Wedding planning – your to-do checklist from engagement till the big day

By author photo Kate Merryweather

wedding · 17 Apr 19

Getting married? There’s a lot to organise. Our checklist takes you through everything you need to do from engagement to the big day. Including wedding essentials and optional extras, it will help keep you on track for a stress-free wedding.

On your engagement

  • enjoy it for a bit (no need to rush into wedding planning)
  • choose your wedding date
  • work out a wedding budget
  • throw an engagement party

Twelve months before

  • choose your venue
  • read wedding magazines and blogs for inspiration
  • start a wedding Pinterest board
  • hire a wedding planner
  • book a celebrant
  • start a healthy eating program if you plan to lose weight for your wedding
  • choose your bridal party

Nine months before

  • book your florist, entertaining and caterers
  • book a photographer and videographer
  • arrange your invitations
  • start dress shopping
  • reserve a block of hotel rooms for interstate or overseas guests
  • distribute save the date cards

Six months before

  • arrange your bridal registry
  • create your wedding website
  • plan your honeymoon
  • purchase dresses for bridesmaids
  • shop for flower girls and pageboys – choose generous sizing so children don’t outgrow them
  • arrange bridal transport
  • start a skincare regime with regular facials (either DIY at home or with a salon) for glowing skin on your wedding day

Three months before

  • purchase your wedding and bridal party shoes
  • book any pre or post wedding events
  • choose your wedding cake
  • confirm the catering menu with your reception
  • arrange bonbonnière gifts for wedding guests
  • purchase the rings
  • distribute the invitations and gather RSVPs
  • launch a wedding website for guests
  • work with your celebrant to write your wedding vows
  • arrange readings for the ceremony
  • select your ring bearer

The month before

  • brief your photographer and videographer with the photos you’d like, listing the important people who need to be included
  • enjoy your hens’ night with your bridesmaids
  • finalise dress fittings for yourself and your bridesmaids
  • have a trial with your hair and makeup artist
  • choose your music: for walking down the aisle, reception, departure and in between
  • brief anyone giving speeches or toasts at the wedding
  • select your wedding lingerie
  • print menu cards and programs (include lyrics to any hymns that will be sung if you’re having a religious ceremony)
  • confirm availability with all vendors, pay any outstanding fees and find out their policies if they are suddenly unable to attend
  • plan for weather contingencies in case of rain or extreme heat on the day
  • check your local state laws regarding lodging a Notice Of Intended Marriage form
  • have your final haircut, colour and facial
  • assign guest seating
  • purchase gifts for bridesmaids, flower girls and page boys

The week before

  • circulate a detailed running sheet with contact details for suppliers, speakers and the bridal party
  • wear in your wedding shoes
  • book a pamper session to ease pre-wedding nerves
  • plan a relaxing evening the day prior to the wedding
  • pick up your dress and bridesmaids dresses
  • get your nails done

The day before

  • pack a bridal bag of emergency items such as band-aids, pain relief tablets, makeup, hair pins, tissues
  • get a spray tan

smile – you’re getting married tomorrow!

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