Your Wedding Planning Checklist
The 'just engaged' period is an amazing and memorable time in your life, although I'm sure you'll agree it's also a slight blur of excitement and panic of where to start and what to do when! To help you on your way, I've put together a wedding planning checklist to make sure you don't miss any essentials...
12-18 Months Out
- The engagement party: Before you rush head first into wedding planning spend some time enjoying the fact you're engaged (yay!) Celebrate with your friends and family which ever way you like!
- The budget: When you're ready to start planning sit down with your other half and determine how much you would like to spend on your wedding day, be realistic (I know you want the Pinterest dream!) and agree on what you can afford to do. This is essential to the remainder of your wedding planning decisions.
- The vision: Spend time discussing your vision for the day, be clear on what are your 'must haves' and what are your 'nice to haves'. Making sure you're on the same wavelength early on in the process only saves stress later down the line.
- The date/time of year: Consider when you would like to get married, this gives you an idea of the timeframe you're working to. You also need to determine how flexible your preferred date is as this will impact what options are available to you (the more flexible the better!)
- The guest list: A painful task but one that you have to start thinking about early on. Whilst your guest list doesn't need to be final at this stage, you will need an idea of guest numbers so you know what size venue to look for.
- The ceremony type: What type of ceremony would you like to have? Religious? Civil? Symbolic? This is another factor that helps to determine the type of venue that you're looking for.
- The venue: Now it's time to start the venue search (exciting!) Getting the venue booked early on will be a huge weight off your shoulders so try to get the venue sorted during this timeframe if possible.
9-12 Months Out
- The wedding insurance: Now that you have the venue and date secured, get yourself some wedding insurance. Whilst this may feel like an unnecessary expense at an already expensive time you just don't know what life may throw at you between now and your wedding date so I highly recommend the investment (better to be safe than sorry eh?!)
- The wedding party: Time to let your nearest and dearest know they've been chosen to be bridesmaids/best man/ushers - lets be honest, they've been dying to know since you got engaged!
- The save the dates: There's little point in planning a big wedding if none of your guests can make the date, so send out your save the dates nice and early to avoid disappointment. If you're planning a destination wedding then the earlier the better to give your family and friends time to save for the trip.
- The key suppliers: Start looking at a few key suppliers; photographer, caterer and DJ should all be selected around now (you want your pick of the best right?!)
- The dress: Finally, the bit you've been waiting for is here! Time to start searching for the dream dress (swoon!)
6-9 Months Out
- The remaining suppliers: At this stage make sure you have all the suppliers you need. Florist, cake maker, hair & make up, stationary, entertainment and transport should all be booked around now.
- The honeymoon: Don't forget to get things lined up for after the wedding too...now is a good time to get your honeymoon booked (you need time to relax after planning a wedding anyway right?!)
3-6 Months Out
- The ceremony: Perhaps the most important part of your whole day...the ceremony itself. During this period you want to finalise your order of service and start writing your vows.
- The bridesmaids: Time for some more shopping (any excuse!) this time it's for the bridesmaids dresses.
- The rings: Even more shopping...use the rings as the perfect excuse to have a nice day our with your other half, this way it's another memorable occasion to look back on as opposed to a wedding planning chore.
0-3 months Out
- The formal invites: Now that you have most of your plans in place remember to send out formal invites to all of your guests.
- The table plan: Getting this right is likely to take several attempts, so start the table plan when you have plenty of time to play around with it. You'll be glad when it's ticked off!
- The fittings: To avoid a last minute panic, have your first dress fitting about 8 weeks out. If nothing else it's a good excuse to try it on again!
- The trials: As above, avoid any last minute stresses by having hair and make up trials with your chosen artist. If something doesn't look quite like you envisaged it's better to know now than on the morning of your wedding!
- The speeches and thank yous: Time for your other half to start planning that nerve-wracking speech! Meanwhile you can start a list of all the people you need to thank on your wedding day to ensure nobody is missed in all the excitement.
The Final Countdown!
After a year to 18 months of planning, the day you've been waiting for is finally approaching. A week to two weeks before your wedding make sure you CONFIRM, CONFIRM, CONFIRM! Contact all suppliers to double check details, list phone numbers that you may need and then chill. Enjoy the run up to your special day and get some well deserved rest!
See...it wasn't that bad after all!