Updated: Nov 17, 2019
Stress less and get organised with Adelaide Weddings Chit Chat's official Wedding Planning Checklist to kick off your wedding plans and ensuring you've not missed a thing!
Samuel & Katie. Captured by Wedding Photographer - Glenn Alderson.
12+ Months Out
• Set the date Kick of your wedding day journey by deciding on a wedding date, whether the date has significance to you as a couple, or sometimes couples choose wedding dates based around the availability of your favourite wedding supplier.
• Prepare your guest list Before you book a venue you need to decide on a rough number of guest to ensure you have the right venue to suit. Whether you have 50 guest or 500 guest may determine the kind of venue you will require.
• Find a stationary supplier You will need to send out some save the dates and invites soon so to kick things off you will need to find a stationary supplier.
• Set your budget You may need to do some research as to how much your dream venues and vendors will cost, but either way, you can set a rough number and try and stick with it but you don't need to stick with it 100%.
• Research and book your venue(s) There are alot of venues to choose from in South Australia, we are so lucky everything isn't too far from the Barossa Valley to McLaren Vale and everything inbetween. The sooner you book your venues, the easier everything else will be to plan as they all fall into place. You will need to book a venue for your ceremony and for your reception, whether they are both at the same location or not, go for what you've always dreamed of! Things you will need to take into account when venue shopping will include venue capacity whether you're having seated or cocktail, venue hire costs and inclusions, catering options, and even locations for the photoshoot!
• Select your bridal party
Starting looking into and decide how many and who you would like to stand by your side on your special day.
• Wedding planner or DIY?
Depending on how busy your lifestyle may be or your experiences in planning large events, you may consider taking on the help of a wedding planner. There are various options with planners who can do everything from start to finish, right up to just 'on the day' coordination to help manage things on the big day.
• Book your on-the-day wedding suppliers
That includes the wedding photographer, videographer, celebrant/officiant, DJ/Band, florist, hair and make up artist, photobooth and wedding day transport. High demand wedding suppliers tend to get booked out well in advance, so if you suspect they may be super popular - get on them ASAP! (But do your research so you don't end up with someone dodgy as it can and does happen)
Photographer/Videographer - find someone who's style you like, whether it's bright and posed, dark and moody, natural and un-posed. Look around and don't feel pressured into going with someone who you may regret later on. Go with your heart and choose who's work you love. Make sure you've seen alot of their work and whole day albums. Ask lots of questions.
Celebrant/Officiant - meet up with as many as you can to find the style you're after, whether you want someone older or younger and modern there are lots of choose from.
DJ/Brand - your wedding reception's entertainment can make or break your wedding reception! A quality DJ/band can get the crowd up and dancing.
• Go wedding dress shopping! Book a date with your besties or your Mum and go have some fund trying on dresses.
Lauren & Ben. Captured by Vu Phan Productions.
8 Months Out
• Order your wedding invitations Now that you've got your stationary supplier sorted at this point, you can now look into and order your wedding invitations. A quality stationary supplier will have a vast range of style to choose from and can cater to your style.
• Order your wedding cake Alot of cake makers offer taster days or even at expos. Try out some free cakes, look into cake designs and book it in.
• Send save-the-date cards To make sure your guests can take a sicky and don't miss your special day.
• Buy your bridesmaid's outfit and accessories Take the ladies out for a day's shopping and trying on some outfits and accessories.
• Research ideas for your honeymoon Who doesn't love a good holiday!? Whether you're after something local or international, now's the time to start looking into it.
• Wedding day decor Research and get some inspo for your dream decor for your venue(s) and then secure a decor supplier who can create your vision.
6 Months Out
• Book your honeymoon Done your research? Now's the time to start locking those honeymoon bookings.
• Have your hair and make up trials See if your hair and make up artist can produce what you've envisioned your look.
• Shop for groom and groomsman's outfit and accessories If you're wanting your man to look his best, now's the time to start looking into suits, whether you're after something bespoke, made to measure or off the rack. Bespoke will require about this much time from the wedding day for measurements, trials and final alterations.
• Go wedding ring shopping Ring shopping!
Sara & David. Captured by Wedding Photographer - Glenn Alderson.
3 Months Out
• Dress Alterations Look into some dress alterations, whether the one your dress supplier recommends or elsewhere.
• Buy your wedding rings Pay off and pick up your wedding rings.
• Finalise menu and drinks Decide on the evening's food and drinks for the big party.
• Choose an MC for the reception An MC isn't just about announcing to the crowd what's happening, an amazing MC energises the room and keeps wedding suppliers in the loop as to what's happening. Nothing worst than MC Uncle Bob starting the speeches with the photographer and videographer not in the groom! (Who you've paid thousands for to capture all the important moments of the day).
• Send out your wedding invitations About now is when you send out the invitations to your nearest and dearest.
• Choose your wedding music and readings You will need music throughout the day and readings during the ceremony if you're having any. You will need music for:
Ceremony - Bridal party entrance, bride entrance, signing, bride/groom exit.
Reception - Bridal party entrance, bride/groom entrance, first dance, father/daughter and/or son/mother dance, bride/groom exit.
