Most people these days start planning their wedding plenty of time in advance. There are many reasons why you should do this. Often, it’s because venues get booked up quickly, and it’s also to do with how much needs to be organized. Whatever the length of time before your wedding, our essential checklist will cover everything you need in order for your big day to run smoothly. We’ve also added in some different ideas that you may not have thought of!

Lily Pond at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden by David Lindner
Lily Pond at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden by David Lindner

A Year in Advance: Beginning to Plan

Book Your Venues and Reserve Your Dates

Whenever you’re booking your wedding, this is one of the first things you do. This includes venues for the ceremony as well as the wedding reception if they’re not in the same location. Make sure to keep in mind the time of year and location because you wouldn’t want to book an outdoor venue in the middle of a blizzard in January! Planning is everything!

Organize Your Guest List

This is also a good time to do this , after all, you need to make sure that your venues are suitable for the number of people you plan to invite. Word of advice, try not to invite anyone that may want to steal the spotlight on your wedding day. Some people live for drama and that would be the worst thing to happen on your big day, unless of course you like to spice things up a bit!

6-9 Months Before

BUY YOUR DRESS!

You’ve probably been planning this years before being popped the big question. And as far as your gown goes, buying it at this time gives you enough time for the boutique or shop to have it tailored. It also allows you to make any alterations that it made need once the dress comes in.

Book Your Photographer and Videographer

A wedding isn’t a wedding without memories in the form of photographs! Make sure you inform them of the venue and time to be there to set up. Also make sure to ask them where they think the best place for them to set up will be. If your event is outside, make sure to ask them if the location of the ceremony on the grounds will have good lighting to capture everything and that the sun won’t be in the way either.

Book Your Entertainment Now

Photo Booth Rental Open Air Booth
The Open Air Photo Booth would be great entertainment for your guests!

This could be a band for the evening event, or even an accordion player for your welcome drinks! A great idea for guest entertainment is to book a photo booth. Not only will this entertain everyone at the ceremony but both you and your guests will have wonderful souvenirs from your big day!

Have Your Guests Save the Date

Around this time, let your guests know to save your date. You’d be surprised how many people have dates in their calendar years ahead! And, you don’t want to be disappointed when someone you invite can’t make your wedding. Make sure they have plenty of time to plan out their schedule.

3-6 Months Before

Time to Send Out the Invitations

You can wait until 3 to 6 months before the wedding to send invitations because your guests will have already saved the date!

Purchase the Wedding Rings, Order the Cake, and Book the Florist

Wedding Cake with Flowers
Wedding Cake with Flowers

Now is the time to purchase your rings, order the cake, and book your florist. You want to make sure that everything is ready to go on your big day! Don’t forget to ask your florist what kind of flowers will work best with your theme style and color scheme. As far as the rings go, ordering them sooner rather than later will ensure they will be ready to go on the day of your wedding. It will be plenty of time for them to be resized if needed as well.

Schedule Your Hair, Make Up, and Nail Appointments for the Morning of Your Wedding

The last thing you’d want is your favorite stylist to be booked on your big day! Make sure to schedule it well before the ceremonies start so you aren’t rushed for time. Also make sure its not too early if you’re afraid that it might get messed up in the preparations leading up to the ceremony!

Plan Out Any Wedding Favors

Another thing to think about is organizing wedding favors. If you opt for a Flip Booth as your entertainment, you could give your guests a voucher as a wedding favor so that they can exchange it in the Flip Booth for their own flip book souvenir!

The Lead Up (1 Month – 1 Week): End Game Plan

RELAX

You will still have to do some planning and organizing obviously, but delegate as much as you can to trusted people! You will still feel super busy in the run up to your wedding so make sure you take time to relax and de-stress. Get your hair cut, have a spa treatment, get your manicure and pedicure sorted. The last thing you want is to look stressed and tired as you walk down the aisle! Don’t forget to break in your shoes too!

Double Check Your RSVP List and Pick Seating Arrangements

You will need to check your RSVP list for final numbers, design your seating plan and organize meal choices. Also, you will have to confirm all of your bookings and make your final payments. 

The Big Day!!

All that planning for this moment! The Big Day: at the altar
All that planning for this moment! The Big Day at the altar.

With everything organized well in advance, your wedding day should run smoothly! So, take the time to relax and enjoy it. Don’t forget to spend some time to take it all in (and to also stop by the photo booth if , after all, it will pass you by in a flash!