The Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist - 12 Month Countdown

Wedding Planning Checklist 12 Month Countdown

A wedding planning checklist may not sound terribly romantic.  But without one things are sure to get chaotic – and that’s not very romantic either!  So, because we want your day to be perfect, here’s a 12 month wedding day countdown calendar so you get everything sorted without last minute panics.

You said YES – yay!

  • Throw an engagement party
  • Discuss your dream wedding venue with your partner (they may have other ideas!) then start your research
  • Fix a ballpark wedding budget and start a guest list
  • Pick some possible wedding dates and run them past must-attend guests
  • Need to hire a wedding planner?  Decide now!

12 months before the big day

  • Create wedding reception and ceremony venue shortlist, visit, compare…then make the booking
  • Start your wedding dress, wedding cake, wedding photographer and wedding florist research – not forgetting wedding stationery, hair and makeup, music and entertainment!
  • Send your Save The Date cards
  • Research wedding insurance
  • Think about what style/theme you want for the wedding reception and wedding ceremony
  • Get your bridesmaids and groomsmen sorted
  • Start thinking honeymoon – exciting!
  • Setting up a wedding website? Start researching options.

8 - 10 months to go

  • Sort any bookings that are still outstanding – and don’t forget things you may need to rent – chairs, tables, marquee…
  • Accommodation for guests? Start researching and booking.
  • Make honeymoon arrangements – flights, hotel, car hire, visas, vaccinations.
  • How’s the website coming along?

6 - 8 months – time is flying!

  • Still not got the dress ordered? You may pay extra if you leave it any longer…
  • Check passports still valid for honeymoon and start planning activities and excursions
  • How are the best man and bridesmaids getting on with the stag and hen party arrangements?

4 - 6 months and getting busy

  • Sort bridesmaids’ dresses, groomsmens’ suits, groom’s outfit
  • Finalise wedding invitations and stationery
  • Check with registrar or celebrant to cover off the legalities
  • Prepare details for ceremony booklets - prayers, readings and music
  • Start tracking RSVPs
  • Book hairdresser and makeup artist, and then do trials

2 - 3 months – not long to go

  • Menu tasting with your wedding venue or caterer
  • Buy wedding rings
  • Send invitations
  • Attend dress fitting sessions
  • Buy gifts for parents, bridesmaids, groomsmen and each other, as well as shoes, accessories, hair vines, veil, bow ties etc.
  • Don’t forget outfits for flower girls or page boys!

4 weeks – nearly there!

  • Contact late RSVPs
  • Get order of service printed
  • Final dress fitting
  • Check suppliers are prepared

2 weeks

  • Give final guest numbers to wedding venue and caterer then agree seating plan
  • Give a list of must-have shots to your wedding photographer/videographer with details of who to include in formal portraits and group shots. Schedule time to get these images and appoint a relative to assist them with identifying who’s who.

1 week – final wedding day countdown!

  • Call all wedding suppliers with timetable for day and any last minute details
  • Share list of wedding supplier requests with wedding venue and ceremony coordinator. Also provide them with supplier contact numbers and times they’ll be arriving
  • Print place setting cards
  • Time for your final manicure, massage, waxing etc
  • Pack for honeymoon (assuming you are going straight after wedding) and separate bag of everything needed for your big day/night

2-3 days

  • Collect groom’s outfit and check best man does the same for groomsmen
  • Confirm pick-up times with wedding car company
  • Contact all suppliers to check everything is in order
  • Give running order and suppliers' contact details to best man and maid of honour

The day before your wedding day

  • Give place cards, table cards, menus, favours and table plan to wedding venue coordinator
  • Check when the cake is arriving and organise someone to receive it
  • Full ceremony rehearsal with all those who have an active role

Your big day!

  • Pass wedding rings to the best man along with fee for officiant
  • Gifts for parents – give to best man or chief bridesmaid for presentation after the speeches
  • Make sure flowers for bride and buttonholes for groomsmen are delivered to wherever they are getting ready

Final word on planning your wedding

The better you plan your wedding the more smoothly everything will go. Using this wedding planning checklist and countdown timeline is sure to minimise your stress!  You’ll also find the Your Perfect Day Wedding Planner super helpful – there’s more detail about key aspects of the process and plenty of space for recording lists, appointments, questions and notes.

4 thoughts on “The Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist - 12 Month Countdown

  1. avatar Betty Adams says:

    Excellent article, I’m lucky that I came across this article! Thanks for sharing this checklist. Many couples out there are looking for a guide that can help them with their preparation. I remember when we were just starting to prepare for ours, we were really nervous about what steps to take, but thanks to Paradise Wedding Chapel for helping us out.

  2. avatar Rebecca Gardner says:

    It was helpful when you explained what to do 6-8 months before. My sister wants to plan a destination wedding. We’ll use your checklist to simplify everything!

  3. avatar Anna Davis says:

    It’s good to know that you should give your caterer final guest numbers 2 weeks before the event. I’m planning to have an outdoor wedding in September. I’ll keep your advice in mind as I find a caterer and finalize other plans.

  4. avatar Shammy Peterson says:

    You got me when you said that you must be discussing your dream wedding venue with your partner the moment you said yes. This is a good tip for my sister who is getting married next year. Her fiance has finally popped the question last night, and we are all excited for them. I heard that she wants a barn wedding site, and she must have this discussed with her fiance so they can start finding a good location.

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