When it comes to elopement planning, there are far fewer details you have to worry about than traditional wedding planning. But, there are still a few significant things you’ll need to figure out before your big day! From location and accommodation to attire to all the stuff that actually makes your marriage legal, we’ve put together this ultimate elopement planning checklist to help you through it all. If you’re planning a destination elopement, we also highly recommend you take a look at these tips that no one tells you about planning a destination wedding.
If you’re not planning a party, call your parents and closest family and friends to tell them personally
Send announcements to share the good news with everyone else
Feeling a bit overwhelmed? No worries; we’ve got you! Just take a deep breath and look through these 18 incredible elopements to reaffirm how incredible your elopement can be once all the planning is over!
Not sure where to start when putting together your wedding registry? We’ve teamed up with Zola to share the ultimate wedding registry checklist! Building your wedding registry can be overwhelming, but Zola makes it easier than ever to register for everything you need for your newlywed home from essentials for the kitchen and bedroom to gift cards for hotels and airlines to personalized cash funds for your honeymoon and more! Zola sells over 50,000 gifts from over 500 brands like Le Creuset, KitchenAid, Sonos, and even Airbnb and Delta!
The benefits of registering with Zola are truly out-of-this-world, from free shipping on almost everything to a 20% post-wedding discount for up to six months after your big day. Not only can you control when your gifts ship so you aren’t overwhelmed with box overload when you return from your honeymoon, but Zola offers free returns and virtual exchanges! Any gift can be converted to Zola store credit so you never receive a gift you don’t want. Plus, Zola credit never expires and can be applied to any gift or gift card sold by Zola.
Ready to check out all those essentials you can find on Zola to complete your wedding registry checklist?
Must-Have Traditional Gifts
Your wedding registry is the perfect opportunity to upgrade those basics like sheets and plates that you’ve had since you got your first apartment! ;) From fancier bedding to luxurious towels to the stand mixer of your dreams, don’t write off these must-have traditional gifts from your wedding registry checklist.
Keeping a clean house has never been easier with literal robots to help you do it! A vacuum may not sound like the sexiest item on your registry, but we have a feeling a Roomba will be on the short list of favorite gifts you receive!
A well-balanced wedding registry includes both functional items and fun pieces you’ve always had your eye on. Have you always wanted custom frames for the art in your home, a lush velvet arm sofa, a high-end speaker system, or even a home security system? Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and ask for what you really want for your newlywed home!
There’s an age-old question: what do you get for the couple who has everything? Our answer? Gift cards! If you’ve already lived together before your big day, you may already have many of the items on this list. That’s where gift cards to your favorite airline, fitness club, or streaming service come in handy! Hint: Airbnb gift cards are some of the most popular registry picks year after year.
Asking for cash on your wedding registry is no longer a faux pas, especially when paired with traditional registry gift items. The best way to go about requesting money is to be specific about where the funds are going – your honeymoon, buying a house, or saving for a new puppy! Zola allows you to upload photos and let guests know exactly where their gift is going. This way, they feel like they’ve contributed to an actual present instead of giving you a bucket o’ cash. And hey, Zola has the lowest cash fund fee in the industry – just a credit card processing fee!
You’ve found the perfect honeymoon destination, now it’s time to decide what to pack for the best vacation of your life! This handy honeymoon checklist has all the essentials you’ll need, plus a few add-ons for either a beach getaway or a snowy mountain escape. Simply pin the checklist at the bottom of this post for quick and easy reference, and rest assured you’ll have everything you need.
Trying to nail every detail on your wedding day can be quite the undertaking, so we put together a handy wedding reception table checklist to help you hit every mark! From standard décor like your centerpiece and table numbers to what goes in a traditional place setting, we’ve got you covered with every item you can choose from for your reception tables. We even included a few ideas to help you style your tables full of personality with curated pieces that match your vibe.
