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How to Plan Your Wedding in 12 Months

One of the most frequently asked question I get on my facebook community and Instagram is...

'What do I do when?'

If this is you, then you need a wedding planning checklist! I have a fantastic checklist for you that you can download for FREE, so grab yours now! This will help you understand what elements you need to do when starting from 12 months before until the wedding date. You can tweak this to fit with your wedding planning time frame that you've allocated for your wedding.

12 - 10 Month Countdown

At this point you want to make sure you have started the first parts of your planning, I have written a blog on the first 9 steps of your wedding planning journey which goes into a bit more details or watch the YouTube video here.

But essentially within this time you want to have determined your budget, thought about guest numbers, decided your wedding location and started looking at venues. You then need to have decided a date as you can't move forward with any other suppliers without a date!

You can also start the inspirational design process using Pinterest and Instagram and start thinking about the type of wedding that you want in terms of style and traditions.

I have created a wedding design template for you to help with designing your wedding which you can then send out to all suppliers so that everyone knows exactly what style and theme you want to go for.

Once you have confirmed the venue and the date get your Save The Dates sent out to your guests just so they have it in the diary. This doesn't have to be the formal invitation just a save the date so they don't book something else in!

The other things you can start at this stage is registering for your marriage license, start shopping around for your wedding dress and researching suppliers that fit your budget and your style.

So quiet a lot to do in the first couple of months but super exciting!

10 - 8 Month Countdown

By this stage you should have your date and venue locked in, you may have started confirming some suppliers and you should definitely have an idea of your wedding design.

Within these months you definitely want to have confirmed your caterer (if not included within the venue package), your photographer and videographer, your florist and any live entertainment you may want. It's essential to try to get these suppliers secured and booked in this far in advance because they will get booked up very quickly. The first two months are for research, making sure they fit your budget and style, you may have sent them your design book and got some quotes from them, so now once you're 100% that they're the right supplier for you get them booked!

If you've decided you'd like to have a wedding website now is the time to start building this and you can even start looking for bridesmaid dresses if you want too.

After these two months you're really going to feel like you've ticked off a lot of the heavy stuff which is super exciting and an amazing feeling!

8-6 Month Countdown

At this point you want to start thinking of designing your invitations as well as any other on the day stationary (menus, welcome signs, place names, table names etc) you may want but always speak to your stationer about their production timelines as some may only start 3 months before. However, if you're looking to create these yourself then start looking at design templates.

I would also suggest to start looking into transportation at this point, if you need it, whether that's for guests or just yourselves. It's also a good time to start looking for live bands and any other entertainment you might want if you haven't done so already.

I would definitely say you need to start wedding dress shopping if you haven't started already. Grooms should also start looking into attire and decide whether to hire or buy.

Favours, if you're having these start thinking about what these could be and potentially purchasing them if you want to, if you don't want favours then skip this!

Do some research into your wedding cake suppliers, get some cake tastings booked in! I would always advise trying a few different cake suppliers before you book and secure them.

You may even want to start looking into some honeymoon ideas during this period as well.

6-4 Month Countdown

Now things are starting to get a little serious, the ball is well and truly rolling, your wedding isn't that far away and time will start to fly by!

During this time you want to get your invitations or e-invites sent out to guests to start getting those confirmed rsvp's.

You definitely want to get your hair and make-up trail booked in.

It's also the time to start drafting floor plans of how you envision every space to be laid out, how you want your ceremony set up, where and how you want your tables set up, where you want your cake table, where you want signage or any specific decor, where you want the bar positioned, where the band will play etc etc.

4-2 Month Countdown

This stage will feel a little bit full on, we're starting to get knee deep in the admin side of wedding planning.

Now if you haven't already sent wedding invites or e-invites you must send these now! Giving a guests a shorter rsvp timeframe will actually give them a little bit of pressure to reply quicker. I've done a video on this so find out more about invitations here!

You should now be scheduling your last fittings for your wedding dress for any final alterations and finalising bridesmaids outfits.

You should be finalising any details with your florist in regards to all any floral elements you may be having such as your bouquet, buttonholes, table centres, ceremony decorations etc.

Have you had an engagement photoshoot? Was that included as part of your photographer package? Or if you want to do one I would get that booked in now.

Get your catering tasting booked in, I would highly recommend doing a tasting so that you can choose the perfect meal and drinks for your wedding day. It's also such a fun experience and all part of the planning process so really take advantage of it whilst you can!

You also want to start a rough wedding timeline of your wedding day. It doesn't need to be too in depth at this stage as things may still change and you can keep editing this as things get confirmed.

It's time to really start thinking about music throughout the wedding day. What music are you having during the ceremony? Are you having a musician or are you putting them onto a spotify playlist to play through the venues sound system? Check that the venue has a sound system for the ceremony area because if they don't you'll need to hire one. It's the one thing my couples always forget. It's also important to think whether you want your registrar/celebrant to have a microphone so that all your guests can hear the ceremony.

Think about all your other music, what's being played during the reception and the wedding breakfast, whats your first dance song, what type of music do you want the DJ to play, can you choose a set list from the band.

6 Week Countdown

Yes you read that correctly we're now into the weekly countdown! With 6 weeks to go everything should be booked and now is the time to start tying up loose ends.

You should have all your rsvp's back by now and if not hopefully within the next two weeks, as you'll need to give final numbers to your venue and caterer as well as any dietary requirements. Check with your venue and caterer when they need final numbers as they will all vary but it's usually 4 weeks before. It's also time to confirm anything else that's reliant on final guest numbers.

All your stationary should now be going to print, you might still be finalising the table plan but hopefully that will be done and sent to your stationer or printer asap!

4 Week Countdown

These final 4 weeks are essentially the icing on the cake tasks!

You want to be finalising your wedding day timeline, making sure your table plan is done, paying any final balances to suppliers, making sure all your suppliers are happy, have all the final details and information, know what they're doing and you've sent them the timeline.

It's making sure everyone has all the information they need produce the wedding you have planned!

2 Week Countdown

Now this is where the fun starts and the excitement starts to build! What you have been planning for an entire year is literally round the corner!

During these final two weeks you want to have booked in any hair appointments (if you want it cut and coloured before) and any nail appointments etc. You'll also be collecting your dress and groom picking up his attire.

You'll also want to double check all your suppliers having everything they need and that all payments have been settled.

So there we have it guys, a brief outline of what you'll be doing and when to do it during a typical 12 month lead up to your wedding. The FREE checklist I have created goes into even more detail so make sure you download it! I mean it's FREE, why wouldn't you!

Don't forget to also check out my digital product shop for some other products to help you plan your wedding!

Happy Planning

Lauren xx


Photos by: 1 & 4. Sophie Duckworth Photography, 2 & 5. Mindy Coe Photography, 3. Ross Hurley Photo, 6 & 7. Story & Colour


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