/creation

 Bonus Planning Guide

Ingredient Lists: This is a fantastic time to start collecting ingredients for all of your Projects. Ideally, you’ll be hitting the summer yard sales and Estate sales where you can score key ingredients for cheap.

Before you buy ANYTHING Online: Register for Ebates! Ebates is a rebate website where you can earn CASH BACK on online purchases from places like Etsy, Joann Fabrics, and so many more retailers! Register TODAY and start saving! See 3 Easy Ways to save on your Wedding Spending HERE.

Ingredient Collections: You may have a common ingredient that you want to see throughout your wedding day. Collections like these have to be built over time, sometimes collecting one piece at a time at thrift stores. Identify what your collection is and TELL everyone you know to start scooping it up for you.

We actually has an entire Etsy Store dedicated to Ingredients! We call it The Vintage Event and you can get 20% off of your ENTIRE purchase with the Coupon Code: INSPIRED 

We also sell pre-loved items in our Reusable Wedding Store through Tradesy! Here’s $20 to spend on your first purchase after you register! 

Six to Four Months Before: Focus- Ceremony & Reception Structures

  • Schedule your Site Visit with your Coordinator/Site Facilitator
  • Order invitations and stationary at 4 Months
  • Create maps & directions for important locations to be included with invitations
  • Assemble and address invitations
  • Register for Gifts {P3}
  • Schedule a Ceremony Rehearsal
  • Make final honeymoon reservations
  • Turn in your Project Block Cook Book 1st DRAFT to your Coordinator
  • Order wedding cake
  • Decide on Gifts for the Wedding Party & Family
  • Purchase 2 pairs of shoes, 1 for ceremony and 1 for reception, along with your other accessories
  • Begin writing your ceremony
    • HERE is a blog post to help with basic structure
  • Complete your Ceremony Structure & Reception Basic Order Worksheets by 4 Months prior
  • Select readings, songs and speakers for the ceremony
  • Select ceremony music
  • Select reception highlight songs
  • Meet with Officiant again to discuss detailed services
  • Begin writing vows, if writing your own

Four to Two Months Before: Focus- Styling & Accessories

  • Purchase Wedding rings
  • Select gifts for groom if you are exchanging
  • Select Thank you gifts for parents
  • Purchase proper undergarments and hosiery for wedding gown
  • Begin trial runs with make-up and hair
  • Begin beauty regiments (tanning, facials, teeth whitening, etc)
  • Purchase accessories
  • Unity candles, or vases and sands
  • Garter (get 2, one for tossing and one for keeping)
  • Toasting flutes
  • Cake knife & server, cake topper
  • Guest book & pen
  • Ring bearer pillow
  • Flower girl baskets and petals
  • Purchase veil and headpiece
  • Start scouting for wedding photography locations at venues
  • Project Block Ingredient Lists: Begin purchasing, renting, borrowing, reusing! Projects 0-15
    • Assign “Prior to Wedding” and “Wedding Day Set Up” for all Project Blocks
    • Mail Invitations (6-8 weeks before wedding)
    • Send accommodation information to out of town guests
    • Meet with site coordinator and consultant to discuss any updates or changes
    • Schedule your Wedding Work Party
    • Plan a Bridesmaids’ luncheon

Bonus Planning Guide

Make time to breathe: By now you have a lot of plates spinning, irons in the fire and people asking you all sorts of questions. It may seem like the more you accomplish the more you feel you still have to do! New questions you never thought of now trickle in from everyone you know. You got this. You’re organized. You know your plan and people only want to be helpful.

