The Ultimate Wedding Checklist - What To Start Planning 5 Months Out
Arrange transportation for you and your guests
- Transport for bride before ceremony
- Transport for groom before ceremony
- Transport for couple to reception
- Transport for couple home from reception
- Transport for bridal party
- Transportation options for guests
- First dance
- Mother-son dance
- Father-daughter dance
- Other dances
- Song list
Do not play list:
Pick out wedding bandsChoose accessories and shoes
THE ULTIMATE WEDDING CHECKLIST - 5 Months Out
Hopefully, our printable checklist notebook and accompanying articles have inspired you and helped you mark many things off of your to-do list up to this point, but the wedding planning isn’t over yet! This month you will:
- Arrange transportation for you and your guests, both before, during, and after your ceremony and reception.
- Create a music list, which includes deciding on your first dance song.
- Pick out wedding bands, keeping in mind they are rings that you and your partner are going to wear for the rest of your lives.
- Choose accessories, like jewelry and ties, as well as shoes.
Arrange Transportation for You and Your Guests
Have you thought about how you and your soon-to-be spouse are going to get to your ceremony? How about how you’re going to get to the reception? If you want guests to party late into the night, how are they going to get home safely? Now is the time to start considering these questions!
First, it’s important to work out how you and your partner will be getting to the ceremony. Chances are, you won’t be going together, so you’ll have to work out two separate rides. It can be as simple as having a parent drive you in their car, or something as grand as showing up in a horse drawn carriage. It’s recommended that you and your partner don’t drive yourselves. Not only are you both likely to be a bundle of nerves, it will save you from trying to figure out how to get your vehicles back home at the end of the night.
However you arrive separately, you will both head to the reception space together, so transportation will need to be arranged. If your ceremony and reception are located in the same place, you may have to arrange transportation back home or to a hotel. If you’re celebrating at or near a hotel, you may not need transportation at all!
Not only do you need to address transportation for you and your partner, you also have to consider transportation for your bridal party. Will they ride together on a party bus? Will you rent a limo? Do you want them to arrange their own transportation?
Don’t forget about your guests! You don’t want to wake up the next morning and discover that someone got into a car accident on their way home. Rent a trolley or a bus to take guests to and from the reception and their hotel. If guests live locally, create a list of cab companies, Uber, and Lyft options in the area so everyone can get home safely.
It’s also a good idea to speak with your venue about cars that are left in the parking lot and when they need to be picked up. You don’t want to find out someone you love got into an accident after your reception, but you don’t want to find out that their car got towed because it wasn’t moved before 10:00AM either.
- Decide how you and your partner are arriving at the ceremony.
- Decide how you and your partner will arrive at your reception, if it’s taking place at a different location.
- Decide how you and your partner will go home at the end of the night.
- Finalize the transportation for your bridal party.
- Consider renting a trolley or a bus for guests.
- At the very least, create a list of cab companies, Uber, and Lyft options in the area for guests.
- Speak with your venue about when cars must be moved from the parking lot the next day so they aren’t towed.
Hopefully you have hired a DJ and you have been in contact with them about the information they need and payments they require ahead of your big day. However, choosing the song list can take a long time! It’s something that often gets pushed to the bottom of the wedding to-do list too, which means many brides and grooms are at the mercy of whatever the DJ wants to play because they never received a list!
Do yourself a favor and finalize your music list this month so it isn’t something you forget about. List songs that you absolutely want to play, in addition to listing what genres of music and artists you want to hear.
Not only should you tell your DJ exactly what songs, artists, and types of music you want to hear, you should also tell them what you really don’t want to hear. Think “The Macarena” is tacky? Not a fan of country music? Make sure your DJ knows so they add them to your do-not-play list.
Finalizing the music list also means finalizing which first dance songs you want. Make sure your DJ knows what song to play for the bride and groom’s first dance, which song to play for the mother-son dance, and which song to play for the father-daughter dance. If you want to play a special tune for grandparents, the bridal party, or others, make sure they know those picks as well.
It’s also a good idea to talk to your DJ about requests. Ask them how late you can provide them with additional songs to play. If you can provide a final list to your DJ the week or even the day of your wedding, you can ask guests to make requests on RSVPs.
You should also talk about whether taking requests during the reception is appropriate. If you decide not to allow guests to make requests, ask that your DJ post a sign so guests don’t keep coming up to ask.
- Include songs, artists, and genres that you want to hear on your big day.
