Carl White’s Life in the Carolinas

Wedding Planning Checklist

The Outer Banks is wonderful if you are considering a destination wedding. With so many gorgeous shorelines, you are sure to find the perfect spot for your special day! The Inn on Pamlico Sound’s waterfront boutique hotel ranked #1 on the North Carolina coast. With their years of experience and personal touches, venues such as this make planning your wedding a breeze.


There’s so much that goes into planning your wedding. We’ve put together a time-table checklist to help you along the way. Large or small, near or far away, make sure you don’t miss a thing with the help of this guide.

9-12 Months Before

·         Announce your engagement to family and friends and plan an engagement party

·         Place an engagement announcement in your local newspaper

·         Sign up for a wedding website so you can keep your guests informed about event details, area information, etc.

·         Decide who will pay for what and work on your individual and total budget

·         Get your creative juices flowing by viewing and saving wedding ideas from Pinterest, bridal blogs, magazines, etc.

·         Start brainstorming on the type of wedding you want to have (small, formal, semiformal, informal….)

·         Consider purchasing wedding planning software or a planner to organize everything, or hire a wedding planner to               help

·         Chose a wedding date – select a few in case your first choice is booked

·         Chose a venue and reserve your ceremony and reception site

·         Begin a rough guest list and compile current addresses

·         Decide on who you’d like to have as your attendants, including your maid of honor and best man

·         Begin shopping for your wedding gown

·         Attend bridal shows and compile a list of potential vendors and anything you really liked

6-9 Months Before

·         Gift registry

·         Hold your engagement party

·         Finalize your guest list and send out save-the-dates

·         Order your wedding gown and purchase your undergarments to wear with it and to bring to the fittings

·         Order other bridal accessories (shoes, gloves, veil, jewelry)

·         Begin shopping for bridesmaid and flower girl dresses

·         Discuss wedding invitation wording

·         Go over your bridal shower and bachelorette party details and guest list with your hosts

·         Find an officiant to perform the ceremony

·         Research local vendors (Musicians, Bands, DJs, caterer, Florist, Photographer, Videographer, etc.)

4-6 Months Before

·         Start researching wedding cake pictures and local bakeries. Schedule tastings

·         Select and order your wedding invitations, invitation envelopes, and thank-you cards

·         Book your honeymoon and verify that you have any necessary travel documents including passports and visas

·         Select and purchase wedding favors and wedding favor accessories (boxes, personalized wedding ribbon, labels,              etc.)

·         Book a room for your wedding night, if you will be leaving for your honeymoon the next morning

·         Purchase any desired ceremony and reception decorations (unity candles, vases, aisle runners, etc.)

·         Book hotel rooms or arrange for other accommodations for out-of-town guests

·         Hold Bridal Shower

·         Print out directions to the ceremony, reception, rehearsal dinner and hotel(s) for guests

·         Book rehearsal and rehearsal dinner locations

·         Compile and send out rehearsal guest list

·         Compile a list of area information and things to do for out-of-town guests

·         Reserve transportation for you and your wedding party as well as a bus or trolley for your guests if necessary

2-4 Months

·         Write personal vows

·         Find out what your state’s requirements are for obtaining a marriage license

·         Shop and reserve men’s’ formalwear

·         Meet with your caterer to discuss the menu and your bar/liquor needs

·         Select wedding readings

·         Order your wedding cake

·         Shop for a gift for your spouse to be

·         Meet with your officiant to discuss ceremony details and wording

·         Buy thank you gifts for your attendants

·         Select and purchase wedding rings and have them engraved if desired

·         Finalize menu and music selections

·         Contact party rental companies for tents, tables, arches, etc. if necessary

·         Book any other specialty services (ice sculptures, photo booths, etc.)

·         Purchase luggage and other travel necessities and attire for your honeymoon

·         Consider taking dance lessons

·         Order/renew passports if necessary

·         Send shower thank you cards

1-2 Months Before

·         Mail invitations out to everyone eight weeks prior to the wedding date and send accommodation info to your out              of town guests

·         Compile and complete name change documents

·         Fill out a change of address form if necessary

·         Have ceremony programs printed

·         Schedule photography appointment for bridal portrait and prepare a list for photo and video shots

·         Purchase a guest book, pen, and other wedding accessories (toasting glasses, cake knife, ring pillow, etc.)

·         Choose your hair and makeup styles and schedule a trial for both

·         Book appointments to have your hair, makeup and nails done on the day of the wedding

·         Review insurance information with your fiancé and check with employers to see what documents need to be                      updated once you are legally wed (car, home, medical, etc.)

2 Weeks to 1 Month Before

·         Create a seating chart for the reception and make table numbers and place cards

·         Contact your caterer with final guest count

·         Print out timeline of events for your wedding party and vendors

·         Contact your florist to confirm your final flower order (bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, etc.) and go over any            décor details or venue logistics for the big day

·         Schedule your final dress fitting

·         Send rehearsal dinner invites

·         Place a wedding announcement in your local newspaper

·         Plan a bridal luncheon or dinner with your bridesmaids

·         Pick up wedding rings if you were having them engraved and check for errors

·         Apply for your marriage license

·         Write rehearsal dinner toasts

·         Plan your something old, new, borrowed, and blue

·         Harass anyone who hasn’t RSVP’d

1 Week Before

·         Bachelorette party

·         Confirm arrival times and finalize your wedding timeline with vendors and your wedding party

·         Put together your bridal emergency kit

·         Pick up your wedding gown

·         Pick up your marriage license

·         Confirm limo or other transportation reservations

·         Pack for your honeymoon and confirm travel reservations

·         Have your post office hold your mail while you are on your honeymoon

·         Treat yourself to a spa day

The Day Before

·         Write out final checks to your wedding vendors (each organized in an envelope) and let your wedding coordinator              or one of your attendants to distribute at the wedding

·         Ensure your wedding day items are packed and laid out

·         Attend rehearsal

·         Assign someone to pack up your gifts and belongings after the reception

·         Enjoy a mani-pedi

The Wedding Day

·         Wake up early and do some easy exercise, or just go on a peaceful walk

·         Set aside some time before the festivities to share your gifts with attendants

·         Eat a healthy breakfast

·         ENJOY!

After the Honeymoon

·         Write and send thank you cards

·         Complete your registry and exchange any unwanted or duplicate gifts

·         Have your wedding dress cleaned and preserved

·         Keep in touch with your photograph and videographer

·         Complete your name change

·         Preserve your bouquets

·         Enjoy wedded bliss!