Guide and Checklist for the Perfect Wedding-Planning
Posted by Krystal Lau Monday 9 Mar 2020
For most, engagements can be a bittersweet experience because when you're still basking in "engagement bliss", one day you will wake up to an abrupt realisation that you have to plan your wedding. But first, we would like to congratulate all happily engaged couples! Taking a huge next step in your relationship can be exciting yet frightening. Especially when it comes to planning your wedding, it can be very stressful and overwhelming as there are many aspects to be taken care of. Making lists in your head or writing them down on scraps of paper just wouldn't do. But rest assured as we are here to help guide you with our step-by-step wedding-planning checklist and monthly timeline that spans up to a year in advance. Read on to find out how to make wedding planning enjoyable by breaking down your planning process into bite-sized pieces.

The Bigger Picture
Before jumping into a detailed and in depth checklist, let's look at it as a bigger picture to get the overall idea of the whole planning process. Listed down below are general logistics of things needed to be done for the wedding to happen:

Source: Freepik

This list will then be broken down into smaller steps so that it is manageable. Furthermore, you can also delegate some of the tasks to your friends and family so that you wouldn't feel too stressed or overwhelmed. Next, it's time to dive into our detailed guide of wedding planning process. You're free to add or shift things around if you desire to, so let's start the planning process!

12 Months Out
First, you need to think about your wedding date in order for the whole planning process to start. Next is determining the budget on how much money will be spent on your wedding. Decide who will be contributing the money and start to allocate funds accordingly. You can also start compiling a guest list where you can add along the way. Using an organised spreadsheet with columns for contact number or email, home address, RSVP status, gifts and other information which is crucial to keep track of every guest.

Moving along, it is also time to choose your bridal party or in other terms, wedding party roles such as maid of honour, bridesmaid, best man, etc. They are often the important aspect of your planning process as they can help lift some burden off you. The next step is more on researching for information before making your decision such as the venue, theme of the wedding, important VIP vendors, your wedding dress, bridesmaid's dress and veil ideas. For the venue, it is important to factor in the time to travel between the reception and ceremony as you wouldn't want to be late for your own wedding. As for VIP vendors, it's important to focus on the caterer, photographer or videographer and a wedding planner or coordinator. Lastly, start to research on 'Save the Date' card ideas as these need to be sent out as early as possible. 

10 Months Out
By now you need to finalise your wedding date and venue. Choose from your list of venue locations, narrow them down to a few of your favourites. It is recommended to personally visit and tour each favourite reception and ceremony venues to get the overall feel. After that, book and lock down the venue on the wedding date that you've chosen. Now that it is finalised, it is time to place orders for the designing and printing of your 'Save the Date' cards. 

Next, it is time to hire every important VIP vendor that you've previously short-listed. Meet up with each one to convey your idea and theme of your wedding. You will need to discuss with your photographer on the date to shoot your engagement photos and make sure that they are done with the photoshoot within these two months. You also need to meet with your caterers to discuss the food and beverage that are going to be served during the reception and ceremony. 

Moving on, it's time to research secondary vendors such as the officiant, hair and makeup, entertainment, cake baker, florist, etc. Not only that, start to take into account the accommodations for the night before your wedding, on your wedding night as well as for out-of-town guests. Lastly, if you're planning to purchase your wedding dresses and bridesmaid's dress online, start scheduling measurements to get an accurately fitted dress.  

8 Months Out
Now it is time to mail your 'Save the Date' cards to the list of guests you've compiled over the past few months. It is also time to hire secondary vendors and meet up with them to discuss details for the wedding. Find a day to meet up with your baker to choose your preferred cake style and schedule tastings in order to get the perfect cake you want. Meet your hair and makeup stylist to explore the styles you would like to do together. It is also crucial to schedule multiple tastings with your caterer to agree on a few types of food and beverage. You should also meet up with your florist to go over your general ideas and themes as well as placement of the flowers at the reception and ceremony. This could give your florist ample time to design and come up with various styles that are closer to your requirements. You can also start researching honeymoon ideas such as location, plane tickets, hotels, etc. 

Next, it's time to create gift registries for your guests to know what is needed to purchase as a courtesy. You can either do it online or any popular brick and mortar store. Besides that, you can opt to create your wedding website after receiving soft-copies of your engagement photos. There are many website builders on the internet that are free or you can purchase for a small fee such as Squarespace and Wix. You can also check out here for more details and other website builders. 

Moving on, it gets even more exciting! It's time to search for inspiration and ideas for your wedding dress as well as finally buying it. You can click here for our popular bridal dresses or check out below for our carefully curated selection of trendy wedding dresses that you might like. 

