Wedding Checklists

Planning a wedding is no small feat. The Emerald Coast Convention Center professional event planning team has compiled a timeline and checklist to help you meet important milestones in planning all aspects of your wedding including ceremony, reception, guest accommodations, and more.

For assistance in choosing local wedding vendors, browse our wedding partners.

12 Months

  • Determine your budget

  • Make a guest list

  • Hire a wedding planner

  • Decide formality and overall theme

  • Select the caterer and venue

11 Months

  • Choose color theme and start thinking of overall design

  • Hire vendors who book up quickly, including photographer, band, DJ, and videographer

10 Months

  • Start shopping for your wedding dress

  • Book hotel room blocks for guests

  • Create your wedding website

  • Take engagement photos

  • Start looking at invitations

9 Months

8 Months

  • Register for gifts

  • Select the bridesmaids' dresses and schedule fittings within the month

  • Meet with potential florists

7 Months

  • Book the rehearsal dinner venue

  • Hire the ceremony musicians

  • Order rental items, such as specialty chairs, linens, draping, lounge furniture, white dance floor, etc.

  • Hire an officiant

6 Months

  • Hire a lighting technician

5 Months

  • Book transportation for guests, if needed

  • Book the bride and groom's transportation (limo, specialty car, etc.)

  • Book the honeymoon

  • Order a passport if you’re honeymooning abroad

  • Buy or rent the groom’s tuxedo

  • Begin premarital counseling

4 Months

  • Have your final tasting with the caterer

  • Choose your cake

  • Buy wedding bands

  • Select groomsmen's attire and schedule fittings within the month

  • Have a hair and makeup trial

3 Months

  • Order the invitations and hire calligrapher

  • Create or plan your menu

  • Brainstorm guest favors and gift bags

  • Book a photo booth rental

  • Write your vows

  • Select readings for the ceremony

  • Meet with the officiant and invite him or her to the rehearsal dinner

  • Start crafting any DIY items if you haven’t already

2 Months

  • Send the wedding invitations (with RSVPs due one month before the wedding)

  • Send out rehearsal-dinner invitations (these can be included with the wedding invitations if you like)

  • First dress fitting

  • Pick up your marriage license

  • Buy wedding party gifts

  • Do a floral mock-up with your florist

  • Give the song selections to your band or DJ

  • Buy all small items

1 Month

  • Assemble gift bags

  • Pay your vendors in full

  • Create a seating chart

  • Order or make your escort cards and place cards

  • Have a final venue walk-through

  • Put cash in tip envelopes for your planner/delegate to distribute

  • Break in your wedding shoes

Final Week

  • Refresh your hair color

  • Get your eyebrows done

  • Get a manicure/pedicure

  • Get a massage (Why not make it a couple's massage?)

  • Final dress fitting (A friend or bridesmaid should come with you so she can learn how to bustle the train if your dress requires it.)

  • Pack your bags for the honeymoon, and confirm your travel arrangements (Don’t forget your passport if you’re leaving the country!)

  • Complete any edible crafting.

  • Clean your ring (Head to your jeweler to get your engagement ring professionally clean so it’s extra sparkly on your wedding day.)

  • Chase any RSVP stragglers and deliver the final head count

  • Clear your work to-do list so you can focus on wedding festivities

  • Practice your vows out loud

  • Write your partner a note

Night Before and Day Of

The night before:

  • Eat a healthy meal

  • Pack a clutch or small big of personal items

  • Drink water

  • Get a good night's sleep

  • Put any boxes, suitcases, bags, and survival kits to bring to the ceremony or reception in the car. (You'll thank us tomorrow!)

The morning of:

  • Stay off your feet as much as possible

  • Eat breakfast

  • Drink even more water

  • Take your dress and veil out of the bag early on, and have someone steam them if needed

  • Lay out all the items (rings, invitations, etc.) that you want your photographer to capture

  • Exchange notes with your partner

  • Say thank you to everyone around you!