Updated: Mar 17, 2021
You’re getting married! Many congratulations on your engagement and finding your soulmate – this is such an exciting time in your life.
Your wedding is going to be an occasion all your family and friends will be looking forward to, and so to help you get prepared and organised for the big day, Into The Wild florists have put together a handy wedding checklist planner for you.
With this guide, you’ll have a clear timetable of what activities you’ll need to think about and address, as you start the countdown to your wedding day.
Here we go…
Planning for Your Wedding 1 Year in Advance
A year may sound like it’s a long way away, but that time soon comes around - so, it’s important to start getting prepared as soon as you possibly can.
Here are 10 key things you need to plan and organise at the 12-month mark…
1 - Organise your engagement party
2 - Discuss and agree on a wedding budget
We suggest creating a wedding budget book for all your expenses to make sure you stick to your planned outlays
3 - Set a date and book your wedding venue
You’ll need to think about the wedding venue ceremony and reception if you’re having one
4 - Find, speak to, and book either an officiant or celebrant, depending on the type of wedding ceremony you’ll be having
What is a celebrant? This is someone who officiates at a religious ceremony, especially a marriage or the Eucharist
What is the Eucharist? This is the Christian service, ceremony, or sacrament commemorating the Last Supper, in which bread and wine are consecrated and consumed
What is an officiant? This is someone who officiates at a religious ceremony (other than the eucharist)
5 - Agree on who will be your Best Man and bridesmaids and ask them if they would do you the honour
6 - Create your wedding guest list
7 - Gather all the email and postal addresses of the wedding guests
8 - Research and book your photographer and videographer
It’s highly recommended to start with referrals from those you trust, as you’ll want your wedding photos and videos to come out perfect so they fully capture the day
9 - Get your engagement photos taken
10 - Start researching potential wedding suppliers
There are a number of other essential wedding items that are going to need to be ordered. These include;
Hair and makeup specialist
Planning for Your Wedding with 10 Months to go
You are now 2 months closer to the big day and there’s still a lot to do, so let’s take a look at what the next most items are that you need to organise…
1- Choose and order your wedding dress
It makes sense to order the dress after the you’ve decided on the venue, just in case you want to match the dress style to the type of venue you have
A more contemporary, classic, or even practical dress design might be a better fit with the nature of the venue
We always advise to book your venue first because if you’ve opted for a rustic barn venue, it may sway you into choosing a bohemian style dress or if you’ve opted for a classic venue, a vintage dress might match your theme. We also advise to pay for your dress early and it takes some boutiques up to 6 months to get a dress shipped which leaves plenty of time for last minute alterations etc.
2 - Choose your wedding shoes, veil, and accessories you’re going to want
3 - Create a wedding website
Websites are very straightforward to set up these days, so you’ll likely not even need to hire a freelancer to build one for you
One platform that’s very easy for non-techies to use to create a wedding website is Wix.com – it’s the same platform this website is built on!
With Wix you can also plugin a wedding registry and add buttons to your website that direct guests to your wedding gift list
4 - Order your wedding stationery
5 - Send out the wedding invitations to your guests
Make sure you put a clear RSVP date on the invites, as you’ll need to know definite numbers for the caterers and seating arrangements
Remember to include the address of your wedding website on the invites
As an alternative to ordering wedding stationery and physically posting your invites (because the cost of that can easily add up quite quickly), create a cryptic WhatsApp group and send a message to your guests saying you have a nice surprise for them
In the message, include a link to a page on your wedding website that states your getting married and that you would love to see them at your wedding - RSVP
6 - Entertainment and eating
It’s time to get your DJ sorted for the reception and also any live bands or musicians you’d like to have playing pre or post-ceremony
As far as the DJ is concerned, he or she should provide you an example of the type of music they specialise in and confirm what equipment they own. If the venue does not have its own PA system, the DJ will need to provide this and include the price of the equipment transportation as part of the quote
The actual playlist can be agreed in a couple of months which will give the DJ enough time to purchase any specific tracks you want to have played
You’re going to need to feed your guests of course, so the caterers need to be booked in (assuming there is not a package included with your venue)
It’s essential all your guests have RSVP’d so you know the numbers before you book this
If you’re using an external caterer, it’s also recommended to get the caterer to visit the venue with you, so they can make sure the cooking area is adequate for their needs
Order your wedding cake
You certainly don’t want to leave this any longer before you order yours, as the availability of cake specialists starts to diminish very quickly as you move further into the year
7 - Logistical requirements
These are all your arrangements relating to people who’ll be travelling between one location and another either on or prior to the wedding day, and for any equipment that will need transporting
Hotel and B&B bookings
Your bridal suite and rooms for family and close friends will need to be arranged – this is something the bride and groom normally take care of
For all other guests, create a list of at least 5-6 other local hotels and add this onto a page on your wedding website
Once your guests have RSVP’d and you know who’s coming, you can send an email letting them know where they can find the details so they can book their stay
Contact a car hire specialist to arrange the executive cars to pick you and your guests up from their hotels and transport them to the ceremony and reception venue
And remember to book the return journeys too – we don’t want anyone left stranded!
Chair and table rentals
In case your venue is just an empty space, or has limited seating and tables provided, you’ll want to get your seating and tables reserved via a highly reputable company – the last thing you want is not having enough table and chairs for your reception guests!
8 - It’s time to hire your florist
A good florist will help you properly plan your wedding flowers so everything perfectly matches the look and feel of your wedding, from the dress to the venue
9 - Book your honeymoon getaway
Whether you’re going to stay local or travel abroad, you’re going to want to spend some time alone to unwind after the big day, so make sure you plan your escape destination
And of course, last but not least…
10 - Organise your hen and stag parties
Apart from the wedding itself, this is what your closest friends can’t wait for!
Planning for Your Wedding with 8 Months to Go
It’s the 8-month mark and a lot of the preparation heavy lifting has now been done – well done! What you need to do next is start bringing the final elements and details of your wedding plans together.
Here’s what you need to focus on now…
1 - Agree on the attire for the groomsmen and bridesmaids
2 - Start to discuss and plan your music playlist with the DJ
This will of course include the music for your first dance