If you’re currently in the early days of wedding planning, it usually doesn’t take long for the stress and overwhelm to start sinking in.
With seemingly hundreds of tasks to get done before the big day – how on earth are you supposed to keep track without forgetting anything?!
When it comes to stress-free wedding planning, we’re big fans of using checklists to easily see what needs to be done and when. Not to mention that sense of achievement as you start ticking tasks off your list!
We’ve previously shared our 12-month wedding planning timeline, but we thought we’d go a little deeper with all of the individual tasks involved in each element of your day. From flowers and furniture through to photography and organisation, keep reading for the ultimate wedding planning checklist to help you plan the perfect nuptials!
Initial Organisation Checklist
Start your wedding planning on the right foot with some simple organisational tasks to streamline the process:
- Create a separate email address for all of your wedding admin and correspondence.
- Start a designated wedding folder to keep all of your notes, contracts and other documents in the one place. You can use a physical binder or an online folder like Dropbox.
- Create your to-do list and set deadlines for upcoming tasks using a digital wedding planner.
- Start gathering inspiration through Pinterest and bridal blogs.
- Define your wedding vision and set your priorities for the day.
- Begin researching different suppliers via local wedding directories and make a shortlist for each category.
- Go through your finances and set a realistic wedding budget (use our budget calculator to make this easy!).
- Begin a spreadsheet or use a digital app to start tracking expenses and payments.
- Choose your wedding date (and confirm with close friends and family to avoid clashes).
Choosing the perfect wedding venue is usually the first big decision you guys will make together. Don’t forget to action all of the below to help you find and secure the perfect fit:
- Create a venue shortlist and arrange site visits (use our venue research profile sheet to help you take notes and narrow down your options).
- Check availability and pricing for your chosen wedding date.
- Get clear on any additional costs, venue access details and other need-to-know information (download our printable list of must-ask venue questions here!).
- Secure ceremony and reception venue with a deposit and set a reminder for final payment.
- Grab a copy of the venue floor plan to help you create your table layouts.
Guest List Checklist
Who’s joining you on the day? Work your way through these simple steps to lock down your guest list once and for all:
- Decide on the number of guests you can invite due to budget, venue capacity and personal preferences.
- Create your A-list and B-list (use our helpful step-by-step guide to get started!).
- Organise your invitations and save the dates (why not go paperless for an eco-friendly wedding?).
- Send out your save the dates.
- Send out your first round of wedding invitations.
- Send out your second round of invitations pending RSVPs.
- Keep track of your RSVPs to determine your final guest list (top tip: automate this to save time and stress!).
- Determine any dietary preferences and pass on to your caterer.
- Ask your guests for a song request and add to your reception playlist.
Bridal Party Checklist
Your bridal party members will become your support system in the lead up to your big day. Add these tasks to your to-do list to help your crew navigate their way throughout the planning process:
- Choose your bridal party members and ask them for their involvement!
- Determine colours and styles for bridesmaid and groomsmen attire, hair and makeup.
- Determine who will be covering costs for what (read our top tips for bridal party roles and responsibilities here to avoid any awkwardness!).
- Plan your bridal shower.
- Organise thank you gifts for each bridal party member.
- Organise wedding morning attire like matching bridal robes or pyjamas.
Wedding Website Checklist
Communicate all of your important wedding day details with guests by using a digital wedding website! Here’s what you’ll need to get done:
- Choose a wedding website design.
- Write your different wedding website sections including your welcome message, about us story, gift registry and bridal party bios.
- Communicate any trickier topics like kids or plus ones.
- Personalise your wedding website with photos and other creative elements.
- Send your wedding website link to guests.
Wedding Planner Checklist
Considering hiring a wedding planner to help you bring your day to life? If so, add these to-dos to your list:
- Decide whether you’ll need full wedding planning or on-the-day coordination.
- Begin sourcing quotes and arranging consultations. Use our printable list of must-ask questions to help you find the best fit!
- Secure wedding planner with a deposit and set a reminder for final payments.
- Share your Pinterest board and other inspiration to communicate your wedding vision.
- Handover all important wedding information including contact details, access times, supplier correspondence, floor plans and seating chart.
- Arrange final check in before the day to run through wedding timeline.
Floral Design Checklist
No wedding is complete without beautiful blooms. Work with your floral designer by ticking off these tasks:
- Go through each area of your wedding to determine your floral requirements, including bouquets, bridesmaid bouquets, table arrangements, boutonnieres, backdrops, cake flowers, etc.
- Check which flowers are in season for your wedding date.
- Create a Pinterest board with floral inspiration.
- Begin sourcing quotes and arranging consultations.
- Secure your floral designer with a deposit, set a reminder for final payment.
- Source floral vases if not provided by your florist.
Furniture and Decor Checklist
Deck out your dream day with furniture, decor and creative styling. Don’t forget these important tasks to ensure nothing is overlooked:
- Go through each area of your wedding from ceremony to reception and create a list of furniture hire requirements. Eg. dining tables, chairs, tableware, ceremony seating, ceremony arbour, cocktail furniture, linen and textiles.
- Begin sourcing quotes and arranging consultations. Top tip: reduce the number of hire suppliers to save doubling up on delivery costs.
