Free Wedding Planning Checklist

This handy (and cute) printable and free wedding planning checklist will become your best friend for the upcoming months while you’re preparing your wedding.

It’s a basic and straight forward bullet point format ms word document that covers the most important tasks.

Unlike some documents available online for free this list also includes details that are usually overlooked. In my opinion, these are important as they should be addressed much earlier in the wedding planning process to make sure all legal documents are obtained in time for the wedding.

Here it is:

Eventually, as you go deeper into subject you will have more questions especially regarding catering and venue countless options which will require more thorough thinking.

For that reason, I encourage you to read further to see how to choose the best options concerning the venue and catering for your wedding a

Venue Related Tasks

The first step to planning a wedding is to determine a budget.
You’ve done that already?

Then you’re ready to put down on paper all the important categories.

Oh, by the way, this can be applied to any budget like a household budget or a travel budget.

Yes, of course, you’ll be needing:

  • Decor for the tables and venue,
  • Shoes to go with the dress,
  • Paper goods like invitations, save-the-dates,
  • You’ll also need a cake,
  • and the list goes on…

When you look at things separately like that, it’s really hard to envision your expenses in a structured way.

And it also feels quite overwhelming!

So the first step is to categorize each expense you can think of to make sure you don’t forget any small detail.

But also it’s a great way to avoid putting too much effort in things of little value.

For example, thinking of your table layout may come to mind naturally while you’re preparing your guest list, … but it may be too soon and even wasted time in the situation where you haven’t found your venue yet.

Because the layout of the venue in itself changes a lot from one venue to another.

  • Where the dance floor is located,
  • The bar,
  • Buffet or dessert tables,
  • Audio-video screen

These are all elements that will influence where you’ll be putting the guests and head table.

So make sure you don’t lose yourself in the details so you don’t waste time and energy for nothing.

That’s exactly what this post will be showing you.

Main Tasks

If you haven’t downloaded your free checklist you can do so here.

Make a list of the most important categories and from there you’ll be able to associate all tasks.
(Don’t worry too much about the task part just yet!)

  • Venue / Catering is one section or category in your budget;
  • Ceremony;
  • Entertainment like a photo booth, a band or a DJ
  • Flowers;
  • Stationery;
  • Bride and Groom which includes clothing and wedding bands;
  • Favors for the guests;
  • Decoration for the reception venue and tables;

Of course, depending on the type of wedding your having, you may also need to personalize the groups of expenses.

For example, if you’re having a backyard wedding or a wedding on private property, you may want to have a Rental category that would include things like beer kegs, a wedding tent, patio heaters…

If the caterer is not providing the wedding cake or alcoholic beverages these will need to be part of a Cake and Beverages group.

Getting Back to Our Main Categories

I will now detail the common tasks you want to have in your worksheet. You will want to discuss these with the Venue salesperson or counselor.

These tasks represent the venue contract elements that you may want to discuss when you’ll be dealing with your Venue contract package inclusions.

Unless you’re renting an outdoor space without any facilities, the venue usually provides the catering service.

So this category can be pretty crowded as it kind of includes the 2 biggest parts of your wedding budget!

I’m assuming here that you already know:

  • The overall wedding budget and
  • The average number of attendants before taking any further steps.

Venue Selection Tasks

The following are elements are important info you want to tell your venue and catering reps but also questions they should answer.

Number 1: Ask if your wedding date is still available.

If you have a specific date in mind and really can’t make any changes because you have a strict holiday schedule at your workplace, then it’s the first important thing you must clear from your list.

This also applies if you don’t mind the date but want to marry during high season which is usually between June and September for most venues.

Number 2: Tell the venue salesperson your budget.

He or she will be able to tell you right away if it’s feasible and let you know what you will need to provide on your side to make it work.

Number 3: Clarify if they accommodate the number of guests you have in mind.

You don’t need to have all confirmed guests but of a rough idea of how many people will be attending. This is just because some venues can’t accommodate 200 people and others won’t rent you space for less than 50 guests.

At this point, just make sure they are accepting to downgrade for a smaller group.

Some venues will explicitly add to their contract that you will need to pay for an 80 people headcount reception even if only 60 guests have confirmed.

So be careful and make sure to clarify this before committing and signing the contract.

Number 4: What is included in the celebration setting.

Is there audio-video equipment included in the package, dance floor, table setting, bar, cake, dessert tables, etc.?

Number 5: What does the catering package include?

I won’t go into details here but, let’s just say this can be very diversified.

So make sure you get all this detailed information by writing so you can read it once at home with a cool head.

Number 6: Find out about ceremony facilities that are available.

Some venues have a small chapel or a special outdoor spot with a wedding arbor and all necessary equipment like guests chairs and decor.

This is pretty cool as won’t need to stress about being on time to the celebration site or being stuck in some traffic jam between the 2 places.

I’m pretty sure your guests will appreciate as well.

Also, you will save money on renting transportation from the ceremony location to the celebration venue.

Number 7 – Discuss other on-site services.

Venues located in hotels can provide group discounts for room booking for you and the guests that traveled to the wedding location.

Number 8 – Last but not least: Confirm the deadlines!

Like when is the final headcount required and last payment…

As you can see, your worksheet may not look very exhaustive at first but once you start collecting all the information you will quickly fill all the blank spots.

It will be pretty useful to have all of it in one single place with a practical layout so you don’t waste your time going through a 3 pages long provider contract.

Especially when you’ll start comparing each venue, stationery providers, caterers to find which has the best deal.

Now you got all you need to start creating your own worksheet and customize with your own specific needs.

Assessing the Cost of Particular Wedding Celebration Requests

Keep in mind that any uncommon request also has a cost. Here are a few ideas of what those request can be:

  • Food: It can be 3 or 4-course meal, hors d’oeuvre, and cocktails, a late-night station, etc.
  • Bar: a specific wine brand, 2 or more wine bottles per table, a number of alcoholic drinks per guests, beer kegs, champagne glass tower, etc.
  • Dessert table, candy bar, chocolate fountain, popcorn or gummy bear distributing machine (love that crazy idea!), paletta, cupcake with your own picture on it, etc.
  • Decorations, ceiling and wall decor, theme decor and color, etc.
  • Lighting, suspended lights, table chandeliers, live flame (some venues only accept LED candles)
  • Cocktail, Prosecco or champing instead of sparkling wine, a special drink of your liking, a fruity punch for the kids, etc…
  • Projector/audio system.

These are all options that are commonly offered in a wedding package but you can personalize them.

Some are considered as basic inclusions but sometimes you need to pay an extra to have them (real Champagne is a good example).

Remember these are only suggestions for you to discuss with your venue representative. You can add your own important ideas you want to have at your wedding.

Specific Spouses Requests

Many people keep the most singular aspects out of the must-haves list because they are not sure if it’s worth it.

We tend to think that maybe the price will be too high or the salesperson at the venue or rental company will look at them in an awkward way…

Whatever the reason, if you always thought you’d have a white dove release or an ice sculpted statue on your wedding cake table, add it to the list.

Sure, they can be expensive but sometimes they are an optional service you can get for cheap through a vendor partnership.

If you don’t ask, you’ll never know!

Hope you have all you need now to make your own wedding planning worksheet.

Also Read

Affordable Planning Tool for Less than $15!

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