X

See More

Book A Room
Book A Room
Related Member: Four Winds Casino Resort, The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College

Congratulations on your engagement! Now, to plan the wedding of your dreams. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with where to begin, this checklist will help you plan the perfect Southwest Michigan wedding and your pre- and post-wedding celebrations. Use it to schedule important dates and to help you keep track of all the details, big and small.

FINANCIALS

  • Set your budget: 18-24 months in advance
  • Create payment schedule
  • Make a folder for receipts and contracts
  • Have checks for vendors ready

Wedding VenueCEREMONY

  • Choose venue and set your date: 18-24 months in advance
  • Contact officiator: 12 months in advance
  • Choose color scheme: 12 months in advance
  • Hire musicians/select music: 8 months in advance
  • Write vows: 2 months in advance
  • Purchase wedding bands: 2 months in advance
  • Decorate venue

Wedding VenueRECEPTION

  • Choose and reserve venue: 12-18 months in advance
  • Book DJ/band: 10-12 months in advance
  • Reserve rental items: 6-12 months in advance
  • Set up gift registry: 10 months in advance
  • Choose music playlist: 8 months in advance
  • Create seating chart: 1 week in advance
  • Purchase/make table favors: 1 month in advance
  • Confirm vendor deliveries: 2 weeks in advance
  • Decorate venue

Wedding CakeCAKE & CATERING

  • Schedule a cake/dessert tasting: 12 months in advance
  • Schedule a menu tasting with caterer: 12 months in advance
  • Book caterer: 12 months in advance
  • Order cake: 4 months in advance
  • Finalize menu with caterer: 2 months in advance
  • Order alcohol: 2 months in advance
  • Send final guest count to caterer: 2 weeks in advance
  • Confirm delivery times: 2 weeks in advance

Wedding FlowersFLOWERS & DÉCOR

  • Choose color scheme: 11 months in advance
  • Choose décor style: 11 months in advance
  • Meet with florist: 10 months in advance
  • Order flowers: 6 months in advance
  • Order decorations: 5 months in advance
  • Confirm floral delivery: 2 weeks in advance

INVITATIONS & PRINTING

  • Finalize the guest list: 12-18 months in advance
  • Pick out invitations: 6 months in advance
  • Buy stamps for all mailings: 4 months in advance
  • Mail “Save the Date” cards: 4 months in advance
  • Mail invitations: 2 months in advance
  • Print wedding programs: 4 weeks in advance
  • Mail thank you notes: Within 2 months

GroomsmenWEDDING PARTY

  • Select your wedding party: 12-18 months in advance
  • Shop for bridesmaids dresses: 8 months in advance
  • Shop for groom and groomsmen attire: 8 months in advance
  • Order wedding party apparel: 4 months in advance
  • Purchase wedding party gifts: 2-4 months in advance
  • Present wedding party with their gifts: At rehearsal dinner

Wedding DressBEAUTY & APPAREL

  • Shop for wedding gown: 12 months in advance
  • Order wedding gown: 10 months in advance
  • Schedule dress fittings: 9 months in advance
  • Purchase jewelry and hair accessories: 8 months in advance
  • Hairstyle and makeup test run: 6 months in advance
  • Book makeup artist: 2-4 months in advance
  • Book hair stylist: 2-4 months in advance
  • Buy and break-in wedding shoes: 2-4 months in advance
  • Schedule appointment at nail salon: 2-4 weeks in advance

Hotel RoomACCOMODATIONS

  • Reserve rooms for out-of-town guests: 12 months in advance
  • Book wedding night accommodations: 12 months in advance
  • Arrange guest transportation: 6 months in advance
  • Hire wedding party transportation: 6 months in advance
  • Place welcome bags in guest room

PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO

  • Hire photographer/videographer: 12 months in advance
  • Have engagement photos taken: 10-12 months in advance
  • Choose site locations: 2 months in advance
  • Compile shot list: 2 months in advance
  • Confirm photo/video timetable: 2 weeks in advance

MEDIA & DOCUMENTS

  • Create wedding website: 12 months in advance
  • Send engagement notice to newspaper: 10-12 months in advance
  • Renew your passports: 6-9 months in advance
  • Get your marriage license: 2-4 weeks in advance
  • Send change-of-address to post office: 2 weeks in advance
  • Send wedding notice to newspaper: Within 6 months

DinnerCELEBRATIONS

  • Make reservations for rehearsal dinner: 12-18 months in advance
  • Make reservations for farewell brunch: 12-18 months in advance
  • Schedule your engagement party: 1-3 months after engagement
  • Plan your honeymoon: 6-9 months in advance
  • Book honeymoon hotel and airfare: 4-6 months in advance
  • Bachelor party
  • Bachelorette party

BRIDAL SHOWS

Plan to attend these local bridal shows to kick-start your wedding planning. Be sure to stop by our booth!

  • Lucky Bride, Four Winds Casino
  • Wedding World, The Mendel Center

Visit swmichigan.org/weddings for a list of Southwest Michigan venues and vendors, plus special offers that will help you create your dream wedding. We are here to assist you with your planning, secure the best venue rates, room blocks or suggest itineraries for your pre-wedding celebrations or wedding weekend guests. Call 269-925-6301 or email Brandi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We are ready to help you start your happily-ever-after!

Join Our
E-Newsletter

Sign up to receive information about upcoming events, trip planning advice and compelling stories from Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails.