Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist
Planning for a wedding is exciting, but can also be stressful as it is not only a lifetime commitment, but also leads the party of a lifetime – the wedding reception. However with the successful delegation of responsibilities – finding the right wedding favors, invitations, catering and flowers – you will find that the wedding planning process is a pleasurable experience if you plan beforehand. Getting family members, friends and hired professional help involved in creating a memorable wedding day.
Taking the time to prepare and plan for your wedding involves creativity, patience and networking. To many, the details of planning a wedding from beginning to end seem daunting and stressful. Often this leads to hiring a consultant – like Janna who can manage the entire process on the wedding day.
To plan the perfect celebration, use this comprehensive wedding checklist, with a timeline based on the 6-month length of the average Lebanese engagement.
Nine to Six Months Before
Start a wedding folder or binder.
Begin reading through bridal, lifestyle, fashion, gardening, design, and food magazines for inspiration.
- Work out your budget.
Determine how much you have to spend, based on your families’ contributions and your own.
- Pick your wedding party.
As soon as you’re engaged, people will start wondering who’s in.
- Start the guest list.
Make a head count database to use throughout your planning process, with columns for contact info, RSVPs, gifts, and any other relevant information. (Want to keep costs low? It may be brutal, but the best way to do it is to reduce your guest list.)
- Hire a planner, if desired.
A planner will have relationships with—and insights about—vendors. Janna will help or will organize your wedding from A to Z. Please talk to our Wedding Coordinator Mr. Joseph Antonious.
Reserve your date and venues.
Decide whether to have separate locations for the ceremony and the reception, factoring in driving time between the two places.
- Research photographers, bands, florists, and caterers.
Keep their contact information in your binder.
- Throw an engagement party, if you wish.
But remember that your invitees should be on your wedding guest list as well.
5 Months Before
- Hire the photographer and the videographer.
No need to talk specifics yet, but be sure that the people you hire are open to doing the shots that you want. Janna can recommend and direct photographers to capture the special moments.
- Book the entertainment.
Meet with Zaffe companies and see their gigs acts to see how they perform in front of audiences, then reserve your favorite.
- Purchase a dress.
You’ll need to schedule time for at least three fittings. Veil shopping can be postponed for another two to three months.
- Reserve a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests.
Pick three hotels at different price points close to the reception venue.
Sign up at a minimum of three retailers.
- Launch a wedding website.
Create your personal page through a free provider such as weddingchannel.com. Note the date of the wedding, travel information, and accommodations. Then send the link to invitees.
5 to 4 Months Before
- Select and purchase invitations.
Hire a calligrapher, if desired. Addressing cards is time-consuming, so you need to budget accordingly.
- Start planning a honeymoon.
Make sure that your passports are up-to-date, and schedule doctors’ appointments for any shots you may need.
- Shop for bridesmaids’ dresses.
Allow at least six months for the dresses to be ordered and sized.
- Meet with the Officiant, Priest or Sheikh
Map out the ceremony and confirm that you have all the official documents for the wedding (these vary by religion).
- Send save-the-date cards.
- Book a Florist.
Florists can serve multiple clients on one day, which is why you can wait a little longer to engage one. Plus, at this point, you’ll be firm on what your wedding palette will be.
- Start composing a day-of timeline.
Draw up a schedule of the event and slot in each component (the cake-cutting, the first dance).
Three to Four Months Before
- Book the rehearsal and rehearsal-dinner venues.
Negotiate the cost and the menu. If you’re planning to host a day-after brunch for guests, book that place as well.
- Check on the wedding invitations.
Ask the stationer for samples of the finished invitations and revise them to suit your needs.
- Select and order the cake.
Some bakers require a long lead time. Attend several tastings before committing to any baker.
- Send your guest list to the host of your shower.
Provided you, ahem, know about the shower.
- Purchase wedding shoes and start dress fittings.
Bring the shoes along to your first fitting so the tailor can choose the appropriate length for your gown.
- Schedule hair and makeup artists.
Make a few appointments with local experts to try them out. Snap a photo at each so you can compare results.
- Choose your music.
What should be playing when the wedding party is announced? During dinner? To kick off the dancing? Keep a running list of what you want—and do not want—played. Janna will schedule a meeting with our top DJ to discuss the music for the first dance and the rest of Evening.
