Advice & Inspiration

Wedding Planning Checklist | North Carolina Wedding Photographer

November 30, 2021

wedding planning checklist


Congratulations! One of you popped the question, the other said, “Yes!” and now you’re about to set out on one of life’s grandest adventures together! Wedding planning is so much fun with a good process in place. So, to give you an overview and a solid starting point, I’m providing a broad wedding planning checklist to help you get the ball rolling. Print it out or just save it for easy reference. And don’t hesitate to reach out for more info! As a professional North Carolina wedding photographer, I’m happy to connect you with local vendors and venues previous couples and I have loved working with! Don’t forget to check out the blog for additional wedding planning resources and photo inspiration.

wedding planning checklist, Dawn Marie Photography

Wedding Planning Checklist

10-12 Months Before

  • Hire a planner + choose your general style/theme
  • Determine your budget
  • Make a guest list
  • Finalize a date
  • Get wedding insurance
  • Book big-ticket items first (venue(s), photographer + videographer, caterer, DJ + entertainment)
  • Ask each vendor about backup plans + extenuating circumstances before booking

8-10 Months Before

  • Book your engagement + bridal sessions with your wedding photographer
  • Determine your color scheme
  • Say “yes” to the dress (and accessories like veil + garter) 
  • Pick your wedding party
  • Choose wedding party attire
  • Order your wedding invitation suite
  • Choose your florist + flowers
  • Create a wedding website (The KnotMintedZolaJoy, etc.)
wedding dress, bridals, wedding planning checklist

6-8 Months Before

  • Hire your officiant
  • Apply for or renew your passport if you need it for your honeymoon
    (the busiest times for passport renewals are March-August)
  • Start finalizing details + selections with vendors
  • Order decorations
  • Book rentals + table settings

4-6 Months Before

  • Book your rehearsal dinner venue
  • Send out save the dates
  • Book honeymoon
  • Select your wedding cake (plus serving set + toppers)
  • Hair + makeup trial with bridal session
  • Purchase wedding bands + resize if needed
  • Dress fitting + send for alterations (near 3-4-month mark)
  • Book your hair stylist + makeup artist
wedding cake, wedding planning checklist, Dawn Marie Photography

2-4 Months Before

  • Finalize the menu + drinks
  • Book transportation for you + guests if needed
  • Order wedding favors + assemble if needed
  • Choose ceremony + reception music
  • Write your vows (if applicable) + select ceremony readings
  • Dress fitting (near 2-month mark)
  • Order prints/canvases you want to display on your wedding day
wedding party favors, wedding planning

2 Months Before

  • Send out wedding invitations (6-8 weeks prior)
  • Finalize guest count (I recommend doing RSVP’s through your wedding website—you can send a reminder for those who have not yet responded)
  • Inform planner + caterer of final guest count
  • Get you marriage license (2 months prior)
  • Break in wedding shoes
  • Assign wedding day tasks
wedding invitation suite, wedding planning, Dawn Marie Photography

1 Month Before

  • Pay all vendors in full
  • Final dress fitting
  • Create a seating chart if needed
  • Schedule a venue run through
  • Practice vows
  • Work on wedding day timeline (ask Dawn for Customizable Timeline Builder)

1-2 Weeks Before

  • Finalize your wedding timeline + give to vendors, wedding party, and those helping out
  • Check in with all of your vendors 
  • Hair color refresh if needed
  • Facial + Mani/Pedi (massage too if you want!)
wedding planning

Night Before

  • Eat healthy + hydrate
  • Get some sleep!

Dawn Marie Wedding Photography | Now Booking Fall + Winter 2022 Weddings

Inquire with Dawn here to reserve your wedding date.

wedding planning checklist, Dawn Marie photography

dawn walsh

Dawn started her career in fine art wedding photography in 2012 on the foundation of genuine connection. She provides comfort for her clients through her down to earth personality and playfulness that allows them to show genuine interactions and emotions with one another in front of the camera. Capturing the essence of their relationship and the love they have for each other, with an editorial composition.

At home, Dawn is a wife and mother, living on a ranch in North Carolina. Spending quality time with family and dear friends, traveling, and having experiences is what drives her. Her family also fosters children and is active in fighting for all foster kids and their needs. 
Being able to have fun with her family, travel and share experiences is all because of the blessings God has given her and never taken for granted.

© dawn marie photography 2022

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