Planning a wedding is no small feat! Although it is certainly a fun period of time, it can also be a stressful one. But, if you have some friends or family by your side and a handy checklist to make sure you’ve got all you need, you’ll be able to pull off the wedding of your dreams. Here are some of the bigger items to check off your list:

Select your venue and date.

After getting engaged, start doing some research on where you’d like to get married. Venues are typically booked out for at least a year, so if you’re looking to get married within a year, select your venue and date as soon as possible.

Book your vendors.

Florist, photographer, DJ or band, cake baker, officiant—all common, and some very necessary, vendors for a wedding. You may also want to look into a transportation company to drive the wedding party around, along with a shuttle service from the hotel to the venue. You should contact vendors right after selecting your venue and date. You’ll likely have to gather a list of potentials, as all your top picks may not be available that day.

Shop for the wedding attire.

Your wedding attire will require alterations, so the sooner you select them, the better. It’s a good idea to find the dress and tux at least 10 months out from the wedding. For the wedding party, you can select the attire around 7 months before the wedding.

Send out save-the-dates & invitations.

Save-the-dates should be sent out 7-8 months before your wedding to notify your guests well in advance of the date and location. Formal invitations should be sent out about 3 months before the wedding, and be sure to let guests know the latest date to RSVP. Let them know the time and address of the venue, and include necessary additional information like hotel blocks if you’ve reserved them.

Apply for a marriage license.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the wedding planning, but don’t forget to apply for a marriage license! This should be done 1-2 months before the wedding, but requirements will differ depending on the state, so check with your county clerk.

Confirm with vendors and give a final head count.

Your venue will need a final, official head count one or two weeks before the wedding so they can plan accordingly for seating and food, if a catering service is included. Make sure the RSVP date on the wedding invites matches up with this timeline.

Plan your wedding day timeline.

Questions like when should the bridal party get ready, when will the photographer arrive, and what time to be at the first look location should be planned out a few weeks in advance. You want your special day to go smoothly, so creating a detailed itinerary for your vendors and wedding party is a must.

There is certainly more prepping that needs to go into a wedding, but these big aspects will help you stay on track and minimize the stress that comes with wedding planning. Stillwater Event Center is located in the heart of the St. Croix Valley, the premier wedding destination of the Midwest.