Whether your wedding is in 3 months or 36, your to-do-list will seem never ending. Just working out where to start is half the battle so we've put together a priority checklist, broken into manageable segments according to urgency.

wedding message on stones 'our road starts here'

Aislinn Kate Photography

And because we know you're pressed for time - but thirsty for information - we've included handy links to relevant articles and guides on i-do that will assist your planning process.

Of course these lists are only a guide. Some of you will need to do everything here, and then some.

Others won't. Just print it out, cross off what's not relevant to your wedding and prioritise what's left so that you can enjoy your engagement and look forward to a fuss-free, fabulous wedding day.

Priority Bookings

In the list below, we've highlighted some wedding services you should book sooner rather than later, not because they're any more important (we know your wedding dress is probably number one on the list) but because these are the wedding service providers who usually only book one wedding per Saturday - and we want it to be yours!

Wedding venue

Wedding photographers

Wedding videographer

Wedding DJ's and entertainment

The wedding cars

Wedding Tip

Wedding reception venues book up quickly so find the reception venue first, particularly if you want your wedding on a Saturday, 75% of brides still cite Saturday as their first choice.

Congratulations, you're engaged! Now it's time to...

  1. Announce your engagement and start to organise your engagement celebration.

  2. Buy the engagement ring (if you haven't already got the rock on your finger!).

  3. Decide on a wedding budget, and sit down with you partner to make important wedding decisions. Consider the style of wedding you would like ie black tie, lounge suit, smart casual etc and the atmosphere of the wedding day itself.

  4. Decide on whether you are having a wedding close to home or a destination wedding.

  5. Decide on the date and time you would like to hold your wedding.

  6. Book your wedding reception venue.

  7. If you plan on using a wedding planner to organise your entire wedding, book your wedding planner now.

  8. Start your health and beauty regime.

Once the date is set...

  1. Book and confirm the wedding venue for both your ceremony and reception.

  2. If you are planning an outdoor event, make sure you have shelter if needed or an alternative venue.

  3. Consider your wedding dresses and bridesmaids dresses. Get the lowdown on finding the right wedding dress.

  4. Choose your bridesmaids and groomsmen.

  5. Start looking and booking wedding photographers and videographers portfolio's.

  6. Look at wedding stationery designs.

  7. Look at wedding cars and get some quotes.

  8. Do a rough guest list to be edited as needed to get down to the size you have planned.

  9. Start thinking about your honeymoon destination.

  10. Keep up your beauty and fitness regime.

First things first - start booking...

  1. Book and confirm your wedding photographer and videographer.

  2. If the venue you have chosen does not supply the food, start looking for and booking your wedding caterers and think about your wedding feast, the menu and the drinks.

  3. If hire equipment is needed, find a reputable and reliable hire company and book whatever you need ie tables, chairs, marquee etc.

  4. If you are having your wedding dress made (as opposed to buying off the rack), select your wedding designer and wedding dress and get started on the gown.

  5. Get the designer and dressmaker to start work on your bridesmaids dresses if they are being made and to schedule in all the fittings required giving everyone plenty of notice.

  6. Decide on your wedding decorator and book them (they may be able to assist with the hire of any equipment you may need).

  7. Consider your wedding ceremony music and the entertainment for your wedding reception. Listen to clips from different musicians via their website or ask them to send you a demo. Book your wedding entertainment.

  8. Book your wedding cars and any wedding transport you may need for your guests.

  9. Make preliminary bookings for you honeymoon, particularly if you are planning a to go overseas.

  10. Make sure your passport is up to date, and if you are changing your surname, you may have to do some alterations.

  11. Give your overseas or interstate guests notice of the wedding date - send out a save the date card.

  12. Book the celebrant or chaplain and speak to the who will be marrying you, and discuss your requirements.

  13. Decide on a theme and colours you would like to follow beach, moroccan, indian summer, hawaiian, medieval, white or ivory, gold or silver, lemon or lime....

  14. Consult potential wedding decorators , make a decision whether you are using them as soon as possible.

Next in line...

  1. Secure the suits for the groom and groomsmen.

  2. Consider your wedding invitations and stationery and organise to have them printed ready to send 6-8 weeks in advance or 12 weeks for guests coming from overseas, ie invitations, RSVP's, thank you notes, place cards, bridal registry cards etc.

  3. Find a florist specialising in wedding flowers. Select your bridal bouquets, button holes, wedding ceremony and wedding reception flowers.

  4. Start looking and booking your hair and makeup artist.

  5. Mothers of the bride and groom may want to coordinate their outfits so give them an indication of your chosen colours, flowers and style.

