When you are planning a wedding, there are so many things to remember. When do you contact wedding photographers or should you be sending out the save the date cards yet? Use the guide below to give you an idea of when you should be doing tasks and also to help you remember what to do.
12 – 9 months
- Set the budget
- Choose the wedding date.
- Set up a filing system for receipts.
- Purchase wedding insurance.
- Draw up a guest list.
- Decide on the type of ceremony: religious or civil.
- Meet religious minister/registrar to discuss wedding ceremony.
- Choose and book venues for wedding and reception.
- Obtain menus and cost estimates from caterers.
- Start sourcing photographers.
- Look into entertainment for the wedding reception.
- Choose the wedding team: best man, bridesmaids, pageboys and ushers.
- Organise responsibilities for parents.
- Make appointments to try on wedding dresses.
- Look into florists and check seasonal flowers.
- Look into honeymoon ideas and destinations.
- Book time off work for the wedding and honeymoon.
9 – 6 months
- Finalise the requirements for the style of ceremony chosen.
- Discuss the music with an organist, music group or wedding music company.
- Discuss readings with the minister or registrar.
- Ask family members or friends if they would like to read at the ceremony.
- Choose the caterers.
- Research table settings, menus and seating plans.
- See a wine merchant/venue representative about drinks.
- Choose and order the wedding cake
- Choose flowers for bridal bouquet, buttonholes, the venue and table centres
- Finalise the guest list.
- Design and order the invitations and envelopes.
- Send out save the date cards (or emails).
- Book and pay deposits for the florist, photographer, caterers, cake-making company and stationer.
6 – 3 months
- Hire or buy outfits for the groom, best man and ushers, or inform them, and the fathers, of the dress code.
- Choose/order outfits for the bridesmaids.
- Shop for the mother of the bride outfit.
- Choose, buy and insure wedding rings.
- Choose the presents for the wedding list.
- Choose presents to thank the best man, ushers, attendants and other VIPs.
- Design orders of service and have the proof checked by the minister or registrar.
- Print orders of service (don’t forget spares).
- Send off the forms for the bride’s new passport.
- Look into arrangements and details for the honeymoon.
- Plan extra information sheets for the invitation: maps, nearby B&Bs, wedding list information.
- Send out invitations.
- Keep a list of acceptances and refusals, and send out any extra invitations.
- Ensure hen and stag parties are being organised.
3 – 2 months
- Start the reception seating plan, but allow for changes.
- Politely chase any forgetful guests for RSVPs in order to finalise the guest list.
- Give caterers notice of special dietary requirements.
- Set a ceremony rehearsal time with the minister/registrar/officiant and inform the wedding party.
- Meet the hair and make-up stylists to decide on a style for the bride and bridesmaids.
- Final dress fittings for bride and bridesmaids.
- Order favours for the reception (if required).
- Buy a guest book for guests to sign.
- Choose a first dance and consider practising.
- Make a note of favourite songs for the DJ or band.
- Buy clothes and accessories for the honeymoon.
- Reconfirm honeymoon details.
- Check that visas, passports and inoculations are all up to date.
- Hold the hen and stag parties.
1 month before
- Pick up wedding rings; have them engraved, if desired.
- Have engagement ring cleaned or polished.
- Confirm prices with suppliers, double-check delivery or arrival timings.
- Pay any outstanding amounts to suppliers.
- Reconfirm all details with suppliers and staff involved on the day; this includes caterers, cakes, flowers, photographs, and hair and make-up stylists.
- Reconfirm all transport arrangements (locations and timings).
- Confirm final numbers, dietary requirements and special requests with the caterers.
- Draw up the final seating plan.
- Make up extra copies of the seating plan for the caterer, photographer and best man
- Divide place cards into envelopes for the caterers laying the tables, allowing one envelope per table.
- Make a checklist of telephone numbers in case of any emergencies on the day: local cab firms, the wedding party’s mobiles and suppliers. Also, brief wedding party of what they need on the day.
- Draw up a list of important family and friends for the photographer, with a copy for the best man.
- Brief the best man on final payments due on the day, and supply cash or cheques, as required.
- Organise reserved seating for the ceremony and brief the ushers.
- Brief the best man and chief bridesmaids on any final logistics and last minute duties.
- Collect the wedding dress and bridesmaids’ outfits.
- Practise putting on the wedding dress with whoever will be helping on the big day.
- Try on the full bridal outfit – including jewellery and lingerie – and practise walking in shoes.
- Order honeymoon currency/travellers cheques.
- Pack and organise luggage for the honeymoon; receive new passport.
Night before the wedding
The evening before the wedding is an opportunity for the bride and groom to relax and spend time reminiscing with parents or close friends. They will usually spend the evening, or at least the night, apart.
The bridesmaids usually stay the night with the bride so they are in situ for the morning, and the best man, and possibly the ushers, often stay with the groom.
Your checklist is all checked and your planning is complete. Today is a day to be enjoyed and for all your planning to come together. With everyone playing their roles, you and your groom can focus on every moment of your special day.