Alrighty y'all.  We're living in a world that's been changed and flipped on it's head due to COVID-19.  Though we may all be quarantined and sheltering in place, that doesn't change the fact that YOUR WEDDING is coming up and your planning process still gets to be FUN!


Organizing a wedding can quickly become overwhelming...  Who knew there were so many details involved?! But, the good news is, planning your big day doesn’t actually have to be so stressful if you divide the tasks on a month by month basis with a wedding-planning check list and timeline!


To help get you started on devising the wedding of your dreams, we’ve created the ultimate check list to help guide you through the planning process that way you’re able to enjoy each step, stress less, have fun and more importantly revel in this special time together! So sit back, grab a glass of wine (or gin!) and take a deep breath as we break down for you everything you'll need to plan the perfect wedding.

Happy planning! 

The Checklist:

12 Months:

❏  Choose a date

❏  Talk budget

❏  Decide wedding style

❏  Make a guest list

❏  Explore ceremony &

reception venue options

❏  Start assembling a dream team of

wedding pros

❏  Engagement photo session

11-10 Months:

❏ Hire vendors

❏ Reserve ceremony & reception


❏ Purchase wedding dress, veil,


❏ Choose bridal party attire &


❏ Book officiant

❏ Mail Save the Dates

-8 Months:

❏ Choose wedding party

❏ Create wedding website

❏ Begin browsing Save the

Date designs

❏ Order sample Save the


❏ Order Save the Dates

❏ Begin researching wedding

dress and veil styles

❏ Create wedding style mood

boards on Pinterest

❏ Find hotels at different

price points for out-of-town


❏ Browse wedding invitation


❏ Refine guest list

❏ Create gift registry

❏ Begin planning honeymoon

7-6 Months:

❏ Reserve rentals

❏ Hire ceremony musicians

❏ Book transportation to

and from venues

❏ Research wedding day hair

and makeup styles

❏ Meet with officiant to

discuss run down of


❏ Choose cake style &

schedule tastings

5-4 Months:

❏ Order wedding cake

❏ Meet with florist

❏ Schedule dress fittings

❏ Book honeymoon flights & hotels

❏ Book room for wedding night

3 Months:

❏  Hair and makeup trial

❏  Book a photo booth rental

❏  Finalize readers and readings

❏  Finalize honeymoon plans and

ensure all documents are in


❏  Plan reception seating

2 Months:

❏  Mail wedding invitations .

❏  Begin writing vows

❏  Review ceremony details with


❏  Finalize seating arrangements

❏  Buy wedding-party gifts

❏  Apply for marriage license

❏  Purchase gifts for guests

❏  Lay out the content for wedding


1 Month:

❏  Final dress fitting

❏  Pick up marriage license

❏  Call vendors to confirm date,

time & location

❏  Confirm honeymoon reservations

2 Weeks:

❏ Decide groomsmen attire

❏ Personalize & order wedding invitation


❏ Purchase wedding bands

❏ Order wedding invitation suite

❏ Order thank you cards

❏ Prepare a playlist for DJ/band

❏ Finalize guest list

❏ Compile rehearsal dinner guest list

❏ Book rehearsal dinner venue

❏ Order rehearsal dinner invitations

❏ Purchase toasting flutes, serving

pieces, guestbook, flower basket and

ring bearer pillow

❏ Finalize reception menu with caterer

❏ Order menu cards

❏ Finalize fittings for wedding party and


❏ Create wedding day timelines and

send to vendors, officiant and wedding


❏ Decide on “something old, something

new, something borrowed &

something blue”

❏ Book spa and beauty treatments for

you and bridal party

❏ Pick up wedding rings

❏ Order wedding programs

❏ Write thank you notes as gifts are


❏ Begin breaking in wedding shoes

❏ Make arrangements for the caring of

pets & plants while on honeymoon

❏ Follow up with guests who have not


❏ Give final guest count to caterer

❏ Send playlists to DJ/band/ceremony


1 Week:

❏ Get haircut & freshen up color

❏ Update registries

❏ Send directions to wedding day

transportation driver

❏ Delegate someone to return tuxes,

rentals & tend to wedding dress

❏ Prepare wedding day emergency kit

❏ Give photographer & videographer

your image & video requests

❏ Give readers their scripts

❏ Prepare final payments to vendors

& cash tips for service personnel

❏ Lay out wedding clothes & gather

all accessories


Day Before:

❏ Treat yourself to a mani/pedi &


❏ Attend wedding rehearsal

❏ Have fun at rehearsal dinner

❏ Thank everyone around you

❏ Get to bed at a decent hour

Wedding Day:

❏ Eat a good breakfast

❏ Stay off feet as much as possible

❏ Allow plenty of time to get ready

❏ Drink water

❏ Take dress & veil out of the bag &

have steamed if needed

❏ Lay out all items you want to be

captured by photographer

❏ Give officiant fee & wedding rings

to best man

❏ Exchange notes with fiancé

❏ Relax, smile & soak up every

moment of the big day

Beyond The Wedding:

❏ Give officiant fee & wedding rings

to best man

❏ Exchange notes with fiancé

❏ Relax, smile & soak up every

moment of the big day

❏ Ensure tuxes & all rentals have

been returned

❏ Get wedding dress to cleaners.

❏ Send out thank you cards no

later than 3 weeks after wedding


This may seem like an overwhelming list of things to check off before your wedding day but if you stick to the timeline your day should go off without a hitch!


As for the couples who have a shorter engagement time, pulling off your dream wedding is still possible and can be done in a stress-free matter as well! If you have 6 months to plan before your wedding then condense this list and try to get everything done at the 12 month mark done your first month and you should pretty much be on schedule for everything else.


We hope this guide is helpful for you both as you start the journey of planning your wedding! If you're at the point in your process where you're looking for a photographer - we'd love to chat with you and see if we might be a good fit.  We offer all inclusive wedding photography bundles in California and nationwide.

To couples who have had to change your date or modify your plans due to COVID-19, our heart goes out to you and we have added additional availability and budget flexibility in both 2020 and 2021 to better serve you.

Lose your photographer due to COVID-19 or still looking for your perfect match? Let's see how we can help!

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© 2020 Blackwell Photography


1075 Market St

Redding, CA 96003 



California Wedding Photographer, Redding Wedding Photographer, Bay Area Wedding Photographer