Congratulations! Planning your wedding is pretty exciting, but it can also be quite stressful so a checklist is a must.
Planning a wedding is probably something you’ve never actually done before! To help you get organised, we’ve created a free printable as a general guide to help with the planning process.
Twelve months seems to be the ideal length of time to organise a wedding, especially if you want to book a popular venue/church/date. But once the date and venue are booked the rest of the tasks could easily be completed in six months.
You may decide you would prefer to elope – in that case you won’t need to worry about reading this list!
Step one – these are the big ones!
- Determine your budget
- Choose a date (often dependent on church and venue availability so book early)
- Book a church (or officiant/celebrant)
- Select the venue/caterer
- Select your bridal party
- Make a guest list
- Decide on theme and formality
- Should you hire a wedding planner?
Step two – theme & style
- Choose your wedding dress
- Choose colour theme and overall design
Pinterest is a great place to start!
- Hire vendors – photographer, band, DJ, videographer
- Create your wedding website
- Start looking at invitations & save-the-dates
The theme of your invitations should match the style of your wedding and reflect you as a couple. Order enough to allow for mistakes, make sure they will arrive in time, set up a system for recording RSVP replies, and confirm all addresses and spelling.
Save-the-dates are important if your wedding is in a busy time of the year (eg. around Christmas) or is a destination wedding.
Step three – six to nine months prior
- Send save-the-dates (if required)
- Plan transportation – bride, groom, for guests if needed
eg. a location wedding may require a shuttle bus
- Book wedding night accommodation
- Plan the rehearsal dinner venue
- Plan and book the honeymoon – check passport, visa
Step four – three to six months prior
- Select the bridesmaids’ dresses and arrange fittings/adjustments
- Select groom’s outfit – choose between a tux or suit, based on the formality of your wedding, and then decide whether to buy or rent
- Select groomsmen’s attire – suit, shirt, tie, shoes, socks
- Buy wedding rings
- Register for gifts
- Order cake
- Choose florist & order flowers
- Hair and makeup trial
- Plan gift bags or bonbonnerie for guests
- Book a photo booth
Step five – two to three months prior
- Send the wedding invitations – include rehearsal-dinner invitations for those invited
- Buy gifts for wedding party
- Make song selections for church or ceremony
- Select readings
- Finalise your menu
Step six – one month prior
- Follow up RSVP replies and confirm numbers
- Create a seating chart
- Order place cards
- Write your vows & practice out loud
Step seven – last week
- Beauty treatments
Manicure/pedicure, eyebrows, waxing, massage
- Final dress fitting
- Pick up suits
- Pack your bags for the honeymoon & confirm travel arrangements
- Clean your ring so it’s extra sparkly
- Confirm bookings with vendors
- Rehearsal dinner
- Drop off things to venue
On the day
- Sleep well, hair, makeup, drink water, eat healthy, relax, have fun!
- Make sure your vendors have been paid
- Return rentals, clothing, and accessories
- Send thank you notes
- Follow up on wedding photos
- Enjoy your honeymoon!
Other Useful Web Links
Useful books on Amazon
- The Realist Bride: Everything You Really Need To Know To Plan Your Wedding
- The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner
- Wedding Planning for Dummies, 3rd Edition
- The Wedding Planner and Organizer
- A Practical Wedding: Creative Ideas for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration
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