There is a lot to do when organising a wedding, but there is nothing worse than forgetting key tasks until it’s too late. Here is our handy wedding checklist in date order you can refer to or print off.
Tasks 1-2 Years before the wedding
The first step is always to find a date and venue, and it’s worth noting the best venues could have a long waiting list. This also applies to good photographers and caterers, so the sooner you do start researching the better.
|Budget||Start Budget Planning|
|Dates||Find dates that are suitable for you and key guests|
|Venues||Look at venues within budget available on the dates|
|Venue||Take tours of the venues|
|Dates||Settle on the day and venue|
|Dates||Send Save the Dates to all key guests|
|Photographer||Start researching Photographers and viewing portfolios|
Set your Budget
Set a realistic budget for your wedding to have a contingency in place just in case everything doesn’t go to plan.
Set the Date
Planning a wedding is much more than just picking a date. You need to book your ceremony and reception venue a year or more in advance if you want to get the best deal. Weddings during the week are often cheaper than weekend weddings.
Decide if you want to plan your own wedding
You should consider hiring a wedding planner. If you’re not going to take the reins of the planning yourself, then at the very least, you should consider hiring someone who has expertise in the area to do it for you. Their experience is often worth its weight in gold.
Plan the Location
If you are getting married in the UK, it would be easier to plan your wedding. However, if you are getting married abroad, it might be worth hiring a specialist wedding planner.
Search and Book Venue
As soon as you book your wedding date, the earlier you can book your venue choices. That way, if you decide to have a church ceremony, you can book the church for the day and then have your reception in another location. You can also choose a different location if you want a civil ceremony instead of a religious one.
Consider everything from the type of food and drink you will provide, the style and ambience of your venue, and whether you will allow group photos outdoors or inside. You may be able to save thousands of pounds by booking your venue out of season, and some venues offer special winter wedding packages.
Send the Save the Date Invites
Make sure to send them early enough so that your key guests don’t book an early summer holiday and miss your big day.
Tasks 6-12 Months before
This is when things really need to be done and ticked off, starting with colour schemes. Find the right wedding dress can be stressful, so it’s a good thing to get complete. With the men’s suits, the colour scheme will need to be decided to ensure cravats or ties match.
If you are having custom wedding rings, you will need to order with plenty of time.
|Photographer||Book Photographer & Videographer|
|Flowers||Start on colour schemes for invitations and Flowers|
|Guests||Choose the number of bridesmaids & Groomsmen|
|Guests||Choose the people|
|Guests||Tell the people|
|Guests||Decide what roles they play|
|Guests||Agree on what they will wear|
|Guests||Check that they can make it|
|Guests||Decide the number of people you want at the wedding|
|Guests||Write down the people who MUST be invited|
|Guests||List everyone you want from work|
|Guests||List everyone you want from family|
|Guests||List every friend you want to come|
|Guests||Discuss and agree list|
|Guests||Get invitations designed|
|Guests||Send out invitations|
|Catering||Decide the cuisine to be served|
|Catering||Find potential caterers.|
|Catering||Visit and taste the food|
|Catering||Settle on your menu|
|Catering||Settle on your favourite caterer|
|Rings||Start your wedding ring research and visit jewellers|
|Clothing||Visit wedding dress suppliers|
|Clothing||Find a dress that you like|
|Clothing||Get fitted for the dress|
|Clothing||Order the dress|
|Music||Book Band/DJ and look at playlists for ceremony|
|Honeymoon||Research and book your honeymoon|
|Transport||Book Your Transport|
Book your Photographer and Videographer
You should select a wedding photographer who has a style that suits your personality and the type of photos you want to have. Then, after meeting him or her in person, ask to see their portfolio and an entire album of previous work.
Send Out the Invitations
Save the dates are usually sent out 6-12 weeks before the wedding, but it’s best to send them earlier. If you are sending out invitations, include details for your guests on where and how to stay, what time the wedding is, and any dress code if appropriate.
Book Your Caterers
If your reception venue isn’t doing your catering, you may need to consider hiring other vendors. Consider unusual wedding catering like street food at your wedding, or stick with more traditional catering.
Book Your Florist
How many flowers do you want? If you don’t want a traditional bouquet, consider other arrangements such as a vase full of single roses or a container of assorted bridal flowers. If you want to go all out and get very creative, you can even buy pre-made centrepieces made up of hundreds of individual flowers that have been wired together so they look like a real flower bouquet.
Choose your Bridemaids, Best Man and Groomsmen
Ask your best and closest friends to be an integral part of your wedding day.
Decide the Right Wedding Dress for you
You should buy your wedding dress at least six to eight months before the date you want to wear it. Allow yourself plenty of time for the dress to be delivered to you unaltered.
Book a Band/DJ
You might want to book a “Disco-Dazzle” DJ or hire a live band or a classical orchestra for your reception.
