Essential Wedding Planning Shortlist
Planning a wedding is a huge endeavor, and it’s easy to get so caught up in the planning process that you find it difficult to enjoy the big day itself. One of the key ways you can organize your wedding planning to minimize your stress level is to create a wedding planning checklist. Using this checklist, you can make sure you get everything done on time, and with good preparation, so on the day of the wedding, you can focus on each other.
One year to nine months before
- Start a wedding folder - This is particularly useful if you’re not sure what you want to do for your wedding yet, as you can gather clippings, notes and pictures for inspiration.
- Decide on a budget – Your budget will determine what kind of venue you hire, and how many guests you invite. Many people get into debt paying for their wedding day, so think carefully about how much you can afford.
- Create a guest list – This includes choosing the key roles like your best man and maid of honor.
- Hire a planner – If you have the budget and want someone else to take charge of the details, an event planner can help alleviate some of the stress that goes with organizing a wedding.
- Make a date and reserve a venue – If you want to keep costs low, choose the same venue for the ceremony and reception, and otherwise remember to plan time for the journey between the two locations.
Six to nine months before
- Hire any third-party contractors – This includes caterers, photographers, transportation, florists and entertainment, such as a band.
- Decide on and purchase a wedding dress - Remember that you will need to get fittings, and you should make the final fitting as close to your wedding date as possible.
- Research guest accommodation – If some of your guests will need somewhere to stay overnight, now is the time to start researching and reserving blocks of rooms to ensure they are guaranteed overnight accommodation.
- Create a gift list – If you’re using a registry service, this is a good time to set up and start adding items.
- Send save-the-date cards – If you’re skipping save-the-date cards and just sending invitations, you can also do this now. Letting people know the date well in advance gives them enough time to make the necessary arrangements to come.
Three to five months before
- Plan the rehearsal dinner – You will also need to plan the menu to account for guests with dietary requirements.
- Order the cake – Choose your baker carefully; it’s worth sampling several different services before deciding so you can make sure you’re getting exactly what you want, and at a good price.
- Plan the wedding music – Doing this in advance is especially helpful if you’re hiring an external DJ.
- Finalize the menu – You know who your caterer is, and you can now agree on what the final menu will be.
- Organize favors – If you’re giving guests wedding favors, these can easily slip under the radar until the last minute, so plan and purchase them now to avoid stress closer to the time.
- Plan the day’s schedule – This includes who is giving speeches, and what will happen at the reception. You can also send this schedule to your venues so they can make plans.
- Purchase your rings – This might seem like a simple task, but you will need to leave time in case you want engraving, or need the rings resized.
- Send invitations – You can send free invitations via email using the iPartyGram app. Remember to include an RSVP date to encourage guests to respond as soon as possible.
One month before
- Get a marriage license – Do this in advance to leave room for any delays.
- Chase guests who haven’t RSVPed
- Pay vendors – Most vendors will require complete payment in advance of the day, so remember to pay their invoice in full to avoid any unnecessary stress over the next few weeks.
- Create a seating plan – If you haven’t done so already, create a seating plan and send it to the venues.
The week before
- Delegate tasks to close friends and family - Take some of the heat off by asking others to carry out small tasks, for example liaising with contractors on the day.
- Send a final guest list to the venue – Last minute changes are inevitable, but you should send the final list of attendees at least 72 hours in advance.
- Double-check arrival times with the venues and contractors.