Click here to download your free THREE PAGE WEDDING PLANNER!
Not all couples choose to use a Wedding Planner to help them, but it is handy to have a guide to refer to for what to do when in the run up to the wedding and how much time you need to allow to get everything ready for your special day. With this in mind I have put together this fantastic three page wedding planner for you to download, print off and refer to throughout your planning process.
Running from a year before the wedding right up to the day itself, with information about budget, ‘save the date’ cards, choosing your dress, getting the marriage license, organizing a gift registry, selecting wedding rings, finalizing invitations, booking essential services and even putting a plan in place for a rainy day – everything you need to know and more!
Download your free three page wedding planner by clicking on the link at the top of this post and use it to plan your special day.
So let’s get down to business and look at what needs to be done.
A year before
- Set your budget, start thinking about who to involve in your wedding planning such as wedding consultant, think who would be your bridesmaids, best men etc.
- Arrange for your families to meet if they have not done yet.
- Find out exact marriage license requirements
- Have a rough idea of how many guests you would like to invite.
- Go and see a few wedding fairs. You will get lots of ideas there and can find some nearby wedding suppliers you like.
- Choose a wedding date and time at least roughly, speak to your church, or place you would like to hold your civil ceremony at. Go and see some wedding venues and ask for their wedding packages. Bear in mind that some dates are very popular and can be difficult to get without notifying them a long time ahead.
- Everyone wants sunshine on their wedding day, but have in mind also a backup option for rainy day.
- Choose and pay deposit for the wedding venue.
8-10 months before
- Send your friends and relatives ‘Save the Date’ card. Remember, if you choose a popular weekend, they may have already promised to attend another wedding. Also bear in mind that some people may cancel later on.
- Start to think about what kind of wedding dress you would like to have, get some wedding magazines and get inspired. If you are on budget you can also rent your wedding dress as well. Do some trials and order your wedding dress. Do not order significantly different size thinking you are going to lose weight. It may only add to your pre-wedding stress. Be realistic. The dress can always be slightly altered.
- Discuss the wedding reception food options with the venue. They may suggest some good combinations. Choose meals that most people would enjoy and have a vegetarian option as well. Order wine and other drinks. Think about how many hours you would like an open bar for if you are organizing one.
- Decide about music: singer in church, string quartet when you are taking bridal party portraits later on, DJ in the evening?
- Book a wedding photographer, videographer. Meet them in person to see if you like them. They spend most of the day with you so you need to ‘click’.
- Research a wedding insurance policy to protect your deposits. Wedding insurance is not too expensive so it is definitely worth it.
- Book accommodations for out of town guests.
6-8 months before
- Organize a gift registry if you would like. The big names like John Lewis or Debenhams offer endless options. Some couples prefer to get money and use it towards their honeymoon.
- If not provided by the venue as part of a booking package, book decorations for wedding tables, chairs, tents etc.
- Think about your decor. What flowers you like? What colours? Remember, seasonal flowers are much cheaper than tropical ones and equally beautiful. Book a florist.
- Order dresses and shoes for bridesmaids.
- Plan your stag do and hen night
- Think about how much budget from your wedding you can spend on honeymoon and start looking for options.
- Purchase your wedding rings.
- If marrying in church, you may need to attend pre-wedding counselling. Reserve time for that.
3-6 months before
- Purchase wedding invitations
- Help your husband, best man and parents with choosing their formal wear.
- If planning to go overseas, check if your passports are still valid, many countries require visa and passport validity 6 months after return.
- Decide on how you would like your wedding cake to look and speak to the venue or your own cake designer. Order your cake.
- Hire the wedding transport.
- Book a makeup artist and a hairdresser. Many make-up artists can do your hair as well.
- Buy your tiara and wedding shoes, have a pair of white flats in case your feet start hurting during the day.
- Write your wows and order of service if you have a church ceremony
- Send out your wedding invitations; ask about dietary or any other requirements so you can inform your venue. Purchase gifts for parents, bridesmaids or any other significant attendants.
1 month before
- Finalise your wedding paperwork such as marriage license.
- Do a hair and make-up trial, bring your veil and tiara to the trial.
- Have final wedding dress fitting. Bring your bridesmaid or mum along so they know how to help you with tightening your wedding dress on the day.
- Check if all bridesmaids have all their dresses and shoes fine and fitting them.
- Buy unity candle or any other decorations that you may need for your wedding ceremony.
2 weeks before
- Attend your stag do and hen night
- Print out your wedding program to give out to guests
- Finalize reception seating chart and print out seating cards, table numbers
- Discuss and agree on must have shot list with the photographer/videographer and let them know exact program of the day. Organise to meet in person at the venue.
- Finalize and deliver a list of must do songs for the DJ and give out a list of songs to be played during your wedding ceremony to the venue
- Do your last pre-wedding haircut and colour.
- Make final payments to the vendors.
A few days before
- Pick up all your rentals and formalwear.
- Clarify all pick up and drop off locations with rental car company, assist guests that would need assistance in getting dropped off and picked up.
- Write down exact wedding party position during ceremony
- Give all placement cards and small items to be displayed on the wedding day to the wedding planner or venue representative. Confirm all the final details
- Arrange your manicure and pedicure to be done
- Have a wedding planner or a designated family member help to organize wedding guests on the day. Make sure you enjoy your special day and do not run around organizing guests instead. Make them exchange numbers with photographer/videographer and venue in case of any issues.
- Rehearse ceremony with your officiant, immediate family and friends that are involved in it in the actual place where ceremony takes place the next day. Attend rehearsal dinner afterwards.
- Bring all the decorations like unity candle, isle runner etc. so you have it ready for the next day.
- Give your marriage license to your officiant.
- Don’t forget to eat and hydrate yourself.
- Enjoy your fabulous wedding day
- Have your manicure and pedicure done
- Enjoy your honeymoon.
- Make sure all rentals are returned.
- Write and send out thank you cards.