Book Your Honeymoon
Book Your Transport
If you’re looking to hire a wedding car, you’ll need to book your wedding cars now and consider whether you should also book transport for your guests too.
Tasks 3-6 Months before
If you haven’t already, you need to have finalised your colour scheme. This list can be done sooner to relieve any stress that might be building up. Depending on ring delivery timeframes you may need to order at this point.
|Venue||Finalise Colour Scheme|
|Cake||Choose a taste that you like|
|Cake||Pick a look that you like|
|Cake||Find the best supplier|
|Cake||Order the cake|
|Flowers||Pick flowers that fit into your chosen colour scheme|
|Flowers||Find a florist that can deliver them to you.|
|Flowers||See the flowers if possible.|
|Flowers||Decide their patterns, designs, and placement at venue|
|Rings||Choose the rings|
|Rings||Get measured for size|
|Clothing||Start Bridesmaid dress shopping|
|Clothing||Finalise Bridesmaid dresses|
|Clothing||Buy Bridesmaid dresses|
|Clothing||Find suits that you like|
|Clothing||Visit suit suppliers|
|Clothing||Get Groom and Groomsmen fitted for the suits|
|Clothing||Order the suits|
Order the Wedding Cake
It’s time to choose your wedding cake. Think about what flavours you like, and what kind of cake you would like. If you are not fond of sweet food, you could always have a “cheesy” wedding cake.
Choose the Rings
You need to make sure that you choose the rings that you and your fiance like and make sure that your ring fingers are measured for the size.
Buy the Wedding Party Outfits
If you have a bridal party, go shopping with them. Let them try on their outfits, and be clear about who pays for what. Traditionally the couple pays for the outfits, but if you ask them to purchase their outfits, then they should have a fair say on what they wear. That way you’ll all be happy with the results, and nobody will feel uncomfortable about any aspect of the wedding planning.
Tasks 1-3 Months before
This should be your collection and follow up window.
|Flowers||Order the flowers|
|Rings||Order the rings|
|Cake||Follow up on delivery times|
|Flowers||Follow up on delivery times|
|Clothing||Collect the dress|
|Clothing||Collect the suit|
|Clothing||Inspect the dress|
|Clothing||Inspect the suit|
|Guests||Follow up RSVPs|
|Catering||Follow up on delivering dates, location, time|
|Event||Hen and Stag Do ready|
Order Your Wedding Rings
You need to make sure both rings are the correct size and that your wedding band will sit snugly alongside your engagement ring if you intend to wear them together.
Order the Flowers and Decorations
If you are providing your own centrepieces, do it early. If you are hiring props or renting them, arrange for them early. You want your guests to see how much you’re preparing for the big day.
Follow up RSVPs
This is so you’ll know your final numbers before you give them to your wedding planner and/or wedding venue.
Be Organised for the Hen and Stag Do
Going on your hen or stag do with a month or two to go before your wedding gives you time to heal any bruises, lets you get a better deal on the accommodation, and also lets you plan the trip with more freedom. In addition, it allows the maid of honour and best man to step up and take charge of things.
1 month before
|Rings||Collect the rings|
|Cake||Follow up on the delivery date, location and time|
|Flowers||Follow up on the delivery date, location and time|
|Guests||Finalise the seating plan|
|Speeches||Write the wedding vows and speeches|
Follow up on the Delivery Date, Location and Time of Suppliers
Don’t rely on anything but personal, face-to-face interaction with wedding suppliers. Get written confirmation in black and white, signed by the supplier, not just his employee.
Finalise Seating Plan
Leave the seating plan for the wedding as late as you can without getting stressed. Allow for any changes that may need to be made at the last minute.
Write Wedding Vows and Speeches
Whether you are going to give a groom’s or bride’s speech or are writing your own wedding vows, you need to do it early so you have plenty of time to practice.
1 Week to go
|Cake||Confirm delivery is scheduled|
|Flowers||Confirm delivery is scheduled|
|Catering||Final check with the caterers.|
|Bride||Create a Wedding Emergency Kit|
|Bride||Get your beauty treatments|
Final Check with Suppliers
Give your best man and/or chief bridesmaid a list of all the wedding suppliers involved in your wedding day, along with their contact details and expected arrival times, so they can make sure nothing gets forgotten.
Create a Wedding Emergency Kit
Include everything you need for your special day. You should also include a small compact mirror and powder, tissues, lipstick and anything else you may need for your wedding day. Let your bridesmaids look after your emergency kit for you.
Get Your Beauty Treatments
Many women wait until the last minute to get any beauty related work done. That’s fine but do it early enough to avoid disaster. Get everything you need to look your best a week or two before your wedding. If you are going to have fake tanning done, for example, do it at least 4-6 weeks before your wedding so the fake tanner has time to work his magic.