Wedding Countdown: Your 12 Week Checklist

by Krista York June 02, 2015

Planning one of the biggest days of your life is definitely extremely exciting, but we all know the overwhelming affect it can have on us. With your wedding fast approaching, we want to help ease you in the process of planning your own wedding! We're sure the jitters and nerves have settled in by now, especially when making sure you have every detail planned out and that everything is in order. With our event planning checklist, you'll have a stress-free time making sure you're getting everything done before the big day! Grab your 'maids, family, and friends and have them help you go over our 12 week checklist. Maybe they'll even mark off a few for you -- Wouldn't that be nice?  

Your Event Planning Checklist 12 Weeks Before the Big Day

WEEK 12 & 11 

Starting around week 12, you'll want to finalize a lot of your bigger tasks such as the guest list, rehearsal dinner plans, menu, etc. Getting these bigger tasks done early on in the process will make planning some of the smaller tasks a lot easier and help you feel like it's not all busy work. 

Weeks 12-11: Pick out and order wedding rings | Wedding Countdown: Your 12 Week Checklist Adam Kennedy Photography 

Order Wedding Rings: At this time, you'll want to order those beautiful wedding rings you both picked out for each other to have them in time for the big day! Don't forget to choose a special little guy to be your ring bearer.  

Weeks 12-11: Choose a handsome ring bearer! | Wedding Countdown: Your 12 Week ChecklistEmily Steffen Photography

Order Wedding Cake: Now that you've finished the fun part of cake tasting, it's time to order a delicious treat you'll indulge in with your guests.  

Select Your Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Get together with your fiancé to discuss where you want to have your rehearsal dinner. Maybe you can test out a couple new places on your date nights or choose the restaurant you two had your first date -- talk about reminiscing!  

Finalize Rehearsal Dinner Plans: After you and your soon-to-be hubby decide on your special place to dine before the big day, make sure to call the restaurant and reserve enough spots to accommodate all of your family and friends. If you are wanting a more secluded place, ask the restaurant if they have an event area that can be sectioned or closed off.     

Finalize Guest List and Send Invitations: This is where it starts to feel real. Go over the guest list again and double check the RSVP'S so you know how many invitations you will need to send out. Once you have gone over the guest list, it's time to send out your beautiful invitations. Exciting!  

Weeks 12-11: Finalize guests and send invitations | Wedding Countdown: Your 12 Week ChecklistMillie Holloman Photography

Finalize Menu: This is another great way to get your man involved in the event planning checklist! Knowing most guys, he'll definitely want a say in what food you guys will be serving. Finalize your choices and make any necessary changes. Remember to take note of the guests who may have any food allergies or ones that may be vegetarian. You'll want to let your caterer know of these beforehand.  

Order Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Although picking out the men's attire will mainly be your guys' responsibility, it won't hurt to check in with him and make sure you're both on the same page as to when his tuxes and ties need to be ordered.  

Organize Wedding Day Transportation (for you and your guests): Now is the time to call the hotel/wedding vendor to see if they will accommodate shuttles to and from the hotel your guest are staying at. If not, find out how much you would have to pay, so you can go with other options if it's too expensive.  

Pick Out Gifts For Each Other: This is one of the most sentimental gifts you'll ever give to someone, let alone the person you're madly in love with! Take the time and effort to pick out something really thoughtful for your special someone.  

Weeks 12-11: Pick out gifts for your significant other | Wedding Countdown: Your 12 Week ChecklistBriana Whim Photography

Regularly Check Your Registry: Checking your registry regularly is a great idea because you want to ensure that there are enough items left for your guests to choose from! Chances of everything being bought on your list is not likely, but just in case you notice a lot of things being purchased early on, it wouldn’t hurt to add a few more things! (We're not complaining.)  

Joint Bank Accounts: If this is a must for you, you'll want to do this at 12 weeks because the whole process will take some time. If you're not planning on joining accounts then this is one less thing you'll have to do! 

Start Preparations For Your Honeymoon: Getting things in order for your honeymoon is so exciting! A romantic vacation with your best friend? Yes, Please!  

WEEK 10 & 9 

Weeks 10-9: Select music for ceremony and reception | Wedding Countdown: Your 12 Week ChecklistMillie Holloman Photography

Select Music For Ceremony and Reception: We're sure by now that you've picked out the best DJ to play your favorite songs. Now is the time to let him know your absolute must haves for the reception and the intimate song you'll want to listen to while walking down the aisle!  

