Whether you just got engaged or have been planning your wedding for quite some time, there are plenty of wedding tasks that you can check off of your list for the new year!
While I’m sure you’ve done some research on the major tasks that you need to get done (choosing a venue, hiring a caterer, etc.) today’s post is going to focus on some of those smaller details that you might forget about!
Wedding Tasks to Check Off Your List in 2021
No matter if you’re getting married in 2021, 2022, or later, there are plenty of wedding tasks that you can check off of your list in the new year! Make it your goal to get some wedding planning done this year… it will make life so much easier as it gets closer to your wedding day. Here is our full list of wedding tasks that you shouldn’t forget!
Hire a wedding planner
If wedding planning seems completely overwhelming to you, or you know that you just don’t have the time for it, then you might want to consider hiring a wedding planner.
Or, at the very least, we always suggest that people hire a month-of coordinator! This is a wedding planner who will step in about six weeks before your wedding to make sure that everything is all set to go. They will also be there on your wedding day to ensure that everything runs smoothly. You won’t have to lift a finger on your wedding day and you’ll truly be able to enjoy the day!
If you’re looking for a wedding planner or coordinator in our area, we highly recommend our sister company, Moore & Co. Event Stylists!
Book hotel room blocks for your guests
If you have a decent amount of out-of-town guests, then you should take the time to reserve hotel room blocks for them. This simply sets aside a certain number of rooms for your wedding, typically at a discounted rate, that your guests can book from! It’s a nice convenience to do for your guests, and there is typically no cost for you to do this.
Create a wedding website
We suggest setting up a wedding website as soon as you have the major details of your wedding figured out! The wedding website will include information such as the time and date of your wedding, the venue, your engagement story, the members of your wedding party, travel arrangements, and more. You can create a wedding website on The Knot, Zola, or WeddingWire!
Create your gift registry — together
Along with creating a wedding website, you’ll want to create a registry. Even if you don’t want gifts, or you would rather get money, we highly suggest that you create a registry with at least a few items on it. No matter what, there will always be a few people who get you a gift… and wouldn’t you rather it be something that you’ll actually use?
We always suggest the essentials, like a new set of pots and pans or sheets. But, if you already live together, you may not need things like that. In that case, think your your hobbies and interests as a couple. If you’re more adventurous, you can put excursions or camping gear on your registry. If you love to play board games, add some to your registry. It’s okay to take a non-traditional route with your registry!
Book a rehearsal dinner venue
Don’t forget about the rehearsal dinner! Traditionally, the groom’s parents take care of the rehearsal dinner. However, this isn’t always the case… and you might want to be involved anyway! Make sure that there is some sort of plan in place for the rehearsal dinner in place early on in wedding planning, whether it be dinner at a local restaurant or a BBQ in a backyard.
Hire ceremony musicians
Hiring a DJ or band for the reception is typically one of the first things that couples do. However, don’t forget about ceremony music! You may be using your DJ or band for this, but some couples prefer to hire a separate musician for the ceremony. This could be a string quartet or guitarist… the possibilities are endless!
Order rental items
Rental items are often overlooked until close to the end of the wedding journey, but they definitely shouldn’t be forgotten! These could be things such as draping, linens, lounge furniture, specialty chairs, photo booths, and more!
Hire a lighting technician
Lighting is another thing that’s very overlooked! You want to make sure that the lighting is perfect for your wedding day, from the moment that you arrive to after sunset. You want to make sure that the right candles and bulbs are chosen to have perfect photos!
Book transportation — for you and guests
Don’t forget about the transportation! You’ll want to consider this for your guests, especially if it’s a destination wedding. Consider things such as the parking situation at your venue, how much access your guests have to public transportation, and what the gap is between your ceremony and reception.
And don’t forget about transportation for you as a couple! Do you want a limo? Or maybe an antique car?
Start planning your honeymoon early on
A great thing to start planning early on is your honeymoon! This is because it’s one of the more “fun” wedding tasks to plan and can help you de-stress when you get overwhelmed.
Make sure that you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to how much you’re going to spend and what type of honeymoon you want. Are you looking to relax or go on an adventure? Do you want to travel internationally or be able to drive to your honeymoon location? Are you looking for something more tropical or a cabin in the woods?
Start premarital counseling
Whether you’re religious or not, so many couples have amazing things to say about premarital counseling. It can be a great way to discuss things with an objective third party that you might not have discussed with each other before. They can also provide some good conflict resolution tactics that you’ll be able to use for the rest of your lives together!
Also, some states offer a discount on your marriage license if you’ve completed premarital counseling — including certain counties in Maryland!
Schedule a hair and makeup trial
Remember to book your hair and makeup trial, if you are hiring a hair stylist and/or makeup artist! This will help give you an idea of whether or not you like the look that you’re envisioning on yourself.
