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Essential Checklist for a Stress-Free Wedding Day

Let’s get straight to it: there’s too much to think about when you’re planning your wedding. I don’t know about you, but I want everyone to experience their wedding day with a clear head and fully focused on the present moment. 

The biggest way to make this happen?

You guessed it, planning ahead. 

Now I’m not a professional wedding planner, but I have been a professional wedding photographer for the last 11+ years and have seen a little bit of everything. 

The planners, couples and wedding vendors I have worked with seem to unanimously agree: planning ahead and delegating is the actual secret sauce to a smooth wedding day where you can simply enjoy the celebration and the start of your marriage (because that’s what this is all about in the end).

Now, you can make your wedding day as extravagant or as simple as you’d like—this list is not to scare you as much as it is to paint a full picture of all the factors to consider. Feel free to bring these up to your wedding coordinator or day of planner to form a fuller plan of action. 

For now, let’s jump in to the essential checklist for your wedding day:

Things to book:

  • Wedding Planner (as soon as you can)

  • Venue (12-18mos in advance) 

  • Photographer (10-18mos in advance) 

  • Videographer 

  • Live Music/DJ

  • Florist

  • Catering

  • Baker/Cake/Desserts

  • Rentals

  • Photo booths

  • Wedding day transportation 

  • Wedding weekend lodging 

  • Marriage Liscense Appointment (about 2-3 weeks prior to wedding date) 

  • Honeymoon lodging 

  • Honeymoon travels

Things to buy:

  • Save the Date’s

  • Wedding invitations 

  • Wedding Dress/Suite

  • Wedding bands/rings

  • Bride Accessories (veil, handbag, shoes, earrings, necklace, etc.)

  • Groom Accessories (cufflinks, shoes, tie, jewelry)

  • Gifts for parents

  • Gifts for bridal party

  • Gifts for each other

  • Extras (decor, skincare products, honeymoon outfits, etc.) 

Things to do (for the wedding and marriage):

  • go on dates with each other!!!

  • premarital counseling

  • plan future living situation

  • plan for moving/combining living situations

  • plan future finances/budget

  • delegate tasks to friends and family 

  • write vows 

  • write letters to loved ones 

Things to schedule (for yourself!):

  • Engagement session (12-8months before the wedding day) 

  • Dress shopping appointments 

  • Dress fittings 

  • Suit fitting 

  • Get nails done

  • Get hair done

  • Pamper (massage/spray tan/facial)

  • Get drinks with the girls

  • Time for yourself 

Wheew, right?

It can feel like so much but with the right team of vendors and your loved ones by your side you’ll be confidently standing on your wedding day in no time (and ready for everything thats to come).


Would you add anything to this list? Let me know below!

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