• Leah Marie

The Ultimate Wedding Checklist: A Wedding Planning Guide

A handy step-by-step timeline for planning your big day.

Planning your wedding, whether you have two years or three months to do it, can be stressful. It can easily become super overwhelming so I've prepared for you a checklist to help you plan your dream wedding.

As soon as you get engaged/once you're ready to start wedding planning:

  • Sit down with your other half and discuss your ideal wedding to make sure you're on the same page

  • Draw up a budget

  • Start planning the guest list 

  • Decide on approximate number of guests -this may impact your choice of venues

  • Pick potential wedding dates - check with important guests to avoid clashes

  • Research potential wedding venues and photographers as these are the two biggest suppliers that will get booked up very quickly.

12 Months Before The Wedding

8-10 Months Before the Wedding

  • Book band and/or DJ for reception

  • Choose and order wedding invitations & stationery

  • Research and reserve accommodations for guests

  • Contact decor hire companies if you need to rent anything for ceremony/reception, such as chairs, tables, or a tentBook honeymoon - flights and accommodation

  • Order wedding cake

  • Book pre-marriage course - if required by your church or celebrant

6-8 Months Before the Wedding

4-6 Months Before the Wedding

2-3 Months Before the Wedding

  • Attend dress fittings

  • Choose and order wedding rings

  • Organise gifts for parents, bridesmaids, groomsmen and each other

  • Buy shoes, accessories, hair-pieces, bow ties etc - allow for longer if you're ordering online

  • Organise outfits for flower girls or page boys

  • Have a menu tasting with your venue or caterer

  • Create your table plan

4 Weeks Before the Wedding

  • Have final wedding dress fitting

  • Make any last-minute adjustments with suppliers

  • Finalise details for, and order mass booklets/order of ceremonyComplete any wedding DIY or craft projects

  • Review final RSVP list and call any guests who have not yet responded

2 Weeks Before the Wedding

  • Deliver must-have shot lists to photographer and videographer - include who should be in formal portraits and determine when portraits will be taken

  • Give venue/caterer final guest head count

  • Do full wedding dress rehearsal from underwear to veil to make sure everything fits well and you have an idea of how long it will take you to get dressed

1 Week Before the Wedding

  • Supply wedding coordinator with a list of supplier requests such as a table for DJ or setup space needed by florist

  • Print place cards

  • Call all wedding suppliers to confirm arrangements - create a timetable for dayGive ceremony and reception site managers a schedule of vendor delivery and setup times, plus contact numbers

  • Get manicure, massage, waxing & all your preening and prep

  • Pack an overnight bag for the reception

  • Pack for the honeymoon

2-3 Days Before the Wedding

  • Make last minute changes to table plan if necessary

  • Grooms: Go for final fitting and pick up your formalwear

  • Grooms: Ask the best man to make sure all groomsmen attend fittings and pick up their outfits.

  • Confirm pick-up times with wedding car company

  • Reconfirm final details with all vendors.

  • Discuss any necessary last-minute substitutions

  • Print off a sheet with the running order for the day, and the main suppliers' contact details, give copies to your best man and maid of honour

The Day Before the Wedding

  • Drop off place cards, table cards, menus, favours, table plan to reception coordinator

  • Provide all wedding professionals with an emergency phone number to call on the day of the wedding

  • Sort out payment (write cheques/organise cash) for any final balances to be paid at the end of the reception.

  • Ensure the cake is on track to be delivered to reception venue - have someone else look after this one!

  • Rehearse ceremony with full wedding party ceremony readers your officiant at the ceremony site to rehearse and iron out details.

  • Get a good night’s rest!

The Wedding Day!

  • Give the gifts for your parents to the best man/bridesmaid for after the speeches

  • Flowers delivered to where the bride is getting ready - buttonholes may need to be brought to the guys

  • Give wedding bands to the best man to hold during the ceremony

  • Give best man the officiant's fee envelope, to be given after the ceremony

  • Introduce your reception coordinator to your wedding planner (if you're having one), or bridesmaid/best man for questions or problems during the reception.

  • Most of all, enjoy it!

After the Wedding

  • Prearrange for someone to return any rentals

  • Pre-plan for someone to take the wedding dress and suit for cleaning or return a rented tux to the rental shop

  • Write and send thank-you notes to gift-bearing guests and vendors who were especially helpful.

  • Collect your marriage certificate

Searching for that perfect Wedding Photographer? Leah Marie Photography is a Destination Wedding Photographer from Hampshire,UK

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