Definitive Wedding Planning Checklist

Professional Wedding Checklist

Updated 05/02/21: If you want to plan the perfect wedding, you'll need a comprehensive wedding checklist. So here for your convenience is our ultimate wedding planning timeline. It's a checklist of all the things you need to do and when you need to do them. As you can see there's tonnes to do so better get your skates on! Or better still... give us a call! We can take care of all the nitty gritty whilst you relax and enjoy your engagement. Regret is a horrible thing and there's no second chances! Don't say we didn't warn you!

Wedding Planning Timeline

For the purpose of this post we've allowed a 12 month lead time between getting engaged and getting married but you can modify it according to how much time you yourself have to plan the wedding. For example, although 12-18 months is common we often work to a 9 month lead time and have been known to plan a wedding for 120 guests in as little as 10 weeks! If that's the case, just work through the criteria below in order until you find yourself up to date on the timeline. Best of luck!

7-12+ Months to Go...Let's Get Started!
  • Announce engagement.
  • Decide religious or civil wedding.
  • Decide style & level of formality.
  • Start considering colour schemes.
  • Select the date or date range.
  • Determine budget.
  • Create a Wedding Folder and start maintaining a mood board of images you love.
  • Check our our list of Top Wedding Blogs for lots of useful ideas.
  • Select Wedding Party members.
  • Draw up guest list.
  • Decide child policy.
  • Contact celebrant and/or registrar to discuss ceremony and steps to take.
  • Visit General Register Office website via Gov.uk/browse/births-deaths-marriages
  • Consider a wedding bank account and start a saving plan.
  • Hire Absolute Perfection Wedding Consultancy!
Source, organise, book/purchase…
  • Engagement party.
  • Ceremony & Reception venue(s).
  • Caterer.
  • Stationery - Save The Dates, + Invites if intending to maintain uniformity
  • Transportation.
  • Photographer.
  • Florist.
  • Dress.
  • Cake.
  • Cinematographer.
  • Musicians for ceremony and reception.
  • Entertainment.
  • First night hotel
  • Wedding Party & guest accommodation.
  • Guest travel options.
  • Hen/Stag events.
  • Guest full names and addresses.
  • Gift list.
  • Wedding insurance.
  • Dress fitting 1
Send...
  • Save the date cards.
4-6+ Months to Go... OMG, So Much To Do, So Little Time To Do It!

Finalise any outstanding elements above. Then...

  • Meet with Florist to discuss floral requirements.
  • Meet with religious minster to discuss music, readings and vows.
  • Select readers & witnesses.
  • Establish a health and fitness regime.
  • Start formulating your design & décor ideas.
  • Start thinking about First Dance songs.
  • Ensure passports up to date.
  • Bride apply for new passport if necessary.
  • Give Notice to Marry if necessary.
  • Organise time off work.
  • Meet with Florist to finalise floral requirements.
  • Select preferred menu and wines for tasting.
  • Contact Caterer to arrange Tasting.

Source, organise, book/purchase…

  • Honeymoon.
  • Dress fitting 2.
  • Bridal accessories.
  • Groom's attire and accessories.
  • Wedding Party attire.
  • Fireworks.
  • Hair Stylist.
  • Makeup Artist.
  • Toastmaster.
  • Sound & Lighting.
  • Mobile bar.
  • Childminding/crèche. 
  • Wedding rings.
  • Calligrapher.
  • Wedding Website.

    A wedding planning checklist

    How not to plan a wedding!

    2-3+ Months to Go... Getting Closer!

    Finalise any outstanding elements above. Then…

    • Decide on your vows, if necessary.
    • Draw up your choice of music and readings for the ceremony.
    • Put together the guest travel information.
    • Decide on First dance and start dance lessons
    • Start drawing up an itinerary for the Big Day.

    Source, organise, book/purchase…

    • Menu Tasting with Caterer - Also finalise tableware/linens etc 
    • Hair & Makeup trials.
    • Favours
    • Rehearsal.
    • Rehearsal dinner.
    • Usher's lunch.
    • Groom's hotel, prior to the Big Day.
    • Necessary visas/inoculations.
    • Finalise stationery including: order of service, menu, seating chart, escorts, place names etc.
    • Gifts for wedding party members.
    • Compile list of photographic shots and advise Photographer.
    • Start putting together a playlist of tracks for the Reception.

    Send…

    • Invitations, & Monitor RSVPs
    1-2+ Months To Go... Not Long Now!

    Finalise any outstanding elements above. Then...

    • Final dress fitting/alteration.
    • Collect wedding rings and clean engagement ring.
    • Recheck schedule for the day.
    • Drawing up your seating plan.
    • Buy the guest book.
    • Buy partners a gift to give on the day.
    • Name changed? Advise banks etc.
    • Finalise music list for DJ/ band.
    • Wear in wedding shoes.
    • Confirm Wedding Party duties.
    • Chase outstanding RSVPs.
    • Finalise guest number and advise caterer
    • Reconfirm arrangements with all suppliers, in writing.
    • Confirm speakers for Speeches & Toasts.
    Final Sprint... This Time Next Week!

    Finalise any outstanding elements above. Then...

    • Final dress fitting & collect dress.
    • Recheck and finalise schedule for the day.
    • Collect and check wedding party hired attire.
    • Finalise seating arrangements.
    • Write speeches.
    • Check advanced weather forecasts (umbrellas/gazebos?).
    • Rehearsal.
    • Pack for day(s) after wedding.
    • Pack for honeymoon. 
    • Final brief for Best man and Chief bridesmaid on duties, esp. payments to be made.

    The timeline is pretty thorough and will tick lots of boxes for most weddings. Obviously we have not included every single possible consideration or conceivable task that you might need to undertake during the planning process. That is after all one of the reasons why we are paid for our services!

    If You Like This Post, You'll Love:

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