Bridal Showers & Parties: About this time is when you should be taking a break and having fun. You’ve worked really hard on this wedding and we want you to avoid burn out. Before you do anything more, have your showers or even bachelorette parties and get rejuvenated! Get inspired HERE

Six to Four Weeks: Focus- Finalizing Details & Making Lists

  • Finalize and confirm the TRANSPORTATION SCHEDULE {P1}
    • Arrange transportation for guests on Big Day
    • Arrange transportation for bridal party on Big Day
    • Collect all guests arrival times from airports/train stations, driving ETAs
    • How will everything move in the 3-Day Wedding Weekend Event?
  • Start arranging seating plans with RSVPs that are in {P10}
  • Arrange for babysitters to watch children on Big Day at the reception location
  • Create/order Ceremony Programs {P2} if necessary
  • Have your final dress fitting
  • Look into Name-Change for Bride
  • Reserve your WEDDING INSURANCE for the Big Day and Venue(s)
  • Schedule bridesmaids and mother’s final fittings
  • Choose and purchase children’s attire for Big Day
  • Pick up wedding rings
    • Have all rings appraised and insured
  • Practice your wedding vows!
  • Attend bridal showers and bachelor/ette parties hosted for you and fiancé
  • Send thank you notes for gifts received at showers
    • All thank you notes must be sent within 3 weeks of receiving gifts
  • Finalize wish lists with photographer and videographer
  • Finalize rehearsal dinner plans
    • Invite Officiant to rehearsal dinner
    • Send out Invitations
  • Finalize/Confirm Honeymoon plans
    • Pickup travel itineraries and tickets, purchase travel books for destinations
  • Finalize/Confirm Wedding night reservations
  • Obtain Marriage License (60 Window for most)
  • Pack & Label ALL Project Blocks for Set Up
  • Turn in your FINAL Project Block Workbook- completed

 Two Weeks: Focus- Composure

  • Call all guests who have not RSVPed
  • Pick up your wedding dress
  • Collect your Something Borrowed, Blue, Old & New
  • Give caterer final head count
  • Give all Vendors final payments
  • Assign tasks for attendants to complete on Wedding day
    • Give attendants anything they need to perform such tasks
  • Send/confirm Must Shoot lists and Time Lines with the Photographer and Videographer
  • Compose toasts for the rehearsal dinner and wedding reception
  • Finalize seating plans; write escort/place cards, or give to a calligrapher {P10}
  • Visit a wholesale store and stock up on essentials for visitors
  • Check and/or re-pack your Project Zero bag
  • Break in both pairs of shoes
  • Confirm reservations for wedding night and honeymoon
  • Pack for honeymoon
    • Purchase any travelers checks

One Week Prior to Wedding: Focus- Getting Organized

  • Plan your “Night Before Agenda”
  • Purchase bottled water for rehearsal
  • Pick up all menswear if renting
  • Get crisp bills from the bank for gratuities; put bills in labeled envelopes and seal
  • Organize final payments for service providers who need to be paid on the wedding day
  • Have your mail and newspapers held in a vacation package for honeymoon
  • Pack for your honeymoon
  • Give your Coordinator & Officiant a copy of your final Ceremony Script
  • Remind Wedding Party of rehearsal schedule and Big Day expectations

One Day before Wedding: Focus- HOORAY! It’s here!

  • Get manicure and pedicure
  • Supervise the delivery of rental items and setup
  • Hit the ATM to get emergency cash in medium bills (no more than $200)
  • Assemble your personal emergency bag for Big Day and Wedding Night (Project Zero)
  • Stock up on supplies for Big Day and Next Day breakfast
  • Gas up your cars, just in case (especially the getaway car)
  • Attend Rehearsal Dinner
  • Exchange wedding gifts if you are exchanging
  • Hand out printed copies of directions to family members with pertinent times and locations
  • Finish packing suitcases for Wedding Night and honeymoon
  • Have Wedding Night suitcases put in trunk of getaway vehicle or taken to hotel in the morning
  • Attend rehearsal; hand out gifts to wedding party if you haven’t already
  • Lay out Big Day wardrobe (what you are wearing during the day OTHER than your dress)
    • Pre-ceremony outfit
    • Hair and makeup shirt
    • Post-wedding wear/Getaway outfit
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Plan your shower schedule for the next day!
  • Get a good night’s sleep!


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