- Also include songs, artists, and genres that you don’t want to hear.
- Finalize songs for your first dance, the mother-son dance, the father-daughter dance, and other dances.
- Know when you have to provide the final list to your DJ.
- Determine whether or not you want your DJ to take requests during your reception.
Pick Out Wedding Bands
Nearly everything at your wedding is temporary. When your wedding is over, all the decorations will be taken down, the cake will be gone, and you will likely never wear your dress ever again.
That’s not the case when it comes to your wedding bands. Your rings are the one thing that will last long after your wedding day is over, so they deserve plenty of attention.
Because your rings are something you and your partner are going to wear for the rest of your lives, it’s a good idea to choose wisely. You want to make sure what you choose will last, which means choosing a precious metal or another heavy-duty material, but you want to make sure you will like the way it looks for a lifetime as well.
It’s a good idea to choose a band that is comfortable, and one that doesn’t need to be cleaned frequently. Choose one that’s snug, but not tight, and consider one with a smooth finish and low-profile stones. It won’t get caught on clothing, and you won’t have to worry about getting it all gummed up if you forget to take your ring off before you slather on lotion.
This is one area you may want to splurge on if you have the money. Because it’s such an important decision, many brides and grooms don’t include the cost of wedding bands in their wedding budget. Solid gold and platinum are always good choices, but tungsten, cobalt-chrome, and titanium are just as durable, but more affordable.
If you’re looking for more ways to save, consider buying a ring in a vintage store or a thrift shop. You’ll save on a ring that you purchased second hand, but you’ll avoid the bad mojo that is often associated with pawn shop rings.
- Choose a heavy-duty material that will last, like gold, platinum, or tungsten.
- Choose a band that is comfortable and won’t need to be cleaned frequently.
- Consider purchasing your rings at a vintage store or thrift shop to save money.
Choose Accessories and Shoes
Hopefully the bride has a dress, the groom has a suit, and the entire bridal party knows exactly what they’re going to wear on your wedding day. Now it’s time to focus on the details. Your wedding day look isn’t complete without jewelry, shoes, and other accessories.
Look to your outfits for inspiration. For example, if you are wearing a simple satin gown, you may want to wear a statement necklace or hair fascinator. If your gown is exquisitely beaded, you may want to keep things simple with a diamond solitaire pendant and an understated updo.
Don’t go too wild with your shoes on your big day! Although you may love the idea of wearing heels, your feet won’t make it through the ceremony, let alone the reception. Consider kitten heels, or have a change of shoes ready when you’ve had enough of your stilettos.
Don’t forget to think about something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue! This is the perfect time to incorporate these traditions if you haven’t found a place for them already. Go wild and wear blue shoes, borrow earrings from an aunt, or purchase your veil brand-new.
The groom has his tie to consider, as well as a pocket square, if his suit allows for one. Socks are also an important accessory that should match his overall look, which might mean matching them to your wedding colors. You may also want to consider cufflinks, suspenders, and a belt.
Shoes for the groom should match the overall look of the outfit, but they should also be comfortable. Consider buying shoes instead of renting them, as you’ll have a greater chance of finding a pair that is comfortable.
Don’t forget about your bridal party! Consider purchasing their accessories as a gift, if you want everyone to match. Otherwise, make it very clear what kind of necklaces, earrings, ties, and shoes are required the day-of.
You should also consider your tattoos and piercings. Are you okay with tattoos showing and piercings in places other than the ears? If not, you may want to consider covering up your tattoos with makeup and taking out piercings.
This applies to your bridal party as well. If you are hoping your friend will forgo her eyebrow piercing for your big day, don’t be afraid to ask. Just make sure to approach the conversation with kindness and compassion, and be willing to compromise. Having your friend with a visible tattoo in your bridal party is more important than getting what you think are the perfect pictures of your wedding day.
- Use your outfits as inspiration for accessories. More detailed attire calls for understated accessories, while the opposite can be true if you’re wearing simpler attire.
- Consider kitten heels in lieu of high heels. If wearing heels is important to you, at least have a change of shoes ready.
- Consider accessorizing with something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.
- The groom should think about things like his tie and pocket square, but definitely don't forget about matching socks!
- Consider buying the groom's shoes, as they will likely be more comfortable than rentals.
- Consider purchasing accessories as gifts for your bridal party. Otherwise, make it clear what kind of accessories are expected.
- Address your tattoos and piercings, as well as those of your bridal party.