Checklist and Budget


Getting “The Party” Started Checklist Tips 

Introduce both families and officially announce the engagement.

Start a budget.

Start a guest list.

Consider whether you want to hire a wedding planner.

Create a gift wish list and sign up for one or more gift registries.

Decide on the wedding attendants.

Determine a date and time of the wedding, and if possible a set of alternative dates and times.

Decide on the wedding destination.

Set up a gift registry or honeymoon.

Will you be having the engagement party, ceremony, and reception at the hotel?

Will guest rooms be needed? If so how many?

Will food & beverage be needed?

Will audio/visual equipment be needed?

Break down your hotel portion of the wedding budget to allow for:Guest roomsMeeting space

Food & beverage

 Audio / visual equipment rental

Determine the event(s) schedule.



Consider having an engagement announcement party.

Sign up for one or more gift registries.

Give shower hostess(es) guest list.

Begin thank-you notes for showers and early gifts.

Consider booking a bachelor/bachelorette party.

Buy attendant gifts.

Consider scheduling an attendant’s party.

Consider booking a day-after brunch.

You can access a guest list online to see which family members and guests have already booked their reservations.

Ask the hotel when names for all of the guest rooms are due by.

Selecting a Destination Hotel

Search for the perfect location and send all of your meeting’s requirements to hotels by submitting an online request for proposal . Or, if you prefer, you can book your entire event online at available hotels.


Guest Rooms

What is the breakdown number of singles, doubles, and suites? Inquire about the different room types offered by the hotel.

Are these counts estimates or exact?

How many people will occupy each room?

Be sure to reserve the bridal suite.

What is the budgeted guest room rate?

Are connecting rooms required or would you prefer to have rooms with no connecting doors?

Determine how guest room reservations for the group will be made. Will each attendee be responsible for making their own reservations or will reservations be handled by one person?

Ask the hotel to create a free customized personalized online group page for the event. Give the URL to team members allowing them to book their reservations quickly and easily.

OR use the group code, supplied by the hotel or that you received in your e-Events confirmation.

You can access a guest list online to see which family members and guests have already booked their reservations. Print or download a reservation guest list, book multiple guest reservations for the group as well as view a snap shot of how many reservations have been made each day.

Ask the hotel when names for all of the guest rooms are due by.


Event Space

Use a meeting space calculator to determine the appropriate meeting room size needed for the event.

Determine the full duration of the event.

Determine the number of people attending.

What kind of seating arrangement is needed? (Reception or Banquet)

Convey exactly how the event space should be set up.

Determine what type of Audio/Visual equipment is required for entertainment and speakers.

Will a podium be needed?

Is a stage required or any special lighting?

Will a dance floor be needed?

Will you have a DJ or a band?

Will flower arrangements, candles, or centerpieces be delivered for the tables?

Will extra tables be needed for gift bags?


Food and Beverage


Determine the number of people to be served at the event.

Will the hotel be making the cake or will you provide your own?

Determine menu and beverage choices.

Arrange for your wedding planner and hotel representative/caterer to meet.

Schedule taste testing for all food and beverage that will be served.

What is the hotel’s outside food and beverage policy? What are the liability insurance needs?

Advise the hotel of any special dietary requirements for people attending the event.

Determine the food and beverage service charges.

Prepare two lists for the seating plan one in alphabetical order and one in order by table number.

Will placement cards be provided?


Hotel Billing and Payment


Is an advanced deposit required? If so, is there a payment schedule?

Who will be authorized to make changes that would involve extra costs from the hotel?

Would you like to set up a master bill with the hotel? If so, what charges will be added and who is authorized to make those charges?

Who is responsible for the payment of guest rooms?


Additional Basic Hotel Planning Tips


Is transportation available to and from airport? Is there a schedule or will you need to make reservations? Is there a charge?

Let property know of accessibility special needs for guests’ rooms, public areas or function rooms.

Ensure hotel is fully aware of the delivery and collection times planned by all outside vendors.

Check the available parking at the hotel. Is there a cost?

If the ceremony is not being held at the hotel, how close is the hotel to the venue?

Make sure your guests have a map from the ceremony venue to the hotel.


Rehearsal Dinner


Select rehearsal dinner time and location.

Meet with caterer, chef and planner to choose the dinner menu and beverages.

Order and send out dinner invitations.

Determine parking and transportation.




Start researching wedding gowns.

Send out a save-the-date email.

Consider buying wedding insurance.

Send an engagement photo to the local newspaper.

Visit bridal salon and try on gowns.

Find a florist.

Find a wedding photographer and/or videographer.

Order gown and veil.

Select bridesmaids’ dresses.

Select wedding favors.

Buy gown accessories (shoes, jewelry, purse).

Choose an officiant.

Purchase wedding rings.

Select groom’s tux and groomsmen attire.

Place order for invitations.

Purchase wedding favors and accessories.

Send out invitations.

Select makeup artist and hair stylist.

Finalize ceremony details (music, readings, solos, etc).

Have gown fitting(s).

Apply for marriage license.

Look into name change, if applicable.

Consider something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.



Determine budget.

Start investigating destinations.

Choose and book honeymoon destination.

Determine if passport, visa, immunizations will be needed.

Make a travel checklist.

Purchase traveler’s checks.

Make plans for pets, plants and paper pickup, etc.

Reconfirm plans (flights, rental cars, etc).


After the Wedding


Get your gown cleaned and properly stored.

Preserve your bouquet, if applicable.

Freeze the top layer of your wedding cake for your first anniversary.

Complete name change kit.

Meet with photographer and/or videographer.






Find Hotel Rooms

MagicWand Wedding Timeline

12 Months Before

Reserve Venue: Venues book months or even a year in advance. Reserve early.

Begin Your Guest List: Prepare your guest list in a spreadsheet if possible, so others helping you can easily modify the list and update when needed. This provides a consistent version to reference for everyone.

Engagement Party: As an optional event, it’s traditionally the parents of the bride providing the party.

Wedding Registry: Register as soon as you know the details, so guests are aware of what you’d like and can send you an engagement or shower gift. Edit your registry anytime.

10 Months Before

Select an Officiant: This is important to reserve early. Officiants are on a schedule.

Select Your Bridal Party: This can be a daunting decision for brides, because it requires you to choose and make tough decisions. Provide enough time, so your bridal party plan accordingly.

Select Vendors: Select a photographer. Select a caterer, DJ or band and florist. Additional vendors can be selected at a later date. As a recommendation, book vendors that have not only worked together, but have worked at your selected venue also.

Take Your Engagement Photos: As an optional event, couples like to include an engagement photo in their announcements or save the dates. If you do not wish to include a photo in either, you can take them at a later date or not at all. Casual photos together as a pre-couple are memorable. Read More…