“Failing to plan, is planning to fail”

There are no universal solutions when it comes to wedding planning, but there are certain items that can be listed which will help you remember the possible tasks that need attention before your big day. Below you will find your ultimate wedding planning checklist which you could print and use on the go while making plans for the day you say “I do”:

When you first get engaged:

  • Share the news with family and friends
  • Make the news public
  • Determine wedding goals & brainstorm colours and themes
  • Create a budget
  • Set a tentative date
  • Set your dream wedding venue
  • Select your wedding party
  • Choose a wedding planner (if applicable)
  • Make a guest list
  • Book a reception & ceremony venue
  • Start a wedding website
  • Book photographers & videographers
  • Book officiant
  • Book caterer
  • Try on wedding dresses

Consider a live entertainer... It just brings something special to your wedding!

Six to eight months before your wedding:

  • Choose a ceremony and reception start time
  • Order save the dates & invitations
  • Take engagement photos
  • Block out hotel rooms & make reservations for any group activities (if applicable)
  • Book stylist & have a hair trial
  • Buy wedding dress
  • Decide on wedding attire for the groom and the wedding party
  • Book DJ/Band
  • Book florist
  • Begin to book other vendors applicable to your wedding (e.g. photobooth, gin bar, etc.)
  • Book your rehearsal dinner location (if applicable)

Do not be bullied by anybody to spend more than you can afford ...

Five months before your wedding:

  • Buy wedding rings
  • Send out save the dates
  • Book cake baker
  • Decide what DIY projects you must do and decide when it needs to get done

Four months before your wedding:

  • Buy/rent bridesmaid dresses
  • Visit the venue and plan your event layout
  • Set up your registry if you want one

Three months before your wedding:

  • Mail your wedding invites, including rehearsal dinner invites, and track RSVP’s
  • Buy a guest book
  • Buy/rent men’s attire & extras
  • Take dance lessons (if applicable)
  • Prepare decor
  • Discuss and choose what things you would and wouldn’t like to include on your wedding day (E.g. Cake cutting, bouquet toss, etc.)
  • Start creating a job list for family and friends who will be helping on your wedding day
  • Start creating your wedding playlists (if applicable)

Two months before your wedding:

  • Plan transportation
  • Buy wedding favors
  • Buy wedding party gifts
  • Buy dress accessories
  • Order rentals & lighting
  • Get your wedding attire altered (if necessary)
  • Start writing or brainstorming your vows
  • Finish up any DIY projects
  • Get your paperwork in order (DHA Requirements)

Make double sure about ALL your paperwork!

Six weeks before your wedding:

  • Work on the seating plan
  • Have your final fitting
  • Prepare toasts
  • Finalize ceremony with your officiant
  • Confirm final payments
  • Finalize the items in your day-of timeline
  • Get engagement rings cleaned and get wedding rings ready

One month before your wedding:

  • Track down any missing RSVP’s
  • Have bachelor(ette) parties
  • Make escort & table number cards
  • Prepare thank-you cards
  • Go over your wedding timeline with your wedding planner, photographer, caterer,
    and other vendors to get their feedback, and update accordingly
  • Finish up your wedding purchases and projects like menus and programs

Two to three weeks before your wedding:

  • Finalize your seating chart
  • Finalize outstanding details with vendors
  • Make your shot list for your wedding photographer
  • Make your song list for your DJ, and specify the order of your wedding party for introductions
  • Have a meeting with your wedding planner to go over all the final wedding details
  • Update and finalize your day-of timeline with information from vendors

One week before your wedding:

  • Send out a final timeline to all wedding vendors, and make sure they have directions to the venue, unloading info, and parking info
  • Make a packing list of things you want to bring to the venue, including a wedding emergency kit
  • Write out final checks for payments and gratuities for your wedding vendors
  • Have a wedding rehearsal (if applicable)

A couple of days before your wedding:

  • Drop off welcome goodies for guests at hotels (if applicable)
  • Buy any perishable food items that you are responsible for serving at the wedding
  • Start packing for your honeymoon (if applicable)

The day before your wedding:

  • Begin set-up at the venue as early as the venue will allow it
  • Hand over your planning material to your wedding planner

The day of your wedding:

  • Get married, and enjoy every moment you get to share with your husband as well as your amazing guests

The day after your wedding:

  • Clean up, pack up, and enjoy being a newly married couple
  • Have brunch with your nearest and dearest (If applicable)

One to three months after your wedding:

  • Send thank you cards
  • Relish in the memories of your wedding day and enjoy your ever after – Congratulations!

For more wedding ideas, go to www.royalelephant.co.za

For Service Providers for your wedding, have a look at our Service Providers List


About the Author

Chantel set up this list while planning her own wedding (and then fixed it!) So you know pretty much everything is included that is supposed to be there!