To make it easy for the happy couple on their wedding day, we’ve put together a 12 month planning schedule.
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
• 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.
• 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 cheques 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
• Get a good night’s rest
The Wedding Day!
• There’s so much to do - but 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 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.