Get the planning schedule right for your wedding

To make it easy for the happy couple on their wedding day, we’ve put together a 12 month planning schedule.

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.

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 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.