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Your ultimate wedding planning checklist

Wednesday 19th September 2018
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You’re engaged? Congratulations! Now the dust has settled and you’re used to being a fiancee, it’s time to start thinking about your big day!

Whilst it’s likely you’ll have an idea of what you want (and don’t want) for your wedding, the order in which to organise things can be a little trickier. Our wedding planning checklist is here to help!

12 months to go

Decide on a budget
Get any awkward conversations about your budget out of the way, and work out what you want to spend where. Deciding what’s most important to you as a couple, and ultimately what warrants the most money is perhaps the most important thing to decipher at this stage.

Top tip: Excel spreadsheets can come in handy!

Set the date
Do you want a summer wedding or a spring wedding? Do you want a Friday or do you want a Saturday? Set the date, and prepare to be flexible: there’s nothing worse than finding our your dream venue is booked on your chosen date.

Work out your guest numbers
Now is the perfect time to start discussing your guest list. Sit down with your partner, and draw up a list of those ‘must-have’ invitees. It’s also worth crafting a reserve list, just in case some people can’t make it.

Choose your wedding party
If you haven’t already popped that all important question, now is the time to do it. Make it special with bridesmaid and groomsman proposals!

Secure wedding insurance
Ok, ok… it’s not the most glamorous task but it’s got to be done, right?! No one wants their dream wedding ruined by accidents or other unplanned mishaps do they?

11 months to go

Save the date
Get your chosen date in the guest diaries, now! If you’ve chosen a spring or summer wedding it’s important to give people as much notice as possible to avoid conflicting dates.

Book your photographer
Photographers can get booked up years in advance, so once you’ve decided on one you like, we recommend confirming as soon as you can. Make it a priority to get to know them and vice versa. It’ll help them perform better for you on the day! You can browse our recommended list of photographers, here.

Say yes to the dress
Shopping for your wedding dress can be one of the most exciting and equally daunting tasks. To begin, we’d recommend creating a pinterest board of your favourite designs. This will help you to get a good idea of the style you may want before you go shopping. If you’re going bespoke, you’ll need to allow at least six months for completion, and bear in mind alteration times, too!

10 months to go

Start planning your honeymoon
From budget to location, flights to hotel, the more in advance you can book your honeymoon the better (in terms of securing exactly what you want). Plus, it’s nice to have something to look forward to when the stress of wedding planning gets a little too much!

Book your entertainment
Do you want a solo singer or a band? Live music or a DJ set? Deciding upon your entertainment early can help you shape the order of your day. It’s important to think about timings and any restrictions your venue might have, too. You’ll have time to fine tune your chosen songs later!

9 months to go

From your wedding bouquet to reception décor, button holes to guest corsages…

Menu tasting
Now is the time to firm up your wedding menu and drinks with your caterer, keeping in mind allergy sufferers and vegetarians where possible.

Wedding party outfits
Now you have your dress, it’s time to turn your attention to the bridal party. Having spoken to the florist about your blooms, you’ll be sure to have a colour scheme in mind at this point!

8 months to go

Order stationary
Everything from wedding invitations, envelopes and place cards, to menus, order of service and the seating plan – it’s time to get cracking! See our recommended list of suppliers, here.

7 months to go

Choose your wedding cake
With just 7 months to go, it’s time to find your perfect wedding cake. Choose the flavours, composition, how it will be transported and the type of icing it’ll have (particularly if you plan to save any of it). It’s important to consider how the cake will cope in your chosen venue, too!

Top tip: Don’t forget the cake topper!

Order your wedding favours
With less than 7 months to go, you should have received confirmation from your guests on who can attend the wedding. At this point, it’s a great time to choose, and order your wedding favours.

6 months to go

Plan your order of service
Confirm the order of service with your minister or registrar and have the guest books printed.

Book your hair and makeup
Time is ticking and so now is a great time to book your hair and makeup trial(s). Find out everything you need to know about wedding trials and make sure you’re prepared. If you’ll be doing your own makeup on the day, it’s a good idea to invest in some trial sizes of any products you think you might like to wear.

5 months to go

Prepare for the honeymoon
With almost everything sorted for the wedding, now is a good time to turn your attention to the honeymoon. Depending on your destination of choice, you may need visas, inoculations and money that has to be ordered. Don’t forget the clothes shopping, too!

Plan the hen party
Get those hen-party plans in action! A great one to delegate to your maid of honour (don’t you think?!) An important aspect of the role, right?..

4 months to go

Plan a wedding rehearsal
Organise a rehearsal for before the big day, and make sure the most important wedding party members will be there. This is the time to ask questions, make mistakes and most importantly… get excited!

3 months to go

Attend a reading of the banns
If you’re having a church wedding, with 3 months to go it’s a good opportunity to attend a reading of the banns. Usually, they’re held three consecutive Sundays before the day of your wedding.

2 months to go

Book any last minute beauty treatments
No doubt you’ll want to look glamorous on your wedding day, it’s the most important day of your life! Make sure you’ve got that bridal glow sorted by booking any beauty treatments you’ve forgotten up to this point.

1 month to go

Pay everyone
This month is set to be an expensive one! Keep in mind that after you’ve put deposits down, most wedding vendors will want you to pay the remaining balance the week before, or the week of the wedding.

Take some time to relax
Well, that’s it – the wedding planning is officially over! Now it’s time to take some much needed time to relax and get ready for the big day. Why not gather your hens for a girls-night-in or treat yourself to a much needed spa day? The choice is yours!