Wedding planning has to be one of the most involved processes the average person has to contend with in their life. Unless you’re an experienced project manager, you’re probably going to need all the help you can get.
That’s why we have put together this essential checklist for anyone planning a wedding. It helps keep everything in order, helps keep your mind focused and outlines the main things you have to remember when planning your wedding.
12 months before the wedding
Once the question has been popped and answered, the real work begins. Now it’s time to begin planning your wedding in earnest. A year may seem like a long time, but in wedding terms it’s not.
Within the next few weeks you need to:
- Set a date
- Choose a wedding theme or style
- Make a priorities list of what you want and can afford
- Discuss budget with respective parties
- Select a church or ceremony venue
- Select a reception venue
- Compile guest list according to reception venue and budget
- Begin visiting wedding fairs
The sooner you get onto these elements of your list the more chance you have of getting exactly what you want for your big day. Churches and licensed wedding venues are in high demand, so the sooner you book yours, the easier time you’ll have getting the date you want.
The same goes for reception venues. It isn’t unusual for couples to book 1 or 2 years in advance, so the sooner you get onto the phones or visiting venues the better. Once you have chosen somewhere, get it booked right away.
9-12 months before the wedding
By now you should have a date, venues, rough guest list, budget and some ideas on what kind of wedding you want to have. Now it’s time to begin planning and ordering the things that make up the average wedding.
The list can be long, but if you break it down it’s fairly straightforward. Many of the choices you make on this list will depend on the choices you made previously. The date will influence the dress type, the entertainment, type of wedding transport and more.
Theme and style will also influence all those things, as will budget. There are a lot of interdependencies, but it all works out in the end. Especially if you follow our list!
During this time, you need to:
- Begin choosing wedding and bridesmaid’s dresses
- Organise suits
- Book a photographer
- Begin choosing entertainment
- Book a florist
- Order a wedding cake
- Book wedding transport
- Select wedding lingerie
- Begin health routine
- Plan theming and accessories
- Buy wedding rings
- Choose bridesmaids and attendants
It might seem a little early to begin buying lingerie and buying items like wedding favours. However, the earlier you can take care of many of the smaller details, the less stress you’ll have nearer the time.
Beginning a healthy diet or health routine will give your body time to adapt to the new regime and also begin showing improvements long before the big day. Be aware though, that if you’re planning on losing weight for your wedding day that you will need to book your dressmaker a fortnight before the day for any last minute adjustments!
6–8 months before the wedding
Now the wedding is probably feeling pretty close. By now you should have all the major details under control and be moving down to the little details you haven’t taken care of yet.
They will include:
- Order and send wedding invitations
- Make wedding gift list
- Finalise and confirm flowers, cake, transport, photographer and reception details
- Arrange any accommodation for distant guests
- Choose place settings, table decorations and wedding favours if you haven’t already
- Book honeymoon
1 day to 6 months before the wedding
Now it’s getting towards the day itself, things will begin stressing you out. That’s why we suggested planning many things far in advance. The less you have to manage on the run up to your wedding day the more you can concentrate on the job at hand.
Between 1 day and 6 months before the wedding you should:
- Have everything finalised, deposits paid and everything booked
- Complete wedding paperwork
- Finalise ceremony details and have a rehearsal
- Meet photographer to select shoot list
- Finalise playlist for entertainment
- Arrange final dress fitting and adjustment
- Plan seating arrangements
- Chase RSVPs
- Get hair done and any treatments
The day before the wedding
This is the final day of preparation for your wedding day. by now everything should have been booked, planned and finalised. The paperwork is in order, the dress fits perfectly, everyone knows what they are doing and where they are supposed to be on the day.
Today it’s time to:
- Have a manicure and pedicure
- Attend the rehearsal if you’re having one
- Confirm transport arrival time
- Drink plenty of water and eat a good meal
- Spend time with friends and family and relax
As you can see, we have simplified the wedding preparation list into 40 steps to keep it manageable. Follow it and add to it as you see fit. It’s only a guide and is designed to give you a framework from which to build your own wedding plan. We hope it helps!