film + digital photography

The Ultimate Wedding Checklist for newly engaged couples

WOOOO HOOO!!! YOU ARE FRICKEN ENGAGED!! I love this journey, I remember it all too well, even though I’ve been married for almost 5 years now.

When I look back on my time being engaged though, I wish I had a simple to the point check list that I could use to help check off tasks. Even if these tasks were just in my head like am I forgetting something or am I on track?

That’s when my lightbulb kicked on, I could make this post for you, RIGHT NOW!

Let’s do this…

The ultimate Wedding checklist for newly engaged couples coming at you live from Jamie Tobin Photography herself 😝

Ultimate Wedding Checklist – Phase ONE Vendors

We need to get some big items off your list, and that means vendors. We need to decide who is on your team, and who you want to trust with your hard earned coin.

As a good rule of thumb you should always meet your vendors before handing over any exchange of money. This way you get a chance to see if your personalities match and if you like their over all approach to how they work.

Who to hire and in what order?

  1. Wedding Planner
  2. Venue
  3. Date selection

I put these two first because a planner can even reach out to vendors for you from their list and take this step completely off your plate. Otherwise if you want more hands on in your planning you could put the planner second and do your venue first!

If you’re having a micro wedding one of my favorite planners is Wild Social – Check them out here!

If you need some venue inspiration I have a few posts for you, too!
3 Unique (Luxury) Minnesota Wedding Venues

Then comes your Artists

  1. Photographer
  2. Videographer
  3. Florist
  4. Content Creator
  5. Private Chef (Catering)

Photographers / Videographers book up quick and generally only book out 12 months – 18 months so when their calendars open it’s wise to jump on the ones you want quickly! Expect to spend $5-12k on this portion.

I also include the florist in the artist because what they can do with flowers is beyond beautiful and worth it. The way they photograph, smell, and overall vibe real florals bring to a wedding is timeless.

While a content creator is a newer vendor to the team, they are so much fun in todays world of reels + tiktok. Plus to have just simple little videos and iPhone photos to look back on, I personally wish I had more!!

Big fan of having a custom menu instead of buffet catering for your wedding. This has a personal touch and you get to pick your favorite foods!

Ultimate Wedding Checklist: Phase Two the little details

This can be taken care by your planner if you have one, if you don’t, let’s go through this!

The little details of your wedding come down to invites, design, decor, overall feel, vibe, and the vendors that can add to the atmosphere of the day.

  1. Wedding Invites
  2. Decor / Designer
  3. Bar cart / Mobile Bar Vendor
  4. Violinist
  5. Live Painter
  6. Guest List
  7. Events (Engagement Party / Rehearsal Dinner etc)

I love a wedding that has the extras, it adds that wow factor for your guests, and entertainment for everyone. Plus having extra vendors (or things to do) will give your Sims a big green diamond above their head.. I MEAN… WAIT.. 😉

How do I find good decor and Wedding Invite design?

These vendors are fun to search for on instagram, or facebook groups but also places like Etsy, and asking your Photographer or Planner. They have worked with some of the best who can make you something custom that no one has used a template for previously.

Plus they can help you narrow down how many you will need, when you need to send them by, and what to bring on your wedding day later down the line for those detail photos.

One of my favorites to work with, East & West Designs, check them out!

What Comes next in the planning check list after you have secured your vendors?

This is when you can start shopping! Your wedding attire is one the fun parts!

Whether you want to wear a bridal gown, tux, or something entirely different — the vision is yours and you have my full permission to break the wearing white rules.

Keep in mind some custom pieces can take 6-8 months to make, so don’t put off finding your attire. You may also need to alter it, so make sure to give yourself at least a month before your wedding date to get in for alterations.

Also dessert tastings fit in this box..

Menu Tastings

If you want a wedding party you can go out for drinks and celebrate (You don’t have to propose to them let’s be sustainable where we can, and do something you already love doing with your closest humans!)

I always want to remind my couples, this is YOUR day — you can plan as long as you need to, and you can hire whoever you want to. Make it truly reflect what you love doing and who you love spending it with.

Honeymoon or Destination Wedding?

Do you want to plan ahead and instead of gifts ask for a honeymoon fund? DO IT!

A lot of couples now a days skip the gifts and ask for help with either a down payment on a home, or just taking their honeymoon.

If you want a few gift registry ideas though, steal some off my Amazon list, here.

Ready for more help? I can’t wait to be your photographer!!

To get the party started with me I just need you to fill out my contact form and I will get back to you within 24 to 48 hours. I am so excited to hear what you want to do and help you so that you can take this checklist and mark it DONE!


we're jamie and mark!

We help quirky and untraditional couples find joy and adventure on their special days by providing passionate and wild photography that captures the big moments of love… and all the little candid ones in between.


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