Book Makeup and Hair Stylist: Booking both the makeup artist and hair stylist during these weeks will give you an ample amount of time to try more looks and styles if you haven't already settled on one. Maybe you're lucky enough to have a two-in-one stylist!  

Weeks 10-9: Book makeup and hair stylist | Wedding Countdown: Your 12 Week ChecklistAnita Martin Photography

Choose Your Wedding Favors: Deciding on what to give your guests as a gift is not an easy decision, but the gesture is what matters and we're sure you've picked out something great! If you're DIY'ing, this is still a great time to start. 

Purchase Bridal Party Gifts: Giving your 'maids a remarkable gift is something you'll be able share with them for the rest of your lives.  

Purchase Wedding Accessories: Some examples of wedding accessories include, a ring pillow, candles, baskets, and any other decorations that you want to go with your wedding theme. 

WEEK 8 & 7 

Weeks 8-7: Finalize ceremony details | Wedding Countdown: Your 12 Week ChecklistKatie Lewis Photography

Have First Bridal Gown Fitting: Get ready to get the tissues out! Here's another tear-jerking moment for you, your mom, and closest friends. Trying on dresses for the first time is such an exciting experience, but once the eight week mark hits, trying on your actual gown will bring on the happy water works! 

Schedule a Final Fitting For Your Gown: You'll want to have one last fitting to make sure everything is near perfect for your big day. This is also necessary if you will be having a formal bridal portrait done.  

Finalize Ceremony Details: All finalization's should be done around this time to make sure everything is in order and to make any last additions to your wedding playlist and ceremony readings 

Weeks 8-7: Finalize ceremony details | Wedding Countdown: Your 12 Week ChecklistRay and Kelly Photography

Design Wedding Programs: If you want to give out wedding programs to all of your guests, starting your design idea at this time will allow you to have enough time to make edits along the way and print them off a couple weeks before your wedding.  

Meet With Officiant: Meeting with your officiant one last time to go over everything that will happen at the ceremony is necessary for you and your bridal party to figure out all of the logistics. This way, you and your wedding party will know who is walking with who, where everyone will be standing, and where the ring bearer/flower girl will go after they walk down the aisle.  

Arrange Bridesmaid Luncheon and Other Pre-Wedding Parties: This is a great time to make reservations for any luncheons and parties you'll want to have before the wedding. You can make a day of it with your girls and get together to figure out all of the details!  

WEEK 6 & 5 

Weeks 6-5: Write each other vows! | Wedding Countdown: Your 12 Week Checklist

Cassie Rosch Photography

Write Vows: What a memorable time in your life! Writing a sentimental piece that you'll read to the love of your life will be such a special (and emotional!) moment for both of you. 

Set An Appointment For Your Formal Bridal Portrait: Getting ready for your formal bridal portrait is so exciting. Make sure you have an appointment made with your photographer around this time so they can schedule you in.  

Prepare Photo and Video Shot List: Get together with your guy and go through the pictures and videos you'll want to display for your guests at the reception. This can be a fun night in with your fiancé to reminisce and get even more excited for the big day!  

Check Requirements For Marriage License in Your State: This is an important factor you'll have to check before your wedding day to make sure everything will be in order and finalized. 

Finalize Details With Wedding Vendors:  Call or set up an appointment with your vendors and service providers to go over all of the details and to add any changes that you may have made.  

WEEK 4 & 3  

Weeks 4-3: Arrange name change | Wedding Countdown: Your 12 Week Checklist

Get Marriage License: Mark your calendar for when you will need to pick up your marriage license. (This normally happens no earlier than 30 days before wedding.) 

Arrange Name Change: This is one of the other tasks that makes all of this seem so real!  Everybody that you would notify of a change of address is most likely someone you will want to notify about the name change. This includes, government agencies, financial institutions and insurance companies. This is a super exciting time for you and your soon-to-be husband.  
 

Mail Rehearsal-Dinner Invitations: Send out those invites to your bridal party and whomever else you will want to accompany you to the rehearsal dinner.  

Meet With Stylist to Discuss Hair and Makeup: By now, the hair and makeup trials should be done and you can now discuss the style and look you'll want on your wedding day. Also, be sure to ask the stylist(s) if they can do certain looks for your 'maids if you want specific hair styles for them.  

Confirm Hotel Arrangements For Out-of-Town Guests: Call the hotels or other places your friends and family might be staying to confirm the reservations. This is the best time to ask any questions you might have about accommodations and transportation for other days other than the wedding if they are coming from out of town. 

