The Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist And Timeline
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The man of your dreams has popped the question, he put a ring on it and not it is time to get started with the wedding planning!
When it comes to planning your dream wedding, the list can seem a little overwhelming. So to help you out, we’ve put together the ultimate wedding checklist and timeline to make sure you are on track to get everything sorted before the big day.
Give yourself as much time as possible in order for your dream wedding to come to life and to save you all those headaches and dramas that can come up in the planning journey.
12 Months Till The Wedding Day
Figure Out Your Budget: Sit down and crunch the numbers, before you start anything! Make a list of priorities and break down your total budget to allocate each element for your wedding. Since your estimated figures will most likely change somewhere along the way, keep a detailed spreadsheet to have everything in one, easy and accessible place. This will help you keep track of your spending and make it easy to make adjustments.
Create Your Guest List: Your guests make your event! Invite the people that have been there to witness your relationship blossom and don’t forget your family and friends. Once you have a list, go through it with a careful eye and start cutting, negotiating to get the final number.
Pick Out Your Bridal Party: Before the chaos of the wedding planning kicks in, get your bridal squad together so they can be the first ones to help you out planning everything together.
Pick The Date: The earlier this can be made the better it will be!
Lock In Your Wedding Planner, Decide On A Theme, Select The Venue & Caterer: This is a huge task that requires a lot of thinking and decisions to weigh up. Just envision where you would like your wedding to be, what theme would you pick, who would you like to help you create your dream wedding? These are all important questions you need to think about and consider.
It takes time Fairies, just breathe!
11 Months Till The Wedding Day
Pick Your Colour Theme & Overall Design: Get those Pinterest boards starting and save all your favourite Instagram pics to help you come up with the picture perfect wedding.
Lock In Your Photographer, Band, DJ & Videographer: These suppliers are sure to book out fast so get in there quickly to avoid disappointment.
10 Months Till The Wedding Day
Your Wedding Dress: Every girl has dreamed of this moment, picking out the perfect wedding dress. Whether you are shopping it off the racks or getting it custom made, make sure you pick something that you feel most confident in. If you are planning on getting your dress made, the earlier you can get in with your dress designer the better.
Book Hotel Room: Lock it in so that is one less thing to worry about!
Book In Engagement Photoshoot: This is an optional step, but it is a good idea if you are planning on having an engagement photoshoot, to book it with your wedding photographer so you can create a connection with your photographer before the big day.
Start Looking At Invitations: Put your best foot forward and give your guests a little taster of what is to come. This is where you can communicate your colour palette and theme of your wedding. Get some ideas from your wedding planner who can recommend great suppliers to help you with your stationery needs.
9 Months Till The Wedding Day
Buy Your Dream Dress: Say yes to the dress!
Send Save The Dates: Let everyone know its offical, so they can get ready for your special day.
8 Months Till The Wedding Day
Register For Gifts: Get your partner involved with this step, after all you are building a life and a home together. Consider your hobbies and interests to give your gift registry your own personal flair to build up your soon to be married lifestyle.
Select The Bridesmaids’, Flowergirl Dresses & Schedule Fittings Within The Month: After you have found the perfect bridesmaid dress and design, its time to go shopping with your bridal squad. If you are getting your dresses custom made, the more time you plan ahead, the better.
Meet With Your Potential Florists: Your florist is one of the most important elements of your wedding. Whether you are after something extravagant or just want something simple, communicate your ideas with your florist to enquire about quotes and see what you like. Get some ideas and ask for recommendations from your wedding planner as well.
7 Months Till The Wedding Day
Book The Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Host your rehearsal dinner at you and your partner’s favourite restaurant. It’s a nice beautiful thing to bring everyone together in the lead of the big day.
Hire The Ceremony Musicians: Lock in your orchestra or create a list of songs that you want featured during your ceremony.
Order Rental Items: This includes your chairs, linens, draping, lounge furniture, cutlery, dance floor, Photo Booth if you want one and all the other little details.
Hire Your Wedding Celebrant: If you are planning on not getting married in a Church, lock in your marriage celebrant in order to make it official.
6 Months Till The Wedding Day
You’re halfway there!
Hire A Lighting Technician: This is something your wedding planner can help you out with. But make sure the lighting and candles that you select light up your venue and make your wedding photos just right.
Book Transportation For Guests (If Needed): This would apply more to couples who are planning a destination wedding.
Book The Bride, Groom & Bridal Party Transportation: Ride in style in a limousine, your favourite sports cars or horse and carriage. Just make sure it can get you and your bridal party from A to B.
5 Months Till The Wedding Day
Book Your Honeymoon: Traditionally, the groom plans a surprise honeymoon for the bride. But since you’re starting your new married life together create a bucket list of all the places you would like to visit and explore. Consider and book in activities you would like to do once you have a location set.
