When it comes to planning a wedding, it pays to get organised early and not leave anything to chance. This is one of the biggest days of your life and as well as the emotional commitment, a lot of money is often invested in the event and ensuring it goes smoothly will help you enjoy every second.
AFTER YOUR ENGAGEMENT
❏ Decide on a budget for the wedding day, and the date and time you would ideally prefer.
❏ Decide on the style of wedding you would like (such as formal or informal) and a theme.
❏ Compile a rough guest list to be edited as needed, to get numbers down to the size you have planned.
❏ Look at venues for the ceremony and reception, which will need to know the number of guests.
❏ Start your health and beauty regime.
WHEN YOU HAVE SET THE DATE
❏If you are planning an outdoor event, make sure you have covering if needed, or an alternative venue.
❏ Book a celebrant or minister of religion and discuss your requirements.
❏ If hire equipment is needed, find a reputable one and book whatever you need such as tables, chairs and marquee.
❏ Start looking at caterers if the venue you have chosen does not supply the food, and think about the menu and drinks.
❏ Look at wedding gowns and bridesmaid’s dresses, or a look at dressmaker’s previous work.
❏ Start looking at photographers’ and videographers’ portfolios.
❏ Look at wedding stationery designs.
❏ Start to think about what kind of entertainment you would like such as DJ or band.
❏ Look at wedding transport and get some quotes.
❏ Choose your bridal party.
❏ Start thinking about your honeymoon destination: if you think you may head overseas, look out for special and cheap flights.
❏ Keep up your beauty and fitness program.
SIX MONTHS BEFORE
❏ Book your caterer.
❏ Book a photographer, videographer and photo booth.
❏ Book the entertainment.
❏ Book wedding transport.
❏ Give your overseas guests notice of the wedding date.
❏ Get wedding stationery printed including invitations, RSVPs, thank you notes, place cards etc.
❏ Get dressmaker to start work on your gown and bridesmaid’s dresses if they are being made.
❏ Make preliminary bookings for your honeymoon, particularly if you are planning to go overseas.
❏ Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months until after the trip, and if you are changing your surname, you may have to do some alterations.
❏ Make appointments for groom and groomsmen for suit fittings and accessories.
FOUR TO FIVE MONTHS BEFORE
❏ Choose a bridal registry and get cards to be included in the invitations.
❏ Select the items you want on your Bridal Registry.
❏ Decide on bouquets and floral arrangements.
❏ Look at wedding cakes.
❏ Look at hair and make-up artists’ portfolios.
❏ Mothers of the bride and the groom may want to coordinate their outfits, so give them an indication of your colours.
❏ Book the bridal suite for the wedding night.
THREE MONTHS BEFORE
❏ Organise wedding rings.
❏ Start writing your vows if you have decided to say your own, as well as hymns and readings if you choose to have them, and music the organist will play.
❏ Buy gifts for each other and for your attendants.
❏ Arrange accommodation for any overseas or interstate guests.
❏ Give venue/caterers an estimated number of guests.
❏ Finalise the menu, choose the wines and champagne.
❏ Make a tentative guest seating plan: how many tables you want, who is at the bridal table, where the DJ/band will be?
❏ Have a day with your hair and make-up artist to experiment with styles, and be sure to take your headpiece with you.
❏ Make appointment with hair and make-up artist for you and your bridesmaids for the wedding day.
❏ Organise bombonieres and other personal touches for your wedding.
❏ Make an appointment for the final fitting of everyone’s wedding attire.
❏ Send out invitations.
❏ Get documentation from celebrant and fill in forms.
❏ Decide on wedding music: from walking down the aisle to the first dance.
FOUR TO SIX WEEKS BEFORE
❏Get the wedding rings engraved, if required.
❏ Organise the wedding rehearsal.
❏ Make wedding itineraries for all the people involved with times, maps etc.
❏ Reconfirm drivers, florist, entertainment, venue.
❏ Have another fitting for bridal party.
❏ Appoint your MC if you choose to have one.
❏ Make sure all your speakers are thinking about their speeches.
❏ Keep your guest list and RSVPs up to date.
❏ Make sure your attendants organise your hen’s or buck’s night at least a week before the wedding to avoid any hangovers on the day!
❏ Book an appointment at a beauty salon for at least two weeks before the wedding day for any waxing or facials, and organise a manicure and pedicure for a few days before.
❏ Buy your wedding lingerie and spare hosiery for both yourself and the bridesmaids.
❏ Take out insurance for your wedding gifts and rings.
❏ Have your engagement ring professionally cleaned and polished.
❏ Confirm final numbers with venue and caterers and go over seating plans again.
❏ Write place cards and make a master seating plan display so your guests can see where their tables are and also give one to the reception venue for their information.
❏ Make sure the entire bridal party has a final fitting.
❏ Check all speeches are well on their way.
❏ If you have time, start writing thank you notes as you receive gifts.
❏ Wear in your wedding shoes and scruff the bottom to ensure you don’t slip.
❏ Confirm EVERYTHING once again.
❏ Start getting plenty of much needed rest.
❏ Reconfirm bridal suite.
❏ Have the wedding rehearsal.
❏ If leaving on your honeymoon soon after your wedding, pack your bags to avoid leaving anything behind.
❏ Pick up tickets and itinerary for your honeymoon.
❏ Organise travellers cheques and travel insurance if needed.
THE NIGHT BEFORE
❏ Lay out wedding attire ready for the following day.
❏ Take a bath, light a candle and listen to relaxing music.
❏ (Try to) Get a good night’s sleep.
THE BIG DAY
❏Have a healthy breakfast as you want to feel fantastic for the best day of your life.