The Ultimate Wedding-Planning Checklist and Timeline.


Congratulations on your engagement! 


“If you give yourself enough time to plan and sort the tasks month by month with a wedding-planning checklist and wedding timeline, the job becomes more fun and less stressful.” says BRIDES Magazine.

Now that you’re engaged I’m sure you’re feeling every type of emotion possible and probably feeling a bit overwhelmed, but mainly EXCITED!!! You’re about to marry the man you love and that is special!

The secret to great planning, is to stay as organised as you can. We understand that the ideal scenario for planning a wedding would be to have 12 months off work, get plenty of beauty sleep and get paid more than you usually do along the way, however this is unlikely to happen! So we are here to help you!

Why are ‘Wedding-Planning Checklist and Timelines’ so good?

A Wedding-Planning Checklist and Timeline will help you to remain organised, plan ahead, avoid forgetting things and keep the stress low! They are one big ‘to-do’ list because quite frankly, if it’s your first time getting married how are you suppose to know! Writing this yourself would be super challenging, time-consuming and stressful.

It’s never to late to start (so if you’re half way still jump right in) but the experts recommend to start planning from about 12-14 months before your wedding.


Things to consider first…

  • Decide on a budget.

    Talking numbers can be tough but you must be realistic and get it over with early on so you can move on and focus on getting things into motion. Weddings are costly so make sure you understand what suppliers generally charge first and then consider what your budget may be. Budgeting Tools can help you with this. Try and stick to your budget as well, this will keep you grounded and keep the stress levels low. Things can happen where you end up paying more for things however this is another benefit to a wedding checklist, as you may wish to scan this first to see if you have missed out anything that may incur fees.

  • Make a Wedding Email

    Call it “ and use this for strictly wedding talk only. No Spam!

  • Choose a date

    This may affect some of your guests, holidays/time off work etc keep reading…

12 months before the wedding…

  • Book Venue

    You may wish to visit multiple venues and see what feels right first. Go with family and friends and make sure you spend a good amount of time there. Hopefully you will get THAT feeling because when you know, you know!! The venues will show you around, talk you through their wedding packages and catering options. My advice would be to write down a list of questions you have for them before you get there and take this to all, as when there we may just be get distracted as some of these venues are SERIOUSLY beautiful! You can get lost in them… you wait!

  • Book Photographer

    Many offer a meet up so you can get to know each other or a pre-marriage shoot keep reading…

8-10 months before the wedding…

  • Reserve rooms

    For family and friends you will likely want to reserve accommodation at your venue or local hotels. This is the norm, and venues will be expecting you to pass this on. If your venue doesn’t offer accommodation, you may want to find out where the local hotels are and get your family and friends to book these before your guests start to, otherwise they might struggle closer to the time.

  • Book Cake

    Some cake makers will offer cake tasting sessions which is always fun and you should DEFINITELY say yes to if they do!! Free cake is always a winner keep reading…

6-8 months before the wedding…

  • Order Dress

    Many brides do not know this but dresses usually take about 6 months to order in. You can still get a hold of a dress within 6 months however what the dress shop may do is put this through as a ‘rushed’ order and charge additional fees for this. This isn’t them being cheeky, it is down to the delivery from the supplier. keep reading…

4-6 months before the wedding…

  • Choose bridesmaid dress

    You may not wish to order this just yet as often the bridesmaids plan to get fit and lose a dress size before the big day but if you can find what you like and get the thumbs up then this would be a great time to start doing it. The longer you leave it, the more stressful this can be (depending on how many you have)!

  • Order Invitations

    This is lovely because you finally get to see your wedding theme come together. These will be a little taster to your guest of whats to come.

    Learn more…

2-3 months before the wedding…

  • Send out Invites

    You’re probably going to be thinking “this is all getting a bit real now!” It’s no lie, these next few months will fly by but now you can sit back and relax because you officially have some guests!!

  • Shop for rings

    This can be done earlier if you need to order these in but usually this is plenty of time for jewellers to order in time.

    Learn more…

4 weeks before the wedding…

  • Attend final dress fitting

    Finally, if not already, you get to see your dress how it will be on your big day! This might be an emotional day for some but tears of joy are totally acceptable today.

  • Send off your notice

    This needs to be sent over to your registrar at least 4 weeks before your wedding day. They will prepare in the meantime all of your legal documents with this information and it gives them a heads up as to what they can expect from your wedding.

    Learn more…

1 week before your wedding…

  • Book manicure

    It’s time to get pampering! Everything you need to feel fabulous occurs in the final week prep and manicures/pedicures are likely on that list! So book ahead and enjoy.

  • Confirm Final Numbers

    You should have received all of your RSVPs by now but unfortunately some guests may still cancel due to unforeseen circumstances. You may wish to send out a text or emails to them to confirm final numbers in case you need to adjust the table plans etc.

    Learn more…

The day before your wedding…

  • Deliver items to the venue

    Check with the venue that you can get in early to start preparing for the day, whether it’s you doing this or family/friends or both. A team effort is ideal so you can get in and out and then relax for the day. It would be a good idea to just leave any boxes that delivered any items, in a storage room ready to pack up and collect the next day (some venues may do this for you).

  • Relax

    Arguably the most important point on this list! Remember this is all about you and your fiance and the love you have for each other. You are about to marry the man you love and once again.. that is super special! Enjoy the day with close and family and get an early night if you can (a glass of wine may help).

    Learn more…

The day after your wedding…


Today you will probably be in a bubble and that is completely normal so enjoy it!!

IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to grab your marriage certificates before you leave the venue!

Learn more…

What if i’m getting married in less than 6 months?

Don’t despair! The expert advice is that if you can try to complete most of the tasks from months 12-6 within a month, then you will be right on track. This may require some time to get through but if you work on fast forward for a few weeks then this will benefit you ultimately!

Good luck and Enjoy!

Written and Edited by Janine Waterfall

Waterfall Wedding Decor