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
Visit and book your reception venue and ceremony location
Research potential wedding services and suppliers - photographer, florist, invitations, cake, decor, music, hair and makeup
Consider and review wedding insurance options
Decide what type of entertainment you want for ceremony, drinks reception and dancing
Research and consider options for your venue and ceremony decor
Research and consider a wedding planner or venue stylist - particularly helpful if you have to look after the venue set-up or have lots of logistics
Start your wedding dress research
Send Save the Date cards - important if you're getting married abroad, or during a very busy time of year
8-10 Months Before the Wedding
Choose and order wedding invitations & stationery
Research and reserve accommodations for guests
Order wedding cake
Book pre-marriage course - if required by your church or celebrant
6-8 Months Before the Wedding
Send out wedding invitations
Order your wedding dress - many boutiques consider under six months a 'rush order' and will apply a fee
Book ceremony musicians
Ensure passports are in date for honeymoon - order new ones if necessary
Start planning your honeymoon - activities and excursions
Start planning hen and/or stag parties - well not you, the best man/bridesmaids/pals should!
4-6 Months Before the Wedding
Choose bridesmaids’ dresses
Attend pre-marriage counselling - if required (for Catholic ceremonies)
Meet with your florist to discuss options
Shop for a groom's suit
Rent the men’s formalwear
Organise the legalities — give at least 3 months notice to your registrar or priest/religious celebrant
Arrange travel vaccinations if necessaryOrganise wedding transport
Start gathering addresses for guest list or set up a wedding website - create spreadsheet for RSVPs
Organise a hair trial and book hairdresser
Organise a makeup trial and book a makeup artist
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.
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