Mail Out Your Wedding Invitations
Be sure to take a fully assembled wedding invitation to your local post office to have it weighed. Youll also want to inquire about special services like hand-cancelling and pick out postage stamps you love as well. Read what I learned while buying/mailing my own wedding invitations here. TIP: Try mailing one to yourself before sending out the others if you really want to see what the finished product will look like.
Go Wedding Dress Shopping
The 12 month mark should see you attend your first wedding dress shopping trip if you’re a bride. This allows plenty of time for alterations. Before you go, you should know your budget and buy some nude, seamless underwear. Its also a good idea to try and go on a weekday when bridalwear shops are quiet. Dont take too many people along with you its nice to have your mum and your MOH with you, but any more opinions will only throw you off-piste.
From The Little Stuff To The Big Stuff
Our free wedding planning checklist guides you through 12+ months of the planning process, helping you to manage your time and to-do listright up until your big day and beyond.
Mark off your to-dos and write-in your own. If youre organized, youll have more time to enjoy the process and each other!
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Research And Tour Venues
Picking your venue is another wedding planning checklist task that should be accomplished early on. As we mentioned above, it’ll be helpful to have a general idea of the size of your wedding when you begin researching. Most wedding venues have minimum and maximum guest counts, which will help you narrow down the list of potential places to exchange vows. A small loft that can only hold 50 guests max, for example, might not be the place for you if you’re envisioning 200+ people. It’s also helpful to note that the wedding boom of 2022 and 2023 means many venues will book faster than years past. If you have your heart set on a specific barn for a fall Saturday wedding, you’ll want to book it as soon as possible.
- According to The Knot Real Weddings Study, 73% of all weddings fall between May and October With this in mind, book your venue as early as possible, especially if you want a day that’s highly in-demand, like a Friday or Saturday.
Figure Out Rehearsal Dinner Details
The rehearsal dinner, which usually takes place the night before the wedding, requires some planning as well. Traditionally, the grooms family plans the rehearsal dinner, but its important to figure out whos planning for this event well in advanceand make sure a venue is booked and details are hammered out in a timely fashion, about six months before the big day.
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Pay Suppliers In Full & Confirm The Running Order
With everything set in stone, its a good idea to create a wedding day schedule to send to your suppliers. Florists and cake makers will need to know what time to arrive and drop things off, and entertainment will need to know when they can set up. Send your final wedding playlist to your DJ with details of your first dance and the song you want to end your wedding to. You should also make sure all suppliers have been paid in full if they havent been already.
Research Meet & Book Wedding Vendors:
Your wedding date, venue and location, budget, and style are all important factors to know as you contact more wedding professionals. Theyre all some of the first questions you will be asked, and its helpful to be able to answer them. We recommend booking vendors who can only work one wedding on a particular date first. So, have a game plan in mind for pros such as your photographer, videographer, caterer, florist, officiant, band or DJ, and day-of wedding coordinator Having a coordinator can be a big help with organizing things like rehearsals, your wedding day timeline, and overall logistics on the big day. Once you have decided on which pros to hire, start to consider other details, like stationery, transportation, etc.
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Book Transportation For Guests If Needed
How do you know if its needed? Consider your venues parking situation, guests access to car services or public transportation, and the cost youre asking them to incur. Good rule of thumb: If its going to run them $20 or moreespecially if youve already asked them to travel for a destination wedding think about a shuttle bus. Or, some car services, such as Uber, allow you to book rides on others behalf. For everything else you need to know about wedding guest transportation, check out our handy guide.
Have A Conversation With Wedding Stakeholders
Before you can get into any planning details, you’ll need to have a conversation with potential wedding stakeholdersAKA any additional people beyond you and your S.O. who will help fund the wedding. Once you have a general idea of who’s contributing , you can move forward with setting a concrete budget and finalizing details.
Plan Stag And Hen Dos
This is traditionally the job of the best man and maid of honour, but they might need a bit of a nudge to get things organised. Its not uncommon for stag and hens to take their parties abroad nowadays, so make sure that they firm up the plans and let everyone involved know, especially if theyll need them to book time off work. If youre staying in the UK and looking to book an activity or weekend break, its still a good idea to book this now as you dont want to be left searching for available hotel rooms at a peak time of the year.
Have Your Final Fitting
Have your final dress or suit fitting two to three weeks before your wedding because your body shape is unlikely to change very much in those final weeks. Theres still time for small alterations to be made, but this is not the time to ask for anything drastic! If there are no alterations to be made to your outfit, youll usually take it home with you at this fitting. If there are, youll go back to collect it a week before.
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Get A Marriage License
If youre thinking about how to plan a wedding step by step, remember one of the most important tasksobtaining a marriage license so that you and your partner can actually get legally married! Every state has different marriage license laws, so be sure to study up beforehand. Make sure that you get your marriage license at the right timein advance if theres a waiting period in your state, but not too far in advance if the license expires after a certain amount of time. If you’re interested in changing your name after the wedding, that marriage license will be a critical step in the process.
Shop For Your Honeymoon
While you must already be experiencing the adrenaline rush because of your wedding coming closer, donât forget that the celebrations would continue till your honeymoon. Call up your best friend and grab the stylish dresses, the shoes that youâve been eyeing, and the sunglasses that make you look really chic. Make sure you pick up everything according to the destination of your honeymoon and the weather there.
