A Complete Wedding Planning Checklist (From A Missouri Wedding Photographer)

wedding planner, missouri wedding photographer


From one wedding to the next, what you see may be vastly different. You can have simple gatherings or elaborate celebrations, it’s all dependent on your personal preferences and wedding budget. No matter the size or length of your wedding day, there could be anywhere from one to twenty vendors involved, and 10’s or 100’s of individual details to take care of. This blog post, A Complete Wedding Planning Checklist (From A Missouri Wedding Photographer, lays out all of the vendors, details, and items I have come across as a professional wedding photographer and will be updated as I continue to capture more beautiful weddings! You can pick and choose those that fit your wedding day as you go.

01. Post-Engagement

☐ List out your priorities (what matter’s to you on your wedding day, what vendors and parts of the day/getting married are most important, etc.)

☐ Start creating your guest list

☐ Start choosing your bridal party

☐ Settle on a budget (what the two of you can contribute, what anyone else plans to contribute, etc.)

☐ Start narrowing down dates and venues

☐ Start looking at vendors: photo & video styles, catering types, etc.

02. 12-18 Months Before

☐ Finalize/reserve the date and venue

☐ Reserve hotels for any out-of-town guests

☐ Hire a wedding planner/coordinator (optional but highly recommended)

☐ Choose & book your important vendors: officiant, photographer, videographer, catering, DJ/entertainment, florists

03. 9-11 Months Before

☐ Settle on a color palette/theme

☐ Pick out wedding attire for couple & bridal party – click here to view a complete list of wedding attire

☐ Send out save-the-dates

☐ Book any transportation

☐ Set up wedding/gift registry and wedding website

☐ Find and get any necessary insurance coverage

☐ Begin looking for and booking your hair & make up artist

☐ Start planning & booking your honeymoon

04. 6-8 Months

☐ Choose & send out invitations

☐ Meet with your officiant, DJ, and coordinator (make sure everything is all set, decide on a playlist, go over officiant’s script, etc.)

☐ Pick out wedding rings

☐ Order your cake(s)

☐ Start picking out wedding favors

☐ Book rehearsal dinner venue

05. 4-5 Months Before

☐ Get wedding dress altered

☐ Rent/reserve any necessary items for your wedding day (table, chairs, etc.)

☐ Start working on vows

☐ Find gifts for important guests (parents, bridal party, etc.)

☐ Begin finalizing florals

☐ Schedule hair/makeup trial

☐ Schedule menu tasting with caterer and bar

☐ Arrange guest seating

06. 2-3 Months Before

☐ Finalize timeline

☐ Order any decor items (signage, candles, etc.) – click here to view a complete list of decor

☐ Decide on a bad weather contingency plan

☐ Finalize seating

☐ Begin obtaining marriage license

07. 1 Month Before

☐ Send all vendors your final guest count

☐ Get all small decor items organized (ready to be moved into the venue for setup)

☐ All florals (centerpieces, bouquets, etc.) should be confirmed with your florist

☐ Order thank you notes

08. 2 Weeks Before

☐ Make sure all vendors have the final timeline

☐ Organize all final payments to vendors

☐ Confirm all vendors & their day-of arrival times

09. 1 Week Before

☐ Finish and go over your vows

☐ Break in any new shoes

☐ Do any waxing, waxing, tanning, etc.

☐ Travel, relax, and enjoy the last moments of your engagement


As said before, every wedding is unique. You may have a different budget, not want some vendors present, or not have 12-18 months to plan your big day – and that is perfectly okay! This list is meant to act as a guide, adaptable to your specific needs. And as always, feel free to reach out to me directly with any questions!

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