Wedding Checklist

Shortly after reserving your wedding date, it’s time to schedule your first meeting with your Los Willows Venue Planner.  Click here to see what dates and times are available that work best for you.  This meeting is to discuss your vision discussing the design elements that Los Willows has to offer to enhance your wedding day.   Once we are (2) two months prior to your wedding it’s time to meet your Venue Coordinator to ensure every detail is in place on your wedding day.  Keep in mind these two onsite meetings have a different purpose.  Consider your first meeting as inspiration to envision your dream wedding whereas your Venue Coordinator meeting is focused on the logistics to provide a stress-free experience knowing the small details are underway. In the meantime, you may want to review our wedding checklist detailing some of the more common tasks necessary leading up to the big day.

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9-12 months

  • SELECT THE PERFECT VENUE:Congratulations, more than half the planning is done! You booked Los Willows which provides a full wedding package that will make your checklist so much easier. In addition, you will be meeting with our Venue Planner who will help you along the way and let you know what will be coming next.
  • REVIEW YOUR WEDDING SPENDING PLAN:Most likely your budget was set prior to booking Los Willows, so now is a good time to review your payment plan and review venue enhancements you want to add which can be added into your payment plan.
  • CREATE YOUR GUEST LIST:Your estimate is based on the number of guests you approximated when booking. Now is a good time to compile an accurate guest list with your fiancé.  Typically, between 10-20% are not able to attend for various reasons, so keeping a few more on the list isn’t a bad idea.  Your final guest count will be due 18 days prior to the wedding.
  • ASSEMBLE YOUR BRIDAL PARTY:Decide how many attendants you would like to have in your bridal party and consider if you will have children participate or perhaps your beloved pet.  We love pets so please inquire with your Planner about our pet policy.
  • DECIDE ON YOUR WEDDING STYLE AND SHOP FOR ATTIRE FOR YOU AND YOUR BRIDAL PARTY:Includes all attire, shoes, undergarments, veils or hairpieces, and jewelry.
  • PURCHASE WEDDING BANDS
  • SHOP WEDDING STATIONARY:Order your Save the Date cards and send out as soon as possible. The earliest you can get on everyone’s calendar the better attended your wedding will be.
  • INTERVIEW VENDORS:Los Willows package allows for couples to hire vendors and services that will make their wedding uniquely their own.  This includes the Officiant, Floral Designer, Bakery, Photographer and Videographer.  For a list seasoned favorites, please see our Preferred Vendor list on our website or in your wedding brochure.
  • CHOOSE YOUR HONEYMOON DESTINATION: If you will be traveling outside of the US, make sure your passport and travel documents are current. Passports can take weeks to process, the earliest you can scratch this off the to-do list, the better.
  • CONSIDER WEDDING INSURANCE:Wedding insurance provides protection from catastrophic life events that could interrupt your wedding plans and result in financial loss. For a resource, please see Los Willows Preferred Vendor list on our website or in your wedding brochure.

6-9 months

  • COMMIT TO YOUR VENDOR SELECTIONS: Los Willows includes your DJ in our package, so one less thing to worry about. It’s time to book your Officiant, Photographer and Videographers, order your cake, order your flowers and décor, decide if you will have any additional entertainment and reserve those services.
  • TAKE ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS:You are welcome to schedule a photography session at Los Willows with your photographer to take engagement photos. Photo sessions must be reserved and scheduled in advance.
  • SHOP AND SELECT WEDDING FAVORS
  • CREATE GIFT REGISTRIES WITH AT LEAST TWO OF YOUR FAVORITE RETAILERS

4-6 months

  • PLAN YOUR MENU:Los Willows will invite you and your fiancé to attend a Menu Tasting Event that is specific to the menu associated with your wedding package. This is a great time to meet our Executive Chef who can answer your questions as you sample and select hors d’oeuvres, salads, and entrees.   Our Food and Beverage Specialist will be there for assistance and menu planning.
  • ORDER WEDDING STATIONARY:Invitations, response cards, escort cards, menus, place setting cards, thank you cards, and stamps. If you have selected a served menu, we strongly encourage you select a Duet Plate which is easiest on you but if you not, you will need to provide guest cards with their menu selections on them for each guest and include the menu choices on the invitation.
  • ARRANGE WEDDING ACCOMMODATIONS & TRANSPORTATION. Los Willows offers various options including our exclusive Villa along with two vacation rental homes.  Please see our accommodation lists for additional rooms available nearby.
  • EXPLORE WEDDING DAY HAIR & MAKEUP STYLES
  • SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR OFFICIANT:Plan your ceremony details, length of ceremony, begin writing vows.
  • SCHEDULE FITTINGS FOR YOU AND YOUR BRIDAL PARTY
  • CEREMONY:Los Willows assists with guest seating for the ceremony. Prepare any ceremony signs you will need, complete your itinerary and ceremony seating chart with your Venue Planner.
  • BUY GIFTS: Purchase your bridal party gifts, and gift for your fiancé.
  • CREATE A LIST OF MUST-HAVE PHOTOS:With acres of landscaped gardens, a serene lake, and shady oak meadow, Los Willows has an abundance of beautiful wedding photo opportunities. Make sure you get the most important shots by creating your “must-have list” to review with your Photographer and Venue Planner
  • PREPARE A PLAYLIST:Decide with your fiancé on your PLAY or even a DO NOT PLAY list of music for your reception.  Make sure to include any sentimental pieces for family as well.  This is your day to celebrate.
  • ARRANGE FOR A HOTEL BLOCK:If you will have several out-of-town guests attending, you may want to reserve a “hotel block”. If you have a small number of guests traveling from out-of-town, simply refer two or three hotels nearby for your guests to select between.
  • BOOK YOUR HONEYMOON FLIGHTS:Most airlines will offer best rates or special offers about three months ahead. Check frequently with your travel agent or online booking sites for deals.

