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Real Weddings
19.08.2015

The Ultimate Checklist

 for Bridal Sanity

Wedding planning is both one of the most exciting yet overwhelming times in a bride’s life. Even with the help of a professional planner executing your vision in an event of that size can be quite the challenge, but have no fear because below is an incredible checklist that can make sure you have everything ready, and not a minor detail is overlooked, all while alleviating some of the stress and pressures involved with planning such a special day. 

To properly plan a wedding it takes about one year to do, so this checklist has been conveniently broken down to help you follow the appropriate timeline.

12 Months Until Wedding

Congratulations on your engagement! Now comes the intimidating part of wedding planning, figuring out where to start. Here’s what to tackle first.

  • Set a Budget - decide how much you can afford to spend, considering all costs associated and any contributions loved ones may make
  • Hire someone to conduct your ceremony - officiates are in high demand, especially in prime wedding season, be sure to secure yours early
  • Make a Guest List - this is important because the size of your guest list affects many aspects of planning, such as budget and venue
  • Select a Theme - choose your desired theme or colour scheme now so you can work towards your vision while planning
  • Hire a Photographer - and also schedule an engagement shoot. Some photographers offer these as part of the package.
  • Research Vendors - make a short list of potential vendors for flowers, cakes etc
  • Choose your Wedding Party - give them lots of notice so they can be involved in the planning process
  • Visit Venues and Book Yours - venues book well in advance so this is the time to check them out, make your selection and leave a deposit

7-9 Months Beforehand

  • Book Entertainment – Whether it’s a band or DJ, photobooth or magician – entertainment can really make a wedding super special
  • Menu Planning - whether you're using a caterer or using the venue's staff, meet with them and discuss menu options, appetisers and a signature cocktail
  • Dress your Bridal Party - select the attire for your wedding party including shoes and accessories
  • Book Hotels - reserve a block of hotel rooms close to the venue for out of town guests
  • Save the Date - select your save the date cards and start looking at invitation possibilities

6 Months Away 

  • Send Invitations – this may seem early but it gives you plenty of time to plan for those not attending, and invite others in their place.
  • Hire a Coordinator - they day of your wedding you will be too busy to focus on details, make sure someone is available to handle these tasks 
  • Order Invitations - also send out save the dates 
  • Hire Vendors – Whether it’s the DJ, the florist, baker, decorator or limo driver, now is the time to be leaving deposits with all of these vendors
  • Design Reception Space - take note of what decorations are provided by the venue and what will need to be rented, purchased or made

4 Months to Go

  • Plan the Rehearsal - book for the rehearsal dinner and arrange the itinerary 
  • Order the Cake - one of the tastiest jobs involved!
  • Pick Wedding Favours - try and choose something that compliments your theme 
  • Select Music - make a do not play list for the DJ, and choose ceremony, entrance and first dance music

3 Months Until Wedding

  • Finalise Food - definitively set the menu and order menu cards 
  • Seating Chart - this task is difficult and takes time, so start now
  • Plan Itinerary - build a timeline for the day, including who will do toasts, speeches and emcee the day. Forward this information to vendors
  • Purchase Accessories - now is the time to get the rings, guest book, unity candles and any other necessary accessories

2 Months Beforehand

  • RSVP’s - these will start rolling in be sure to keep a confirmed list
  • Gifts - purchase wedding party gifts 
  • Marriage Announcement - publish in the local paper and online

1 Month Away

  • Final Numbers - RSVPs should be in, send final numbers to you vendors 
  • Payments - this is the time all final payments should be made unless otherwise stated in the contract
  • Honeymoon - confirm flight and hotel reservations

2 Weeks to Go

  • Directions - provide directions for those driving to the venue 
  • Delegate - rally the troops and delegate wedding day tasks to those able to help
  • Prepare Gifts - prepare bridesmaid and family gifts to be given out at the rehearsal dinner

1 Week Until Wedding 

  • Reconfirm - verify all details and timelines with vendors and bridal party
  • Pack - pack everything needed for the wedding day, night and honeymoon
  • Set Wedding Day Schedule - make plans for the bridal party for the day of the wedding, including where they will prepare, and who will assist
  • Practice - practice your vows and any speeches you will give 

Day Before, Day Of

  • Rings - make sure you give the best man the rings
  • Tips - set aside any payments still owing as well as gratuities for the vendors 
  • Love note - write a special note to be delivered to your soon to be spouse before the ceremony 
  • Have a worry free, incredible day full of laughter and love!
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