18 – 12 MONTHS BEFORE
GRAB YOURSELF A SCRAPBOOK & SET UP A PINTEREST ACCOUNT
There’s something super exciting about purchasing your first wedding magazine. Grab yourself a few different copies and start ripping and sticking everything you love into your scrapbook.
If you haven’t already, set up a Pinterest account. Once you’re up and running start pinning everything that catches your eye.
If you have already got an account I’m sure you’ve already got your whole wedding planned. I was totally that person...
Tip - If your using Pinterest make sure you set up different categories like 'flowers', 'hair', 'dresses' etc as this makes it easier to find the bits you like in the long run.
WORK OUT YOUR BUDGET
Ok the bit we all hate… money.
You need to work out how much you both have to spend, take into consideration any family contributions but be realistic! It's so easy to get carried away so set yourself a boundary, the last thing you want is to start your married life in debt!
Tip: Set up a joint bank account and put all of your wedding fund money in there, it will then make it easier to track once you start spending.
PICK YOUR GUESTS
So who’s made the cut to the big day?
Not only will people start to wonder if their invited but you also need a rough guide of numbers so you know what venues you can look at.
Just remember the more guests you invite the more money it will cost, it’s time to get brutal!
Before you start your venue search you need to have an idea of the time of year you want to get married. Try not to get too set on one specific date as you don’t want to be let down if your chosen venue doesn’t have that date available.
I would also check with your immediate family any specific dates they may have booked out so you don’t clash… You can thank me in advance for this one, I’ve totally just saved you from a family drama!
HIRE A PLANNER
A Wedding Planner not only takes a lot of the stress away, but also has relationships with lots of vendors. This will ensure you are using quality companies and it saves a lot of research time, and the stress of “will this venue work” and “do these colours go”.
Of course we only want to recommend the best to you
*cough* POP CLOUD *cough* ;)
POP THE QUESTION TO YOUR BRIDESMAIDS AND GROOMSMEN
Ask your besties to be part of your big day!
VISIT VENUES & RESERVE YOUR DATE
This is the fun bit, visit as many places you can and embrace the beautiful venues, free cups of tea and goody bags!
Tip: If you’re looking to have two separate locations for the ceremony and reception make sure you factor in the travelling time between the two.
RESEARCH POTENTIAL WEDDING SERVICES AND SUPPLIERS
This includes photographers, videographers, florist, cake makers, invites, décor, music & hair and makeup.
You will find a lot of wedding venues put on open days where their preferred suppliers attend, these are super handy and they usually offer 'on the day booking discounts' but I would always still take the time to get a coffee and research the suppliers you like.
Tip: If you haven’t booked a Wedding Planner and you’re booking everything yourselves really get on it, you will be shocked how quickly these suppliers get booked up.
BOOK YOUR OFFICIANT
HAVE AN ENGAGEMENT PARTY
Totally optional but it’s a great excuse for a good party!
12 – 9 MONTHS
CONSIDER WEDDING INSURANCE
Something going wrong is the last thing you want to be thinking but you really do never know. Wedding insurance is definitely worth taking a look into, especially if your investing a lot of money into your wedding.
HIRE THE PHOTOGRAPHER AND VIDEOGRAPHER
I always say this is one of the most important things you do. Apart from officially become husband and wife the only other thing you take away from your wedding is your photos and videos so make sure you pick well.
BOOK YOUR ENTERTAINMENT
Check out Youtube videos and reviews.
If you can make it into a date night and attend some gigs of the potential acts it's an even funner way to choose.
MEET YOUR CATERERS
If your venue doesn’t offer its own catering service it’s time to get food tasting! Make a list of all the hire catering services you like, and book in some dates.
Regardless of either, make sure you keep your bellies empty for the food tasting!
PURCHASE A WEDDING DRESS
The moment all of us girls dream of, wedding dress shopping!
