Having a wedding checklist close at hand is a great way to keep organised while planning your big day.
There are so many wedding ideas that will come your way while you’re making preparations, so a detailed checklist will help you keep on top of it all. Ensure that no details are missed with this handy guide, whether you’d like to refer to a hard copy or keep a digital version on your tablet or smart phone!
12 months or more in advance:
- If you haven’t already been surprised with it, choose your engagement ring.
- Announce your engagement, including publishing it on social media or in local newspapers, if you wish.
- Determine the overall style of your wedding. Will it be formal, semi-formal or casual? Do you want everything to fit a specific theme?
- Make a list of your wedding essentials – which aspects are most important to you?
- Discuss the wedding budget with your partner and families, including who will pay for what. This can be an awkward topic to broach, but doing so right away will eliminate a lot of potential confusion, resentment or frustration down the line.
- Decide on a date and start researching and viewing potential venues.
- Place a deposit on the venue(s) of your choice – either one for everything or separate locations for ceremony and reception.
- Choose a wedding officiant, whether religious clergy or another qualified person, such as a government registrar.
- Submit applications for any necessary licenses.
9 to 11 months in advance:
Begin your search for vendors, likely including the following:
- Bridal gown
- Bridesmaids’ and flower girls’ dresses
- Formal suit hire
- Live music, disco or other entertainers
- Wedding cake baker
- Transportation (limousine or car hire, horse and buggy hire)
- Hair and beauty stylist
- Shoes and accessories
- Wedding lingerie
- Venue decoration
*If your preferred vendor is available on your wedding date, it’s highly recommended you book them immediately to avoid disappointment.
This is also the ideal time to:
- Compile an initial guest list
- Visit wedding fairs and conduct research online or through magazines to gain inspiration for your big day
- Finalise your colours, theme and style
- Choose bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, flower girls and ring bearers, and begin consulting with them regarding their duties
- Choose and buy wedding rings
- Begin looking at honeymoon options
6 to 8 months in advance:
- Choose an invitation style.
- Purchase your wedding dress if you haven’t already.
- Purchase bridal accessories such as veil, gloves, shoes and jewellery.
- Finalise and order or purchase attire for the groom and attendants.
- Choose music for the ceremony and reception.
- Finalise arrangements with the florist.
- Order the wedding cake.
- Sign up for gift registry.
- Order wedding stationary, including order of service, invitations and guest book.
3 to 5 months in advance:
- Finalise your guest list.
- Post invitations.
- Make initial arrangements for accommodation of out of town guests.
- Order or arrange all decorations and favours.
- Meet with the officiant to discuss ceremony details.
- Choose gifts for your attendants and parents.
- Arrange suit and dress fittings.
- Confirm honeymoon arrangements.
- Start writing your wedding vows.
2 months in advance:
- Meet with vendors and finalise arrangements.
- Schedule hair and makeup trials with your beauty consultant.
- Start making or buying wedding favours.
- Finalise music selections for the ceremony and reception.
- If you’re changing your name, submit any necessary documents.
- Finalise ceremony details with the officiant.
- Reserve a hotel room for the wedding night, if necessary.
- Develop your seating plan.
- Meet with the photographer to discuss essential shots.
- Finalise payments and arrangements with vendors.
1 month in advance:
- Collect marriage license.
- Contact any guests you haven’t yet heard from.
- Finalise seating plan.
- Arrange for a final dress fitting.
- Finish writing wedding vows and send a copy to the officiant.
- Confirm honeymoon arrangements.
2 weeks in advance:
- Confirm delivery arrangements with florist.
- Collect dresses and accessories.
- Make sure the men have a final suit fitting.
1 week in advance:
- Reconfirm all details with the vendors.
- Reconfirm wedding day transportation.
- Give final guest numbers to the caterer, officiant and venue staff.
- Have a facial and any other spa treatments you desire.
1 day in advance:
- Hold a wedding rehearsal (if you choose to have one.)
- Get a manicure and a pedicure.
- Reconfirm hair and beauty appointments for the next day.
- Conform all duties and details with the wedding party.
- Try to relax and get some rest!
The day of:
- Eat some breakfast, even if you think you aren’t hungry.
- Have your hair and makeup done.
- Begin dressing two hours before the ceremony is due to begin.
- Take a deep breath and enjoy your big day!
- Ensure any rented formal attire or decorations are returned.
- Send out thank you notes no later than three months after your wedding date.
By following a wedding checklist, and adding in your own personal notes and details, you should be well-organised and set to enjoy the big day of your dreams.