Organising Your Wedding – Wedding Preparations Timeline

12 to 6 months before the big day:

  • Decide on a date.
  • Make an appointment with Celebrant.
  • Determine a budget.
  • Compose a guest list.
  • Set time, location of Ceremony, Rehearsal & Reception Venue.
  • Choose Professional Photographer / Videographer.
  • Shop for wedding gown: Several fittings will be required. Some gowns will need to be ordered well and truly in advance.
  • Obtain Floral & Music estimates; book services if possible.
  • Register with gift registry.
  • Select bridal party.
  • Pick a honeymoon destination: (renew passports & inoculations.)
  • Begin selection of a Caterer/Reception venue
  • Set a date to order dresses for bridesmaids.

5 months before the big day.

  • Finalize guest lists.
  • Inform celebrant of all the details of your ceremony.
  • Order invitations & announcements.
  • Order personal stationary & thank you notes.
  • Plan reception.
  • Choose florist.
  • Men choose attire and order.
  • Make honeymoon reservations.
  • Choose and book caterer.
  • Confirm delivery of bridal gown.
  • Make appointment for bridal portrait.
  • Order wedding cake.
  • Arrange transportation for the bridal party to & from ceremony/reception.
  • Go over details of reception with caterer / hotel manager.
  • If you are renting any equipment, reserve now. (Arch, floral pillars, marquee etc.)

2 months before the big day.

  • Final check of finished version of ceremony with celebrant.
  • Keep a gift diary – send thank you notes as gifts arrive.
  • Fine tune guest list.
  • Plan rehearsal dinner.
  • Schedule rehearsal for 1 – 2 days prior to wedding.
  • Select attendants' gifts, grooms gift.
  • Check all services.
  • Make moving arrangements.
  • Final gown fitting.
  • Choose wedding bands.
  • Bridal portrait setting.
  • Sign Notice of Intention to Marry form with Celebrant at least 31 days before wedding.

1 month before the big day.

  • Purchase wedding rings.
  • Mail invitations.
  • Make room reservations for out of town guests.
  • Check wedding party apparel.
  • Confirm music arrangements & check selections.
  • Make reservations for bridesmaids' luncheon.
  • Discuss rehearsal dinner with hosts.
  • Attend showers.
  • Plan your wedding day hair style. (bring headpiece or veil).
  • Schedule hair appointment for day of wedding.

2 weeks before the big day.

  • Have a facial.
  • Final check on bridal party clothing.
  • Notify newspapers.
  • Arrange for name & address change.
  • Check with caterer / reception venue with last minute changes.

1 week before the big day.

  • Remind rehearsal dinner guests of time / location.
  • Start honeymoon packing.
  • Wrap groom's & attendants' gifts.
  • Check wedding announcements, ready to mail day after wedding.
  • Bridesmaids' luncheon.
  • Remind wedding party of exact time & place.
  • Go over final details of ceremony & reception with all parties involved.
  • Confirm date with musicians.

1 day before the big day.


  • Have manicure & pedicure done.
  • Attend wedding rehearsal & dinner.
  • Give ushers guest list.

Wedding Day

  • Eat!
  • Relax, breathe, smile.
  • Have hair & make-up done.
  • Check wedding dress (pressing/steaming).
  • Have family member check ceremony/reception for left behind items.
  • Change of clothes. (if leaving for honeymoon).
  • Breathe! Enjoy your day.

Helpful hints:

  • Make an emergency kit including:
  • Make-up, extra panty hose, bobby pins, safety pins, clear nail polish, comb, hair spray, hanky or tissues, needle & thread (white), aspirins, saltine crackers, band aid, toothpaste & brush, dental floss, breath mints.

Some may scoff at the idea of an emergency kit, but being prepared could save you stress or embarrassment on the day.

After the wedding, remember to send out thank-you notes to guests and the wedding party.

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