Planning a wedding from start to finish

By: farna Vahdad

Everyone knows that the wedding day is the most memorable day and to keep it brilliant and unforgettable, no one other than a skillful planner can bring the vision of dream wedding into reality. Many brides have carried the burden and without hiring a help on their side, tried organizing their own wedding. The thrill and excite of the wedding, blinded their vision to foresee the extent and details of wedding planning and in no time, the exhilaration turn into frustration.

Planning every event requires vast details and skillful aptitude. The list below is a short form and a brief checklist to manifest the massive details hidden behind the scene of wedding planing.

wedding planning


– Save the date.

Every wedding starts with setting the wedding date. Couples plan their wedding ceremony on particular holidays, important days, or unique dates; 12/12/12 or 7/7/7.

– Find inspiration.

Flip through wedding channels and magazines for inspiration. These channels can help design a theme for the wedding. Theme of the wedding is very important for hiring right professionals and staying focus in every step.

– Set out budget.

Based on number of guests and theme of the wedding plan the budget. Estimate the number of guests attending and based on the cost of the theme for food and entertaining, set out the budget per guest.

– Send RSVP.

Create a list of people to invite and design a simple “Save a Date” card to get their RSVP. RSVP invites are very important to decide on the final budget and hiring professionals. Keep a guest list data base to follow up with RSVP confirmations. Read more on what does RSVP stands for and RSVP etiquette.

– Hire a wedding planner

This is the most important part of a wedding planning. Please read more on How event planners organize an event.

Consult with this skillful professional and discuss the desired theme of the event with a highest budget set per guest. When interviewing your planner, be informative on every detail and every wish to manifest in the wedding day and communicate every element with the wedding planner.

– Book the location.

From this stage on, planning a wedding is in the hands of an expert wedding planner. The wedding planner’s knowledge and connection in the wedding industry help the organizers to sit back and enjoy the comfort of wedding pleasure and not to worry about the hassle of planning. Although wedding planners arrange every detail, they need full participation from the bride and groom for every detail and progress. Choose the desired location and communicate with wedding planner to help booking the location’s facility for the wedding date.

– Wedding Ceremony.

Other than planning for the reception, wedding ceremony needs to be arranged with officiant. The civil ceremony is arranged depending on the theme and religion.

wedding band

– Prepare the vows and shop for wedding rings

Bride and groom exchange vows and rings in the wedding ceremony. Start working on the vows and the speech.

– Graphic designer and print shop.

To work close with the wedding planner has many advantages. To name one of them is that wedding planners have many connection in the industry and manage every other professional hired to work in correlation. A quality and expert print shop recommended by the wedding planner can design the invitation cards within the theme of the wedding.

– Send the invitations.

Check mark the guest data list as the invitations are mailed.

catering dish

– Hire the caterer.

No wedding reception is complete without the food and entertainment. Wedding planner recommends the highest quality caterers for the theme of the event. For example if the wedding theme is nature and health, the caterer works close with the bride and groom to assign a vegetarian menu. Most wedding caterers and banquet halls present a full dinning experience for bride and groom to taste from the selection and choose amongst their favorites. Be specific and ask for a written contract.

– Choose the wedding cake design.

Sometimes caterers have special pastry chefs and help design the wedding cake. Otherwise, wedding planner recommends the best specialist pastry shops for wedding cake. Bride and groom can choose from the selection of cake offered in pastry shop’s album or design their own.

– Opt for wedding table designs.

Select the table setting and design of the wedding reception based on the theme of the wedding. Wedding planner organize wedding rental companies and designers choice.

– Introduction to bridesmaids and the best man.

Contact the list of bridesmaids and best man and assign their task in the wedding reception. Invite bridesmaids and best man to meet and communicate during a fun lunch and delegate the list of people giving toasts and other responsibilities.

– Bride’s wedding gown

The happiest and most fun day is to select the bride wedding gown and bridesmaid’s matching style dresses while sipping on the champaign and put on variety of fashionable bridal gowns. Wedding planners help with finding the best rate designers.