- Secure hire provider with a deposit, set a reminder for final payment.
- Organise delivery and pick-up times with hire provider.
- Source materials for any DIY styling tasks you’re taking on board (see our top 10 DIY styling ideas for some inspiration!).
Wedding Dress Checklist
Finding the perfect wedding dress doesn’t have to be difficult! Add these tasks to your to-do list before dress hunting:
- Schedule dress fittings at desired bridal boutiques (giving yourself plenty of time!).
- Extend the invitation to your mother, bridesmaids or other important loved ones.
- Prepare for your fittings with appropriate undergarments.
- Narrow down your options and secure your dream dress!
- Schedule alterations and additional fittings if necessary.
- Purchase wedding day accessories including shoes and jewellery.
Your celebrant will play a huge role in your ceremony proceedings. Make sure your I-do’s run smoothly with these simple tasks:
- Source quotes and organise consultations with potential celebrants (read our top tips for finding the perfect celebrant to get started!).
- Secure celebrant with a deposit, set a reminder for final payment.
- Complete any necessary paperwork and legal documents provided by your celebrant.
- Meet with your celebrant to create your ceremony proceedings together.
- Write your wedding vows and hand over to your celebrant before the day.
Make lifelong memories and capture your big day with the help of a photography pro! Here’s what you’ll need to get done before your celebration:
- Source quotes and organise consultations with potential photographers. Find the perfect fit using our printable list of questions.
- Secure photographer with a deposit, set a reminder for final payment.
- Book an engagement shoot if desired.
- Create a shot-list with any important photos you want captured, handover to your photographer before the day.
- Decide on locations for bridal party photos (or ask your photographer for their tips).
- Bundle all of your wedding day details together on the morning of your wedding for flat-lay photos (eg. stationery suite, rings, shoes, jewellery).
The best part about any wedding; the food! Keep bellies full and guests happy with these catering to-dos:
- Decide on your menu style (eg. feasting style, alternate drop, buffet).
- Begin sourcing quotes and arrange tastings with caterer.
- Begin sourcing quotes and arrange tastings with cake designer.
- Secure caterer and cake designer with a deposit, set a reminder for final payment.
- Finalise menu items and cake flavours.
- Update caterer and cake designer when final guest numbers have been confirmed.
Lighting, AV and Entertainment Checklist
Create a beautiful ambience and set the tone for your wedding with lighting and music. Don’t forget to organise your AV requirements, too:
- Organise microphone and speakers for ceremony proceedings.
- Choose processional songs.
- Create reception playlist.
- If playing music from a phone or computer, delegate the task of starting/stopping music to wedding coordinator or trusted loved one.
- Organise microphone, lectern and speakers for speeches.
- Secure any additional entertainers (eg. acoustic musicians, bands, DJs) with a deposit, set a reminder for final payment.
- Organise additional lighting for reception if required.
Hair, Makeup and Beauty Checklist
Get your glow on and ensure your hair and makeup is on point with these bridal beauty tasks:
- Source quotes and secure hair and makeup providers with a deposit, set a reminder for final payment.
- Source hair and makeup inspiration through Pinterest and share with suppliers.
- Book a hair and makeup trial before the day to confirm final looks.
- Start a skincare regime and book in for weekly facials as the big day approaches.
- Book in your pre-wedding spray tan if desired.
- Book in your final haircut, colour or treatments before the wedding.
And finally, the smaller details that can be easily overlooked! From transport to health and wellness, don’t forget to add these miscellaneous tasks to your list:
- Organise transport for ceremony and reception if needed.
- Book honeymoon (and ensure passports are up-to-date if travelling overseas!).
- Purchase wedding rings and have your jewellery cleaned before the big day.
- Organise your MC for the day and prepare with timeline and wedding day details.
- Consider taking out wedding insurance to keep you covered for incidentals.
- Organise a dress rehearsal for your ceremony.
- Organise any other pre or post-wedding events.
- Organise on-the-day childcare if needed.
- Determine your wet weather plan and communicate to all suppliers.
- Create a master run sheet for the day and send out to all suppliers.
- Put together an emergency bridal kit for the day.
- Prepare thank you notes.
- Prioritise your health and wellness: take up weekly yoga or start practising meditation to help reduce stress.
- And finally, don’t forget to relax and enjoy! Wedding planning is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so soak it all up and have some fun with it.
Personalised Checklist & Task Management
Checklists can be a serious lifesaver when it comes to keeping track of all your to-do’s, but it’s important to keep a master checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. Scribbles on random pieces of paper just aren’t going to cut it when you’ve got 100+ tasks to manage.
If you’re anything like our couples and want to save yourself time by streamlining your wedding planning process, it’s time for you to take your checklist to the next level and use a proper task management system.
Going digital with your wedding planning will allow you to plan from any device while you’re on the go. Our intuitive checklist will give you personalised deadlines based on how much time you have to plan, so you’ll know how to pace yourself and get everything done without worrying that you’ve forgotten to do something.
You can even invite your partner, bridal party attendees, or wedding planner to help you plan and delegate tasks to them.
There’s a lot more you can do to streamline your wedding planning process, so if you’re ready to step up your wedding planning game you can learn more about our suite of digital planning tools right here to get started!