Frugal Wedding Planning


Why frugal wedding planning is important

Planning plays an important part in living a frugal life, and this is never more evident that when planning a wedding! There are so many things to think of, even for the simplest of wedding, so it is important to have a system of keeping track of all that needs to be done.

By the way, Congratulations! Good luck and don't forget to have fun!



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This is a list that I adapted from a master list for my own use. Some of the things here will not apply to you, and you may need to add some extra things, but I suggest that whatever list you use, you print it out and keep track of what has been done and what still need doing. Get started with your frugal wedding planning as soon as you can - some of these things take time!

10 – 12 Months before the Wedding

  • Research weather conditions at your location (important for outdoor weddings)
  • Assess your wedding budget
  • Begin shopping for a wedding gown
  • Reserve ceremony officiant
  • Create an organization system for all wedding plans
  • Find out about your site’s regulations

7 – 9 Months before Wedding

  • Set a date and time
  • Research and book rental-item agency
  • Create rental needs list
  • Visit with rental-agency planner to look at supplies, choose linen colors, china patterns, etc.
  • Choose and book a cake baker
  • Make decisions about wedding reception food
  • Make decisions about flowers – decide whether to use a florist, etc.
  • Notify out-of-town guests of wedding date so that they may make travel plans
  • Decide on reception entertainment
  • Compile guest list
  • Collect addresses for guest list
  • Start looking at invitation samples and select desired design
  • Consider honeymoon options
frugal wedding planning
6 Months before Wedding
  • Start planning reception including music choices, menu choices, etc.
  • Start planning ceremony including music choices, flower choices, etc.
  • Select and order dress
  • Visit ceremony officiant and discuss requirements
  • Reserve all rental equipment (tents, chairs, tables, linens, etc.)
  • Choose and book rooms for your guests at a nearby hotel
  • Book your honeymoon suite for the honeymoon night
  • Make arrangements for photography
  • Order invitations or buy supplies for homemade wedding invitations
  • Order any other stationery goods
  • Finalize honeymoon plans and make reservations
  • Apply for passport (if you need one for your honeymoon)

5 Months before Wedding
  • Begin discussing rehearsal dinner plans and options
  • Start working on invitations (if making them)
  • Create maps to ceremony/reception location for enclosure in the invitations

4 Months before Wedding
  • Finalize ceremony plans
  • Finalize reception plans
  • Order groom’s attire
  • Plan rehearsal dinner (if having one)
  • Begin writing vows
  • Select ceremony music
  • Send for name change information
  • Plan “wedding weekend” activities
  • Begin pre-wedding beauty treatments

3 Months before Wedding
  • Finalize guest list
  • Buy wedding day lingerie
  • Buy any needed honeymoon clothing
  • Order wedding rings
  • Check state marriage requirements
  • Choose shoes and accessories for wedding day
  • Complete your vows
  • Decide on wedding day hairstyle and make appointment
  • Start addressing invitations

2 Months before Wedding
  • Book appointment for makeup, etc. (if needed)
  • Mail invitations
  • Pick up wedding rings
  • Finalize accommodations for out-of-town guests
  • Finalize rehearsal party plans (if any)
  • Purchase wedding gifts (if any)
  • Have a formal portrait taken (if desired)
  • Formally ask friends to participate in wedding such as attending the guest book
  • Try not to get too stressed out - this is supposed to be the time of your life, right? :-)

1 Month before Wedding
  • Get blood tests (if needed)
  • Purchase marriage license
  • Review all necessary wedding day accessories
  • Confirm dates for wedding day hair and/or makeup
  • Meet with officiant to get the final information on ceremony elements, etc.
  • Plan the rehearsal
  • Invite involved guests to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
  • Confirm honeymoon plans
  • Scout wedding site to make sure all elements are in order
  • Arrange for house and pet sitters
  • Inquire about town parking permits, gathering permits, etc.
  • Confirm wedding night hotel reservations
  • Get all incoming guests’ arrival times at airports, etc.
  • Arrange for transportation needs of guests throughout the wedding weekend
  • Visit with your hairstylist to ‘practice’
  • Pick up honeymoon travel tickets and information books
  • Make up welcome gift baskets for guests
  • Purchase or make a guest book
frugal wedding planning
2 Weeks before Wedding
  • Address legal issues such as name changes
  • Send out announcements to publications
  • Give final list of requests to musicians
  • Write thank you notes for any received gifts
  • Purchase post-wedding toss-its
  • Purchase throwaway wedding cameras (if desired)

1 Week before Wedding
  • Phone guests who have not yet responded
  • Confirm all plans with all vendors
  • Place tips and fees in marked envelopes
  • Drop off guest welcome baskets at hotel
  • Pick up dress (if necessary)
  • Break in wedding day shoes
  • Groom pick up and try on wedding attire
  • Pack for honeymoon
  • Remind groom to get new shoes for the wedding
  • Remind groom to get a haircut for the wedding, too
  • Give final count to caterer and/or reception site coordinator and review details
  • Review wedding day makeup needs

1 to 2 Days before Wedding
  • Make sure you have all wedding day paperwork such as officiant’s fee, marriage license, and payments due that day
  • Treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure
  • Have lawn freshly mowed (for outdoor wedding or reception at home)
  • Have someone inspect the grounds for flaws in the walking area
  • Gas up the cars
  • Supervise delivery of rental items
  • Visually inspect all delivered linens, china, etc
  • Request immediate replacement if items are not in top condition
  • Make plans to have luggage in car or at hotel suite for wedding night
  • Make sure everything you need is packed
  • Discuss with all residents in your home the shower-time schedule for wedding day
  • Lay out wedding day wardrobe and accessories
  • Arrange for reliable relative to transport wedding gifts to his/her home for safekeeping
  • Arrange for reliable relative to be in charge of handing out payment envelopes
  • Get cash for emergencies, tips, etc.
  • Assemble emergency bag
  • Beauty appointments – waxing, etc.
  • Attend rehearsal (if having one)
  • Get a good night’s sleep!




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