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Are You Getting Married? Here is your Essential Wedding Planner

As soon as you get engaged/once you’re serious about planning the wedding

  • Sit down with your other half and discuss your ideal wedding to make sure you’re on the same page
  • Draw up a budget
  • Start planning the guest list. Decide on approximate number of guests –this may impact your choice of venues
  • Pick potential wedding dates – check with important guests to avoid clashes
  • Research potential wedding venues and ceremony locations – if separate
  • Pop the question to your bridesmaids and groomsmen
  • Enlist any helpers/talented friends of family with aspects of the wedding (for the cake, flowers, dresses etc)
  • Optional: Have an engagement party

12 Months Before The Wedding

  • Visit and book your reception venue and ceremony location
  • Research potential wedding services and suppliers – photographer, florist, invitations, cake, decor, music, hair and make up
  • Consider and review wedding insurance options
  • Decide what type of entertainment you want for ceremony, drinks reception and dancing
  • Book Photographer
  • Book Videographer
  • Research and consider options for your venue and ceremony decor
  • Start your wedding dress research
  • Send Save the Date cards – important if you’re getting married abroad, or during a very busy time of year

8/10 months before

  • Book ceremony music, band and DJ for reception
  • Research and reserve accommodations for guests
  • Contact decor hire companies if you need to rent anything for ceremony/reception, such as chairs, tables, and tent.
  • Book Honeymoon
  • Order wedding cake
  • Book Groomsmen’s Suits
  • Book Pre-Marriage Course

6/8 months before

  • Book ceremony musicians
  • Ensure passports are in date for honeymoon –  order new ones if necessary
  • Start planning honeymoon
  • Start planning Hen & Stag Parties – well not you, the best man and bridesmaids should!


4-6 months before

  • Choose bridesmaids’ dresses
  • Choose and order wedding invitations & stationery
  • Attend pre-marriage counselling, if required (for catholic ceremonies)
  • Meet with florist to discuss options
  • Shop for groom’s suit
  • Organise the legalities — give at least 3 months notice to registrar or priest/religious celebrant
  • Decide on prayers, readings and music for mass booklets — check with your priest / registrar
  • Organise invitations and order of service booklets
  • Arrange travel vaccinations if necessary
  • Organise wedding transport
  • Start gathering addresses for guest list –create spreadsheet for RSVPs

2-3 months before

  • Send invitations to guests
  • Order wedding rings
  • Rent the men’s formalwear
  • Attend dress fittings
  • Choose wedding rings
  • Organise gifts for parents, bridesmaids, groomsmen and each other
  • Book hairdresser and organise hair trial
  • Book a makeup artist and go for makeup trial

4 weeks before

  • Have final wedding dress fitting
  • Make any last-minute adjustments with suppliers
  • Finalise details for, and order mass booklets/order of ceremony
  • Order and plan in-room welcome baskets for out-of-town guests

2 weeks before

  • Review final RSVP list and call any guests who have not yet responded
  • Deliver must-have shot lists to photographer and videographer. Include who should be in formal portraits and determine when portraits will be taken

1 week before

  • Give venue/caterer final guest head count
  • Supply wedding coordinator with a list of supplier requests such as a table for DJ or setup space needed by florist.
  • Create your table plan
  • Print placecards
  • Call all wedding suppliers to confirm arrangements, create timetable for day
  • Give ceremony and reception site managers a schedule of vendor delivery and setup times, plus contact numbers.
  • Get manicure, massage, waxing & all your preening and prep
  • Do full wedding dress rehearsal from underwear to veil
  • Pack an overnight bag for the reception
  • Pack for the honeymoon
  • Organise money to be paid to suppliers on the day

2-3 days before

  • Make last minute changes to table plan if necessary
  • Groom: Go for final fitting and pick up your formalwear.
  • Groom: Ask the best man to make sure all groomsmen attend fittings and pick up their outfits.
  • Confirm pick-up times with wedding car company
  • Reconfirm final details with all vendors. Discuss any necessary last-minute substitutions.

Day before

  • Drop off place cards, table cards, menus, favours, table plan to reception coordinator
  • Provide all wedding professionals with an emergency phone number to call on the day of the wedding.
  • Sort out payment (write cheques/organise cash) for any final balances to be paid at the end of the reception.
  • Ensure the cake is on track to be delivered to reception venue
  • Rehearse ceremony with full wedding party ceremony readers your officiant at the ceremony site to rehearse and iron out details.
  • Get a good night’s rest

The Wedding Day!

  • Give the gifts for your parents to the best man/bridesmaid for after the speeches
  • Get flowers delivered to the bride’s house
  • Give wedding bands to the best man to hold during the ceremony
  • Give best man the officiant’s fee envelope, to be given after the ceremony
  • Introduce your reception coordinator to your wedding planner (if you’re having one), or bridesmaid/bestman for questions or problems during the reception.
  • Assign a family member or attendant to be the photographer’s contact so he knows who is who.

After the Wedding

  • Prearrange for someone to return any rentals.
  • Preplan for attendants to take the bride’s gown for cleaning and return the groom’s tux to the rental shop.
  • Write and send thank-you notes to gift-bearing guests and vendors who were especially helpful.

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