If there’s one part of wedding planning we don’t want you to stress over, it’s building your wedding website. Your wedding website not only gives your guests the information they need about when and where your wedding will be but also helps you keep up with RSVPs and answer every little question your guests may have before the big day. We’ve outlined everything you need to include on your wedding website to help you check every box and leave no question unanswered. To make the process even easier, we’ve teamed up with Joy, who we believe is the best in the wedding website business.
Joy is a free platform the allows you to create beautiful custom wedding websites. You’ll learn more about their extensive list of features as you read on, but a few of our favorites include the guest management tool and digital RSVPs, the photo sharing and live slideshow capabilities, and the app which allows guests to view the schedule, get event information, and even connect with other guests right from their phones.
Ready to make an amazing wedding website?
Your guests will write you cards and put your names on the gifts. Your side of the family may or may not know the spelling of your partner’s name and vice versa, so definitely make sure names are clear and in very legible fonts!
Your Wedding Date
Your wedding date needs to be prominently displayed. This is the most important information guests are looking for on your site.
Your Wedding Time(s)
Don’t forget to include the time of the wedding! It can be helpful to list a ceremony start time and a reception start time, especially if there is a break in-between. The more information you can provide, the better!
Your Wedding Location(s)
Your venue name and address should be as easy to find as your wedding date! Be sure to list both your ceremony and reception venues if they’re different. It’s also a good idea to highlight the city and state of your wedding for any out-of-town guests who may be looking for that info.
Joy has a handy wedding day counter that you can include on your homepage! This is a great way to let guests know how long they have before the big day and get them excited as your wedding date nears!
How You Met
Extended family and coworkers who made the guest list may not have ever heard the story of how you met, so now is a great time to tell it!
When You Knew
Everyone loves a great love story, so share yours with the people you’ve invited to celebrate it! Did you fall in love on a trip somewhere? Was it love at first sight? Who said it first or did you both just know?
How did the proposal go down? Inquiring minds want to know!
A Day in the Life
What do you each do for a living? How do you spend your weekends? Don’t forget to give a shout out to your pets!
Together Through the Years
It’s time to pull out all those grainy selfies and travel photos from the early days of your relationship! It’s fun to go down memory lane together and probably even more fun for your loved ones to see how your relationship grew as time went on.
You know those gorgeous photos you had taken recently? Your wedding website is the perfect place to show them off! Joy makes it simple to include images on every page of your wedding website, so choose your favorites and upload them directly to your site.
Photos of the Venue
It can be helpful to provide a photo of at least the outside, if not also the inside, of your venue so that guests have an idea of the vibe of your event and what to expect when they get there. Your venue likely has photos on their website or social media you can use for this purpose!
Having a wedding website makes it easy for your guests to RSVP with just one click! Joy makes it even easier for you to collect the necessary information about each guest including whether or not they plan to attend, their mailing address (so helpful for those thank you notes!), dietary restrictions, and meal choice, as well as fun questions like their favorite song to get down to on the dance floor or their best marriage advice.
From the days leading up to your wedding to the official send-off, let your guests know what events are scheduled! Be sure to include the start and end times, who is invited (family-only, all guests, etc.), details about the activities, the addresses, and the appropriate dress codes for each event.
From activities and for out-of-town guests and get-togethers for reuniting friends to your rehearsal dinner, the week before you say “I do” may be filled with events your guests need to know about!
If you have a timeline available, we highly recommend including a schedule on your wedding website. Let guests know how early they need to arrive before the ceremony starts along with the expected times of the ceremony, cocktail hour, reception, and any other notable events or activities throughout your day. Joy makes it handy for your guests to keep up with all of the upcoming activities by allowing them to add each event to their calendar right there from your wedding site!
Will there be an after-party at your favorite bar or morning-after brunch at your new mother-in-law’s house? Let guests know what to expect if your sparkler send-off isn’t your last goodbye of the wedding weekend!
Joy allows you to list and upload a photo of each member of your wedding party so your guests can get to know the special people who will be standing by your side at the altar. This can be a nice way to help guests put a face with a name before arriving at your wedding!