  6. Book the Bridal Suite or Wedding Night Accommodation for the wedding night.

  7. Find a bridal registry and start shopping. (print cards to be included with your wedding invitations or have your bridesmaids and friends subtley spread the word).

  8. Fill out Notice of Intention to Marry, no more than 6 months before but no less than 1 month and a day.

And then...

  1. Organise your wedding bands (allow the jeweller at least 4 weeks to supply the wedding bands leaving time for resizing if necessary).

  2. Look at wedding cakes and order your favourite for the wedding day.

  3. Finalise the menu with the wedding venue or wedding caterer, and select the wines and champagnes.

  4. Finalise the floor plan for your wedding reception; where the bridal table is, how the guest tables will be arranged, where the DJ will be, where the band will play, where you will cut the cake, where the dance floor will be, where the MC and speech makers will stand.

  5. Start to make a tentative guest seating plan including the organisation of the bridal table and tables for the parents of the bride and groom.

  6. Order your bomboniere and other wedding day extras such as confetti, wedding bubbles, rose petals, disposable cameras etc.

  7. Send out the wedding invitations (6-8 weeks before).

  8. Start planning your order of service for the wedding ceremony and select (or start writing your own) hymns, vows and readings.

  9. Choose what ceremony music you'd like to have played by the ceremony musicians throughout the wedding ceremony.

  10. Buy your gifts for the bridesmaids and groomsmen, mum and dad too and of course for each other too.

  11. Get documentation from the celebrant/church/synagogue/temple and fill in necessary forms.

  12. Appoint your MC either a reliable friend or a professional.

Final bits and pieces

  1. Pick up wedding rings and get engraved if necessary.

  2. Put together a schedule for the wedding and give the relevant sections to all the people involved. Include maps if necessary. i-do has an examples of schedules for pre wedding preparation, the wedding ceremony and the wedding reception.

  3. The running sheet. Decide the order of toasts and speeches.

  4. Keep your guest list and rsvp's up to date using your i-do guest planner.

  5. Make sure your attendants organise your hens or bucks night at least a week before the wedding to avoid any hangovers on the day!

  6. Start getting into the wedding celebrations and hold your bridal shower.

  7. Have a trial day with your hair and makeup artist to experiment with styles, try and take your head piece with you.

  8. Book an appointment at a beauty salon for at least 1 week before the wedding day for any waxing, facials you may need, and organise a manicure and pedicure for a few days before.

  9. Buy your wedding lingerie and spare hosiery for both yourself and the bridesmaids.

  10. Provide the wedding venue and caterers with an estimated number of guests.

  11. Make sure you have a definite collection date for everyones wedding attire and they know about it.

  12. Reconfirm everyone...the wedding cars, wedding flowers, wedding entertainment, hair and makeup artist, wedding photographer and videographer etc.

  13. Book in the entire bridal party for the wedding ceremony rehearsal usually held in the week leading up to the wedding.

Bringing it all together

  1. Have your engagement ring professionally cleaned.

  2. Finalise seating arrangements.

  3. Write the place cards or have the written by a calligrapher.

  4. Make a master seating plan display so your guests can see where their tables and also give one to the reception venue.

  5. Check all wedding speeches are well on their way.

  6. If you have time, start writing thank you notes as you receive gifts.

  7. Wear in your wedding shoes, and scruff the bottom to ensure you don't slip.

  8. Confirm EVERYTHING once again!

  9. Start getting plenty of much needed rest!

One week before

  1. Have your waxing and other beauty treatments at the salon.

  2. Reconfirm the bridal suite.

  3. Confirm final numbers with venue and caterers.

  4. Have the wedding ceremony rehearsal.

  5. Pack your bags ready for your honeymoon.

  6. Print tickets and itinerary for your honeymoon and organise travel insurance, a travel card with a little extra spending money. 

  7. Reconfirm flights 72 hours before.

The night before

  1. Lay out your your wedding shoes (scuffed so you don't slip), jewellery, tiara, veil ready for the following day and keep you wedding dress in a safe place.

  2. Take a long bath, burn some essential oils and listen to some relaxing music.

  3. Get a good nights sleep.

On the day

  1. Eat! Eat! Eat! Have a healthy breakfast and lunch - we don't need to tell you what happens after a glass or two of bubbly on a stomach full of nothing but nerves - you will be needing all the energy you can get!

  2. Refer to your schedules if you need to.

Finally...

Forget about the weather, don't panic about the lippy mark on the veil, go with the flow and have a fantastic and memorable day...because when the bride is happy and having fun - so is everyone else!

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