I would suggest taking a maximum of 3 people with you, you don’t want too many opinions…
Don’t be afraid to try on something different, it’s crazy how many Bride’s end up going for something they never thought they’d like.
Tip: Take your time and visit lots of stores. It's rare you will find your dream dress in the first store you visit. Be patient and your dream dress will find you.
SEND SAVE THE DATE CARDS
This is a real must if your venue is abroad, over a couple of hours away from home or if it’s at a busy time of year. It's also a great way to get an early idea of how many people are going to attend.
RESERVE A BLOCK OF HOTEL ROOMS
Pick out and reserve two to three hotels with different price points for your out of town guests.
No one wants three of the same blenders so sign yourself up to a couple of gift registers and start listing all those things you need!
ORDER YOUR CAKE
This means cake tasting… Mmm Mmm Mmm!
Tip: If your finding it hard to choose between flavours why not have different flavours in each tier of your cake!
BOOK YOUR FLORIST
It’s time for the boys to go shopping… Just make sure you give them colour guidelines before they go!
8 – 6 MONTHS BEFORE
Buy them online, hire a calligrapher or get them handmade, the choices are endless. Make sure you get a sample made up before purchasing so you can check they are 100% correct.
I’m about to give you the best advise you will probably ever receive, which the lovely Ria who made my invites told me...
Make a spreadsheet of all your attendee’s and give them a number.
Write this number on the back of their RSVP - this means when they send it back and don’t write their names (you will be surprised how many people don’t fill them out properly) you will then know who they are.
This bit of advice saved my life for my big fat Greek wedding, as at least 30 guests had the same last name!
But all jokes aside, it will save you so much time figuring out which 'Emma' is coming and which isn't.
START PLANNING YOUR HONEYMOON
The bit we all look forward too… Make sure your passports are up to date, the weather looks good and you book any doctors appointments for the injections you may need.
Tip: If you decide to go on your honeymoon straight after your wedding make sure you book your tickets in your maiden name.
SHOP FOR BRIDESMAIDS & PAIGE BOYS
If they’ve been helpful go for something pretty, if you haven’t heard from them in a while its payback time ;)
Just kidding! Make sure you purchase your wedding dress before your bridesmaid dresses.
Tip: Remember accessories! Shoes, jewellery and hair pieces.
MEET WITH THE OFFICIANT
Work out the ceremony order, check your documents and gather all the information you will need for your order of service.
BOOK THE BIG NECESSITIES
Portable toilets, extra chairs and tables, lights etc
ORDER OF THE DAY
Start arranging your timeline for the day by first putting everything in order and then working out how long for each part of your day.
HEN & STAG DO
Give your Maid of Honour and Best Man a little reminder to get on it!
Send them a list of who you would like to attend you last night of freedom!
5 – 4 MONTHS
BOOK REHEARSAL DINNER
Book your Rehearsal Dinner, either at your wedding venue or somewhere nearby. Try and negotiate menus and drink packages so you get the best price.
SEND YOUR INVITES
Get ready to debate who’s licking the envelopes!
Make sure you include all the information on where your ceremony and reception is taking place, with times, a list of transport, nearby accommodation and RSVP's with envelopes.
Tip: You will be amazed at the amount of RSVP's you have to chase, and a big part of this can be down to the fact people don't have stamps at home and just forget. If you have room in your budget pop some stamps on the envelopes of your RSVP to make it that little bit more easy for your guests.
PURCHASE YOUR WEDDING SHOES & BOOK IN YOUR DRESS FITTING
Make sure the shoes you purchase are 100% the ones you will be wearing as they will alter or make the dress to that height.
When picking the shoes try and go for something comfy as you’re going to be wearing them all day.
TRIAL AND BOOK HAIR AND MAKEUP ARTISTS
Make sure you go for a few trials and don’t be afraid to take pictures. This is your big day so make sure your 100% happy with your look.
