Planning Checklist 

 12+ MONTHS 

 Announce your engagement & spread the word! 
 Get organized! If you haven’t already, start a notebook/file folder to house all your wedding-planning paperwork in .

 Draw up your wedding budget with help from your families. 

 Protect your jewels! Have your engagement ring appraised & insured. 

 Choose a wedding date & time! Finalize after okaying it with important guests.

 Research & secure your Ceremony & Reception Venue(s)! The Blue Heron of course. 

 Book any priority Vendors (if you know there is a specific photographer, florist or dj that is a must have).

 9-11 MONTHS 

 Start looking for an officiant who suits your style and spirit.
 If you are having an engagement party, set a date, draft a guest list, and purchase or start making invitations.
 Begin working on a preliminary guest list and decide on your wedding’s approximate size.
 Choose your bridesmaids/groomsmen and ask them to be in the wedding party.
 Envision your overall wedding style & colors. 
 Brides: Head out to start trying on wedding dresses.
 Finalize the guest list.
 Start looking into reception bands or DJ’s.
 Set up appointments with local florists to discuss options.
 Decide on and meet with your officiant to discuss ceremony structure and any religious requirements.
 Interview and get price lists from wedding photographers and videographers.


 Schedule your initial planning with The Blue Heron, and get together your 50% deposit!
 Brides: Start thinking about how you would like to wear your hair.
 Reserve your photographer and/or videographer, decide on a package, sign contract and send deposit.

 Have engagement photos taken (if you want). 
 Brides: Start shopping for bridesmaid dresses.
 Choose your florist and send deposit to reserve their services.
 Register for your wedding gifts.
 Set aside blocks of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests.
 Decide on your bridesmaid dresses.
 Purchase/Make and send out save-the-dates
 Brides: Order your gown.
 Book ceremony musicians.
 Start planning your rehearsal dinner. Provide the host with contact information for your attendants.
 Start working on your invitation wording and design and then order/make them. 

 Confirm that your bridesmaids have ordered dresses. 

 Start planning your honeymoon! 


 Decide on a floral scheme, choose flowers, and negotiate prices with florists.
 Grooms: Decide what style of formal wear you will be wearing and start looking to buy or rent your tux, suit or other attire.
 Book rehearsal dinner site.
 Grooms: Start planning groomsmen attire and give groomsmen the information they need to buy/reserve their attire.
 Book your honeymoon flights, hotel, etc.

 Address those invitations! Or drop them with the calligrapher (you will need to send them at the 3 - month mark)

 Book your wedding night accommodations


 Brides: Choose your bridesmaid’s accessories and either purchase or pass along the information.
 Shop for and purchase wedding bands
 Brides: Experiment with your beauty routine.
 Make or buy favors if you intend to. 
 Get anything you need for an international honeymoon (passport, birth certificate, visas, vaccinations)

 Brides: Buy any special lingerie your gown requires in time for your first fitting.
 Send out your invitations no later than 2 months out
 Arrange wedding day transportation for you, your wedding party, and guests.

 Confirm the delivery date of your dress and schedule the fittings. 

 Have your bridal shower. 

 Work on your Ceremony and begin writing vows (if you are creating your own). 

 Draft a reception song lists (including must play & do not play!) 

6-8 WEEKS 

 Begin writing the ceremony program if you’re having one.
 Buy or create a guest book. 
 Brides: Buy gifts for your maid of honor, bridesmaids and parents.
 Grooms: Buy gifts for your best man, groomsmen and parents.
 Finalize vows.
 Brides: Attend final wedding gown fitting.

 Have your bachelorette party! 

 Buy your veil, shoes & all accessories 

 Decide on your something old, new, borrowed & blue 

 Research local marriage license requirements. 

 Have your 1st dress fitting 

 Schedule hair & makeup trial appointments.  

 Begin on Thank You notes for shower gifts  


 Send rehearsal dinner invitations.
 Do trial runs of hair and makeup; schedule wedding-day beauty appointments.
 Finish and print ceremony programs.
 Get marriage license.
 Work on a list of ‘must play’ and ‘must not play’ songs for your DJ or band.
 Work out wedding day timing and details and draw up a schedule. 
 Brides: Pick up your gown.
 Finalize any special preferences, readings or other ceremony details with your officiant.

 Plan any night before activities with friends and/or attendants! 

1-2 WEEKS 

 Schedule your final planning with The Blue Heron.

 Give your final number at the final planning along with the payment for your remaining balance!
 Brides: Practice walking in your wedding shoes!
 Call guests who haven’t RSVP’d for the wedding. It’s okay to do this, you need a final head count!
 Start putting together the seating plan if you’re having assigned seating. (Remember to send assigned seating to Lexi) 

 Work on seating chart and/or escort cards. 
 Grooms: Pick up your tux or suit and try it on.
 Prepare your toasts or thanks to friends and family.
 Grooms: Get your final haircut.
 Designate someone to collect the wedding gifts brought to the reception.

 Shop and plan for the honeymoon.

 Grooms: Pick up your tux or suit and try it on.

 Bride: Have your final dress fitting 

 Apply for a marriage license together.

 Get one last haircut or trim and hair-color touch ups. 

2-3 DAYS 

 Organize your day-of emergency kit. 

 Wrap gifts for parents, attendance & each other! 

 Make drop off of event items & decor to The Blue Heron 

 Confirm all toasts with bridal party & family 


 Get your manicure and/or pedicure 

 Rehearse the ceremony with the officiant and wedding party.

 Bring along your marriage license to give to your officiant. 
 Brides: Pull together wedding gown, veil, shoes. 

 Give attendants their gifts at the rehearsal dinner. 
 Have fun and relax at your rehearsal dinner.
 Get some much needed sleep!


 Take a moment to thank your parents and tell them you love them!

 Give the best man and/or maid of honor your wedding rings. 
 Relax, Smile and enjoy the day!


 Send your wedding gown off for proper cleaning and preservation

 Return tuxedo rentals 

 Freeze the top layer of your cake (if keeping) 

 Send your Vendors a thank-you note

 Write online reviews of your Venue & Photographer. 

 Keep a gift log and send out those Thank You notes as soon as possible! 

 Live happily ever after! 

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the Blue Heron 

at Blackthorn