1 Month Before
- Finalize the menu and flowers.
You’ll want to wait until now to see what will be available, since food and flowers are affected by season.
- Make a list of the people giving toasts.
Which loved ones would you like to have speak at the reception? Ask them now.
- Finalize the readings.
Determine what you would like to have read at the ceremony—and whom you wish to do the readings.
- Purchase your undergarments.
And schedule your second fitting.
- Finalize the order of the ceremony and the reception.
- Print menu cards, if you like, as well as programs.
No need to go to a printer, if that’s not in your budget: You can easily create these on your computer.
- Purchase the rings.
This will give you time for resizing and engraving.
- Send your event schedule to the vendors.
Giving them a first draft now allows ample time for tweaks and feedback.
Three Weeks Before
- Touch base again with all the vendors.
Make sure any questions you or they had on your first draft have been answered.
- Meet with the photographer.
Discuss specific shots, and walk through the locations to note spots that appeal to you.
- Review the playlist with the band or deejay.
Though you probably won’t be able to dictate every single song played, you should come prepared with a wish list.
- Send out the invitations.
The rule of thumb: Mail invitations six to eight weeks before the ceremony, setting the RSVP cutoff at three weeks after the postmark date.
Enjoy a bachelorette party.
Arranging a night out with your girlfriends generally falls to the maid of honor. But if she hasn’t mentioned one to you by now, feel free to ask—for scheduling purposes, of course!—if a celebration is in the works.
2 Weeks Before
- Enter RSVPs into your guest-list database.
Phone people who have not yet responded.
- Mail the rehearsal-dinner invitations.
- Visit the dressmaker for (with luck!) your last dress fitting.
For peace of mind, you may want to schedule a fitting the week of your wedding. You can always cancel the appointment if you try on the dress then and it fits perfectly.
- Send out as many final payments as you can.
- Confirm times for hair and makeup and all vendors.
- E-mail and print directions for drivers of transport vehicles.
This gives the chauffeurs ample time to navigate a route.
- Assign seating.
Draw out table shapes on a layout of the room to help plan place settings. Write the names of female guests on pink sticky notes and the names of male guests on blue sticky notes so you can move people about without re-sketching the entire setting.
- Purchase bridesmaids’ gifts.
You’ll present them at the rehearsal dinner.
- Write vows, if necessary.
- Get your hair cut and colored, if desired.
Week of the Wedding
- Reconfirm arrival times with vendors.
- Delegate small wedding-day tasks.
Choose someone to bustle your dress, someone to carry your things, someone to be in charge of gifts (especially the enveloped sort), someone to hand out tips, and someone to be the point person for each vendor.
- Send a timeline to the bridal party.
Include every member’s contact information, along with the point people you’ve asked to deal with the vendors, if problems arise.
- Pick up your dress.
Or make arrangements for a delivery.
- Check in one last time with the photographer.
Supply him or her with a list of moments you want captured on film.
- Set aside checks for the vendors.
And put tips in envelopes to be handed out at the event.
- Book a spa treatment.
Make an appointment for a manicure and a pedicure the day before the wedding. (You might want to get a stress-relieving massage, too.)
- Send the final guest list to the caterer and all venues hosting your wedding-related events.
Typically, companies close their lists 72 hours in advance.
- Break in your shoes.
- Assemble and distribute the welcome baskets.
- Pack for your honeymoon.
Wedding is an important day in the lives of bride, groom and parents. For any marriage, from the wedding ceremony right through the reception and honeymoon, the goal is to make this event as memorable as possible. Therefore, it is important that you engage with a reputable firm specialized in wedding.
We, at Janna, will make your wedding memorable. We provide you with 3 different royal and exquisite themes for your wedding party; one highlighting the Orient and the others the Polynesian. Your guests will experience authentic international and local cuisine as well as an open exquisite buffet and salad bar; a variety of homemade and exotic salads, appetizers, assorted cheeses, cold cuts, tropical international dishes and much more. Janna has offered its customers 3 packages to choose from: Janna Seated Diner, Janna Seated Diner Premium, and a comprehensive package -Waterfront Lebanese Seated.