WEEK 2 & 1 

 Weeks 2-1: Confirm floral delivery date and time | Wedding Countdown: Your 12 Week Checklist

Tandem Tree Photography

Confirm All Rental and Floral Delivery Dates and Times: This is essential to make sure that your flowers arrive on time and are set up well before your ceremony.  

Call Guests Who Have Not Responded to Invitation: Call them and see if they will be making it or not so you can accommodate the seating chart and number of meals you will need. This would be a great task to give your mom and soon-to-be mother-in-law! 

Have Final Wedding Gown Fitting: One last check to make sure everything is in place and fits right. How fun 

Weeks 2-1: Have final wedding gown fitting! | Wedding Countdown: Your 12 Week ChecklistHannah Schmitt Photography

Finalize Wedding-Day Schedule: You'll want to share this schedule with attendants, parents and all vendors so they are all up to date with your schedule. Creating an itinerary for your wedding party and photographer will also be extremely helpful for keeping everything on time. 

Pick Up Your Wedding Dress: You'll want to make sure all of your bridal accessories are together and you will also want to pick up your garter(s) and bridal veil 

Reconfirm All Wedding Plans: This includes ceremony, reception site, florist, photo/videographer, musicians, DJ and honeymoon.  

Give Caterer/Reception Site Final Head Count: Let them know the final count so they can make any necessary changes.  

Provide Wedding Party and Out-of-Town Guests With Itinerary and Maps: You can do this through an email or sending them a calendar invite on your phone with the address and itinerary. 

Prepare Emergency Kit: Just in case there is an accident on your wedding day, an emergency kit is definitely necessary for minor fixes on your special day. The kit could include needle, thread, safety pins, tape, mirror, etc. 

Finalize Seating Arrangements: Now that you've called all of the people who didn't RSVP, you can make adjustments to the seating arrangements and number of meals.  

Prepare Place Cards: This is a fun little task to do before your wedding day! Whether they are hand written or printed, they will be a charming touch to your wedding theme. 

Weeks 2-1: Prepare name cards for guests | Wedding Countdown: Your 12 Week ChecklistCassie Rosch Photography

Prepare Wedding and Reception Box: This will be for ceremony and reception accessories. This includes cards and/or small gifts, Etc.  

Make Final Payments: You'll want to finalize all payments before the wedding and have everything paid up so you don’t have to worry about it when you're preparing for the day.  

Confirm Arrival Times For Attendants: Send out a reminder email letting your attendants know what time they need to arrive and that they should allow a little extra driving time just in case there might be traffic.  

Pack For Wedding Night and Honeymoon: Another super fun task to do. Grab your guy and pack for your wedding night and honeymoon. Nothing is more exciting than packing for a nice get away with your love!  

Weeks 2-1: Pack for wedding night and honeymoon!  | Wedding Countdown: Your 12 Week ChecklistMonica Lopez Photography

We're so excited for your big day! We all know there can be a lot of stress that comes along with planning your own wedding, but with our guide, it'll ease the process for you. This is such a memorable time in your life, although it can be a little overwhelming, make sure to have fun with it! Take it day by day and you'll end up being the perfect wedding planner.   

What has been your favorite part of the planning process so far? Leave a comment below and let us know! 

Your wedding countdown checklist for 12 weeks before the big day!

Don't forget to download the printable checklist to throw in your wedding planning binder! 



Krista York
Krista York

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Measurement Guide

Taking Your Measurements

For the most accurate measurements, do not measure over your clothing. Your measurements should be taken while wearing undergarments similar to the ones you will wear with your dress. The measuring tape shouldn't be pulled too tight or have too much slack, and should always be parallel with the floor. 

**Wedding apparel is typically sized differently than retail clothing, so keep in mind that it's not uncommon to find yourself requiring alterations.




Bust size: Wrap the tape around your back and under your arms at the fullest part of your bust (not underneath the bust).

Waist size:  While standing up straight, bend at the waist to one side. Take the measurement where the natural crease happens in your side. This should be a few inches above your belly button.

Hip size: Standing with your feet together, wrap the tape around the fullest part of your hips and butt to get this measurement.

Choosing your correct size

Compare  these three measurements to the Kennedy Blue size chart above. It is very important that you order the largest size that corresponds to your measurements. For example, if your bust measures 40.5" (size 12), your waist measures 31" (size 10) and your hips measure 41.5" (size 8), we advise that you order a size 12, and get your dress altered down to custom fit your body. Ordering anything smaller than a size 12 would not fit in the bust area. Please note: Our bridal gown size chart is different than the bridesmaids sizing and is listed below.