Planning your wedding whether two years or two months in advance can be stressful. This checklist is a general countdown of all the main things you need to do. Let's face it, wedding planning can be a bit of a headache: from dress shopping to organising the quest list and so on. The list is a basic timeline based on a 16 month engagement and planning time, running through the typical times you would research and book different elements. What if your wedding in 6 months, or worse - 10 weeks? I have this covered as well: 6 months Stress-free wedding Checklist and 10 weeks stress-free wedding checklist.
1. Share good news
Share good news with close family and friends.
If both sets of parents are yet to meet, arrange a get together
2. Wedding style and ideas
Sit down with your other half and discuss your ideal wedding to make sure you're on the same page. Discover your wedding style.
Start a wedding folder or binder. Decide what tasks need completing and who is responsible for what
Begin leafing through bridal, lifestyle, fashion, gardening, design, and food magazines for inspiration.
Envision your wedding and draw up a budget.
Assemble your "planning team."
If you feel overwhelmed, Consider hiring a wedding consultant.
Create wedding and style boards on Pinterest. Check Eva Rale Photography wedding ideas on Pinterest here.
Decide on a church or civil ceremony
3. Pick up a date.
Choose a date (or up to 3 so you can be flexible) - check with important guests to avoid clashes. There is nothing worse than finding your dream venue is booked on your must-have date.
Check with your venues, officiant and important guests before finalizing.
4. Plan budget
Talk budget and decide who is contributing what. Be flexible – budget have tendency to change after vendor and supplier research or consultations. A structure at this point will be invaluable. Determine how much you have to spend, based on your family's’ contributions and your own.
Have some research or ask around your friends and family about the prices. Wedding planner would be very helpful to discover the prices and good deals and of cause the overall planning.
5. Research the venue
Decide whether to have separate locations for the ceremony and the reception, factoring in travel time between the two places.
Reseach venues and ceremony locations.
Explore ceremony and reception venue options.
6. Choose wedding party
As soon as you’re engaged, people will start wondering who’s in. Put together your guest list. Decide on approximate number of guests - this may impact your choice of venues.
Make a head count database to use throughout your planning process, with columns for contact info, RSVP'S (''Please respond'' cards), gifts, and any other relevant information. (Want to keep costs low? It may be brutal, but the best way to do it is to reduce your guest list.) Work out your guest numbers - who to invite and who to leave off the list (Tip: cutting guest numbers by just 10 people could shave a cool £1,400 off your wedding costs!)
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).
79% of you had already chosen your bridesmaids before you got engaged, if you didn't, now's the time to ask them.
You may want to register beforehand for gifts.
Choose your witnesses, Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids, Best Man and Groomsmen, Flower Girl and Ring Bearer.
7. Start assembling a team of wedding pros
Planner. A planner will have relationships with—and insights about—vendors. Will help to plan the weddings if you and your partner have very busy schedule.
Photographer. Can help you with all the planning. Good photographer makes relationships with other vendors. Photographer will be by your side all the wedding day. That's why it is so important to have good relationship with your photographer and know him/her better before the BIG day. Book the photographer here. Check it out Pinterest ideas here.
Videographer. An opportunity to Have your own Wedding movie. Get to see moments missed. Hear sounds and see real emotions. View from another person’s position. Real emotions, expressions and mannerism of your guests which you can relive even years after through watching again your wedding video.
Caterer. A lot of venues do have an in-house team but some venues, especially ones that are unique and not purpose built event spaces, are simply a structure without a catering team onsite. Some venues have kitchen facilities that can be used and others are blank canvases waiting to be transformed. florist, and
Musicians and DJ’s. Hiring live music provides a more emotional experience to your big wedding day and to your guests. Live musicians can interact with your guests and loved ones making it a fantastic entertainment experience for your wedding day. DJ usually trained to choreograph the reception and make announcements, which means you also get an MC to help with the reception's flow
Florists. A wedding florist will be able to help you plan everything from your bouquet to button holes for the groom, floral table decorations and more.
Bespoke Wedding Cake. Unique and beautiful Wedding Cakes which will provide a fabulous centrepiece for your special day. Working together with the supplier you be able to create an individual design, taking into account the number of guests, colour scheme, flowers and any finishing touches they may like to add. Inspiration on pinterest.
Research all the vendors. Keep their contact information in your binder
8. Wedding insurance.
Buy wedding insurance. Sounds dull, but no one wants their dream wedding ruined by accidents or other unplanned mishaps do they? It is to protect couple's investment from circumstances beyond their control, and reimburses expenses incurred.
