The Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist

As an Essex wedding photographer I know how important it is to be prepared, I have checklist for everything, just in case!

Let’s take the stress out of wedding planning with a simple yet comprehensive checklist. This list breaks down everything you need to do by when you need to do it. It works on a 12-month timeline therefore giving you plenty of time to plan the perfect day. Print it off, hang it on your fridge and enjoy the satisfaction of ticking things off. 

12 Months Before 

  • First of all set a budget. To clarify there is no point in spending time planning a wedding you just won’t be able to afford.
  • Have a long conversation with your partner about your ideas for the day. 
  • Split up the workload: furthermore who will be responsible for what?
  • Arrange a meeting between both sets of parents, maybe include siblings and other important family members. 
  • Create a first draft of the guest list; having a good idea of numbers will be important when choosing your venue. 
  • Set the date. (Optional extra: send Save the Date cards.)
  • Book the church or registrar. A registrar is required for all non-church weddings.
  • Choose your ceremony (if not in a church) and reception venue(s); another key point, the most popular venues book up quickly so make this a priority.
  • Choose your bridesmaids, best man and ushers.

9-11 Months Before 

8 Months Before

  • Give notice of marriage at your local register office.
  • Finalise the menu.
  • Order your wedding cake and flowers.
  • Start buying and/or making decorations.
  • Design and order invitations.
  • Get wedding dress and groom’s suit ordered.

6 Months Before

  • Buy bridesmaid and usher outfits.
  • Book hair stylist and makeup artist. Set a date for a trial-run.
  • Book ceremony music and band or DJ for reception.
  • Research and reserve accommodation for guests.
  • Organise your gift registry.

-Plan Stag and Hen parties (or have the relevant people plan them for you).

3-5 Months Before

  • Book wedding day transport.
  • Order wedding stationery; such as, order of service, menus, seating chart, thank you cards, etc.
  • Buy wedding rings.
  • Book wedding night accommodation. 
  • Decide on readings for the ceremony. Additionally who’s going to read them.
  • Send invitations and make a spreadsheet ready for RSVPs.

2 Months Before

  • Final suit and dress fittings.
  • Buy gifts for bridesmaids, ushers and parents.
  • Confirm bookings and final details with venues, caterers, photographer, videographer, chauffeur, florist, baker and band/DJ.
  • Start writing speeches or at least start thinking about them (additionally see our blog on speechwriting).

1 Month Before

  • Finalise guest list (based on RSVPs) also chase up any late repliers. 
  • Confirm honeymoon details.
  • Honeymoon shopping!
  • Make last minute adjustments and confirm with suppliers. 
  • Make final payments to your suppliers.
  • Have engagement ring cleaned.

1 Week Before

  • Give venue and more importantly the caterers a final head count.
  • Make sure bridesmaids and ushers are aware of their duties on the day.
  • Pack for wedding day and honeymoon.
  • Book in some pampering for bride and groom: for example, haircuts, massages, manicures, etc.
  • Furthermore get plenty of rest!

The Day Before

  • Set-up and decorate venue.
  • Meet with arriving family and friends.
  • Give wedding bands to the best man.
  • Double check cake and flowers are on track to arrive the next day.
  • Final read-through of speeches.
  • And particularly try and get a good night’s sleep!

If you found this blog useful we would certainly love to hear from you. In conclusion we are always here to help therefore if you have any questions about any aspect of your wedding planning please contact us HERE or if you’d like to meet for a chat we are based in Chelmsford, Essex. Happy planning!!

Other useful Blogs

Wedding dress shopping – Tricks & Tips

Shredding for the wedding

Prev The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping in Essex: Finding Your Dream Gown
Next Wedding advice - Bridal shoes: The ultimate lowdown 
Buy wedding shoes essex

Leave a comment