A 12 month schedule for planning a wedding

As soon as you get engaged/once you’re serious about planning the wedding

As soon as you get engaged/once you’re serious about planning the wedding

Sit down with your other half and discuss your ideal wedding to make sure you’re on the same page

Draw up a budget

Start planning the guest list. Decide on approximate number of guests - this may impact your choice of venues

Pick potential wedding dates - check with important guests to avoid clashes

Research potential wedding venues and ceremony locations - if separate

Pop the question to your bridesmaids and groomsmen

Enlist any helpers/talented friends of family with aspects of the wedding (for the cake, flowers, dresses etc)

Optional: Have an engagement party

12 Months Before The Wedding

Visit and book reception venue and ceremony locations

Research potential wedding services and suppliers – photographer, florist, invitations, cake, decor, music, hair and make up

Consider and review wedding insurance options

Decide what type of entertainment you want for ceremony, drinks reception and dancing

Book Photographer

Book Videographer

Research and consider options for your venue and ceremony decor

Start wedding dress research

Book Cars

8/10 months before

Book ceremony music, band and dj for reception

Research and reserve accommodations for guests

Contact decor hire companies if you need to rent anything for ceremony/reception, such as chairs, tables, and tent.

Book Honeymoon

Order wedding cake

Book Groom’s and Groomsmen’s Suits

Book Pre-Marriage Course

6/8 months before

Send Save the Date cards - important if you’re getting married abroad, or during a very busy time of year

Book ceremony musicians

Meet with florist to discuss options

Ensure passports are in date for honeymoon –  order new ones if necessary

Start planning honeymoon

Plan Hen & Stag Parties - well not you, the best man and bridesmaids should!

Order wedding cake

Choose and order invitations

4/6 months before

Choose bridesmaids’ dresses

Attend pre-marriage counseling, if required

Order invitations and wedding stationery

Order wedding rings

Shop for formalwear

Organise the legalities – give at least 3 months notice to registrar or priest/religious celebrant

Decide on prayers, readings and music for mass booklets – check with your priest / registrar

Organise invitations and order of service booklets

Arrange travel vaccinations if necessary

Gather addresses for guest list – create spreadsheet for RSVPs

2/3 months before

Send invitations to guests

Order wedding cake

Rent the men’s formalwear

Hire wedding transport

Attend dress fittings

Choose wedding rings

Organise gifts for parents, bridesmaids, groomsmen and each other

Book hairdresser and organise hair trial

Book a makeup artist and go for a trial

4 weeks before

Have final wedding dress fitting

Make any last-minute adjustments with suppliers

Finalise details for, and order mass booklets/order of ceremony

Order and plan in-room welcome baskets for out-of-town guests

2 weeks before

Review final RSVP list and call any guests who have not yet responded

Deliver must-have shot lists to photographer and videographer. Include who should be in formal portraits and determine when portraits will be taken

1 week before

Give reception site/caterer final guest head count

Supply location manager with a list of vendor requests such as a table for DJ or setup space needed by florist.

Create your table plan

Print placecards

Call all wedding  suppliers to confirm arrangements, create timetable for day

Give ceremony and reception site managers a schedule of vendor delivery and setup times, plus contact numbers.

Get manicure, massage, waxing

Do full wedding dress rehearsal from underwear to veil

Pack an overnight bag for the reception

Pack for the honeymoon

Organise money to be paid to suppliers on the day

2-3 days before

Make last minute changes to table plan if necessary

Groom: Go for final fitting and pick up your formalwear.

Groom: Ask the best man to make sure all groomsmen attend fittings and pick up their outfits.

Confirm pick-up times with wedding car company

Reconfirm final details with all vendors. Discuss any necessary last-minute substitutions.

Day before

Drop off place cards, table cards, menus, favours, table plan to reception coordinator

Provide all wedding professionals with an emergency phone number to call on the day of the wedding.

Write checks and/or talk to wedding hosts (usually your parents, if not you) about any final balances to be paid at the end of the reception.

Ensure the cake is collected from cake shop and delivered to reception

Rehearse ceremony with full wedding party  ceremony readers your officiant at the ceremony site to rehearse and iron out details.

Get a good night’s rest

The Wedding Day!

There’s so much to do, this is a just a short version

Give the gifts for your parents to the best man/bridesmaid for after the speeches

Get flowers delivered to the bride’s house

Give wedding bands to the best man to hold during the ceremony

Give best man the officiant’s fee envelope, to be given after the ceremony

Introduce your reception site manager to your wedding planner, or bridesmaid/bestman for questions or problems during the reception.

Assign a family member or attendant to be the photographer’s contact so he knows who is who.

After the Wedding

Prearrange for someone to return any rentals.

Preplan for attendants to take the bride’s gown for cleaning and return the groom’s tux to the rental shop.

Write and send thank-you notes to gift-bearing guests and vendors who were especially helpful.