It’s a good idea to schedule these on special days. Some girls like to schedule them on a day that they’re doing a dress fitting, so that they can see the full look for their big day altogether. Others like to schedule them on the day of their bridal shower so that they can feel their best for that. It’s really up to you! It could even be on a random day if that’s what you prefer.
Hire a calligrapher for invitations
If you don’t have great handwriting, or really just don’t want to spend the time addressing invitations, then you might want to hire a calligrapher! They’ll be able to address all of your invitations and they’ll look beautiful.
Start writing your vows about 3 months out
If you are choosing to write personal vows to each other, don’t wait until the last minute to start! You want these to be memorable and the best that they can be. We suggest starting to write them about 3 months before the wedding. This gives you all the time that you need to get all of your thoughts out and put together into beautiful vows! If you’re stuck on what to say, browse the web for some inspiration.
Choose ceremony readings
You can choose ceremony readings whether you’re having a religious ceremony or not. Bible verses may be the most common and obvious readings to choose from (A Walk to Remember, anyone?) but there are plenty of readings that you can choose from that are non-religious, too! Ask your officiant if they have any suggestions/ideas to choose from.
Start your dress fittings
Be sure to schedule your dress fittings with plenty of time in advance! We suggest reaching out to seamstresses as soon as your dress is ordered to make sure that you get on their list. You likely won’t start fittings until about 3 to 4 months before the wedding, but it’s a good idea to be prepared!
Here at K&B Bridals, we provide you with a list of trusted seamstresses to choose from and reach out to. This way, you can choose someone who you feel comfortable with and who is in a location that is convenient for you!
Invite your officiant to your rehearsal dinner
It’s a nice gesture to invite your officiant to your rehearsal dinner, especially if they are a family member or friend that is officiating for free!
Start to finish up DIY items about 3 months out
If you have any DIY items that you need to finish up for the wedding, try to make sure that they’re finished about three months before the wedding! You don’t want to be stressed out trying to finish them at the last minute before your wedding.
Make childcare arrangements for guests’ kids
Don’t forget to figure out childcare arrangements for guests kids! The first thing you’ll need to decide is whether or not they’re invited to the wedding. (It’s okay to make your wedding an adults-only affair if that’s what you prefer!)
If you are inviting children, then make sure that you have childcare figured out. Are you going to hire a babysitter to watch them for the evening? Are you going to ask a trusted family member or friend to watch children throughout the night? Or are you going to trust parents to make sure they are watching their kids? It’s definitely an important thing to figure out!
Pick up your marriage license
Make sure that you pick up your marriage license! You’ll have to do some research for your state/county for this one. Depending on where you get married, there are different laws regarding how early you need to pick it up and where you need to pick it up. You will typically need to get your marriage license in the county that you’re getting married in. This is the case for Maryland. For example, if you live in Harford County, but you’re getting married in Cecil County, you will need to get your marriage license in Cecil County.
Purchase wedding party and parent gifts
If you are planning to get gifts for your wedding party and/or parents (it’s a nice gesture, especially if they are helping out a lot with wedding planning), then be sure to do this before the rehearsal dinner! That is where you will typically be handing them out.
Give song selections to your DJ and/or musicians
Be sure that you find out from your DJ and/or musicians when they need any of your song selections by, and that you get them to them by that date!
Purchase all small items by 2 months out
We suggest purchasing any small items that you need for your wedding by the 2-month mark. This includes items such as your card box, a hanger for your dress, your garter, table numbers, a cake knife, cake stand, cake topper, toasting flutes, ring bearer accessories, flower girl accessories, and your guest books.
Don’t forget about any items for your guests, too! This of course includes favors, but also includes any items that you’re providing for the ceremony/reception, such as flip-flops, pashminas, and/or sunglasses. Don’t forget to buy baskets to hold everything in, too!
Pay your vendors in full before the wedding
If possible, try to pay all of your vendors in full before the wedding. This will eliminate any stress of vendors trying to chase you down at the last minute to get payments.
Have a final venue walk-through
Make sure that you have a final walk-through of your venue before the wedding! This will typically be coordinated by your venue and/or wedding planner, but if not, make sure that it gets on the calendar.
Break in your wedding shoes
Don’t forget to break in your wedding shoes, especially if you’re wearing heels! You don’t want to end the night in painful blisters. Wear them throughout your house as much as you possible can!
Clean your ring
Finally, don’t forget to clean your ring before the wedding day. We suggest taking it to a professional jeweler — the store that you purchased your ring from will typically do this for free! This way, your ring will look it’s best for the professional photos.
If you have any more questions about wedding planning, check out the rest of our blog here! If one of the wedding tasks that you’re looking to check off is to buy your wedding dress, click here to book an appointment. We can’t wait to help you find your dream dress!