Wedding plan to-do list: 20+ things to do absolutely

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What is the definitive wedding plan to-do list to follow to organize a perfect event? If you’ve recently received your proposal and are wondering where to start with your wedding plan to-do list, this article is here just for you.

As a wedding planner, I can tell you that besides what I’m going to list for you, there are many other situations and details to evaluate and consider. But this list of wedding plan to do is definitely an excellent place to start.

Remember: organizing an important—and absolutely unforgettable—event like a wedding will take a lot of time, effort, and a lot of worry. Being supported in this splendid journey towards your wedding day by a wedding expert is undoubtedly the best choice for:

  • live your wedding planning without anxiety and enjoy every minute of this journey;
  • make sure you have the day you’ve always dreamed of – entirely within your budget;
  • prevent and avoid – or professionally manage – unforeseen events that could ruin your big day.

Do they seem like little things to you? While evaluating whether it is worth relying on an expert wedding planner, let’s see the wedding plan to-do list.


Wedding day: summer, winter or mid-season?

Before even starting your actual wedding plan to-do list, you will have to make one of the most significant choices: the season. Are you dreaming of a summer wedding, perhaps on the beach, or a stunning Christmas wedding? Or maybe you prefer an autumn wedding with warm and muffled tones?

This choice will obviously influence every aspect of your wedding: from the dresses and car to the menu, location, theme, and budget.

Regarding the budget, it is clear that weddings in the summer are generally the most expensive. On the contrary, autumn and winter could allow you to save on the location’s rental and on some suppliers.

Rite: catholic, civil or symbolic?

Let’s dive into the wedding plan to-do list by selecting the ritual. While the decision might be natural for some couples, it won’t be at all for others. Discussing how your love will be sealed is essential for your preparations. What I always recommend to my couples is to sit down and talk about it with an open heart, trying to understand, in case of disagreement, what could be the solution that can spiritually satisfy both of them.

It is important to remember that there will be special preparation for religious marriage in the case of a Catholic rite. Anyway, preparing a whole series of documents well in advance will be necessary for both the catholic and the civil ceremonies.

If you are considering a symbolic wedding, I invite you to read my article on symbolic rituals and how they work – you will be amazed to know the vastness of types and some little-known themes regarding celebrants and locations!

Did we choose the rite? Well, let’s move on with our wedding plan to-do list.

How many guests?

Did you think we would have already been at the location searching or at the definition of the budget? Going step by step in the wedding preparations, we need to define the number of guests before doing anything else. We cannot book a beautiful but small church if we plan a wedding of 250 guests. How can we not foresee a tight budget.

I warn you: if you want an intimate wedding, making a list will be pretty easy – even if it never really is – but if you are planning to celebrate a “normal” marriage, your first guest list will be…very long!

The advice is to create a draft of the list and leave it mature for a while.

There are two reasons for this:

  • you will remember people you have not added, but who cannot be missing;
  • if too long, in the end, you can select who you really want on your big day…and cut, alas, someone else!

The first obstacle in the wedding to-do list: the definition of the general budget

We come to a crucial point: the definition of the budget. Many couples already have an idea of ​​how much to spend, while others need support. Whether you are in the first or second category, establishing a general budget is essential to ensure that you “don’t step out of the way” and that you use all available resources at best.

The wedding planner will then support you in correctly distributing the budget in the various cost items.

Did we choose the wedding planner?

By now, you have a pretty clear idea of ​​what you want from your wedding: season, number of guests, ritual, budget. Let’s now look for an excellent figure to support you on your long wedding plan to-do list.
Regarding the choice of wedding planner, you must make sure you have a competent person with good references. The advice is to make her/him explain the nature of the service well, offer you a complete quotation, and show you method and work tools. Only in this way you could understand if she is the right person for you!

At the heart of the wedding plan to-do list: collecting inspirational images

How do you want your wedding to be? What mood should it follow to reflect your couple? Romantic and shabby, fresh and colourful, elegant and baroque… In short, scan your Pinterest and Instagram boards looking for elements of the style you would like to see at your wedding!

happy couple-rite-marriage

Church search or choice of venue for the civil ceremony

The next step on your list of wedding preparations is choosing the church. Or rather, research for it. Many couples will indeed have their own favourite parish and will have no doubts in preferring it. For others, however, not emotionally linked to a particular territory, the church could be selected just like the reception location: based on the number of guests, the style, and the theme of the wedding.

Similarly, for those who decide to get married with a civil ceremony, the municipality of residence may offer different location options. The town hall, but also independent rooms or historic residences. Not only in your own city but also in neighbouring ones!

Let’s be sure to visit them all and choose the one where we would see ourselves say our yes.

Wedding plan to do n ° 8: location scouting

I will not dwell much here: the location scouting is one of the wedding plans to do that takes the most of the energy of the future spouses in terms of time and worry.

I will limit myself to emphasizing the importance of five elements:

  • the capacity – based on the number of guests;
  • the cost – based on the established budget;
  • the distance from the place of the ceremony;
  • the offer of a plan B in case of bad weather – if your reception is to be held outdoors;
  • the style – that should be consistent with what you want to give to your wedding.