Especially if the city where you’re getting married has multiple airports, be sure to let your guests know which to fly into! It can be helpful to include information about how far the airport is from your venue as well as any information about shuttles or transportation.
Where to Stay
List any nearby hotels, including where you have booked room blocks, along with the nightly rates and contact information. For Airbnb, let your guests know what neighborhoods or areas to find a place close to your venue. Does your venue have accommodations? Let your guests know there are spots available to stay on site.
How to Get Around
In case your guests aren’t renting a car, provide some tips for getting around! What is the most reliable public transportation, how much does it cost, and when does it start and stop running each day? Does the city have rideshare services? Share links to the apps, your preference, or a promotional code if you have one!
What to Do in Town
Share your favorite local restaurants and must-see spots so that out-of-town guests can explore the city in the days leading up to your wedding.
Whether you have registered at one store or four, Joy allows you to link each of your wedding registries directly onto your wedding website!
We recommend listing this question first since it’s the most time-sensitive! Also, let your guests know if they can RSVP directly if they’ve forgotten to send or misplaced their physical mail card.
Plus ones can be a bit sticky if not everyone gets one, so be sure to make clear what your expectations are. If the answer varies, direct your guests to their invitations for information about whether they have been allowed a date.
Children or No Children Welcome?
Are you planning a kids-free wedding or are children welcome? Would you prefer only children over a certain age? If you have specific accommodations for children, like a play area or childcare, here is a good place to mention that as well!
What to Wear
What is the dress code for your event? Be specific, as terms like “creative black tie” aren’t always clear. Are there any colors your guests should avoid (hopefully white!)? If your wedding is outdoors or requires significant walking, be sure to let your guests know what shoes would be suitable.
Will there be a valet service, a parking lot, or a designated parking area? Should the allotted parking fill up, where can guests park? If there is limited parking available, be sure to recommend carpooling or using a rideshare service! If you have a preference or promotional code for a particular rideshare, include that information as well.
Indoors or Outdoors
Is your wedding indoors, outdoors, or a mix of both?
Is your venue wheelchair accessible? If there is a long or uneven path between the ceremony and reception spaces, will there be some sort of transportation provided?
Photos & Social Media
Do you have a hashtag for your wedding? Are you planning an unplugged ceremony or will guests be allowed to capture the moments on their phones? We recommend encouraging your guests to leave their DSLRs at home, as you’ve hired a professional to document the day and cameras can not only be a distraction but also get in the way of your hired photographer.
Will there be dancing? Let your guests know if they need to bring their dancing shoes to your reception!
Joy makes being a wedding guest as easy as possible by having maps embedded in their site when you enter a location. This is super helpful so that no one has to type in the venue address and they can easily see the surrounding area.
Be sure to give your guests a contact email in case they have any questions. This doesn’t have to be your own email address! You may want to ask a family member or someone from your wedding party to be in charge of guest questions to reduce stress leading up to your wedding day. Just be sure to make it clear who the contact information is for!
In addition to your wedding website, Joy’s app allows guests to have all your wedding info stored on their phone with one simple download!
Pin This Checklist
Wedding planning should be a joyful time, not a stressful one. Start building your wedding website with Joy today!
*This post is sponsored by Joy. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Junebug Weddings!
We are all about wedding planning checklists here at Junebug because we believe that an organized couple is a happy couple! If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the floral needs for your day, stress no more as you scroll through this post. We’ve outlined all the possible places you might use blooms in your wedding design so you can pick and choose what’s right for you. Remember, there are no rules, so use this checklist to mark off what you want and skip the rest!
With so many details to manage, checklists are a God-send during the wedding planning process. Since you’ve already gotten started checking off details using our wedding decor checklist, we thought it was high time to get into the nitty-gritty of all those signs you’ll need for your wedding day. Signage may not seem all that important, but if you want to enjoy your day without stopping every ten seconds to answer questions like “When does cocktail hour start?” and “Where’s the bathroom?” then signs might just be the most important decor items in your whole wedding day! Show your guests the way with this helpful wedding sign checklist and shop each sign below!
