We’ve supplied the ultimate wedding to-do list that covers everything the bride to be needs to plan the perfect, dream wedding on any budget.
Planning can begin as early as 16 months before the wedding. Many couples choose a shorter engagement and will simply prioritise their needs and wants in order to cram in as much planning as possible into a shorter time line.
16-9 months before wedding
– Make the important decisions: Communicate with your partner and, together, narrow down the search for the perfect venue/dress/flowers/food/aesthetic
– Start a wedding folder or binder: Include favourite pins from Pinterest, tear outs from bridal or food magazines etc
– Determine budget based on family’s contribution and your own: It doesn’t matter whether your wedding budget is big or small; it still needs to be managed properly. Once you have a clear idea of what you can spend and wedding style, then you’ll be able to research costs.
– Choose wedding party
– Start the preliminary guest list: Make a head count database to use throughout your planning process. Using a spreadsheet is easy. Use columns for contact info and RSVPs. A good way to decide on your wedding guest list is to make a list of all the people you can’t imagine your wedding without, followed by people you’d like to have there and so on. If people from the first list can’t make it, add people from the second list. Make sure the amount of guests is evenly divided between you and your other half.
– Hire a planner (optional): A planner will have relationships with and insights about different vendors and offer invaluable advice
– Reserve your date and venues: Decide if you want a separate location for ceremony/reception etc. Budgets can determine dates too: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are always more expensive, but a Monday or Thursday can be more affordable.
– Book officiant
– Research photographers, bands, florists and caterers : File info in your binder for comparison.
– Throw an engagement party
8 months before
– Hire photographer and the videographer: At this point in your wedding planning, there is no need to get specific. Hire service providers whose portfolio looks like what you want. You will be able to confirm certain shots and angles and specifications nearer to the date of your wedding.
– Book entertainment: You should attend a gig of theirs to see how they perform before hiring.
– Meet caterers : Some venues don’t offer its own catering service, and most caterers need a 6-7 months notice prior to the event
– Purchase dress: You’ll need time for at least 3 fittings. Accessory shopping can happen later, so don’t worry too much about finding your veil, shoes and undergarments yet.
– Reserve hotel rooms for out of town guests: Choose 3 hotels near the reception venue for comparison.
– Register: 3 retailers at varying price points
– Launch wedding website: Create a personal page through a free provider or design your own. Note the date of the wedding, travel information, and accommodations. It can also be fun to introduce members of the wedding party so that everyone knows who is who on the big day. Send the link to invitees.
– Choose wedding insurance: Wedding insurance is affordable and will cover most aspects of your wedding. If a supplier lets you down, something happens to your venue, or your rings go missing, you can rest easy knowing you’re covered. Just make sure you check the small print so you can be sure the wedding insurance you’re buying is the right one for you.
Check out our next article where we discuss planning closer to the big day