Have you ever wondered if there is a formula to plan the perfect wedding without all the stress?
Turns out, there is!
Whether you are newly engaged, or a long-time couple deciding on a wedding date, the ultimate tip to planning a perfect wedding, right out of your dreams, is to plan ahead.
We understand that the wedding planning process can be a tedious and haphazard task right from the beginning, so the Event Rent team has come up with an ultimate 12-month checklist so you can have that Big Fat Wedding that you have always dreamed of!
Before even beginning the checklist, however, make sure you’ve got:
- A concrete wedding date – planning would be temporally unorganized without it, and
- A realistic budget – this will help you further decide on the number of events, aesthetics, and accessories for one of the most important days of your life!
- Pick a Date: This cannot be stressed enough, as tentative dates may keep changing, resulting in a disorganized wedding plan
- Budget Planning: This step is important in order to decide upon what kind of vendors you need to be looking for
- Party: This is the perfect time to either host an official engagement party, or to have a get together with your closest friends and family members.
- Wedding Planner: It is always better to get a planner involved at an earlier rather than later stage, so you can have a healthy back-and-forth to make your visions align
- Guest List: Develop a tentative guest list so you can start looking for appropriate venues.
- Guest List: Your guest list should be finalized around this time.
- Bridesmaids and Groomsmen: Contact the people that you would want to make up your bridal party to ensure that they will be willing and available.
- Theme: You should have your wedding theme decided by this time as it will influence most of your wedding choices. Your wedding can be rustic, vintage, floral, garden, beach, religious, traditional or something completely out of the norm. Pick a theme that’s true to who you are, it’s your wedding after all!
- Decor Tip: The Pantone Color of the Year 2018 is Ultra Violet! Ultra Violet can effectively be used to add a pop of color in your wedding decorations, such as through florals, accents, furnitures, and invites.
- Save the Date Cards: Design and order your ‘save the date’ cards. If you have friends or family who need to come from out of the country they’re going to need these very early to book flights and apply for vacation time from work.
- Some people may need an actual invitation at this time if they have to apply for a visa, so be sure to cater for this as well.
- Dresses and Gowns: Start shopping around for the Bride’s Wedding Dresses and Reception Gowns. You can find vendors through Google search, but it’s also helpful to ask any friends who got married about where they got their dresses and feedback on how it was to deal with the vendors. This will help to make your experience much smoother.
- Vendors: Organize a list of caterers, florists, musicians, lighting technicians and furniture rentals with your wedding planner.
- TIP: If you don’t have a wedding planner and you’re looking for vendors, you can go to Google search first, but social media is also a really good tool for finding the smaller vendors and allowing you to connect directly with them. Since you already have your budget defined you can check out their pricing and make a short list of about 3-4 of the vendors that you’re most interested in and make appointments to meet with those.
- Venues: Look for venues that are appropriate for your wedding theme. Check out online reviews for venues so that you get an honest view on what to expect. It’s important to know what your top priority is, whether it be food, music, audio visual equipment etc. Once you’ve selected a few that are within your budget and have the things that are important to you then you can contact the vendors and find out if they’re available for your date. From here you can decide on 2-3 venues to visit for consultation. You’ll most likely need to book your wedding venue around this time as the good venues get booked up really far in advance.
- Photographer: Decide on, and book a photographer. Wedding photographers are just as popular as wedding venues and can be found on social media as well.
**Event Rent: If you want to do your wedding decor for yourself you can contact the Event Rent team to browse through and book your décor and furniture!
- Bridesmaid Dresses: Shop for your bridesmaids’ dresses now in case they need final fittings and altering.
- Entertainment: Book your ceremony and reception entertainment at this stage to avoid price hikes and lack of availability.
- Cake Tasting: Start with your cake tasting and designing so you can go through a few iterations until you have the cake of your dreams!
- Hair and Makeup: Research and book your personal stylists to avoid a last-minute hassle.
- Tip: get a hairdresser and makeup artist who will come to your home on the wedding day, it’s significantly less stressful than having to go to the salon on the morning of your wedding
- For hair and makeup while you don’t want to only go with the cheapest option, the most expensive option is not always best. Often you might find that the cheaper people are those who are just getting started and can be just as good as the expensive people.
- Make sure you schedule a trial for hair and makeup to be sure you’re happy with the quality of the work. Some really good hairdressers may not be able to style your specific kind of hair, so this trial will prove invaluable.