9. Celebrate your engagement
Throw an engagement party, if you wish. But remember that your invitees should be on your wedding guest list as well.
Arrange your photographer for engagement photos. Get to know your photographer and get use to relax in front of the camera.
Send ‘Save the date’ notifications with venue details to abroad or out of town guests. Set up a Personal Website to keep your friends up to date about your wedding
12 Months before the big day
1. Visit and book venue
Research and consider options for your venue and ceremony decor. Visit and book your reception venue and ceremony location. Decide what type of entertainment you want for ceremony, drinks reception and dancing.
If your wedding venue doesn’t offer its own catering service, look for one now and hire the service this month or early next.
2. Book your officiant.
Book your church or registrar
Arrange a first meeting with your minister or priest to set a date for your wedding.
If you are having a civil ceremony, then book the registry office or civil venue.
3. Hire the photographer and the videographer.
Have consultation appointment with photographer and videographer and book. The best ones get snapped up quickly so book early.
Make it a priority to let them get to know you; it'll help them perform better for you on the day. Contact me for consultation.
3. Wedding dress
Start looking at wedding dresses and work out what you like. Browse wedding dress and veil styles. Put in your folder your favorite styles.
Make appointments with Bridal boutiques. Check Eva’s collection of ideas for your wedding dress on Pinterest.
4. Venue decoration, entertainment
Decide what type of entertainment you want for ceremony, drinks reception and dancing
Book your entertainment now - think about timings and any restrictions your venue might have, too - you'll have time to fine tune the exact songs later.
Book your DJ and/or band.
5. Finalise Guest List
Choose bridesmaids, best man and ushers
Write the guest list. Can guests bring children? What about plus ones? And do you really need to invite the whole office?
6. Make appointments with other vendors
Do research for invitations, hair stylist and makeup artists.
Make appointments and bookings for a consultation.
7. Send invitations
Send out Save the date cards or emails. Important if you're getting married abroad, or during a very busy time of year.
Send ‘Save the date’ notifications with venue details to abroad or out of town guests
1. Purchase a dress.
Buy the wedding dress! You’ll need to schedule time for at least three fittings. Veil shopping can be postponed for another two to three months.
Note: if you're going bespoke, you'll need to allow at least six months for completion, and bear in mind alteration times and costs, too.
It's a good time to consider shoes and any other accessories to complete the look.
2. Accommodation & transportation
Pick three hotels at different price points close to the reception venue.
Reserve a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests.
Look for transport, car hire for yourself and for quest and family if reception separate from venue. Consider limos, minibuses, trolleys, and town cars. (But know that low-to-the-ground limos can make entries and exits dicey if you’re wearing a fitted gown.)
3. Start planning honeymoon
Start honeymoon planning: from budget to location, flights to hotel.
Make sure that your passports are up-to-date, and schedule doctors’ appointments for any shots you may need.
You might find surprisingly good deals this far in advance.
4. Ceremony. Entertainment
Contact rental companies if you need to rent anything for the ceremony or reception, such as chairs, tables and a tent.
5. Start investing in yourself
Establish a fitness routine. Look the most beautiful and confident on your wedding day.
Establish a skin care/beauty routine.
Start composing a day-of timeline. Draw up a schedule of the event and slot in each component (The ceremony, the cake-cutting, the first dance).
2. Extra entertainment
Think about extra entertainment such as a magician or fireworks
3. Wedding Cake
Choose and book your cake maker. Order wedding cake. Settle on a showstopper - and bear in mind flavours, composition, how it will be transported and the type of icing if you're planning on saving any.
Arrange to visit caterer. Do the taste test. Firm up your menu and drinks with your caterer, bearing in mind allergy sufferers and vegetarians where possible. Be inspired by our food and drink ideas!
4. Wedding outfit and accessories
Buy your shoes, underwear and accessories.
Kit out your fiancé and ushers. This may be a job for him, though 3/4 of you said you'd help him pick his suit. Hiring outfits are a great way to save money, particularly if the men will wear morning suits or tails.
Go bridesmaid dress and accessories shopping! No doubt, they have had their say on yours - so now it's your turn to sit in the advisor's chair. (Tip: discuss who is buying what straight away to avoid awkward conversations later)
Pick your wedding rings. This will give you time for resizing and engraving.
5. Start with DECOR planning
Order or start making your wedding favours.
Order the stationery! Invites, envelopes, place cards, menus and seating plan. Or if you're DIY-ing it, it's time to get cracking. Though why not have a go at making your own?
