Wedding Planning Checklist

Your big day is on it’s way, yet getting everything ready for your wedding celebrations is quite a task in itself. Make sure your day goes without a hitch (apart from yours) with our wedding planning checklist which runs through the logistics of creating the perfect wedding.

Find someone to marry.

We cannot help with that particular task, so we will assume that side of things is already sorted.

12 months to go

Set you budget (and try to keep to it!)

Set your budget and have discuss costs with relevant people. Get any awkward conversations about setting the budget out the way first and foremost and work out what you’re going to spend where spend where.

Choose a reception venue and book it.

Create a shortlist and view your preferred wedding reception venues. Make provisional bookings for the date you want with venues you can’t decide between. When your final decision is made cancel provisional bookings and confirm in writing to the venue of your choice.

Book the ceremony venue (and registrar).

This might be in a church, temple, synagogue, meeting house, approved venue or registry office.  In many cases the ceremony and reception venue are one in the same which can really help with logistics of the day.

Create your provisional guest list.

Make sure you don’t exceed the venue capacity (although some may not be able to attend so have a few guests on standby).

Send invites to let everyone know your wedding date and to get final numbers.

Get invites out early to make sure your guests can reserve the date in their diaries.  Include information on overnight accommodation, transport, parking and any dress code if appropriate. Include reply cards to ensure they all RSVP and ask your guests if they have any specific dietary requirements. Chase up non-responders after a month to ensure there are no hiccups with too many attendees.

11 months to go

Create a revised guest list.

You can get seating plans sorted now if you like (these can always be revised nearer the date as needed).

Choose the bridesmaids and best man.

You know who they are. Don’t let anyone else have a say on this. Make sure you assign roles early as you’ll find their advice and support is vital throughout the planning process.

If you want fancy transport, book it now.

Hint, classic cars are beautiful but are temperamental – make sure there is a transport plan B just in case!

Book your musicians or DJ.

Live music is so much better than a disco but can cost considerably more. Think about when and how you want music played throughout the reception.

Choose and book a photographer/videographer

Check their online portfolios and make sure you meet them before making your final choice. It’s important they understand you, After all, they are responsible for capturing your memories of the day.  Look for someone whose portfolio matches the style of photo you want (traditional, contemporary, relaxed, reportage).

10 months to go

Decide on a theme.

Check out Pinterest and magazines for inspiration. Also speak to the event planners at your venue. Having seen many weddings they’re likely to be able to throw a few more good ideas into the pot.

Start looking for a wedding dress.

Online shopping is OK, but nothing beats the bespoke service of a good local boutique. If you are going bespoke then you’ll need to give them at least 6 months for completion time and alterations. Don’t forget to buy any shoes and accessories to co-ordinate you overall look.

Book your caterers and decide on your menu.

Speak to your caterers about menu choices and book a tasting to help you decide on your final menu. Think about your guests dietary requirements and any allergies and make sure they are communicated to the caters well in advance.

9 months to go

Decide whether you want a Town Crier/Master of Ceremonies or not.

Having a master of ceremonies or can add a bit of traditional charm to your wedding day and help keep the day on track and on time.

If you haven’t already done it, buy/order your wedding dress.

Don’t forget to order shoes, tiara, veil and other accessories to co-ordinate your overall look.

Order your wedding cake.

Or what about a cup cake tower, or French croquembouche?

Choose and book your florist.

From the bridal bouquet, to table decorations, button holes and dressing the ceremony and reception venue, fresh flowers help create a mood and compliment your theme.

Wedding flowers

Book your honeymoon.

This is the fun bit. Plan for the best holiday of your life. Find somewhere you can relax, but that also offers activities that both you and your new spouse can enjoy together. Remember, this holiday is going to provide some of your most precious memories for life.

Choose the bridesmaids dresses and hire or buy suits for the groom, best man and ushers

Remember, bridesmaids should never outshine the bride.

6 months to go

Book in the brides hairdressing and make-up session.

Speak to a few stylists and give yourself time to try a few styles to make sure you’re happy with the final look. For many brides this is just as important as the dress. Don’t forget to take your tiara, veil or other hair accessories with you.

Bridal hairstyle with flowers

Buy your wedding rings.

You will be wearing them for a lifetime, so make sure they are a good fit.

Choose the readings, poems, hymns etc.

Let the readers know your choices and make sure they are happy with them.

Agree the order of service and vows with your vicar or registrar and your partner.

A surprisingly important part of the day.

3 months to go

Set up your gift list.

Or be daring and don’t bother with one (but you might end up with three toasters!)

Have your dress fittings/alterations.

Make sure this is done leaving plenty of time for final adjustments.

Buy gifts for your bridal party.

It is definitely the thought that counts and will be something they can remember your big day by for many years to come.

Write the speeches.

Make sure they are appropriate for the audience. Adjust accordingly.

Make arrangements for your hen and stag parties

Enlist the help of your best man and chief bridesmaid.

1 month to go

Chase any outstanding RSVP’s and finalise seating plans

Confirm final numbers and details with the catering company and the reception venue.
It’s worth worth having a face-to-face meeting a week or two before the big day to finalise arrangements and iron out any questions you might have.

Pay all final balances.

Make sure all your suppliers are happy.

1 week to go

Hand over contact details of your suppliers to a designated person

You’ve got other things to worry about on your big day than chasing late suppliers, or dealing with problems that crop up. Appoint a trusted member of the wedding party with details of your suppliers and brief them on your plans for the day so they can help out with chasing where necessary.

Collect the wedding dress and grooms outfit.

Don’t forget to arrange the return of hired items after the wedding.

Start wearing in your wedding shoes

There’s nothing worse then a pair of uncomfortable shoes.

Have any hair or beauty treatments

Tanning treatments, facials, hair colouring and cutting, waxing – get all these done a few days in advance of your wedding.

Start packing for your honeymoon

Make sure well in advance that you have everything you need for your holiday of a lifetime. Now is a good time to also make sure you also have all the currency you need for your time away.

bride and groom

1 day to go

Relax and don’t panic

With your careful planning and choice of suppliers everything should be well in hand for your special day. It’s important that you spend today relaxing and enjoying time with family and friends.

Have your last minute beauty preparations

Book a relaxing massage and have a manicure done last thing in the afternoon to avoid chip and breaks before tomorrow.

Get an early night

Because tomorrow is your big day and most importantly it’s time for you to ENJOY YOUR WEDDING

Have we missed something important off the list? Get in touch to share your thoughts and suggestions for planning the perfect wedding.

Riverside MarqueeWedding Planning Checklist