$257.99 USD

$178.00 USD

$272.30 USD

$189.00 USD

$170.00 USD

6 Months Out
If you haven't booked anything for your honeymoon, you should start this month. Plan and book everything down to the last details such as transportation, sight-seeing packages, spa packages, etc. This is to ensure you have a smooth-sailing romantic honeymoon with nothing to worry about. Furthermore, you also can start browsing wedding invitation designs as well as any other card designs needed for the wedding such as rehearsal dinner invitation, programs, menu cards, place cards, thank yous and favour cards. Not only that, you can start choosing the type and colour of the flowers for the wedding ceremony, reception, bride's bouquet, tossing bouquet, flower girl's bouquet, floral crown or hair flower and boutonnieres. As for your wedding cake, you can also start placing your order. But make sure you're extremely confident with the whole concept and taste first! 

The next step is to decide on the groom, groomsmen and best man's attire. Remember to schedule measurements and fittings for every one of them! Moving along, we're sure by now you will have a few confirmed and important bridal party roles that needs to be present so you should start assembling the rehearsal dinner guest list. Also, you need to remember to meet up with your officiant to discuss and roughly map up the ceremony. Lastly, you can start browsing ideas and inspiration for your bridesmaid dresses. Click here for trending bridesmaid dresses at Luulla. Consequently, you can check out the few bridesmaid dresses below for ideas.

$199.99 USD

$116.10 USD

$139.00 USD

$106.00 USD

$119.00 USD

4 Months Out
By now, you will have to finalise your honeymoon plans because there won't be time as you get nearer to your wedding date. Go through every booking, reconfirming the details and dates, finalise everything and put it aside, not to think until after your wedding. Next if it is a must, you can start preparing a list of songs for your DJ or band. Include the genre or type of songs that you prefer, specific songs you would like them to play as well as songs that you want to exclude. You will also need to schedule with your hair and makeup stylist for a trial run to find a style that you really like and to ensure clarity of ideas. Booking for transportation is needed to be done as well. Don't just book rides for you and your hubby, you will need to accommodate rides for your guests because some might be arriving from the airport or might be living from hotels that are a distance from the reception or the ceremony. Next, you should already finalise the guest list after narrowing down or adding to reach your desired amount of guests. Besides that, you should also start booking your rehearsal dinner venue and inform the host on the headcount. Also, remember to place orders and purchase the groom and groomsmen attire after confirming with all the measurements with your tailor. 

Moving along, it is never too early to start researching for inspiration and ideas for the preparation of ceremony reading and vows because why not? Isn't it interesting to compile romantic or funny quirks to say during your wedding and especially to your future husband? But on a more serious note, you will also need to purchase key wedding items such as wedding bands or rings, guest book, ring bearer pillow, toasting flutes, cake toppers, etc. You can also start browsing ideas for wedding favours to give your guests when they attend your wedding. Furthermore, it is also time to search for bridal accessories that completes your wedding look such as the veil, garters, jewelries, shoes and so forth. Feel free to check out Luulla's wedding accessories and wedding heels for inspirations. Lastly, time to plan for your bachelor and bachelorette party! Schedule meetings with your maid of honour and bridesmaid to plan your most exciting night together.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

2 Months Out
There's only 2 months left so it's time to tie up loose ends. Start finalising your menu and flowers for the reception and ceremony so that your vendors have ample time to make preparation for them. Now that it's out of the way, remember the designs for all the wedding cards? Well, it is time to order and print your wedding invitation card, thank you card, program card and menu card if necessary. Next, schedule a meeting with your photographer one more time to go over and discuss your wedding day programs, plans and shooting concepts. Also, follow up on your DJ or band regarding the playlist that they have come up so far and request a demo if you wish. As for wedding favours that you've previously researched, start placing orders soon including the materials needed to pack them in such as baggies, ribbons and so forth. 

Moving along, after you have received your printed wedding invitation, start sealing them in envelopes and send them out according to your finalised guest list. But take note, traditional letter invites might get lost or overlooked so it is also necessary to send ecards through email or any messaging apps. Take this time to put together information needed for the rehearsal dinner and the list of people that needed to receive this information to attend. Next, another important task that needed to be given attention is to research local marriage license requirements, civil union, domestic partnership rules, name-change paperwork and such. This could prevent any embarrassing mishaps along the way if you have clear knowledge on the process. Also, if you've already started receiving wedding gifts, it is time to pick up your printed thank you cards and send them to your gift givers as a courtesy. And lastly, time to carry out your carefully planned but fun-filled bachelor and bachelorette parties! Remember to have lots of fun but stay safe! 

