At this time of year it is very likely that there are lots of new brides and grooms out there reading the blog. Christmas and new year are the busiest time for proposals, so I’ll make a strong guess that many of you are currently in a bit of a mind field, searching the internet for advice and trying to figure out just how you are going to pull of the wedding of the year, while keeping your sanity!
Well never fear as today I am here to help!
With many years as a wedding planner behind me I have compiled a 12 month to do list just for you to help you plan your dream wedding. It includes pretty much everything you will need when it comes to panning your big day, from when to book the venue, to what to do on the actual day of the wedding. I hope you find it useful!
12 months before the wedding
• Pick a date for your wedding
• Decide what sort of wedding you want; take your time with this.
• Write up your guest list and decide on numbers
• Work out your budget and find out if any family members will be able to contribute.
• Work out how you are going to spend your budget and work out what is important to the both of you
and divide up the budget accordingly
• Open a wedding bank account
• If having a church wedding, visit your priest and book the church
• If having a civil ceremony, contact your local registrar to book the date and time and an appointment
to give notice of marriage
• Book a wedding planner if you want someone for Full Planning
• Research venues, visit top 3 – 5
• Start looking at blogs/internet/magazine ideas and inspiration
• Don’t make any rash decisions, think about it all and way up your options on all decisions to be made
• Organise your engagement party
11 months before the wedding
• Make final decision on your venue and book
• Book Your Photographer
• Take out wedding insurance
• Bride go dress shopping
• Choose your best man, bridesmaids and ushers
• If reception venue requires a marquee, book this along with furniture and any equipment
• If you need to hire in outdoor caterer and bar, look for these and get menu ideas
• Look for wedding invitations
• Compile names and address for gust list and send out save the date cards if you decide to have them
10 months before the wedding
• Book your wedding planner if you want someone for partial planning
• Decide on your band/DJ/entertainment and book
• Go on engagement shoot with photographer if you are having one
• If venue is providing food, talk through the options with them.
• Decide on themes and colours
• Book the videographer
9 months before the wedding
• Select a florist and visit them, talk through your ideas, book.
• Bride go shopping with your bridesmaids for their dresses and if necessary your mother and
mother in law for their outfits.
• Groom look at suits for you and the groomsmen
8 months before the wedding
• Contact rental companies and book chairs, tables etc. (if needed)
• Start planning your honeymoon and book
• Make a start at ring shopping
• Order wedding cake
7 months before the wedding
• Check your passport, visas etc. (for honeymoon)
• Book the time off work
• Book the transport for the wedding party and cars for bridal party
• Bride book your hair dresser and make-up artist
• Draw up a gift list at chosen department store/charity/honeymoon (these need to be ready to
send out in the wedding invitations)
• Order Rings
6 months before the wedding
• Send out wedding invitations if you are not sending out save the dates
• Finalise arrangements for the venue and the church
• Bride buy wedding accessories, shoes, headwear, veil, and bag.
• Organise the Stag and hen party
• Book your wedding planner if you want someone for on the day co-ordination
• Attend pre wedding counselling or wedding classes if requested by the church, or start to visit
regularly if required for the ceremony.
• If you are adding any DIY elements to your wedding, projects should be on their way by now.
5 months before the wedding
• Groom; You and the men get the rest of your outfits, shoes etc.
• Decide on decoration for reception venue
4 months before the wedding
• Book your wedding night hotel, if you are not staying at the reception venue
• Look at options for favours if having them, and any extra decoration.
• Plan the ceremony and reception music.
• Choose gifts for bridesmaids, best man, and parents
• Send out invitations if you have already sent out save the dates
3 months before the wedding
• Decide on guest book ideas
• Decide on how to display table plan/escort cards
• Decide on place for cards and presents
• Select readings for the ceremony and give to the relevant people so they can practice
• Choose hymns for the ceremony or songs if a civil.
• Bride go for fitting for your dress and also your bridesmaids
2 months before the wedding
• Get order of service made up and printed.
• Chase guests who have not sent an RSVP
• Put together seating plan
• Make or order place cards and table number/names
• Bride have hair and make-up trial
• Groom enjoy your Stag Do
• Bride enjoy your Hen do
1 month before the wedding
• Write your vows if you are choosing to use your own
• Finalise every detail and double check bookings with all suppliers
• Confirm honeymoon reservations
• Pick up wedding rings
• Delegate jobs for the wedding day
• Go on pre wedding shoot with the photographer If not had an engagement shoot.
• Confirm numbers and food allergies with the caterers and draw up final seating plan
• Groom write your speech and make sure the best man, father and anyone else giving one have done
theirs as well.
2 weeks before the wedding
• Complete final song list for the band or DJ if you have any special requests for them and send it to
• Bride; Go for you final colour and or cut with your hairdresser and have a final practice run.
• Bride draw up list for change of name, ready for when you get back from honeymoon
• If possible get a final walk through at the venue with the suppliers so everyone knows where and
when they need to be. Final walk through with wedding planner
1 week before the wedding
• Confirm details with all participants
• Confirm all details with all suppliers
• Supply the venue with suppliers list of requirements i.e. band/DJ set up time, setup space for florist
• Supply the venue and church/registrar with a schedule of all the suppliers delivery and set up time
and contact numbers
• Groom get your hair trimmed and any last minute beauty treatments
• Do your honeymoon packing
• Get honeymoon currency
2-3 days before the wedding
• Bride pick up your dress
• Bride get your nails done and any last minute beauty treatments
• Bride if necessary get your and your bridesmaids’ dresses steamed and
• Groom make sure you and the groomsmen pick up your outfits
• Hand over all favours, and name cards to the reception venues, or decorator/planner
• Call car rental companies for final pickup times for the day
• Write up wedding day time table and give to the bridal party so they know where and when they need
to be anywhere
1 day before the wedding
• Sort out any monies to be paid to suppliers on the day and give to family members or planner to look
• Get an early night
On the day
• Give wedding rings to the best man
• Make sure that the designated family member/planner has the final payments for the suppliers
• Designate someone to work with the photographer so they know who everyone is for the group shots
• Bride once you are ready give your make up to either your mum or your bridesmaid to look after
• Make sure that everyone has their flowers once they have been delivered
• Bride, put your engagement ring on your right hand
• HAVE FUN………..it’s your wedding day, the best day of your life!!!!!!