The wedding is 6 months away and you’re feeling great. The guest list is sorted, you’ve got a gorgeous venue, the perfect ceremony attire, and a detailed budget to keep you on track.
But there’s still plenty of work to do. Fortunately, Thumbtack can lessen the stress. Follow our detailed checklist and you’ll be on the pro path to happily ever after.
Hire an Officiant
An officiant’s style sets the tone for your ceremony, so it’s important to allow yourself plenty of time to find the right one. For couples coming from different faith backgrounds, you may want to consider an interfaith wedding officiant, who is sensitive to the nuances of this type of ceremony.
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Book a Photographer
Weddings and photographers are like peanut butter and jelly: made for each other. You’ll be spending a lot of time with this person, so make sure to pick someone you can connect with and and whose artistic aesthetic you love.
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Commit to a Videographer
Do consider hiring a videographer. For many couples, it’s a nice-to-have, not a necessity. But your wedding day passes so quickly, you’ll want to be able to relive the moments. If you’re still on the fence, here are some reasons to hire a videographer.
Send Save the Dates
If guests are going to have to travel to your wedding, the sooner you give them a heads up, the better. Plus, sending save the dates this far in advance means your face gets to be on everyone’s fridge for the next six months. Get the most out of those magnets!
Tell Your Wedding Party
If you haven’t already informed all your besties they’re in your wedding squad, now is the time. Also reach out to people who you’d like to participate in the ceremony—maybe reading a poem or walking flower kiddos down the aisle.
Book a Florist
Boutonnieres, bouquets, table settings, ceremony decor…find your floral designer and lock that date down.
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Make a Day-of Timeline
Sit down with your soon-to-be spouse and lay out the day, start to finish. Consider when you’ll start getting ready, what time you’ll eat breakfast, who’ll have your clothes, when the florists should arrive… and so on. The schedule may change as the day nears, but this will anchor your planning.
Bachelor/ette Party Roundup
Send your guest list and dream themes to your maid or man of honor. They’ll take it from there.
Hire the Band or DJ
Want a string quartet to float you down the aisle? Book them now. Need an old-school, vinyl-spinning DJ to rock everyone’s socks off during the reception? Lock ‘er in. You don’t want to end up at the mercy of your teenage cousin’s iPod.
Tailor Wedding Attire
Address any nips, tucks, or too-tight waistbands now. Also, confirm that your wedding party has their ensembles and everyone fits into their gear.
Having Rehearsal Dinner?
Traditionally, the groom’s family coordinates and pays for this event. But modern families do things different, and honestly, not every wedding has a groom. If you’re organizing the rehearsal dinner, now is the time to secure a location and get a general headcount for who will attend.
Is your passport up-to-date? Have you decided on an exotic locale? If planning one more thing might just break you, let a honeymoon travel specialist handle it all.
Order Wedding Invitations
Cute and quirky or formal and fancy, it’s time to select fonts, colors, and themes.
Select Wedding Rings
Whether custom-made to your design or selected from existing stock, make sure your rings are ordered at least two months out. This allows for any sizing fixes that need to occur.
Lock down your wedding cake creator, or learn why everyone is doing candy buffets. Either way, make sure your guests have dessert on your big day. You don’t want a mutiny.
Schedule Hair and Makeup
Communicate to your beauty team how many in the wedding party will be getting hair and makeup services besides yourself. You want them to come with an adequate crew to get your gang out the door in time for photos.
Send Formal Invitations
If you’re hand-addressing invites, host a group to help you out. Make an afternoon of it, serving tea and cookies and playing music. It will be a fun group activity, not a chore. If everyone you know has terrible handwriting, hire a calligrapher.
Hire a Bartender
Find someone who can bring the alcohol for the entire event, so you’re not tasked with grocery shopping on the days prior. Make sure they’ll handle ice, too. This is also the time to go over a cocktail menu with the bartender.
Confirm Timeline with Vendors
Send a time confirmation email to individual vendors confirming wedding day, services you’re expecting, and timeframe you’ll need them.
1 Month To Go
Whether you’re headed out of town for a wine weekend, or going big in Vegas, or staycation-ing in your own city, have fun and stay out of (too much) trouble. Hire a driver so your friends can get wild without any worries.
Get a Marriage License
Most states require you obtain this between 24 hours and 30 days of the event. Make sure your marriage license is for the county you are marrying in. If it’s a destination wedding, call your local court and ask what steps to take for legal marriage.
2 Weeks To Go
Break in Your Wedding Shoes
Watch TV in them. Cook dinner in them. Do some vacuuming. You’ll be happy you had several test runs before the big day.
Send a Final Head Count to the Caterer
It pays to have a realistic count. No one wants to be the wedding that ran out of food, but you also don’t want to pay for guests that aren’t coming.
1 Week To Go
Prep Your Wedding Clothes
Hang all your wedding clothing in one area, including the jewelry, shoes, and accessories you’ll wear. This gives you a week to look at the whole package and notice if anything is missing.
Re-confirm with Vendors
Provide them a day-of contact number for any last-minute details.
Write Vendor Checks
Pre-write all the final checks for vendor services and designate a trusted friend or family member handle payments for you. You don’t want to be running around doing business on your wedding day.
Pack for Your Honeymoon
Get all your gear gathered up and ready to go for the day after the big day.
That’s it! You’ve got this. And if you feel like you don’t, just remember—you can quite literally hire people to help you up until the very last minute. You don’t have to do it all. It doesn’t have to be perfect. And, more than anything, this day is about love, so relax and let yourself enjoy it.