Groom’s & Groomsmens’ Suits: Did you think we forgot about the men? Don’t worry this is your time to start looking but make sure you don’t leave it till the last minute so you have enough time to squeeze in those fittings and alteration sessions.
4 Months Till The Wedding Day
Taste Testing The Food: You’ve selected your caterer, now let’s see what they can dish up. This is you and your partner’s chance to customise your own wedding menu. If there is something you don’t like, speak up and say what you would prefer as you have to keep in mind this is what your wedding guests will be served.
Choose The Cake: If you haven’t realised, this month is where the bride can have their cheat meals and taste test every aspect of the wedding. Get out those photos you’ve been saving and pick the look and flavours you want.
Organise Your Wedding Favours: Say thank you to your guests in a heartfelt way. For creative ideas for your wedding favours, click here.
Buy The Wedding Bands: Pick out your favourite designs and select the one with your partner!
Finalise Groomsmen’s Attire: Think about all the finer details, the belt, cufflinks, aftershave, tie or bow tie and shoes.
Hair & Makeup Trial: Before you lock in your hairdresser and makeup artist for the big day, the trial is the most important thing. Show pictures to your hairdresser and makeup artist so they are clear on what you are after. Choose a look that you know that accentuates your features and that will complete your desired bridal look.
3 Months Till The Wedding Day
Order The Invitations & Send Them Out: Once you have confirmed your design, get them printed and sent out to your guests in order for the RSVP replies to start rolling through.
Finalise The Menu: With the taste testing still fresh in your mind, customise and finalise your menu and make sure you are 100% happy. This is also a good time to enquire about timing of the dishes.
Write Your Vows: What’s a wedding without your vows? Take the time and think about what you are about to promise and make sure it is from the heart.
Select Readings: Choose who you would like to say a reading at your ceremony and let these people know ASAP so they are all well prepared.
Start Organising Your Bridal Shower: Your kitchen tea traditionally falls between the last 2-3 months before the wedding. Get your bridesmaids to help execute your perfect bridal shower.
Start Crafting Any DIY Items: If DIY is going to feature in your wedding, you better get started!
2 Months Till The Wedding Day
Send Out Rehearsal Dinner Invitations: If you and your partner chose to host a rehearsal dinner, make sure you don’t forget any important details as your guests are clear on what will be happening.
Buy Wedding Party Gifts: Start getting all your gifts together for your bridal party including your bridesmaids, groomsmen, flowergirl, pageboy and parents of the bride and groom.
OrganiseA Floral Mock Up With Your Florist: What will your florals look on the big day? Find out by booking and organising a floral mock up with your florist to ensure your vision is perfectly executed for the big day.
Create A Playlist To Give To The DJ: Think about your entrance songs and music you want to play all night long.
Give The Song Selections To Your Ceremony Musicians: Finalise your music lists and send them off.
Buy All The Small Things: Did you forget about the cake knife, your champagne glasses, guest book, card box, ring bearer accessories, flowergirl and pageboy accessories, jewellery for yourself and your bridesmaids? Not to worry, you still have time.
Start Purchasing Items For Your Honeymoon: Don’t forget to shop for yourself! This is your time to purchase cute outfits for your honeymoon so its not a big rush after the wedding.
1 Month Till The Wedding Day
Pay Your Bills: Pay all your vendors and suppliers before the big day because let’s be real, the stress is coming on, the last thing you want is a vendor chasing you up for things. Go back to your spreadsheet and keep track of everything!
Create Your Seating Chart: The details are slowly coming together we promise you! Not long to go now!
Walk In Your Wedding Shoes: Walk down the hallways, go up the stairs, dance in your kitchen. Do whatever you have to do to avoid painful blisters stopping you from enjoying your big day.
The Final Week!
The final checklist!
Refresh your hair colour
Manicure and pedicure for you the mother of the bride, groom and your bridesmaids
Getting a massage
Final dress fitting
Pack your bags for your honeymoon
Clean your ring, a very important tip. Take it to your jeweller to have it professionally clean so it’s extra sparkly on your wedding day.
Finalise the RSVP and do a final count
Clear your work to do list and take in the last week of being a single lady!
Practice your vows
Write your partner a note and organise their gift
The Day & Night Before The Wedding
Your special day is finally here. After all those months of planning, your day is here for you to enjoy. Here’s the last few things you meed to do…
The Night Before:
Drink lots of water
Pack a small clutch of your personal belongings
Get your beauty sleep
Place any bags, suitcases, survival kits close by the door so you can put it in the car
Lay out all your items, the dresses, rings, shoes, accessories etc
The Morning of the Wedding:
Sit back, relax and stay off your feet
Eat a good breakfast
Drink lots of water
Enjoy the moment!
What About The Brides Who Have Less Time To Plan?
Don’t worry we haven’t forgotten about you! Best advice would be to try to complete all the wedding planning tasks within the 12-6 month period to get it done within the first month to lock in all the important things. Don’t panic though, everyone around you is here to help you and you’ll be on schedule.