They say the wedding day feels like it’s over in a flash, but there are a few wedding-related tasks that actually take place after your grand exit. We’ve put together an easy post-wedding checklist to help you tie up any loose ends after tying the knot. Keep this list handy in the weeks leading up to your big day so you can start making arrangements to make your post-wedding experience go as smoothly as the wedding itself!
Pay Remaining Vendor Balances
When: Immediately after wedding
In general, most of your vendors will be paid in full before or on your wedding day. However, should there be any remaining balances for your caterer, bartender, etc., you will want to tie up those loose ends as soon as the wedding is over.
When: Within one week of your wedding
Before you head out to bask in the bliss of being a newlywed on your honeymoon, you’ll want to return any goods you rented! If you’re hopping right on an airplane, be sure to make arrangements for someone you trust to take furniture and decor back to the rental company. Note: each rental company may have their own policy about the return timeline, so don’t forget to check with them a few weeks before your wedding!
Clean and Preserve Your Wedding Dress
When: After your honeymoon
While we love seeing couples adventure into the wilderness in their wedding day attire, you may want to keep those memories in the photos and not on your dress. Technically you can get your wedding dress cleaned and preserved at any point, but the longer you wait, the less effective the process will be. We recommend having your dress cleaned and preserved after your honeymoon so that any stains (even the ones you may not see!) can be dealt with before they set in.
You may be wondering what makes the preserving process different from dry cleaning. A professional preservationist, often found at your local bridal salon, will survey your gown looking for any stains and create a specialized procedure to clean your dress, good as new! After the dress has been cleaned, the preservationist will package your gown in acid-free tissue paper and an archival box.
A few important notes: It’s a good idea to track down a trained preservationist a few weeks before your wedding just in case any major stains occur on your wedding day. Should that be the case, a relative or member of your bridal party can take your dress in while you’re away on your honeymoon. When doing your research, we recommend taking your gown to a true professional preservationist, whose referral you can get from your bridal consultant or other friends who have had the process done. Many dry cleaners claim to offer the service, but most are not actually trained in the art of preserving such an important garment. Lastly, being that this is 2017, you can even find wedding dress preservation kits with mail-away services! This process takes from six to eight weeks and typically includes insurance for your gown.
Send “Thank You” Cards
When: Within three months of your wedding
Some of our best wedding planning advice is actually post-wedding planning advice: write your “thank you” cards as soon as possible! First, it’s simply good etiquette to thank your loved ones for their thoughtful presents in a timely manner. Just as important is writing them before real life gets in the way! Make an event of it: pop a bottle of champagne, open your gifts while keeping a record of who gave what, and write your cards together. A bit of bonus fun? Listen to a playlist of songs from your wedding while you do it!
Looking for the perfect cards to say “thank you”? We love the selection on Minted as well as these pretty cards below!
Apply for Life Insurance
When: As soon as possible!
While it’s not the sexiest item to check off your list after saying I do, life insurance is something that every couple (married or not) should look into when planning a future together.
The type of life insurance you need totally depends on your relationship, expenses, and future plans. For example, if you own a house together, you’ll need a plan that covers more financially versus if you and your partner are leasing a condo for the next three years.
Whatever your coverage needs, we highly recommend that you get a quote through Bestow.
The traditional life insurance application process can often be time-consuming. Physicals and blood work are usually required and insurance companies can take upwards of 6 months or more to approve your application. With Bestow, getting a quote can take just minutes and physicals and blood work are not required. Click here to get a quote!
Take Stock of Remaining Registry Items
When: Within six months of your wedding
Once you’ve sent your thank yous, it’s time to take stock of what’s left on your wedding registry. Most registries offer a discount on remaining registry items if you purchase within one year. Now is a great time to determine what you still want and need from your registry! Pro-tip: Make the most of your discount by taking care of bigger ticket items that you may not have the funds to purchase later.