Photo by Terje Sollie from Pexels

1 Month Left
Firstly, you need to update the RSVPs status of your guests using the spreadsheet you've previously created. After that is done, you can choose to start preparing the seating chart for your guests to get an overview of how it looks like. Next up, meet with your officiant to finalise the contents of the ceremony reading and vows as well as collecting your marriage license. Just in case there's any further changes needed to be done, you still have the time. After that, you should be able to finalise the outline and timeline of the ceremony and place an order for the program card to be printed. This is so that you can hand the program card to important people that help to make your wedding successful. Which leads to this crucial step where everything needs to be reconfirmed to make sure no mishaps on the wedding day. The list below is every vendors that you need to reconfirm your order details, remind them of the date as well as to settle deposits and payment:

- Venue for the reception and ceremony
- Accommodation 
- Transportation 
- Photographer
- Caterers 
- Officiant
- Florist
- Baker for your cake
- Hair and Makeup Stylist
- DJ or Band

Following up, you should also start wearing your wedding heels around the comforts of your home to break them in. This is important because on your special day you will be on your feet all the time, so it is imperative that you feel comfortable with wearing that pair of heels because the last thing anyone wants is the bride limping down the aisle. Lastly, it is time to relax a little bit and pamper yourself. Plan a day at a spa with your best friends, go for beauty treatments as well as nail appointments. You need some time to sooth those tight knots and stress from all those months of planning.

Photo by Freddy G on Unsplash

2 Weeks Left
Your special day is nearing and we bet some of your guests haven't RSVP yet. So get on with it and start contacting them because you need to give your caterer and venue host on the final guest count. Update your seating arrangement while you're at it as well as creating place cards for each table or seating. Next, the most important of all is to make sure that all clothing and dresses that needed to be worn on your wedding day are already sent for cleaning. 

Moving on, reconfirm with the guests that are attending your rehearsal dinner as well as update them on the details. You can also choose to show appreciation to family members, friends and bridal party by purchasing thank-you gifts beforehand which can be given to them during the rehearsal dinner. Also remember to delegate wedding day duties to your ever-loyal family and friends. Appoint each person a duty such as manning the gift table, the guest book and so on. Next, if you're planning to change your hair colour by dyeing it, now's the time to make an appointment with your hair stylist. One more important tip is to start assembling your wedding "oh sit kit" together. This is the basic essentials where if there's a mishap or an emergency, you are able to temporarily defuse it. A few example items that you might need are aspirin, makeup, safety pins, mints, snacks, emergency kit and so forth. 

1 Week Left
There's only one week left, but don't panic. If you have done everything listed here you are safe to relax a little. Firstly, reconfirm the arrival time of each vendor on your wedding day as you do not want any unnecessary delay. It is imperative to give each of them an emergency number to call as you might be busy on your big day. You can give out your family or bridal party's number to the vendors but with their consent of course. Another idea is to organise and delegate a family or friend to be responsible for a specific vendor. Next, a tip to keep you organised and hassle-free when it comes to the payment of vendors after your wedding is simple. Just place all payments and tips for your vendors in labelled envelopes and hand it over to a trustable family member to manage. 

Moving on, it is time to review all the details of your honeymoon such as flight schedule, accommodation booking number, receipts, itinerary and such. Once you are confirmed with all of your details, make sure to print out a few copies and hand them to important friends and family members as a precaution. Next, gather all the gifts, favours and supplies that you have previously purchased and start assembling them. This includes all the wedding favours, welcome baskets and thank you gifts. 

The next step is equally important but fun. Lay out your wedding ensemble and try them on to make sure everything is in order. You may do a full wedding dress rehearsal from underwear to veil by yourself or you can include your bridal party and friends to make it fun.  Moving on, remember to start packing your overnight bag for your wedding day as well as your honeymoon luggage. Start packing earlier in the week so that you have ample time to try out, create and pair looks for your honeymoon photos. Lastly, go for your much needed spa sessions with your girlfriends to relieve some stress, you deserve some pampering. 

1 Day Before
It's the day before your wedding, are you excited or nervous? First things first, call up your baker and caterer to make sure your cake and food are on track and are able to proceed as agreed on the next day. Remember to call up your driver to remind them again on the transportation for the next day. Next, drop off favours and last minute menus, table plans and place cards with your venue host. Also, make sure all wedding-day items are already packed, laid out and ready to go. Don't forget the rings and marriage license! 

Moving on, it is time to prepare for your wedding rehearsal. Receive all your important attendants for your rehearsal such as friends, family, officiant, bridal party and groomsmen. Next, rehearse the ceremony with a full wedding party including the ceremony reading, speech by the officiant as well as vows exchange. Don't forget to pass all the key people your appreciation gift after rehearsal. 

After all that's done and if you have time, why not call in a masseuse into your living quarters for a relaxing massage? It will help calm your nerves, allow you to fall asleep easier and wake up refreshed. Lastly, don't forget to sleep early, all brides need their beauty sleep!