2-3 months

  • MEETING WITH YOUR COORDINATOR:Most of your wedding details are coming together! Your Venue Coordinator will meet with you to discuss progress and some final decisions.  You will work on a floor plan for your guest tables and activities you would like to include.
  • CEREMONY MUSIC:Los Willows provides your DJ who will orchestrate audio equipment and your ceremony music.  Time to discuss with your DJ.  Ask your Coordinator for contact information.
  • CREATE YOUR RECEPTION SEATING CHART:If you will be assigning seats start to lay out how you will organize and assign seating. You may use a large seating chart or escort card table that will guide guests to their seats.  Los Willows will provide a standing easel or escort card table and have it set for you as guests enter your reception.
  • SEND YOUR WEDDING INVITATIONS (2 months):Your wedding responses should be back to you approximately one month before giving you plenty of time to assign seating and directly contact any guests who have not returned the response card.
  • FINALIZE DETAILS WITH YOUR VENDORS:Meet your vendors in person and taste your wedding cake, review your play list with your disc jockey or band, review with the photographer, your floral designer, makeup artist, salon and any other vendors providing services.  This is the ideal time to ensure all vendors have their required liability insurance.  Ask your Coordinator for details.
  • RESERVE TIME FOR YOUR REHEARSAL:Your coordinator will schedule a rehearsal time for you. Most wedding rehearsals are scheduled the day before your wedding and last approximately one hour.
  • PLAN YOUR REHEARSAL DINNER
  • SCHEDULE FINAL FITTINGS
  • APPLY FOR YOUR MARRIAGE LICENSE:You must apply in the county you will be married in. Los Willows resides in San Diego County.  To apply for a marriage license, visit https://arcc.sdcounty.ca.gov/Pages/marriage-licenses.aspx#appointments  to schedule an appointment.
  • REVIEW YOUR WEDDING DAY ITINERARY WITH YOUR COORDINATOR:Your Venue Coordinator will create a wedding itinerary and coordinate timing with all your wedding day vendors.
  • ORDER WEDDING PROGRAMS
  • PRACTICE YOUR FIRST DANCE TOGETHER: You might want to consider taking dance lessons or simply practicing your first dance.
  • WRITE THANK YOU CARDS FOR GIFTS THAT HAVE ARRIVED EARLY
  • BUY GUEST BOOK & PEN
  • PACK FOR YOUR HONEYMOON
  • ASSIGN WHO WILL BE TAKING GIFTS AFTER THE WEDDING: At the end of the reception, Los Willows staff will load your gifts for you and send them with a person you designate. Please assign someone for this and make sure they are prepared with an empty, available vehicle and your instructions.
  • WRITE TOASTS FOR YOUR REHEARSAL DINNER AND RECEPTION
  • BREAK IN WEDDING SHOES
  • PACK YOU WEDDING DAY ESSENTIALS BAG: Make sure you or your fiancé have the rings and marriage license as well as your personal necessities.
  • PLAN FOR SOMEONE TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR HOME & PETS WHILE YOU ARE HONEYMOONING

3 weeks

  • SUBMIT YOUR FINAL GUESTS COUNT (include the two of you) FINAL PAYMENT IS DUE 18 DAYS BEFORE YOUR WEDDING DAY

1 week

  • RELAX: Your wedding coordinator is busy this week contacting all your wedding vendors and making sure they are on task for your big day.
  • SCHEDULE A MANICURE & PEDICURE
  • TIME FOR YOUR REHEARSAL DINNER: Enjoy this time with your closest friends and family. Write them thank you cards and give them their bridal party gifts and let them know how much they mean to you.
  • PREPARE ENVELOPES WITH PAYMENTS AND TIPS

Day-Of

  • ENJOY YOUR WEDDING DAY: You have booked a wedding venue with more than 25 years perfecting weddings; your wedding will run smoothly and be everything you planned for, so enjoy the moment!