Officially Change Your Name
When: Within one year of your wedding
Changing your last name upon getting married is, of course, optional. However, if you’ve decided you want to do so, we recommend starting the process sooner rather than later! While the laws and procedures vary by jurisdiction, this article breaks it down each piece of the puzzle.
Want to keep this post-wedding checklist handy for after you say “I do”? Pin this graphic below!
Designing your wedding can feel a little overwhelming, especially when your venue is a blank slate. We’ve been thinking about all of the different decor elements that can go into your wedding day — so many options! — and realized a checklist was in order to help you nail every detail. This wedding decor checklist has everything your day might need, but nothing here is mandatory! Check off what you like and leave blank what doesn’t fit your day.
When thinking about what signs to have at your ceremony, we highly recommend one announcing an unplugged ceremony. This helps keep people’s eyes on you and allows your photographers to capture your love without a sea of cell phones in the pictures! (Not sure what an unplugged ceremony is? Read this!)
Deck out your sweetheart seating with wedding chair signs. Go with a classic Bride/Groom or Mr./Mrs. pairing or something sweet and gender-neutral like Better Together or Forever Always. Etsy has tons of ideas so you can choose what feels right for you!
Don’t get overwhelmed by sourcing enough dishes for every place setting at your reception! We’ve vetted the best rental companies around the world who can help you set your table with every detail you need.
In case you haven’t guessed, we’re obsessed with Minted’s wedding signs — and for good reason! Their new seating charts are a great way to make a bold style statement while easily giving your guests the info they’re looking for.
The stress of wedding planning has finally begun. I am now eight months out, and boy is the laundry list of to-do’s piling up. If you’re planning a 2015 wedding, I’m sure you’re feeling slightly overwhelmed, too. Today I’m going to share some pretty awesome wedding planning tools I’ve created that I hope will help you to stay calm, cool, and collected during your own wedding planning journey!
Wedding Budget Tool
Before I created my checklist, I knew I had to sit down with Phil (my fiancé) and discuss the budget. I’ve read that the average wedding can cost anywhere from $25,000 to $35,000, which means I am going to need to do some serious budgeting and planning. In the last From Blogger to Bride, I discussed how important it is for you to create a list of things that matter most on your wedding day. Not only does this list help when it comes to choosing your wedding style, but it really helps when you’re planning your wedding budget. You and your partner need to sit down and discuss what is most important to you and how much you are willing to spend on it. You’ll need to get quotes from different vendors so you know how much you should be budgeting. Picking a number out of thin air and slapping it on a spreadsheet will not work, I promise! You can search high and low for infographics that will tell you the suggested costs or percentages, but you won’t really know until you get quotes from the vendors you actually want to hire.
My Wedding Budget Tool is simple, downloadable, and easy to share. I also created a Quotes section within this spreadsheet to keep your quotes and budget close, which will help when you’re finalizing numbers!
Wedding Planning Checklist
After Phil and I figured out our wedding budget, we decided to make a list of everything that needed to be done month by month. We wanted to break it up so that the sheer multitude of tasks didn’t scare us!
You can download my wedding planning checklist by clicking on the image below!
I also created an interactive version, which you can find by visiting our new Wedding Planning Checklist page. Here’s where I’m at in the process so far!
I’m still working through the 8 Month list, but I have the majority checked off.
Things I’m still needing to accomplish:
1. Create a wedding website
2. Reserve a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests
I’m going to end this post with a sneak peek at some of the absolutely stunning engagement photos Studio Uma took of Phil and I at Laguna Gloria. I’m looking forward to creating my wedding website and save-the-dates with all this pretty!
Next time on From Blogger to Bride, I will be sitting down with two of my favorite venues to give you the scoop on what to know before you start your venue search! I will also be sharing more details about my wedding venue and why it’s a little different than most!
Interested in participating in From Blogger to Bride? We would love to hear from you!