Think about reception and church/registry decoration.
6. Church or civil ceremony
Choose your readings and music. If it's a church wedding, it's time to discuss with the minister and musicians - but if it's a civil ceremony, you'll need to find out what's permitted and adapt accordingly.
Choose readings, poems and hymns
Start writing your vows
Decide on prayers, readings and music for mass booklets — check with your priest / registrar
7. Beauty trials
Book hair and makeup trials.
Have an engagement photoshoot session (no inspiration?) with your photographer to see how your makeup and hair looks in pictures. Get confident for your wedding day. This is a good time to make some changes if you are not happy with the result or wanted to try other options. Book now
Bridal Photosession – another idea for photoshoot if you have a complete outfit. Give me a shout!
8. Honeymoon & Parties
Start planning honeymoon
Ensure passports are in date for honeymoon - order new ones if necessary
Start planning Hen & Stag Parties - well not you, the best man and bridesmaids should!
9. Gift list and wedding dress
Choose your gift list. When it comes to creating your list you will have the choice from more than 350 leading and boutique brands including Wedgwood, Yves Delorme, Kate Spade, The White Company, Ralph Lauren, Dualit, Le Creuset, KitchenAid, Garden Trading, Cornishware, Missoni Home, Jo Malone and many more. More ideas about the gift list
Travelmood do a Honeymoon account where guests can pay in. Details here
Go for a 2nd dress fitting
1. Wedding rehearsal
Book the rehearsal and rehearsal-dinner venues. Negotiate the cost and the menu. If you’re planning to host a day-after brunch for guests, book that place as well.
Inform photographer about the rehearsal if you didn’t do yet.
Book your wedding night accommodation.
Need visas or inoculations for your honeymoon? Find out and book.
Arrange to visit a Florist . Let's talk flowers. From your bridal bouquet to reception decor, discuss seasonality of your favourite blooms and the all-important arrangement composition with your florist. Don't forget to ask them important questions.
Choose flowers for: wedding party, attendants, venues, cake, etc.
4. Wedding smell
Pick (or even make!) your bridal fragrance. Boutiques like Jo Malone or Bloom offer special bridal services and are well worth checking out.
Discuss the services and banns with your minister. It may be unromantic, but - regardless of religion or culture - this is a legal requirement that formalises your intent to marry. Attend a reading of the banns. They're usually held three consecutive Sundays before your wed-day. Visit www.gov.uk for what you need to know.
Organise a rehearsal before the big day and make sure the most important wedding party members will be there.
2. Your health
Keep going on your fitness program and healthier food option.
Beautiful skin begins with healthy lifestyle. While heredity may determine how your skin looks, behaves, you can improve it by taking good care of yourself. Skincare basics include eating the right foods, drinking plenty of water, exercising, getting enough sleep, protecting your skin from the sun, not smoking, and limiting your intake of both caffeine and alcohol.
3. Small notes
Finalize honeymoon plans and ensure all documents are in order.
Plan ceremony and reception seating.
Experiment with hair and veil with stylist.
Finalize readers and readings.
Purchase: toasting flutes, serving pieces, guestbook (ask your photographer for a guest book with your engagement pictures), flower basket and ring bearer pillow.
Finalize reception menu.
Start wearing in your shoes at home
Write speeches and thank yous
Organise gifts for parents, bridesmaids, groomsmen and each other (Boudoir photossesion)
Finalize the order of the ceremony and the reception.
Make a list of the people giving toasts.
Print menu cards, if you like, as well as programs. No need to go to a printer, if that’s not in your budget: you can easily create these on your computer.
1. Vendor time
Finalize the order of the ceremony and the reception.
Review the playlist with the band or DJ. Though you probably won’t be able to dictate every single song played, you should come prepared with a wish list.
Create wedding day timeline and send to your vendors, officiant and wedding party. Giving them a first draft now allows ample time for tweaks and feedback.
Meet photographer to decide on what types of photos you want (a storyboard) and to advise of the key people at the wedding. Group Shots. You should meet at the venue if you can. Or Contact photographer to re-confirm booking
Contact hair stylist and makeup artist to re-confirm booking
Contact your florist to re-confirm booking
Contact your caterer to re-confirm booking
Contact your cake maker to re-confirm details.
2. A small party
Arranging a night out with your girlfriends generally falls to the maid of honor. But if she hasn’t mentioned one to you by now, feel free to ask—for scheduling purposes, of course!
If a celebration is in the works. Book spa and beauty treatments for you and your bridal party.
