Wedding Planning Checklist: 9 to 12 Months


I’m starting this a little late, but I thought it would be fun to share my wedding planning experience with month-to-month updates. I combined serveral checklists from different wedding websites and magazines to make this timeline. It’s hard to know where to start and I found it helpful to read about other brides’ experiences, so hopefully future brides-to-be will enjoy reading this!

9 to 12 months out (or before)

{ X } Start a wedding folder or binder. I used PowerPoint to create wedding inspiration boards. It was basically a collage of Pinterest photos. One slide for the cake, one slide for dress ideas, etc. I also used Excel to create a spreadsheet of what we will need and how much it will cost. I update this as I go and add the prices when I know how much it will cost.

{ X } Make a budget. This step was very important to Rob because he is very practical and money-smart (okay, sometimes too frugal). We also tried to be realistic when writing it, too, so we did some research before hand on what vendors typically cost. I’m sure we will still have some costs that we weren’t prepared for, but we put some extra money in savings to cover these.

{ X } Pick your wedding party. This was pretty easy for me. My sister is going to be my maid of honor and my bridesmaids will include my two best friends and future sister-in-law.

{ X } Reserve your date and venue. This was the first thing we did when we got engaged in May, so it was about 15 months out from our date. It’s amazing how fast they book up! We also decided on a Friday because it was less expensive and so that out of town guests could make a nice weekend trip out of it.

{ X } Book your officiant. We found our officiant by reading reviews and recommendations from local wedding outlets. Because we live in Las Vegas and our officiant is in Washington (where our wedding is), I met with him over Skype.

{ X } Research photographers, florists and caterers. The photographer was easy because we went to our friends’ wedding and liked theirs and the price was right, so we hired him. Caterer was also easy because they were on the recommended vendors list that our venue provided. We sampled the food, created our menu and booked them 11 months in advance. Florist is still in the works…

{ X } Start planning the guest list. This can be tricky—we started with our family and bridal party, which was easy. The hard part is friends because it can quickly get out of control. Our original goal was to keep it at 70. However, it turned out to be more like 100 people invited.

{ X } Decide on the style of your wedding (size, setting, formality, color scheme). We knew we wanted to keep ours small and have a casual vibe. Especially since our venue is a farm, we don’t want it to be super traditional or fancy. When it comes to colors and décor, Pinterest is your best friend! I went with a blush and gold color scheme and rustic-chic décor.

{ X } Hire a planner (if desired). My mom hired one for us (well, more for herself) to help us on the day of and at the rehearsal. I wasn’t planning on getting one, but she thought it would make the day go smoother and I’m sure it will. Just one less thing to stress over on the big day!

{     } Throw an engagement party (if desired). We just celebrated with our close friends and family on separate occasions, nothing fancy. The wedding will be our big event!

  • Emma

    I’m roughly 18 months from my date, so I’m not sure what I should be doing if anything :) I do have a date and a venue though – and I know who I want in my wedding party. I want to do something cute to officially ask each of my bridesmaids – but I figured I’d wait until a little closer to the date :) Great post though – it gives me a list of things I need to start doing around September! :)

    • Congrats on your engagement! I’ve learned that it’s nice to have a longer engagement because it’ll be here before you know it! I asked my bridesmaids with a bottle of wine and a polaroid photo of us tied to it that said, “will you be my bridesmaid?” There are so many cute ideas on Pinterest, though!

      • Emma

        Thank you :) I was thinking a bottle of wine too – that’s easier for the local ones but not so easy for the other ones. I’m going to do some browsing on Pinterest for some less complicated shipping options that I can do for those girls :) How far our did you ask them?

        • Good idea! It was about a year out that I asked them. It was pretty implied anyways :)