Ideas & Advice

12 months to go! Your essential wedding planning checklist

Don’t want to be scrambling for time a few months or weeks before the wedding? All you need is this nifty checklist to help you better manage your time!

Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

12 months to go  

  1. Announce your engagement.
  2. Set wedding date. Have standby dates ready.
  3. Determine your wedding style and budget.
  4. Get recommendations for wedding venues and wedding vendors. Start attending wedding shows and scouting for locations.
  5. Book venue. Some months are particularly popular, for examples, August to January, so you’ll need to book early. 
  6. Prepare the necessary documents to legalise your marriage.
  7. Begin a diet/exercise routine and start getting into shape. 
  8. Start a folder or Pinterest account with sections for dresses, suits, flowers, etc to file away ideas.
  9. Make a checklist and tick off as items get done. 
  10. Start researching for inspiration from online sources and bridal magazines.

9 months to go 

  1. Confirm wedding venue if you haven’t done so. Discuss menu. 
  2. Book a professional wedding planner if you need/want help.
  3. Shop for your wedding bands.
  4. Book photographer and videographer.
  5. Shop for bridal gown(s) and groom’s attire. Confirm if possible.
  6. Select your bridal party attendants, bridesmaids, etc. Assign them their duties.
  7. Look up on florists and hair and make-up artists.
  8. Book wedding date with ROM, church or officiant.

6 months to go 

  1. Book hair and make-up artists.
  2. Confirm bridal gown(s) and groom’s attire if you’ve not done so.
  3. Confirm your wedding bands.
  4. Consolidate the guest list with your fiancé and both sets of parents.
  5. Shop for bridesmaids’ and groomsmen’s outfits, and your accessories such as shoes and jewellery
  6. Enquire about wedding car rentals.

6 to 4 months to go 

  1. Confirm all wedding vendors – from flowers, music and catering.
  2. Shoot your pre-wedding photography. For overseas pre-wedding shoots, it depends on your preferred season.
  3. Reserve accommodation for overseas guests
  4. Start planning your honeymoon.
  5. Order wedding stationary, including wedding invitations, thank you cards and guest book.
  6. Shop for wedding favours (if not provided by wedding venue).

3 months to go

  1. Finalise guest list and start planning seating arrangements.
  2. Shop and buy your bridesmaids’ dresses and groomsmen’s attires.
  3. Confirm transportation for yourself, the bridal party and out-of-town guests.
  4. Send reminders for venues and solemnisation officiant.
  5. Confirm all wedding decor ideas, bouquets, centrepieces.
  6. Send out invitations for out-of-town guests.
  7. Discuss different looks with hair and makeup people, and go for trial runs. Confirm looks. 

2 months to go 

  1. Send out local invitations.
  2. Go for food-tastings and confirm menu.
  3. Confirm that out-of-town guests have received invitations and settled accommodation details.
  4. Organise and finalise seating arrangements. 
  5. Organise your actual day programme and run-through.

1 month to go 

  1. Confirm that your gowns and those of your bridesmaids will be ready on time.
  2. Prepare fees or hongbao where applicable, such as for the officiant, and your “sisters” and “brothers”.
  3. Start breaking in your shoes so they won’t pinch on the day.
  4. Fix a date for a church rehearsal (if you’re having a church ceremony) two weeks before the wedding. Notify attendants.
  5. Confirm all other arrangements that have not been finalised.
  6. Plan your hen and stag nights.

2 weeks to go

  1. Have your church rehearsal or run through the day’s duties with attendants.
  2. Have a final dress fitting, including shoes, lingerie and accessories.
  3. Collect all outfits!
  4. Have your hen and stag nights. Stay healthy.
  5. Arrange for bridal flowers to be sent to your home early on the day itself.

1 week to go

  1. Finalise all minor arrangements that haven’t been done, such as, has your partner passed the rings to the best man?
  2. Arrange for a bridesmaid to accompany and help you on the day - this takes the stress off you.
  3. Give all payments to the best man; leave him to pay the respective people.
  4. See if you and your fiance can get away for a day spa - pamper yourselves with a few luxurious treatments.
  5. Finalise honeymoon details and start your packing.

1 day to go

  1. Rest and relax so you’ll both look great on your big day.
  2. Have a manicure and pedicure.

On the day

  1. Let the chief bridesmaid or planner take charge of everything, which includes reminding the other attendants of their duties.
  2. Relax and enjoy your wedding day!

See also: The ABCs of wedding planning, 16 creative ways that will help make wedding prep so much easier, and bridal beauty checklist: one month to go