– Custom tailor shop

At the same time bride is selecting the favorite bride’s gown, groom needs to choose the Tuxedo. Wedding planners work closely with tuxedo shops and custom tailors for grooms and best men matching styles.

– Hire florists.

Consult with the planner for quality florists. Florists are flower artists and design the entire wedding reception, center pieces, brides bouquet, and the limousine.

– The salon appointment.

Planners reserve the hair salon on the wedding day for bride and grooms hair stylist and makeup. Sometimes they hire specialist makeup artist for the entire wedding day.

– Hire photographer.

To keep the memories and frame this joyous day, planners recommend the best photographers. Consult with the photographer on the theme of the event and explore their experience. Most photographers offer videography as well. Be clear on the budget and wish list and ask for a written contract.


– Hire Dj and entertainer.

When interviewing the disco jockey, select the choice of music and the style base on the theme of the wedding. Assign the first dance song and communicate with the DJ. Wedding planners can recommend entertaining companies if bride and groom decide to hire live bands, circus, and or other theme entertainers. Be specific on every wish list and ask for a written contract.

– Book the limo.

The planner helps finding and reserving a reliable limousine company. Inform the limousine company for any floral design plans and appointments.

– Reserve the nearest hotel.

For out of town guests, reserve rooms in the nearest hotel to the ceremony and negotiate the best rates. This step can be modified before sending the invite.

– Register for gifts

Sign up with at least three choices of wedding gift retailers. For more registry tips go here

– Assign Seating arrangement

Call and confirm with guests who have not RSVP yet. Check the guests data list and start assigning seats and tables per guest for the ushers to organize. Print the final list and send to print shop for the guests’ card name on each seat.

wedding spa treatment

– Reserve a full day spa treatment! You Deserve it!

Wedding and planning is to have pleasure and prepare for the most joyous day. Although working alongside with the planner helps take away the load of burden, but sometimes things can go wrong and cause stress. Book a full day spa treatment a day before the wedding date to relax and get pampered.

– Rehearsal dinner.

Plan the rehearsal dinner and make reservation at the very favorite restaurant. Invite the family and celebrate the night before the actual wedding celebration the next day.

Oh wait! Did you book your honeymoon yet?

In wedding planning and organizing for this memorable date, many get frustrated and have anxiety for having overload extent of tasks and responsibilities. Wedding planners are expert professionals, knowledgeable to help the bride and groom in every step of the way. If you are looking to hire a wedding planner, post your project in and get connected to these local pros.

Did I miss a point? Do you have anything to add? please do not hesitate to comment and complete the check list.


farna vahdad

Farna is a researcher on pet care and pet health. She has great knowledge of nutrition, health and beauty and is active in writing resourceful blogs for Bids By Pros. Connect with her in Google+ and share your story to be published.

16 thoughts on “Planning a wedding from start to finish | Wedding planner checklist

  1. Suzan says:

    awww very helpful ,interesting ,lovely and complete article with all the necessary details. I just loved this post. Thank you Farna

  2. Eva says:

    Interesting article…thank you farna

  3. Rose Gianni says:

    I am a wedding planner in MN and appreciated the article for supporting and stating the fact in importance of hiring and working with an event planner. Points were right on, I don’t really can think of nothing else to add, except since weddings have variety of themes and based on indoor and outdoor event, it can really change the steps and checklist.

    • Palm Beach planning says:

      I agree here with Rose, this article is stands out for supporting the event planners. I really don’t understand those people who get stressed and frustrated trying to be a bride and the planner. If kitchen plumbing bursts, a plumber is called, do the same with every event and leave it in hands of pro planners. Trust me! it saves lots of time and $$.

    • fvahdad says:

      You are right Rose, when it comes to writing for wedding planning, because of its theme variety, steps might vary. I am hoping to encourage others to guest blog their theme and share it in our blog at bids by pros.

  4. LuAnn Parks says:

    Great article…thanks for sharing it with us all. And than you for emphasizing the need for a wedding planner professional!!

  5. Ed says:

    Didn’t see “Hire the Minister / Officiant.” Saw “hire” for all the other vendors?????

  6. juliann says:

    decorators for the wedding ambiance

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