I know you’re overwhelmed right now! You’ve recently got engaged and there’s so much information out there. There’s so much to do that you have no idea where to start. I’ve been there myself, planning a wedding with no idea which way was up! As a supplier and previous bride-to-be, I’ve put together this list to help you on your timescale and to-dos for the big day! And if you need any further help or advice, I’m always happy to help!
Now you’re engaged!
Talk to your partner and set your budget.
Talk to your partner about what you both want on your wedding day. Discuss your ideal wedding day.
Choose your bridesmaids / ushers / best man / maid of honour.
Start a guest list. Decide on the maximum number of guests (this may depend on the venue)
Browse your venue(s) and make enquiries.
Decide on a colour scheme or any particular themes.
PARTY! Throw an engagement party!
As soon as possible
Reserve your wedding date and venue(s).
Book your registrar, officiant or celebrant.
Look into wedding insurance
12 months before the wedding.
Book your photographer.
Book your videographer.
Visit wedding dress shops and try on dresses, styles and fits.
Plan your ‘Save the Date’s. (Perhaps have an engagement shoot and use the photos on cards as save the dates!)
9 months before the wedding.
Send out your ‘Save the Date’s.
Purchase your dress, (the dress shop needs to order it and then you need alterations!)
Research guest accomodation.
Book your DJ.
Book your entertainment.
Order your wedding cake.
Order the groom suit.
Order the bridesmaids dresses and groomsmen’s attire.
Book your honeymoon. (Make sure your passports are in date!)
Book your wedding transport/cars.
Meet the caterers and book your wedding breakfast.
Optional: Launch a wedding website.
6 months before the wedding.
Send your wedding invitations.
Order your wedding flowers – bouquets, posies, cravats, etc.
Order your wedding favours.
Plan the hen/stag dos.
Attend pre-marriage counselling. (Catholic ceremonies)
Decide on your wedding prayers and readings.
Decide on your wedding songs (walking down the aisle, signing the register, exiting the ceremony)
Book make-up artist.
Book your rehearsal dinner.
Purchase wedding shoes, jewellery, garter, accessories.
Purchase your underwear.
Ask people to prepare/give toasts.
Plan your wedding decor. Remember to order everything in time if you are DIY.
3 months before the wedding.
RSVP date for wedding invitations.
Order your confetti, cones, flip flops, toiletry baskets and such.
Give notice to your registrar/priest and parish.
Arrange your final fittings for the dresses and suits.
Order your wedding rings.
Organise gifts for the wedding party/family.
Have your hair and make-up trial.
Finalise order of service/ceremony booklets.
Finalise your day-of timeline.
Finalise the menu.
Finalise the flowers.
Put an announcement in the paper.
Chase up anyone who hasn’t RSVP-ed.
1 month before the wedding.
Call any guests who have not RSVP-ed and finalise the guest list.
Finalise plans with all suppliers.
Send over a shot list to your photographer.
Send the relevant suppliers your day-of timeline.
Finalise details with the venue and caterers.
Have your bachelor and backelorette party!
Get your marriage liscence and make sure all the legalities are set.
Make your final payments.
Prepare a table plan.
Write your vows.
Print your placecards.
1 week before the wedding.
Delegate on-the-day jobs and plans to the bridal party.
Pick up your dress.
Check in with the suppliers one last time.
Give the venue/caterer the final head-count.
Break in your wedding shoes.
Pack for your honeymoon.
Get pampered: book a spa day, get waxed, have a mani-pedi, get your hair cut and coloured.
Try on your wedding dress with all undergarments and accessories.
Organise any balances still to be paid on-the-day in cheque.
Pick up the groom’s formalwear and ensure all the wedding party have their outfits.
Provide all the suppliers with an emergency contact phone number.
1 day before your wedding.
Drop off all the relevant stationary: table plan, place cards, order of service, menus etc. to the wedding coordinator.
Drop off the wedding favours at the venue plus any wedding signs or props.
Drop off all the decorations at the venue and decorate if if you are DIY!
The wedding day!
Wake up and try and stay as calm as you can! Eat a good breakfast.
Get the flowers and any remaining bits delivered to the bridal prep location.
Give the wedding bands to the ring-bearer or best man.
Assign a family member or member of the wedding party to assist the photographer in directing the group shots.
Give out the family/wedding party presents!
If any fees are remaining to be paid via cash or cheque, designate a family member or wedding party member to hold the fee and give it to them after the ceremony.
Relax and enjoy the big day!
After your wedding.
Send out thank-you cards to guests.
Send out thank-you cards to helpful vendors.
Return any rental items.
Arrange to have your wedding dress cleaned.
I hope this list is helpful to you – if there’s anything you think I’ve missed please feel free to comment with what it is and at what milestone!