• Buy gifts for the bridal party Buy your besties a little gift for spending the day with you, a popular option these days is the bridal gift box idea to present to the bridal party on the big day during the morning. You can fill the gift box with candles, bath bombs, and chocolate just to name a few!
• Begin planning your hen/buck's night Flower crown workshops, go karts, paintballing, flying the bridal party out to another City/Country - the world is your oyster! Live it up with your crew before the big day!
• Lingerie shopping Decide on what you would like to wear throughout the day, you would want something comfy and depending on the dress type to suit that too
• Book a dance lesson for your bridal waltz Dance lessons isn't for everyone but it will certainly boost your confidence on the dance floor, you can even make a date night with the weekly dance lessons!
• Wedding Speeches Decide who you would like to do a speech during the reception, this will give them plenty of notice to get something together. It's fairly standard for both Dads to do a speech, sometimes the Mums too. Best man and Maid/Maiden of Honour. Sometimes bridesmaids, fairly standard for Groom, sometimes together with Bride, sometimes just the Bride. It's your wedding day so you have total control of who you would like to be up there!
1-2 Months Out
• Touch base with all vendors Now's the time to get in touch with some of the vendors who you may of booked 12-24 months out and go through the wedding day details with them. They may be flat out busy with weddings, but expect a response within a week. Work what what time and where they will be on the day and if they need any details from you.
• Final fitting of wedding dress Book in for a final fitting and take the dress home (or to wherever you're planning to store it so your SO doesn't come across it!)
• Contact guests who have not responded to your invitation Get in touch with guests who have not responded, hopefully it may of just slipped their mind or maybe the mail of gone walkabouts!
• Finalise seating plans Now that you've got a total number and an idea of who's going, time to jot out the seating arrangement. Try and keep families or friends together so they have someone familiar to mingle with.
• Arrange wedding rehearsal Arrange a time with your celebrant/officiant as well as your wedding party for a rehearsal so everyone knows where they're coming in and standing during the ceremony.
• Pick up Groom/Groomsman's suits Pick. Up. The. Suits. He'll get there eventually!
• Write your wedding vows Your celebrant may have a set bunch of vows you can modify to suit, but you may also want to do some research and watch loads of wedding videos online to see how other people's vows go and pick and choose bits from here and there to suit.
• Write wedding reception speech Decide whether your partner or yourself would like to do a speech, whether just one or the other, or both. Thank the parents, the bridal party and anyone of significance. Tell a little story about how you've met even!
• Workout your wedding day's timeline Write out a timeline of the wedding day, who needs to be where and at what time - both wedding suppliers and friends/families.
• Finalise number of attendees to the venue Send off the final number of attendees to the venue to finalise seating and catering.
• Organise good for the morning preparations The wedding day is a long day, so start the day off well with some good food to snack on throughout the morning.
Liilia & Karl. Captured by Amber Eyes Imagery.
The Week Leading Up
• Have the wedding rehearsal Rehearse the ceremony so you can feel more confident on the day having better idea on what's happening and when.
• Pack for your honeymoon You don't want to be caught out having to pack for your flight on the morning, so get in early and get that done and out the way so you can concentrate on the wedding day.
• Wear-in your wedding shoes Break the shoes in so it'll be a little more comfortable when you'll be wearing it all day long on the big day.
• Prepare your wedding day emergency kit Always be prepared! Some things that may come in handy includes: sewing needle and threads, safety pins, bobby pins, band aids, deodorant, and tissues.
• Prepare your wedding day supplier list and their contact details As previous, be prepared on the day so you have your supplier's details should they happen to be not be where they are when they are suppose to be.
• Confirm times with vendors Send through the wedding day timeline to your vendors and confirm times with them.
• Delegate wedding day task There will be various task throughout the day that you may need a hand with, always handy to delegate someone to do something so it doesn't get forgotten. For example, someone to make sure the food and drinks are brought along in the morning so you can have during the photoshoot, someone to hand out ceremony brochures or even someone to play the music during the ceremony.
• Send timeline to bridal party Send through the wedding day timeline to your bridal party so they all know what's happening and when.
• Take a day off to relax! Your wedding day is happening tomorrow! YAY now relax and chill out, take a nice long spa bath.
• Get an early night sleep the day before Continuing on from above, get an early night's sleep - you'll need it!
After The Wedding Day
• Select your favourite photo(s), create and send out 'thank you' cards You should receive some sneak peek photos from your photographer soon after the day, so with those, pick out your favourite, design up some 'thank you' cards and send them out to everyone.
• Touch base with your photographer and videographer for a rough timeframe for when the photos/videos will be ready After you're back from your honeymoon, touch base with your photographer and videographer to thank them for their services on the day and find out a rough timeframe it will take for the photos and videos to be ready. The average turn around time for photos and/or videos is anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks but can go up to 6+ months depending on how busy the vendor is and their editing style. Don't be too alarm if they're not the quickest, wedding photos/videos are an art and art takes time. Be alarm IF they're not communicating.
We hope you've gained a bit more confidence and knowledge after reading through this, happy wedding planning!
- Adelaide Weddings Chit Chat