And remember to book, or suggest, some accommodation for guests who come from afar!


Choice of catering and date – if the kitchen is not internal

Does your location have an internal kitchen? If so, you can skip this point and go straight to number 10 on our list. Otherwise, stop: it’s a critical moment!

The choice of catering will be decisive for the success of your event.

Don’t you want to find yourself at your reception with delays in the courses or, worse, food of unsatisfactory quality? Pay a lot of attention to this moment and rely only on referenced catering. Again, a wedding planner will be able to advise you on her best suppliers and keep you away from nasty surprises.

N ° 10 wedding plan to-do list: search for the photographer

Who will forever impress the emotions of your wedding in pictures? Regarding the photographer scouting, my advice is: choose a style that reflects you. Whether it is in a journalistic, artistic or classic approach, the important thing is that you feel at ease during your big day.

Also, consider whether or not to make the video. And pay attention to the budget!

Deciding the colour and style palette

Let’s get to the aesthetic details of your event: what colours do you see in your dream wedding? Which style do you desire? At this point, however, we must reflect on the choices made so far.

Let me give you an example: if we have decided to get married in a beautiful Baroque palace, a vibrant colour palette and a maritime theme may not be the right choice. But if your theme is the sea, the reference to works of art in which the sea is the protagonist could be perfect.

This is to tell you: you can choose almost any theme, but everything should be adapted to the location selected for the ceremony and reception.


Florist search: we have it for all budgets!

When it comes to flowers, a lot depends on your wishes and your wedding theme. If you have envisioned a few flowers and many other types of decorations, the choice could fall more than a florist on an outfitter, an expert in decorations. On the other hand, if flowers are the protagonists of your event, it will be appropriate to hire a skilled flower designer capable of creating complex and personalized compositions.

Here too, pay attention to your budget, the flowers could cost you much more than you expected!

Light designer: light up your event

What does the light designer do, and why do we need it? Because, especially for evening weddings, he will make your party sparkle! Even the sparest location – or the garden – if dressed in the right lights, will become a magical and unforgettable place.

N ° 14 wedding plan to-do list: the coordinated graphic

You may have noticed that we hadn’t talked about wedding invitations, right? We are almost at the end of our wedding plan to-do list, and it’s time to choose the graphic coordinate. By graphic coordinate, we mean every printed material you will present before, after and during your event: save the date, invitations, welcome tab, tableau de mariage, place card, menu, thank you gift, buffet labels etc.

I explored this theme in detail in my article dedicated to wedding graphics.

Just a tip: don’t underestimate the consistency of the elements: guests will notice!

Food and menu: not just meat or fish

When thinking about the choice of the wedding menu, the first thing that comes to mind is: meat or fish? If it was the only doubt!

In choosing the menu, we should think about our tastes, the wedding style – again – our guests and any alternative menus for vegetarians, vegans, intolerants.

And here too, one eye on the budget won’t hurt!

In these articles, I talked about the Sicilian wedding menu and the new trends for the wedding banquet.

The dresses: bride, groom and bridesmaids

It’s time – now and only now – to choose the dresses for your wedding! But why in the end? Because if you decide to get married by the sea, on the sand, and you have already bought a satin wedding dress with a 2-meter tail…it’s a big problem!

Saying yes to the dress you want is correct, but thinking about where you should wear it is also right. And it doesn’t just apply to the bride! The groom must also be consistent with the wedding theme. As well as the bridesmaids: ideally in the palette!


Wedding rings: not always an easy choice

If the choice of wedding rings is simple for some couples and concerns the timeless yellow gold rings, it may not be easy for others. In particular, if you want personalized or handmade wedding rings, the advice is to move well in advance. Commissions could be delivered even after several months…what if something goes wrong? I still remember one of my spouses who had a wedding band made from a ring that was particularly close to her heart. After a mistake by the first goldsmith, the second, with unpredictable delays, delivered her ring two days before the wedding!

Wedding accessories: shoes, belts, watches, sets

Bought the clothes, our look is by no means complete. Searching for accessories may take you much longer than you predicted. This is why it is better not to leave it for the last few days. Be sure to start looking around – without buying anything – several months before the big day. So when the time comes, you will be ready!

Second last in the wedding plan to-do list: wedding favours

Have we thought about everything? No, many things are still missing, including wedding favours. Whether they are simple sugared almonds, objects or gastronomic favours, the certainty is that they must be ordered several months in advance. Especially if you get married during the summer wedding season! You wouldn’t like to risk finding your favourite suppliers already fully booked, right?


N ° 20 wedding plan to-do list: car, cake and…everything else!

As I told you, this list is only part of everything you have to do to successfully complete your wedding preparations. We have come this far, and we have not yet mentioned the car’s pick, the transfer for the guests, the cake designer and many other professionals needed for your event to be truly fabulous.

Have you realized how much must be done to make everything perfect? For this reason, it is advisable to choose a good wedding planner to support you!

Write to me and let’s start planning your big day!

Tania Costantino – Full Service Wedding Planner in Sicily

Special Thanks to  Alberto Cosenza for the wonderful reportage of Sicilian weddings and for the cover photo Winner of the MyWed Award 2020 in the “Preparations” Category