wedding planning

Wedding Planning Countdown

Take a look at our handy wedding checklist of what you need to do before your big day!

Our handy wedding checklist can help you stay on track and show you how to plan a wedding in 12 months with ease.

The day you’ve dreamed of has finally arrived! The love of your life has proposed, you have a beautiful engagement ring and now the excitement of planning your wedding day has finally begun. Now it’s time to start planning, but where do you begin?

Planning your wedding is one of the most exciting and enjoyable things you will ever do but it can also be the most stressful. That’s why we’ve put together a handy 12 month wedding planning checklist so you can stay on track with the arrangements you have already made as well as what’s left to do. 

12 Months To Go

With 1 year to go until the big day, there is a lot you need to think about. If you’ve not started making plans yet, the first thing you need to do is set a wedding budget. You might also want to hire a wedding planner to help you stay organised and alleviate some of the stress that comes with wedding planning.

Draw up a guest list

Decide who you want to invite. This will depend on how many people your desired venues can accommodate and also whether you want a large or intimate wedding. But be sure to invite your closest friends and family members to celebrate with you.

Visit and book your reception and ceremony venues

Keep an open mind when visiting wedding venues. Some venues on your shortlist may be too large or too small for what you’re after while others may be out of your price range. That’s why it’s important to stay open-minded as you may find a venue you love that you might not have considered before.

Research vendors for a photographer, videographer, florist, invitations, decor, hair and makeup

Vendors can get booked up months, even years in advance, especially if you are planning your wedding in the peak summer season. So, start to research vendors and try to find a few that you like in case some are unavailable.

8 Months To Go

Book vendors for a photographer, videographer, florist, invitations, decor, hair and makeup

Contact the vendors you like to see who is available for your wedding date. Doing this in advance gives you plenty of time to find alternatives if the vendors you’d originally wanted are fully booked.

Send out save the dates

This is a good time to tell your day and evening guests when the wedding will be held by sending out a save the date. You might want to do this via post or by creating a wedding website and notifying people online.

Book your entertainment

Whether you’re having a band, DJ or even children’s entertainment, book them in now so you can be sure they will be there for your big day.

Research and book accommodation for your guests

Are there places to stay near your wedding venue? Will your guests need to take a taxi or use local transport? Research all of this now and if you have a wedding website, you should add this information to the site to help your guests plan their day.

Order your wedding cake

Decide on the style, flavours and find a baker to make your wedding cake. You might be able to try some samples first and look at their previous work so once you have found someone, order your wedding cake. 

Shop around for your bridal party attire

Find a date that works for everyone and start booking appointments at your favourite bridal shops. Choose a colour that you love, and that will suit all of your bridesmaids, and have fun while shopping for bridesmaid dresses as a team.

Recruit a wedding team to help with planning

Whether you already have a wedding planner in place or you want to share the planning with your closest friends, now is the time to ask. Gather your bridal party so you can start planning the hen do, wedding dress shopping and hair and makeup trials.

6 Months To Go

Book your wedding dress fitting

You might be really organised and have found your dream dress already but if you haven’t, this is the absolute latest you should leave it. Bridal appointments can fill up months in advance so choose the designers you love and book appointments with local stockists to begin the search for your wedding dress.

Confirm your bridal party attire and arrange fittings

Once you’ve chosen your bridesmaid dresses, it’s time to order them. This gives plenty of time to book alterations if needed.

Have your maid of honour and best man book the hen party and stag do

Give them a rough idea of what you’d like to do for your hen and stag do. Whether it’s going abroad, enjoying a city break or relaxing in a spa, be sure to tell your maid of honour or best man what you’d like to do for your hen or stag do in advance.

Book your wedding transport

Whether you want to arrive in a traditional car, dreamy horse and carriage or by double-decker bus, now is the time to book your wedding transport. If your guests are required to travel to different venues, you may also want to book transport for them too.

Review wedding insurance

If you don’t already have wedding insurance, now is the time to get it. This can cover you if anything goes missing or goes wrong on the day but be sure to check that the policy covers everything you need.

Research your honeymoon

Whether you’re dreaming of sandy beaches, theme parks or snow-capped mountains, now is the time to think of where you might like to go on your honeymoon. Spend time as a couple researching far off places you’d love to visit together to celebrate your marriage.

4 Months To Go

Book your honeymoon

Once you’ve chosen your dream destination, now is the time to book your honeymoon!

Send out invitations

Gather the physical or email addresses of your wedding party and start sending invitations out to your daytime and evening guests.

Organise the legalities

From organising your marriage license to signing the marriage register, now is the time to plan the legal side of your wedding.

Choose and purchase outfits for flower girls and page boys

It’s important to leave this as late as possible as children can grow quickly but now is a good time to buy outfits for any flower girls or page boys you may have.

Attend dress fittings

Once your wedding dress has arrived, you will need to book a dress fitting with your bridal shop. They will then tailor the dress to fit your body perfectly.

2 Months To Go

Book a hair and makeup trial

Choose a hairstyle and makeup look that suits your style and complements your wedding dress. Book an appointment with your hairstylist and makeup artist for a trial run before the wedding.

Choose and order wedding rings

Your wedding rings might need to be specially made or ordered in so allow yourself some time and don’t leave it until the last minute. Choose and order your rings around 2 months before the wedding.

Buy all other hair accessories, for example, shoes and hair pieces

If you don’t have a hairpiece or haven’t yet chosen your shoes now is the time to do it. Ideally, you should have your shoes by the time you go for your wedding dress fitting so the length can be altered accordingly.

Have a menu tasting with your venue or caterer

If there are a few options on the menu, now is a good time to try them all and choose a menu that both you and your guests will love.

2 Weeks To Go

Print place cards

Print off your place cards now or order them if you will not be printing them yourself to be sure they arrive in time.

Sit with your venue and draw out a schedule with the wedding coordinator

It will be helpful for both you and your wedding party to know how the day will flow so that nothing comes as a surprise. This can also be added to your wedding website if you have one.

Print off the running order of the day

Once you are happy with the running of your wedding day, print it off and stick it on the fridge so that you and your partner can familiarise yourself with how the day will run.

Sort all payments

Most vendors will require payment before the wedding day so if you’ve not already done so, complete all of your payments now.

2 Days To Go

Confirm pick-up times with wedding transport

Contact your wedding transportation company and confirm pick-up times for your wedding day.

Reconfirm final details with all vendors

Call, email or text your wedding vendors to confirm everyone and everything is in place for your wedding day to run smoothly. 

Drop off place cards, menus, favours and table plans at the venue

Deliver any decor, accessories, place cards, menus, favours and the table plan to the venue so they can ensure everything is in the right place on the day.

Confirm the cake is set to be delivered

Contact the baker you have appointed to confirm a delivery time.

The Big Day

Give any gifts to those who have helped e.g. parents and the rest of the bridal party

You might want to hand over gifts before the wedding begins, as you are getting ready, or wait until the speeches are taking place. But a token of thanks will go a long way with those who have helped you plan your big day.

Hand over the wedding bands to the best man

Before the ceremony begins, be sure to hand over the wedding bands to the best man ready for when you say ‘I do’.

Enjoy yourself!

Most importantly, enjoy yourself! Wedding planning can be stressful so when the big day comes around, be sure to relax, let loose and take it all in. It is a special day that you won’t want to forget so be sure to enjoy every minute!

Your wedding day is one of the biggest days of your life. Yes, it can be stressful, but if you have a plan in place, you can make sure that everything is completed on time and running smoothly. To stay on track, download our handy 1 year wedding plan checklist to help plan your big day with ease!
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