So you're engaged...now what?
- Sit down with your other half and discuss your ideal wedding to make sure you're on the same page
- Draw up a budget
- Start planning the guest list. Decide on approximate number of guests - this may impact your choice of venues
- Pick potential wedding dates - check with important guests to avoid clashes
- Research potential wedding venues and ceremony locations - if separate
- 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)
- Optional: Have an engagement party
12 Months Before The Wedding
- Visit and book your reception venue and ceremony location
- Research potential wedding services and suppliers - photographer, florist, invitations, cake, decor, music, hair and make up
- Consider and review wedding insurance options
- Decide what type of entertainment you want for ceremony, drinks reception and dancing
- Book Photographer
- Book Videographer
- Research and consider options for your venue and ceremony decor
- Start your wedding dress research
- Send Save the Date cards - important if you're getting married abroad, or during a very busy time of year
8/10 months before
- Book ceremony music, band and DJ for reception
- Research and reserve accommodations for guests
- Contact decor hire companies if you need to rent anything for ceremony/reception, such as chairs, tables, and tent.
- Book Honeymoon
- Order wedding cake
- Book Groomsmen’s Suits
- Book Pre-Marriage Course
6/8 months before
- Book ceremony musicians
- Ensure passports are in date for honeymoon - order new ones if necessary
- Start planning honeymoon
- Start planning Hen & Stag Parties - well not you, the best man and bridesmaids should!
4-6 months before
- Choose bridesmaids’ dresses
- Choose and order wedding invitations & stationery
- Attend pre-marriage counselling, if required (for catholic ceremonies)
- Meet with florist to discuss options
- Shop for groom's suit
- Organise the legalities — give at least 3 months notice to registrar or priest/religious celebrant
- Decide on prayers, readings and music for mass booklets — check with your priest / registrar
- Organise invitations and order of service booklets
- Arrange travel vaccinations if necessary
- Organise wedding transport
- Start gathering addresses for guest list - create spreadsheet for RSVPs
2-3 months before
- Send invitations to guests
- Order wedding rings
- Rent the men's formalwear
- Attend dress fittings
- Choose wedding rings
- Organise gifts for parents, bridesmaids, groomsmen and each other
- Book hairdresser and organise hair trial
- Book a makeup artist and go for makeup trial
4 weeks before
- Give venue/caterer final guest head count
- Have final wedding dress fitting
- Make any last-minute adjustments with suppliers
- Finalise details for, and order mass booklets/order of ceremony
- Order and plan in-room welcome baskets for out-of-town guests
2 weeks before
- Review final RSVP list and call any guests who have not yet responded
- Deliver must-have shot lists to photographer and videographer. Include who should be in formal portraits and determine when portraits will be taken
1 week before
- Supply wedding coordinator with a list of supplier requests such as a table for DJ or setup space needed by florist.
- Create your table plan
- Print placecards
- Call all wedding suppliers to confirm arrangements, create timetable for day
- 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
- Pack for the honeymoon
- Organise money to be paid to suppliers on the day
2-3 days before
- Make last minute changes to table plan if necessary
- 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
- Reconfirm final details with all vendors. Discuss any necessary last-minute substitutions.
- 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.
- Sort out payment (write cheques/organise cash) for any final balances to be paid at the end of the reception.
- 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.
- Get a good night’s rest
The Wedding Day!
- Give the gifts for your parents to the best man/bridesmaid for after the speeches
- Get flowers delivered to the bride’s house
- Give wedding bands to the best man to hold during the ceremony
- Give best man the officiant's fee envelope, to be given after the ceremony
- Introduce your reception coordinator to your wedding planner (if you're having one), or bridesmaid/bestman for questions or problems during the reception.
- Assign a family member or attendant to be the photographer's contact so he knows who is who.
After the Wedding
- 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.
- Write and send thank-you notes to gift-bearing guests and vendors who were especially helpful.