7 Steps To Make Your Own Perfect Wedding Preparation Checklist

You’re getting married! You have the perfect financé and you want your wedding day to be just perfect. But in order for that to happen, the less than perfect truth is that you have to do a lot of planning and preparation. The sheer mass of advice, tips, and testimonies online for making sure getting hitched goes without a hitch can be staggering and overwhelming. But we’re here to take you through 7 steps to help you create your own perfect wedding preparation checklist so that preparing for your big day isn’t too big a headache.

wedding preparation checklist - course of true loveThe Course Of True Love (And Weddings) Never Did Run Smooth

Wedding dresses. Cakes. Catering. Tuxedos. Rings. Bridesmaids. Shoes. Guests. Venue. Band. Drunk dancing Uncle. Flowers. Photographers. And much, much more.

Good grief!

Since when did coming together involve running the risk of mentally falling apart?

But don’t panic!

Proper planning can really help and we’re hoping to help you out with part of that wedding planning process.

A cornerstone of good wedding planning is having a wedding preparation checklist that is as comprehensive as possible. With so much going on with wedding preparation, it’s easy to forget something that’s small at the time, which then grows into a big headache later down the line.

But rather than offer our version of what should be on a checklist, we’d rather help you make your own unique checklist. Therefore we’ve narrowed the process down to 7 easy steps and will take you through each step 1 by 1. Alternatively, you can skip straight ahead to our printable checklist summary if you wish.

Go to the Wedding Preparation Checklist Steps

wedding preparation checklist - early7-Step Wedding Preparation Checklist

Step 1: Start As Early As Possible

Early wedding planning really is key to pulling off a successful wedding. Some wedding checklists even suggest starting 16 months prior to the big day.

Obviously, this depends on how long an engagement period you’ve decided upon. You might have more, or even less, time to get your wedding sorted, including creating any wedding shopping lists, etc.

The bigger and grander the wedding ceremony, the more planning will be needed, and the earlier you might need to start. But even if your wedding errs more on the side of humble and low-key, getting things sorted early will mean less stress the closer to W-Day you get.

wedding preparation checklist - one or many listsStep 2: One Master List or Several Specific Lists?

Before you even start to put together your checklist or marriage shopping list, you need to decide exactly how you want to go about organizing and maintaining things.

Some people might want one huge master list with everything on it. This means everything can be viewed in one place in one go. But this can be quite daunting if there’s a lot of items on it.

Therefore, you might want to consider making checklists for specific parts of the wedding such as:

  • Rehearsal
  • Ceremony
  • Reception
  • Wedding party
  • Honeymoon

This compartmentalizes everything and makes it more digestible. It’s also great if you’re delegating people to look after certain aspects of your wedding, or you want nuanced control over more complex areas.

However, try not to do both. Having both a master and a specific lists means you’ll have to make sure both are updated when things get done. Fail to do this effectively and you could end up with duplicates, or even end up leaving something unfinished because of miscommunication or omission.

wedding preparation checklist - inspirationStep 3: Gather Checklist Inspiration

We certainly admit the sheer tsunami of information and readily available checklists on the internet is overwhelming. However, dipping your toe into the water of it all isn’t a bad idea.

As copious as checklists and wedding shopping lists are online, they do contain knowledge and experience that could prove useful.

Because there’s so much to think about your wedding, it’s implausible for you to remember and cover every tiny detail. Therefore, checking others’ lists might illuminate you to things that might have been left by the wayside.

However, don’t go overboard, or you risk becoming bedazzled and bamboozled. Try looking at some of the most popular results from your search. They’re top results for a reason and should serve you well.

wedding preparation checklist - make it your ownStep 4: Make It Your Own

Whilst checklist inspiration is a good thing, you still need to bear in mind that your wedding is utterly unique. Whilst it might share many qualities and aspects with other weddings, meaning the preparation might be similar in some areas, your wedding really is like no other. So why should your checklist be like every other?

This is why we think it’s best to build your own checklist rather than just use one found on the internet. Whilst someone else’s printable wedding checklist might be good overall, we guarantee you’ll be scribbling extra things that you need to do, or editing out things that are irrelevant. This is especially so if your wedding has specific cultural or religious considerations or practices that need to be incorporated into your plans.

It’s also important if you’re incorporating some unusual elements to an otherwise traditional wedding, or doing something completely different. Doing a surprise dance routine for the procession? You’ll need to factor in rehearsal time for those involved. Getting married on a rollercoaster or underwater in scuba gear? Then your checklist is going to be very different from the norm.

It’s your wedding. Therefore it should be your wedding checklist and yours alone.

wedding preparation checklist - timeframesStep 5: Decide on Your Checklist’s Timeframes

Now that you’ve decided on how to organize your checklist or checklists, and know what you’ll be putting on them, it’s not time to decide on the timeframes for getting them done.

What timeframes you want to put onto your checklist depends entirely on how you want to organize yourself and what control you desire over each area of your wedding.

Many checklist timeframes divide things into monthly timeframes the further away from your wedding day you are. Then, they break things down into weekly ones one or two months before the wedding. Lastly, they go into days for the final furlong/week.

But you might want to start organizing things by weeks or days a lot earlier, depending on how best you work when organizing things. Whatever you decide, so it in a way that makes you feel comfortable and in control of planning wedding necessities.

wedding preparation checklist - delegateStep 6: Prepare to Delegate

Weddings are big undertakings. So, why not get a little help from your friends and family? Many hands make light work, after all.

You might want them to help plan specific aspects of your upcoming wedding. Maybe task a close friend with doing some preliminary research for your wedding dress? Or ask a family member to scout out some potential wedding venues?

Or not. It’s entirely up to you. Too many cooks also spoil the broth, after all. Delegate as much or as little as your comfortable and in control of.

If you are going to delegate, you might want to consider making your wedding preparation checklist or wedding shopping list on a shopping list app. Chose one that has a sharing function, meaning those you’ve delegated a task to can edit and check things off themselves. You might also be able to instantly see the changes or receive a timely notification about them, depending on the app.

Technology, as well as close relatives and acquaintances, can certainly help out.

wedding preparation checklist - beyondStep 7: Plan Beyond the Wedding

When making your checklist, be sure to make sure it doesn’t stop at the wedding itself. There’s still plenty of things to do afterwards.

Have you thought about returning any suit hires? What about “thank you” cards? Have your planned a honeymoon? Any official documents you need to fill out if you’re changing your last name? Any wedding presents that need to be returned (hopefully not)?

The fallout from the wedding won’t be as magnitudinous as what you needed to do before it. But the post-wedding humdrum is still something that needs to be prepared for least if spiral out of control or make you encounter unexpected snags.

Love and Marriage

Now that you’re prepped with 7 steps to making a brilliant wedding preparation checklist, the only thing left for you to do is to make it. If you ever need reminding of how to make this checklist, you can also download and print off this free summary to help you.

Wedding Preparation Checklist

Copy to clipboard
  • Step 1: Start As Early As Possible
  • Step 2: One Master List or Several Specific Lists?
  • Step 3: Gather Checklist Inspiration
  • Step 4: Make It Your Own
  • Step 5: Decide on Your Checklist’s Timeframes
  • Step 6: Prepare to Delegate
  • Step 7: Plan Beyond the Wedding

What was the most stressful part of your wedding arrangements? What is the strangest wedding you’ve been to? What are the most essential items you think every couple should have on their marriage shopping list? Let us know in the comments.

wedding preparation checklist - template

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