Ideas and Inspiration

Complete wedding planning guide

For most of us, our wedding day will be the biggest event that you need to organise in your lifetime, so it pays to be organised!

  • Our complete wedding planning guide below gives you a step-by-step run down on the key things you’ll need to be on top of. Every wedding is different, so you should use the list of tasks below as a guide and create your own checklist.
  • 6-12 months before the wedding

    • Announce the engagement to family and friends
    • Discuss the wedding style you both envisage
    • Discuss how the wedding expenses will be shared or divided
    • Select ceremony and reception venue
    • Meet with your chosen ceremony officiator to discuss ceremony
    • Choose your bridesmaids and groomsmen
    • Start looking into your gift registry
    • Start looking for your gown
    • Discuss honeymoon plans
  • 4 to 6 months before the wedding

  • Shop for wedding rings
  • Complete your guest list and ask your parents to do the same
  • Interview and hire your photographer/videographer
  • Send “Save the Date” invites
  • Build your wedding website if you choose to have one
  • Decide on transportation arrangements
  • Determine requirements for marriage license
  • Book your wedding night accommodation
  • Choose bonbonniere
  • Delegate tasks for the wedding day
  • Purchase invitation supplies if you’re making yourself or lock in your invitation supplier
  • Caterer: Discuss and choose menu
  • Investigate cake options
  • Order floral arrangements, bouquets, button holes and corsages
  • Meet with photographer and discuss key shots
  • Videographer: Discuss approach and express you’re preferences
  • Entertainment: Select style of music for ceremony and reception.
  • Compile a list of music for both and give a copy to the band and/or DJ
  • Send invites to overseas guests (the earlier the better so they can arrange accommodation and transport)
  • Agree on dates for hen’s/bucks parties
  • Decide on who will give speeches and brief them in!
  • 2 months before the wedding

    • Send invitations
    • Check in with each of your key suppliers’ progress and confirm arrangements with each
    • Select gifts for each other, attendants, parents and other helpers
    • Pick up rings and make sure they fit
    • Select readings, poems, or prayers for the ceremony (give copies to everyone who will be reading them)
    • If writing all or part of your vows, begin to put them together
    • Start keeping a list of gifts you receive so you remember when it comes time to send thank you cards
    • First draft seating plan (this is likely to have several revisions!)
    • Confirm transportation arrangements and honeymoon plans
    • Sketch out run sheet for the day including the reception
    • Put together a list of key supplier contact details:
      • Florist
      • Photographer
      • Caterer
      • Cake Supplier
      • Band
    • 1 month before the wedding

      • Check final details with all of your suppliers
      • Have your final fitting for your gown. Bring shoes and hair accessories to confirm that they match
      • Send out additional invitations as you receive regrets
      • Work on seating plans
      • Meet with officiator to finalise the plans for the ceremony
      • Make arrangements for the rehearsal and bridal party dinner
      • Organise going‐away outfit and clothing for the honeymoon
      • Practice hairstyles (with/with out headpiece), either by yourself or with a stylist
      • Schedule makeup trial run or practice
      • Schedule final hairdressers/day spa appointments
      • Plan transportation to the ceremony and the reception
      • Confirm run sheet for the day
    • 2 weeks before the wedding

      • Check in with suppliers as needed
      • Pick up wedding gown
      • Check that you have something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue!
      • Confirm seating plan and send through to caterer/venue
      • Delegate a friend or family member to be the key event contact for the day
      • Delegate all major jobs to your bridal party and close friends/family – you should not need to co-ordinate a thing on the day
      • Begin writing place cards or delegate this task to calligrapher, stationer, or attendants
      • Compose reception toasts
      • Check in with everyone doing tasks for you on the day
    • 1 week before the wedding

      • Check in with suppliers as needed
      • Finish writing seating and place cards
      • Assign final wedding‐day duties to your attendants and helpers
      • Pack for the honeymoon
      • Enjoy dinner with your bridal party
      • Create a checklist of all items you will be bringing to the ceremony and reception
      • Relax and be pampered – have a facial, pedicure, manicure and massage/body scrub
    • 24 hours before the wedding

      • Have breakfast with attendants, close family or a few friends
      • Give groom’s ring to one of your bridesmaids to hold for the ceremony
      • Give bride’s ring to the best man
      • Have luggage and honeymoon documents taken to the reception location or wherever you will spend the night of the wedding
      • Hand bridal emergency kit to a friend or family member (Sewing kit, aspirin, tissues, rescue remedy!)
      • Give gifts to the parents to thank them for their help and support
    • Before the ceremony and reception

      Ask your key event contact (close friend or family member) to do the final checks for you:

      • Confirm that ceremony chairs are set up and that all elements of the decor have been properly arranged
      • Confirm that the musicians/DJ arrive on time to set up
      • Confirm that attendants and groomsmen have arrived at the ceremony location
      • Confirm that officiator has arrived at the ceremony location
      • Confirm that the photographer and/or videographer have arrived
      • Ensure that the guest seating and tables have been set up and arranged according to plan
      • Confirm that a microphone is available for toasts
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