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Wedding Checklist: Laundry List or Path to Paradise?

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Congratulations, you’re engaged!!  Time to make your wedding checklist and start planning!!

But what do you need on your wedding checklist?  What is not needed, or not need yet?  What is actually a maybe but not a necessity?  And how much time do you really need to complete all of these line items?  Talk about heads spinning, on planning day #1 let alone day #296!!

A wedding checklist is meant to be helpful.

Usually found in wedding planning books and on wedding websites, wedding checklists are bountiful and often quite LONG.  Take one look at the months of activities and your Fiancé will likely retort, “anything you want babe, that’s all you”.  What groom wants to be suckered into a list 50+ items deep, and filled with decisions??

I remember looking at my own wedding checklist as if I had just been handed a 2nd job (mind you I am a party planner by trade!). I was so overwhelmed by the amount of tasks.  There are just so many items and activities.  While each are enjoyable on their own, it can feel very daunting to accomplish absolutely everything before your big day.

Many checklists have “fluff”.

While a grand entrance with the Mambo sounds exciting, learning to dance for example is not a be-all-end-all item on a wedding checklist.  Similarly, packing for your honeymoon is kind of a given.  Added to a wedding checklist, it makes the to-dos look longer than necessary.

What things should be on every checklist?

Before we cover the all-important wedding checklist items, we want to emphasize that your wedding planning should not be clouded with stress.  This should be a fun, exciting time for you AND your groom.  Each step should feel like a stone on a path to your fairytale event.  Each item and activity should be treasured, like a beautiful moment on your journey.

A good wedding checklist should follow a timeline.

According to WeddingWire, “the simplest way to create and manage your list is to use an automated checklist tool online. Simply enter your wedding date and it will generate a timeline of tasks for you, making it a breeze to schedule yourself and stay on track.”  Furthermore, they advise selecting “foundation items” as the bulk of your wedding checklist.  These “items are so important [that] they will shape the rest of your wedding details.”

What are foundation items on a wedding checklist?

Things like picking your Venue, Officiant, Caterer, DJ and Photographer will define many of the other details surrounding your big day.  At the Ashley Castle, for example, the major theme is already set.  Many of our brides play into the beauty and regal nature of our ‘royal space’ when deciding on their colors, decor and florals.  This definitely makes their job easier.

How do all-inclusive vs. a-la-carte venue packages effect my wedding checklist?

Not every venue is ‘all-inclusive’.  We provide imperial packages that incorporate many of the foundation items including Catering, DJ and Flowers.  But a lot of venues and packages are much more a-la-carte.  Being able to cross off “several stones at once” makes planning much smoother.

Don’t forget to have fun!!

It is so easy to get lost in the wedding checklist and to forget what all the work is for.  Taking time to enjoy the process is not only healthy, it is also 100% doctor recommended.  “Whether it’s a moment of Zen by your lonesome or happy hour with the girls, every bride needs a few strategies to step out of the spotlight and enjoy the moment.”

Let the professionals do what they’re good at, and DIY the rest.

As the serenity prayer says; focus on what you can do, don’t worry about the things you can’t, and have the wisdom to know the difference.  Many brides try to DIY their entire wedding.  From florals to centerpieces, amateur photography and more, this can add more headache than help.

One of our brides recently posted, “I love that they are an all-inclusive venue so I don’t have to run around stressing trying to find what I need for my wedding day.” Paula, Words From Our Couples.

Remember, you are allowed to delegate tasks on your wedding checklist to others, and do some tasks all by yourself.  Having others take items off your plate is a beautiful thing.  Equally, being able to make some decisions without the back seat driving of others is just as glorious.  Know when to be bold and ask for what you need.

What makes a wedding checklist perfect?

We think that a wedding checklist should not be a checklist at all, but rather a treasure map.  It should include the steps that are the most important to you, and most important to every bride – regardless of the uniqueness of her wedding.  There should always be room to add your own flavor to your to-do items.  Planning the big day should feel like a journey, not a job.

To make your life simpler, and your planning more enjoyable, we have come up with a wedding checklist map.  Included with this planning tool is a legend to explain each step in more depth.  Stick this on your home office cork board, and let the journey begin!!

Download Your Map to Paradise Below!!

Ashley Castle Map

Wedding Planner Checklist

The Guest List Game

Wedding checklist name change checklist

Wedding day essentials checklist

The Wedding Checklist What They Would Have Done Differently

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