The 2021 Dream Wedding Checklist Planner

Updated: Mar 17, 2021

Wedding list

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;

  • Wedding cake

  • Hair and makeup specialist

  • Wedding flowers

  • Etc.

Wedding flowers

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

Choose 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 – 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

wedding invitations
  • 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

  • Music

wedding reception dj hire
  • 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

  • Food

  • 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

Beautiful 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

  • Transportation

wedding cars
  • 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

Book a wedding 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

Maldives honeymoon
  • 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

Stag & hen party
  • 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

  • It’s important to also remember there’ll be multiple generations present and so the main reception music should account for at least some differences in musical tastes

3 - Decide on the venue décor

wedding venue decor
  • Again, how much needs to be done here will be dependent upon the agreement you have with your venue. Typically, the items you need to think about and cover off are;

  • Table linen

  • Cutlery, crockery, and glasses

  • Chair covers

  • For outdoor events, gazebo or marquees will need to be hired, and

  • Any special lighting or projector screens

4 - Work out your wedding gift list for the wedding registry

wedding gifts
  • This is probably one of the most exciting parts of getting married!

Planning for Your Wedding with 6 Months to Go

Can you believe it? You’re already at the halfway mark – how time flies. Ok, let’s look at what’s to do as you move into the home stretch…

1 - Arrange the fitting dates for the bridesmaids’ and groomsmen’s attire and pay for their hire or purchase

2 - Decide and hire your hair and makeup stylist

3 - Organise any necessary legal and customary paperwork for your wedding

  • This is also the ideal time to make sure you have your passports and to look into any visas you may need to travel to your honeymoon

4 - Contact your desired church

  • If you’re opting for a church wedding, you’ll need to arrange to meet the reverend or vicar

  • They will talk you through the components of the ceremony, from the prayers through to the readings

5 - Order any signs you’d like to be displayed outside the ceremony venue and/or reception venue

  • These signs are typically those you see sitting on an easel when you arrive at the entrance of the ceremonial venue confirming to guests they are attending the wedding of you and your partner

  • It’s also common to see signs providing directions for parking or to get to a specific art of the venue where your wedding is taking place

6 - Make a final decision on your bridal accessories and purchase them

7 - Choose and buy Your Wedding Rings

Planning for Your Wedding with 4 Months to Go

1 - Finalise your RSVP count and confirm numbers with all necessary parties and suppliers

  • This is also the time to check for any specific dietary requirements – you can direct people to your wedding website to do this

2 - Contact your officiant or celebrant and signoff on the ceremonial detail

3 - Sit down with the caterer to agree on the menu

  • Now you know the number of attendees and their dietary needs, the menu can be discussed

  • It’s imperative you get a taster day booked in soon after to make sure the food is at the standard you need

4 - Catch up with the photographer and videographer to confirm what details you’d like to be captured on the day

5 - Organise a pre-stag and pre-hen party evening

  • Often not everyone attending your stag or hen night will know each other, and so a good idea is to arrange a pre-party get together that will see everyone introduced before the parties happen

Planning for Your Wedding with 2 Months to Go

We’re into the final sprint now, with only weeks to go!

This is what arrangements are needed at this point…

1 - Buy a round of thankyou gifts for your bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents and anyone else you’d like to thank

2 - Create an itinerary for the day and share with your Best Man and bridesmaids

  • This should include;

  • Guest arrival times

  • Transition timings from hotels to ceremony venue

  • Supplier arrival and setup times

  • Etc.

3 - Write out your wedding vows

  • It goes without saying that you should take your time writing these out

4 - Check up on any necessary fitting alterations being completed

  • You’ll want to ensure a final dress fitting is also booked at this time

5 - Finalise the flower orders with your florist

Hire a wedding florist

6 - Agree on the final music playlist with the DJ

7 - Obtain your marriage license

8 - Organise clarity meetings for the groomsmen and bridesmaids

  • This is a quick get together for both sets to make sure everyone is clear on their roles and responsibilities for the day

9 - Settle up all outstanding payments

Planning for Your Wedding with 1 Week to Go

In the last few days and hours before your wedding, this last period of time is all about checking and double checking that everything is as it should be.

Wedding checklist

Some final hints you’ll find useful are;

  1. Make sure all the bridesmaids and groomsmen have each other’s numbers

  2. Make sure all suppliers have not only your numbers, but also your Best Man’s number and the numbers of your parents

  3. Buy a portable power bank so you can charge your mobile on the go if needed – it will be getting used a lot that day

  4. Do a triple check on all the hotel bookings

And that just about covers everything off for you!

So on behalf of Into The Wild, we’d like to wish you a phenomenal wedding day and hope you’ve found this wedding checklist really helpful.

Into The Wild Florist would like to thank the following image sources:

Concept and florals: @harleysflowers

Decor and styling: @angelsandgypsies

Cakes and treats: @bespokebakes

Photography: @tcullenphotos

Balloons: @theballonstylistlondon

Dresses: @gillianrobertsbridal

Hair accessories: @honeyvtiaras

Hair: @hair_by_hare

Stationery: @sweetopheliadesigns

Models: @honeyedwardsm & @Ethan_b2400

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