The ultimate wedding planning checklist

The ultimate wedding planning checklist

Your partner popped the question and the wedding planning begins. After much consideration, you’ve decided to take on the role as wedding planner. With so much to do, it’s easy to forget a few things here and there. So we’ve created the ultimate wedding planning checklist, to help you on your journey.

Most checklists start 12 months before, but not everyone plans their wedding a year in advance. No matter the length of time, there are many things to plan from start to finish:

All things planning 


You and your partner need to figure out how much you’d like to or can spend for the big day. You will also need to decide who is paying for what. Try and list the NEEDS and the WANTS. It’ll be tricky since you and your partner will have different perspectives, but it has to be done.


Decide on who you’d like to invite. Keep your budget in mind as more people mean more money. It’s easier to start with family, then friends and finally extras (for example co-workers).


There are many things that have to be rented such as chairs, furniture, dance floor, linens and draping. Keep all those in mind.


If you and your partner are wanting to arrive and exit in a special type of vehicle then it’s time to book. Make sure to shop around to see what type of deals you can get.

Finish payments 

Make sure you have paid all your vendors in full, or according to their stipulations.


It’s time to decide where everyone is going to sit and who will be placed where.

Escort cards

Once you’ve planned where everyone will be seated, you’ll have to make an escort card. This will direct your guests on where they have been placed.


Wedding website

If you are wanting one, it’s best to get your wedsite going as soon as possible.


Are you going to have physical invitations or keep things digital? Either way, you need to start thinking about how you’d like them to look.


Let your guests know the date of your big day. Maybe you don’t have everything finalised, but at least they will know what day to keep free.


Finally, it’s time to invite your guests! They should already know when the wedding will be but now they will finally have all the details. Don’t forget to update your wedsite if you have decided to go that route.

Don’t forget to send out the rehearsal dinner invitations.


The wedding dress 

It’s time to start looking around for styles you like. Window shop if you must or gain inspiration from social media. Start researching wedding dress shops in your area, to get an idea of what’s available.

Buy your wedding dress

After looking around, it’s time to decide and purchase the wedding gown.

Bridesmaids’ dresses

After you’ve sorted out your dress, you’ll have to start thinking about your bridesmaids’ dresses. Think about the style and colour and how it’ll tie in with your overall theme. Keep them in mind though! Ask them for suggestions as well.

Groom’s outfit

Decide if you’re purchasing or renting. Shop around and see what’s out there.

Groomsmen outfits

It’s time to sort the groomsmen out and have them look dashing next to the hubby-to-be. Pick out what type of suits or outfits you’d like them to wear and schedule a fitting.

Wedding bands

Time to purchase your nuptial bands – the rings that will be exchanged during the ceremony.

First dress fitting

It’s important to have your dress fitting well in advance, just in case any alterations need to be made.

Final dress fitting

After a few weeks and just before the wedding, have your final dress fitting.

Clean the ring

Have your ring cleaned by a jeweller so that it’s extra sparkly on the big day!


Wedding venue

Chances are, you probably have a place in mind, but if not, a great idea is to list a few and get quotes for each. Make sure you write down a little bit about each place and what will be included in the package.

Rehearsal-dinner venue

If you’re opting to have your dinner at a different venue, it’s important to book it well in advance.


Vibe and theme

Decide on what the atmosphere is going to be like at your wedding. Think of the theme. This will be a lot easier when you’ve decided on a venue.

Colour theme

What colours are going to be prominent throughout your wedding? Pick your favourite colours or opt for the classics.



Think about what flowers you’d like at your wedding and research florists in your area. Explain the vibe of your wedding and show them examples if you can. If you’re not sure of what you want, they should be able to advise based on the information you’ve given them.

Floral test 

Your florist can show you a sample of how the final flower centrepieces will look. If you have any changes or add-ons, you can inform them.



Who is going to feed your guests? What type of food do you have in mind? Whoever you choose needs to be able to accommodate what you and your partner want, along with all sorts of dietary needs.

Final taste 

After deciding on who’s going to feed your guests and what type of food you may like, your caterer should prepare a tasting menu of everything. This is your chance to tweak anything you may not like or would rather prefer. Be sure to take someone whose tastebuds you trust!


Start looking for wedding cake ideas. Once you more or less know what you would like, set up a meeting with a bakery or cake maker. Decide what flavour and style you want.

Plan the menu

You’ve chosen a caterer and tasted the food, now you need to finalise the whole thing and set the menu.



Don’t forget to book your wedding photographer, videographer, DJ and band. It’s important to look or listen to examples of these professionals. Do you like their style? Do they play your type of music? Don’t be shy to ask for recommendations.

Engagement photos

Some wedding photographers include an engagement photoshoot in the full package!



Yay! Pick a place for your wedding registry and start choosing what you and your partner will need or like! Alternatively, many couples now ask for cash donations or ask guests to donate to their favourite charities, so consider these options as well.

Gift bags

Getting presents is great but gifting your guests with something is fabulous. Make a list of ideas that you can give your guests as party favours.

Wedding-party gifts

As a little thank you to your bridesmaids and groomsmen, you can buy them all a little gift.


Ceremony musicians

If you are wanting musicians to perform at the ceremony, it’s important to book in advance.

Song selections

You and your partner should by now have a list of must-plays for your wedding. Discuss which songs you’d like the ceremony musicians to play and what the band or DJ should play at the reception.

Marital things


Who’s going to marry the two of you? Decide and book them!

Pre-marital counselling

This is a great way to receive relationship counselling. It’s important to be set up with the right tools and information for issues that may arise later in a marriage.


If you’re choosing to write your own vows, it’s important to start early to avoid stressing about it later. Don’t leave it for last minute. Take the time to reflect on your relationship and think about what your partner means to you and the promise you will make.

Marriage license

In order for your marriage to be seen as legal, you’ll have to obtain a marriage license.



If you can your partner are deciding to have your romantic getaway straight after the wedding, then it’s time to start planning and booking. Look for various package deals and what you will have to obtain (passport, visa etc.) The sooner you book your tickets, the cheaper they are.

Pack and finalise

Don’t forget to pack and remember your documents. Be sure to call and confirm all of your travel arrangements and bookings.


Hair and makeup trial

Start researching beauty artists and their work. Ask for prices and available packages. Set up a trial so you can see the final look. Many artists include the trial in the fee.

Beauty treatments 

Time to get your hair, nails, skin treatments and hair removal done – the works! Don’t forget to include your partner in the journey as well.

Cute extras 

Write a note to your loved one to be exchanged on the big day.

Practice your vows (trust us).

Night before

Eat a great meal.

Have your personal items and little things you might need in a small bag. 

Go to bed early!

On the big day

Don’t forget to eat something.

Get ready nice and early to avoid any unnecessary stress – work out a schedule.

Exchange the cute note 🙂

Say THANK YOU to everyone.

And finally…

Enjoy your big day! After all the planning and stress, it’s time to celebrate. The day will go by so quickly so don’t miss a moment.

Feature image: Pixabay

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