Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist & Timeline

Tips & Advice // Published by Sam, Editor - August 28, 2015

Planning your wedding can be very time consuming and sometimes fairly stressful. With so much to organise, it can be easy to forget certain aspects of planning and that’s why we have created this little guide to keep you on track and stay organised.

Wedding Planning Checklist

Congratulations on your engagement. Generally, you need guidance through wedding planning activities. It is very important to know all the resources, tips, and tools required to make your dream day a success. The long process can also be very challenging since many details are required.

Nevertheless, below is a perfect wedding planning timeline, you will ever require to achieve the desired results. With this timeline, you are guaranteed of easy time when going through this year-long process. You may also consider having a wedding checklist, to tick the accomplished task. Always remember to stick to what you can easily afford. The entire planning should not be a frustration but a happy task.

After the Engagement

As soon as you are engaged, you’ll want to shout from the rooftops about your upcoming wedding, but the first place to start is to create a wedding folder to keep all of your information in one place. Keeping things organised is one of the main ways you will stay on top of your wedding plans.

Wedding Planning Timeline

With plans to get married next year this is what you need to think about, consider, plan and book ready for your big day.

10 to 12 months before

These are the months when you should lay down the wedding plans, and focus on having a success. The most important thing is to set your budget, before considering anything else. The budget will act as a guide on what to give the first priority between your fiancé and you.

You will narrow down the list and dictate the number of guests at your event. As soon as you hummer the important things, you can proceed to the fun things, like researching vendors and touring different venues. Generally, within these months you are supposed to align your expectations and values so that the remaining process will be smooth.

Finding a location and booking your wedding date is also very important as many popular venues are booked up years in advance. Once you have chosen and booked your venue and the date is set, you want to get your wedding photographer booked up ASAP, as like venues they will be booked 2 and sometimes 3 years in advance!

Finalising your guest list is also important to ensure that you don’t miss anyone out! During this time, visiting wedding fayres can be really useful to get ideas for local suppliers.

To do:

  • Set your wedding budget
  • Have the mood board
  • Tour wedding venues and book
  • Draft the list of guests
  • Look for the best photographer and wedding videographer
  • Choose the wedding party
  • Look for a wedding planner according to your budget

8 to 9 months before

You have already spent 4 months working out on your budget. Therefore, you need to create a vision for the day, decide who will be standing beside you, and do a lot of research on the vendors. At this time, you should start booking the wedding photographers and videographers.

Once your wedding venue and date are booked, it’s time to start looking for your wedding dress. Some dress designers can take up to 8 months to create your wedding dress when made to order, and you may need a bit of time to allow for alterations too. If you’ve left it too late, don’t worry as many bridal designers will offer rush delivery for an additional cost, or alternatively you could buy a sample gown (also saving money!)

Wedding Flowers Checklist

After you have ordered your dress, you can begin to look at other wedding suppliers, such as florists, caterers, transportation and cake makers.

Make sure to book them early enough once you have decided. During booking, it is very important to book a session with him/ her. This is the suitable time, create a rapport and be comfortable before in front of the camera. During this time, you should also focus on the tasks of the visitors. Book the hotel room; create a wedding website, and register gifts. Visitors are the crucial part of any wedding. Therefore, keep working on it throughout, as you narrow to the final list.

Things to do:

  • Meet caterers
  • create the wedding website
  • Book the videographer and photographer
  • Take the engagement photos
  • Order the wedding dress
  • Set up the wedding registry
  • Book rooms for the visitors outside the town

6 to months 7 months before

Now that you have done away with many purchases on your list, the few months should be focused on the team of vendors. You should concentrate more on the wedding fashion, finalizing the list of guests, and officially announce the wedding date.

Once all of your main wedding suppliers have been chosen and booked, you can plan your wedding invitations and get them ready. Some people like to send “Save the Date” cards as a primary way for guests to keep that date free, so you can get these designed and send them beforehand.

Choosing your bridesmaids dresses and groomsmens’ suits should also be completed during this time along with any jewellery or hair accessories for yourself and your bridesmaids. If you are hiring a hairdresser or make-up artist, now is a good time to get trials and choose your suppliers.

This is because everything onward will depend on the list of the guests. If the decision becomes overwhelming, you can start to focus on the honeymoon. Actually, this is the best time to research on the destination. Decide on the kind of honeymoon you would want. You can choose to have a honeymoon of total relaxation or an adventure one. Below are some of the things to have done at this time.

