Download your own wedding planning checklist.
The wedding date and venue for the ceremony and reception are among your first decisions. After that, there’s the dress, cake and other food, guest list, invitations, photographer, flowers and more. Experts recommend that in preparing for your big day, allow plenty of time to plan and decide on details; document everything, including phone calls; insist on detailed contracts; avoid paying in full up-front; and pay with a credit card and only as services are rendered.
If you’re planning your own wedding, you’ll need to hire a host of professionals, such as caterers, florists, hair stylists and others. Most have their own categories on Angie’s List, where you can search for providers in your area who've received the best reviews. Rated categories include wedding planning, reception halls, bridal shops, catering, cake decorating, florists, photography and tuxedo rental. But there are more, such as:
- Equipment and party rentals, and entertainment/parties: For seating, tables and tents, as well as musicians and DJs.
- Printing/invitations and calligraphy: Design your invitations and get them custom-addressed.
- Fitness centers, dance instruction: Get yourself in shape for the big day and beyond.
- Hair salons/barbers and manicures/nails: Pre-wedding cuts and day-of styles are important, as are ring-ready fingers.
- Limousine service: Ride in style on your first day as a married couple.
- Travel agencies: Plan your honeymoon the easy way.