CHOOSE YOUR MUSIC
What song will you play when you walk down the aisle? Or when people are entering for dinner? Start asking friends and family for their top 3 favourite songs to help.
CONFIRM YOU FOOD MENUS & FLOWERS
ORDER WEDDING FAVOURS
Cookies, Mini Candles, Clay hearts, the options are endless.
FINALISE THE ORDER OF SERVICE AND ORDER OF DAY
Decide what you would like read and who you would like to read it, along with the order of service, hymns and music.
For the day, arrange the timings and key events to display to your guests.
PURCHASE YOUR UNDERGARMENTS
Who doesn’t love a bit of underwear shopping? Make sure it’s something that can actually be worn with your dress otherwise you will be like me who comes out with everything but what I went in for!
DESIGN AND PRINT MENU CARDS & PROGRAMS
These things don’t’ have to be expensive, either DIY on the computer or grab a takeaway, a glass of wine and get creative with your girls.
If you have the budget there are some incredible designers out there that do handmade work, or lots of online stores where you can use templates and customise them for your wedding.
PURCHASE WEDDING RINGS
That’s right; we have to buy him a ring too!
It’s time to arrange all those thank you gifts; this would usually be for both sets of parents, bridesmaids and groomsmen. If you’ve had anyone who’s been extra helpful it’s nice to thank them too.
SEND YOUR EVENT SCHEDULE TO YOUR VENDORS
You need to make sure you have things arriving at the right time. For example, it’s pointless having your glassware arriving two days before your tables. Make a spreadsheet and send it over to your vendors, so if any changes need to be made there’s time to do so.
2 MONTHS BEFORE
MEET OR SKYPE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER & VIDEOGRAPHER
It’s really important you discuss the running of the day with your photographer & videographer so that they fully understand your movements. It’s also good for them to get to know you as a couple and understand what you want from your pictures, and who your nearest and dearest are to ensure they capture them too.
SPEAK TO YOUR BAND
Go through the type of 'vibe' you want throughout your wedding and let them know your requested songs.
CHASE UP RSVPS
You will always get people that forget, so send a generic polite text asking them to respond as soon as possible.
HEN & STAG DO!!
Enjoy some crazy nights with your besties to celebrate before the big day.
1 MONTH TO GO
FINAL DRESS FITTING
Make sure you have a glass of champagne to celebrate taking the dress of your dreams home.
I guess this one is pretty important. Remember to have all paper work in order in good time.
Time to start paying up; this is the painful part…
CONFIRM TIMES WITH HAIR AND MAKEUP
SEATING PLAN & PLACE CARDS
Prepare for world war 3 and grab yourself a very large glass of wine.
I suggest printing your layout out on some very large paper and writing your guests names on sticky notes so you can easily move people around.
Once this is done it’s time to design and print your place cards.
If you’ve chosen to do so…
Get yourself a fresh cut ready for the big day.
Tip: Don't go for anything your not used to. If you want to colour your hair different try this a few months before your wedding and then you know exactly what your going for.
Send your final numbers to the wedding venue and caterers.
WEEK OF THE WEDDING
RECONFIRM ARRIVAL TIMES WITH VENDORS
SEND OUT A TIME LINE TO THE BRIDAL PARTY
CHECK IN WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER AND VIDEOGRAPHER
DELEGATE WEDDING TASKS
This should include whose taking what, and tasks to do when setting up.
Book yourself in the spa for a nice mani and massage.
BREAK IN YOUR SHOES
Pop a pair of socks on with your wedding shoes and strut round your house channelling your inner Beyonce.
PACK FOR THE WEDDING
If you’re staying make sure you have clothes for the night before and the next day.
PACK FOR YOUR HONEYMOON
Woohoo… It’s nearly time to relax
Enjoy your day, it's so true when people say it becomes a blur so embrace every minute with all your friends and loved ones.
I hope you enjoyed reading my ultimate wedding checklist. I hope you have the most incredible day and make memories that will last a life time <3