- Ceremony Officiant: Find and meet with your officiant to plan the program of your ceremony.
- Groomsmen Suits: With the Bridesmaids’ dresses almost out of the way, now’s the time for picking and finalizing groomsmen’s suits.
- Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Book your rehearsal dinner venue.
- Wedding Invitations: Order your wedding invitations and RSVP cards at this time. Send them out as soon as possible, you want to give your guests enough time to plan as well as return those RSVP cards.
- Tip: Your RSVP date should be around 2 months before the wedding so you can have a final guest list at that time.
- Wedding Cake: Confirm the order for your wedding cake so the bakers have enough time to plan it
- Honeymoon Planning: Book your honeymoon flights and hotels to avoid last minute price hikes. Often, if you don’t book and pay off your honeymoon early you may find that you spend the money on something else and end up not having money in the budget to pay for your honeymoon, this is why it’s recommended to do this as early as possible.
- Florals and Décor: Coordinate between your florists and décor providers to create a concise aesthetic that aligns with your dream vision.
- Dress Fittings: Schedule the Bride’s dress fittings for any necessary alterations.
- Bachelor & Bachelorette Parties: The Maid of Honor and Best Man respectively should plan and host the bachelorette and bachelor parties. This is usually done earlier so you can take a trip with your friends and still have time for those tan lines to fade away.
- Décor: Finalize and purchase or rent wedding décor and accessories from Event Rent.
- Caterers: Finalize the menu with your caterer and order menu cards for the wedding and reception. You should also schedule a tasting with your caterer so you know what to expect with regards to the quality of food.
- Rehearsal Dinner Invitations: If you’re having a rehearsal dinner, now is the time to finalize and order your rehearsal dinner invitations.
- Wedding Vows: Start writing your wedding vows
- The Ceremony: Review the ceremony details with your wedding officiant
- Marriage License: This time may be a hassle, but apply early for a marriage license to avoid last-minute rush. If you’re getting married in Ontario, you can download the form to apply for marriage license and find other useful information HERE
- Wedding Stationary: Finalize and distribute Seating Arrangement and Program to appropriate parties.
- Guest List: Reconfirm guest list based on RSVPs and follow-ups from unanswered RSVPs.
- Fittings: The final fitting for the bride and groom, and the bridesmaids and groomsmen.
- Honeymoon: Confirm your honeymoon reservations to ensure no hiccups as you look forward to your retreat.
- Vendors: Confirm details with all your vendors
- Marriage License: Pick up your marriage license
- Caterers: Give caterers the final headcount based on the updated Guest list.
- Grooming: Get your final haircut and color to avoid last-minute stress. This is also important incase there are any mishaps with the haircut, doing it earlier will give you time to get it fixed if necessary.
- Vendors: Have your vendor payments settled to ensure a smooth sailing event.
- Self-care: Take some time to relax, get a manicure and pedicure done. If you’re getting a facial done ensure that it’s at least 3 days before the wedding, give your skin time to recover.
- Hair and Makeup: Contact your hairdresser and makeup artist to confirm the day and time to ensure that their records are accurate.
- Wedding Outfit: Organize your wedding dress and accessories
- Tip: Organize one room as a dressing room in your house. Steam your outfit and hang it safely, make sure it is covered to avoid any accidents. If you’re having multiple ceremonies organize the jewelry and accessories for each into different boxes together with the clothes for each. This way you avoid anything being misplaced.
- Men, this applies to you as well. You may not have as much jewelry but you still need to set aside your tie, shoes, cufflinks and handkerchief.
- Wedding Rehearsal: Attend the wedding rehearsal and dinner
- Rest Up: In the week before your wedding make sure you’re going to sleep at a proper, consistent time every night, this makes it easier for you to fall asleep on the night before your wedding.
- Breakfast: Eat a healthy breakfast to help you stay on your feet all day
- Hair and Makeup: Make sure you give your hairdresser and makeup artist enough time, you definitely don’t want to have your hair or makeup rushed. Schedule your day so that your hair and makeup should be finished at least 2 hours before your starting time.
- Wedding Rings: Give the Best Man your wedding rings.
You’re (hopefully) only gonna get married once so you should definitely take a couple moments during the day to really soak in the experience. Unfortunately, no matter how much time and effort you put into planning your wedding, it’s almost guaranteed that something will go wrong. Prepare yourself mentally for this and try not to stress out too much, enjoy your big day and look forward to the honeymoon!