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How Much Money Should I Expect To Spend On Wedding Planning
The wedding planning budget can depend on many things. For example, do you want a wedding thats both easy and convenient? Do you want a wedding thats quick and intimate or an extravagant wedding with hundreds of guests?
Start by factoring in your budget and then find creative solutions that work within your parameters. Its important to do your research ahead of time so you know whats affordable and what will really make your wedding stand out.
Set Your Date And Book A Venue
Once you have a vision guiding your wedding day, you’ll be ready to set your date and book the setting. Your ceremony and reception venue will become the backdrop for virtually all your wedding photosnot to mention, it’ll have the biggest impact on your budget and the overall vibe of your soirée. Ensure that you plan to get the look, price and extras you want by scouring local listings, shopping around, scheduling visits and booking early.
In years past, it was recommended to secure your wedding date and venue at least one year in advance. Now, to account for the wedding boom of 2022 and beyond, we recommend completing this step as soon as possible. Because vendors and venues are quickly filling up, it won’t hurt to get a head start by planning proactively.
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Ensure Rental Clothes Are Returned
As costly as your wedding gets, ignoring this might add more to your cost. So, get rid of all the rental clothing you had and submit them with the vendors as soon as you are done with reception. Give them away for someone else who needs to tie the knot and in more need of that dress than you. Besides, you are done with your time, so let it go!
It is time to capture that special moment in your life with a signature photograph and canvassing it up. Keep it in your bedroom, make sure itâs perfect and it captures not just your picture but your sentiments too. It will be stamped forever that you will live happily ever after!
We hope that now you donât stress over designing a wedding planning checklist, rather use this one, tick off everything well in time, and relax to make the most of your last days of singlehood! Planning a honeymoon whilst planning the D-day is undoubtedly a task. However, there are easier ways to plan a honeymoon in an international destination.
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Book Your Church Registrar / Minister
Whether youre getting married at your local church or having a civil ceremony at your venue you need to ensure that somebody is free to perform the marriage rites. This is especially important if you would like someone specific to oversee your ceremony. Getting this out of the way early means youre not worrying about it later down the line.
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Wedding Favours And Stationery
Its certainly a good time to start organising your wedding stationery and favours for the table. If youre hiring an external supplier for these details, you want to give them plenty of notice, or if youre making things yourself then get going its always a part of the day that you underestimate in terms of how long it will take Table plans can take a while to perfect!
Image Credit: Betulbird Photography
Have Your Final Tasting With The Caterer
At this point, youve asked your caterer to talk through these questions. Now its time to taste what theyre really made of. The tasting has become increasingly important as more and more couples choose to customize everything from their signature cocktails to their desserts. If youre nervous about heart-eyes obstructing your taste buds judgment, bring your planner or consultant. Theyve likely attended dozens of tastings, and will be your clear-eyed troubleshooterpaying attention to the detailing of the food and the attentiveness of the service, while youre crying over crab cakes to bae about how Its just starting to feel so real, you know? Heres more info on what not to do.
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Lay Out Wedding Clothes
Take a peek into them. Be 100% sure that everything is perfect. The suit, gown, lehenga or any special cloth you are wearing fits perfect. Go into the specifics and split the clothes according to the occasion. And letâs not forget ironing and conditioning your clothes. In fact, this is the first thing in the last week that you should do.
Weddings are all about how much you can spend and where you are spending that money. So, a spending sheet must be maintained. Let all the receipts go into that register as you get busy handling other important things. The more organized you are, the more hassle you avoid. Clear all the calculations and get going.
Schedule Your Hair & Makeup Trial
Reach out to your stylist and makeup artist and schedule a glam trial. This wedding planning checklist item is essential because it’ll help you finalize your wedding day look.
The Knot Editor Tip: “Not only will a hair and makeup trial ensure you and your glam team are on the same page, it’s also your chance to see what the style you’re envisioning looks like in real lifeand how it will hold up throughout the day,” says Shelley Brown, Senior Fashion & Beauty Editor. “This is also your opportunity to voice any specific questions or concerns you may have . Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for what you want.”
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The Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist: Your Complete Guide
Get on top of your wedmin with our complete 18-month wedding planning checklist! We’ve broken down the process into manageable tasks to tick off each month so it’s as stress-free as possible
Congratulations on your engagement! Now comes the next step: planning the wedding. It can seem overwhelming, but with some organisation and a helpful wedding planning checklist like this one below, you’ll find it can actually be a really fun process and go smoothly.
The average couple plans their wedding in 13 months but it depends on your timeline – some do it in as little as six weeks! We’d recommend you take at least 12 months to plan your wedding to make the process as manageable as possible. There’s a lot to do, so breaking your to-do list down into monthly chunks can make everything seem that little bit more doable, taking away the stress and injecting the fun back into your wedding planning journey.
With this wedding checklist, we start at 18 months before the big day and work right up until the day itself, letting you know what you should book or decide upon. This timeline can be condensed down to suit however long youve got to plan your wedding, but for much shorter timescales, check out our guides on how to plan a wedding in six months, three months, and six weeks.