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Your Wedding Checklist

| planning | May 20, 2014

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!


wedding checklist

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
  • Photographer
  • Videographer
  • Live music, disco or other entertainers
  • Caterer
  • Wedding cake baker
  • Florist
  • 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.

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