Lay out the content for Wedding Programs.
Apply for marriage license: order 2-3 extra.
Finalize seating arrangements.
Finalize fittings for wedding party and parents.
Write out honeymoon itinerary for family at home.
4. Check on how everybody getting on
If you've delegated tasks to your fiancé, 'maids or family, check how they're getting on - you may need to pick up the slack to make sure everything's sorted.
Try on your entire wedding outfit! Forgotten anything? Now's the time to get it.
5. Your beauty
Make sure you've got that bridal glow sorted by booking any other beauty treatments (fake tan, manicure etc.) Here you can find top five fake tans.
Bride: Have final gown fitting. (with shoes & undergarments). Bring your maid of honor along to learn how to bustle your dress. Have the dress pressed and bring it home. For peace of mind, you may want to schedule a fitting the week of your wedding. You can always cancel the appointment if you try on the dress then and it fits perfectly.
Call all bridesmaids. Make sure they have their gowns ready for the wedding.
Make last-minute adjustments with vendors.
Create a wedding program to hand out to guests.
Ensure you have paid all of your suppliers and vendors
Confirm honeymoon bookings
Ensure that you get your Engagement ring cleaned
Pack for honeymoon.
Pick up wedding rings.
Write Thank You notes as gifts are received.
Mail the rehearsal-dinner invitations.
E-mail and print directions for drivers of transport vehicles. This gives the chauffeurs ample time to navigate a route.
Assign seating. Draw out table shapes on a layout of the room to help plan place settings. Write the names of female guests on pink sticky notes and the names of male guests on blue sticky notes so you can move people about without resketching the entire setting.
Get your hair cut and colored, if desired.
Delegate small wedding-day tasks. Choose someone to bustle your dress, someone to carry your things, someone to be in charge of gifts (especially the enveloped sort), someone to hand out tips, and someone to be the point person for each vendor.
Send a timeline to the bridal party. Include every member’s contact information, along with the point people you’ve asked to deal with the vendors, if problems arise.
Send the final guest list to the caterer and all venues hosting your wedding-related events. Typically, companies close their lists 72 hours in advance.
Make arrangements for the caring of pets and plants while on honeymoon.
Sort out local currency for your honeymoon
Wear in your new wedding shoes
Reconfirm arrival times with vendors.
Brief your bridesmaids, ushers and best man on your plans and give them emergency numbers
Collect groomswear if you’ve hired it (don’t forget to arrange someone to return hired items too!)
Collect your wedding dress from your boutique
Have a manicure and pedicure. Or Get spa treatments for you and the bridal party.
Give ceremony and reception site managers a schedule of vendor delivery and setup times, plus contact numbers.
Get manicure, massage, waxing & all your preening and prep
Do full wedding dress rehearsal from underwear to veil
Pack an overnight bag for the reception
Lay out wedding clothes.
Prepare wedding day emergency kit.
Reconfirm details with photographer (dates, times, location, contact numbers)
Organise for note or gift to be delivered to your partner on the wedding day
Ensure your waxing/tanning is completed
Have your teeth whitened
Arrange to have your wedding cake delivered to your venue
Give reception site/caterer final guest head count. Include vendors, such as the photographer or band members, who will expect a meal. Ask how many extra plates the caterer will prepare.
Groom: Get your hair trimmed.
Attend bachelor/ette parties.
2-3 days before
Bride: If you need to, have your gown pressed or steamed.
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
1 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.
Ensure the cake is on track to be delivered to reception venue
Rehearse ceremony with full wedding party ceremony readers your officiant at the ceremony site to rehearse and iron out details.
Help decorate the venue.
Run through the order of the day with the bridal party to ensure everyone knows what their roles and responsibilities are
Give your marriage license to your officiant.
Get a good night’s rest
Eat a good breakfast! Allow yourself plenty of time to get ready.
Present parents and each other with gifts.
Give wedding bands to the best man and maid of honor to hold during the ceremony.
Give best man the officiant's fee envelope, to be handed off after the ceremony.
Give wedding rings and officiant fee to best man.
Get flowers delivered to the bride’s house
Assign a family member or attendant to be the photographer's contact so he knows who is who.
Relax, smile, and soak in every incredible moment.
Write and send thank-you notes to gift-bearing guests and vendors who were especially helpful.
Prearrange for someone to return any rentals.
Pre plan for attendants to take the bride's gown for cleaning and return the groom's tux to the rental shop.
Put your favorite wedding photo on a beautiful Custom Canvas. Choose pictures for the album