The Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist for 2020

Are you getting married in 2020? Then the planning starts now. Make sure you don’t miss a thing with this ultimate wedding day checklist!

Are you getting married this year? If so, now is the time to start planning!

From tuxedos to catering, we understand that there’s a lot to remember, so use this post as a guide and let yourself enjoy the process instead of dreading it. You only get married once, after all.

Your Comprehensive Wedding Day Checklist

The best way to organize a wedding planning checklist is to prioritize your to-do list. You don’t need to select your dress or suit right away, but you should choose a date and start thinking about who to invite.

For that reason, we’ve structured this checklist in a timeline, starting from one year out and going up until the big day. This way, you can take the planning slowly and never forget a thing.

12+ Months Out

Start easing yourself in by getting these things done early.

  • Choose your time of year. You can’t start anything else until you know when the wedding is going to be.
  • Come up with a budget for the wedding as a whole and do a breakdown of where to allocate your funds.
  • Start researching venues, as they book up fast. When you find one you love, get it without hesitation.
  • Begin building your wedding guest list. This might feel like it can wait, but you’re going to forget about some people so it’s better to start now and give yourself lots of time.
  • Select your wedding parties and let them know so they can help you with the planning process too.
  • Start to set up your wedding website, book a photographer, caterer, florist, DJ or band, officiant, and check on hotel availability for your guests.

8-10 Months Out

If you start ticking things off of your list within the first couple of months, you should feel pretty relaxed. By the 8-month mark, you should have:

  • Finalize the guest list and send out save the dates.
  • Block off hotel rooms at an establishment of your choosing and inform your guests of any other hotels in the area. Often, hotels will give you a wedding rate, so your guests will probably want to get in on that.
  • Start working with your photographer and officiant on a wedding day timeline so that you’re mentally prepared for the day.
  • Begin looking at dresses and suits for the wedding party.

6-7 Months Out

The halfway point comes quick and if you leave things to pile up, this is when you’ll start stressing out about it. As long as you’ve been consistently chipping away at it, you should be able to focus on the following 6 months out:

  • Schedule a meal tasting with your caterer so you can select the perfect meal. Keep vegetarian and vegan options in mind.
  • Schedule a wine tasting and make a list of the other beer and booze you’ll want and how much of it you’ll need based on the number of attendees.
  • Order invitations – Make sure to have an RSVP date that gives you plenty of time to solidify accommodations, catering, and anything else that is sensitive to the size of the wedding.

2-5 Months Out

In the few months before the wedding, you’ll want to start solidifying some of the plans you’ve been thinking about since the start.

  • Send invitations at least 3 months before wedding.
  • Do a hair and makeup trial, a dress fitting and start making decisions on venue décor.
  • Create a venue seating chart and visit the venue to get an idea of where the head table is going to be. A seating chart is actually kind of difficult to plan because you need to be sensitive to your guests’ comfort level.
  • Finalize the food and drink selections. If you’re giving your guests a dish selection option, make sure to include this on the RSVP card when you send out the invitations.
  • Start working on your speeches, get your marriage license in order, file any name changing paperwork, and purchase your wedding bands.
  • Create the wedding program and table menus, select the music for the ceremony, and create a plan with your photographer (taking weather into account).
  • Purchase gifts for your parents and the wedding party.

1 Month Out

Okay, this is when things start to feel pretty real. If all goes well, you’ll be able to focus on the following:

  • Send out the finalized wedding day timeline to everyone that needs it. This would include the vendors, your officiant, your wedding party, parents, and DJ.
  • Do your final dress fitting with the maid of honor.
  • Follow up with guests that have not yet RSVP’d so that you can finalize the seating chart.
  • Arrange your rehearsal dinner with the parents, wedding party, and anyone else you’d like to attend, then make a reservation.
  • Start working on a day-of-the-wedding itinerary.

1-2 Weeks Out

This time should be reserved for fine-tuning and dealing with any last-second mishaps. Other than that, deal with these things:

  • Give your DJ a list of songs that you want to be played.
  • Give your caterer the final wedding numbers.
  • Delegate the wedding day duties to your wedding party and whoever else is helping out (parents, other friends, and family members). Give your vendors their numbers so that you don’t have to deal with anything on the wedding day.
  • Prepare the payment envelopes for your vendors.

Day Before

Try to make the day before all about relaxation. You don’t want to be rushing around trying to get things done, but have the day cleared in case of emergencies.

  • Complete your wedding rehearsal and your rehearsal dinner.
  • Plan a few activities for you and your individual wedding parties after the rehearsal dinner. Keep it low key.
  • Make sure you get to bed at a reasonable hour and keep the alcohol to a minimum.

Your Wedding Day

Your wedding day is all about you. You’ve followed this wedding day checklist so that the day can run as smoothly as possible. It’s hard to let go but do it! Don’t be stressed out! Let your wedding party take care of the little details and focus on your partner and your big day together. Just relax and have fun!

Our team of chefs and event coordinators work tirelessly to make sure everything is taken care of so you can focus on each other. We even have 4 gorgeous event spaces at our disposal to make this process as easy as possible.

If you want to make your New Jersey wedding a perfect one, contact us at Merri-Makers.

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