  • Have the final list of your guest
  • Buy the wedding invitations
  • Order the dresses for bridesmaids
  • Reserve the rentals you might require like chairs, linens, or tents
  • Hire the cater and florist
  • Arrange for transportation
  • Send Save the dates
  • Plan for your honeymoon

4 to 5 months before

Congratulations, you are now halfway your wedding planning session. During this time, a lot of your information will begin falling into place. Therefore, you should be prepared to make crucial decisions. During this time frame, you should set up everything for a rehearsal dinner and be making decisions on people to be invited so that you can make the invitations.

You should also focus on the groom and bridal look. Make sure to fit the dress. After making many decisions, try to focus on the cake. Taste the different varieties of flavors, until you settle on the perfect flavor. Additionally, consider the bridal shower and bachelorette party. Choose the people you would want to invite. Create some inspiration for the perfect party look. Below consider some task to take during this time frame.

  • Taste the cake and order
  • Check your wedding invitation
  • Book the dinner rehearsal venues and rehearse
  • Hire the makeup artist and makeup
  • Choose the ceremony recessional and professional, your first dance, music, Father-daughter songs
  • Fit your wedding dress
  • Rent or buy grooms attire
  • Book accommodation for the wedding night
  • Make and send the bridal shower list
  • Send the bachelorette party list to the guests

3 months before

This is the time to get rid of those details, which can be easily overlooked. They include buying a wedding ring, finalizing, and printing the food menus. You should comfortably get off those things and focus on the bigger details in a few months’ time. Since at this time you could have done away on the major items for booking, focus on the actual wedding ceremony.

If you haven’t already made a decision on which cake maker to choose, now is a good time to get this ticked off the to-do list. If you are having traditional fruitcake, this can be made months in advance to let the fruit soak in alcohol. Another thing to consider is how busy wedding cake companies can get.

Schedule a night that you can choose your wedding readings together. It is very wise to choose from the readings that reflect about your marriage and love. When you meet your officiates, plan further how you would wish to personalize your wedding ceremony. You can as well consult when you feel stuck. Some of the things to consider doing at this time frame.

  • Work with the caterer on the final menu
  • Buy the wedding bands
  • Make orders for any wedding favours
  • Meet and discuss with your officiate
  • Print ceremony

2 months before

This is the time to send the wedding cards. This is the major item in the entire wedding planning. Spend much of your time finalizing on the vendors. Confirm if they are still available. You can as well send some down payments to the service team.

Finalise all of your arrangements with your suppliers including your venue, and make sure any menu choices are made. If your guests will be able to choose from a selection of dishes, make sure your wedding invitations and menu choices are sent out earlier than normal to allow time for people to R.S.V.P.

Consider meeting the Dj and choose the playlist. Things to consider to-do in this timeframe.

  • Send the invitation cards
  • Meet the videographer and photographer
  • Choose your favorite playlist
  • Make payments as much as you can
  • Get in touch with all vendors
  • Ensure the groom is set with the attire

1 month to the wedding

It I the crunch time, one month away from your wedding day. Most important thing is to get the marriage license. Upon obtaining your license, make sure to fit again your wedding dress. Check out on the reception dress. Go through your entire list again. You can call on people or friends that you have not heard from them for a long time. Update your caterers.

  • Get the marriage license
  • Get a reception dress
  • Fit your wedding dress for the last time
  • call on some guests
  • Check the bookings of the hotel
  • Buy gifts
  • Consult your vendors
  • Discuss the wedding party

1 week before

With only one week to go, there will be quite a bit to organise. You’ll need to pick up your wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses from your bridal shop. Many suppliers such as cake makers and florists will set up on the day at your venue, so this is a weight lifted from you. If you are getting your hair colour topped up, do this a week before so that it gives your hair a bit of time to grow through and look natural.

Confirm all of the arrangements with your suppliers and sort out times that they will arrive at your venue to work their magic.

Work out on having some thank you notes for your visitors. This is the perfect time to pack for your honeymoon. Book a spa treatment to make sure you are relaxed for the ceremony. Issue the service providers with a final list of guests. Relax since everything is done and fixed by now.

Reportage wedding photography style

The Day Before

Try and relax and enjoy the day. Everything will run smoothly, but if you want to double-check anything, get your bridesmaids to help out too. Get an early night with plenty of sleep (after a glass of champagne of course!) The best is yet to come!

The Wedding Day

Your only task on the wedding day is to enjoy every minute of the big day.

Everything is finalised. Hand over your email and phone to a family member or a close friend and the chief planner of the day. This is day is just for enjoying each moment, and marrying the love of your life.

wedding planning checklist detailed

Download Our Wedding Planning Timeline PDF Chart



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