The big question has already been asked, so now comes the part of planning the big day. If you don’t have a solid plan accompanied by a checklist, things can get stressful quickly.

To prevent this from happening, break your wedding planning down into stages and don't be afraid to enlist the help of professionals and family to make sure everything runs as smoothly as it can.

1. The early planning stage

As soon as the most anticipated question is popped and a preliminary date is set you can start planning for your wedding. This is the part where you need to start pooling your resources and plan out every minute detail of a checklist for an event that can take place anytime between a few months or a few years.

✅ Map out your wedding checklist & timelinewedding-checklist-and-accessories-on-white-wooden-2023-11-27-04-55-28-utc

The best way to stay organized is to keep a binder consisting of all your lists and information regarding your upcoming wedding. You need to make lists of everything you will need to do for the wedding - this includes creating your guest lists, visiting potential venues, interviewing vendors & catering companies, outfit/dress shopping, and much more. 

While the wedding is the finish line in your planning, you need to set up deadlines and timelines by which certain tasks need to be completed. To make things easier, there are lots of great printable templates available to help you on your way.

✅ Determine your budget (or budget range)planning-budget-before-wedding-writing-ideas-on-pa-2023-11-27-05-04-16-utc

A dream wedding doesn’t come cheap, and almost every aspect will cost some sum of money. This is why you need to consider and plan for how you are going to fund your wedding.

We see a lot of couples planning a dream wedding and figuring out how to pay for it later.  This can create a lot of stress if it isn’t discussed openly before the commitments are made. Make sure to have open conversations about the financials before moving on to other steps.

Also, if you are taking a personal loan, remember that you will need time to gather paperwork, apply, and wait for approvals and the like.

✅ Consider hiring a wedding planner



If your budget allows it, hiring a wedding planner or even just a day-of coordinator to help you will make achieving the ticks on your checklist much easier. They take the reins and help you execute your vision of a perfect wedding.



✅ Write out your guest list(s)

Planning your guest list and getting your RSVPs for attendance needs to be done significantly early, because this will set the tone for the venue you decide on hiring, and the amount of catering you will need.

When deciding your guest list, you can also discuss and finalize who you'd like to be a part of your wedding party - this includes the maid of honor, the best man, bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl, and the ring bearer.

✅ Choose a theme or concept

The theme you decide on for your wedding will influence many other aspects of your planning. It may inspire the location of your wedding, the dress you choose to wear, the decor of the ceremony, the entertainment you book, as well as the food you serve.

Deciding on a theme early will allow all other aspects fall into place easily.

2. The pre-wedding events

While your wedding is the most important day, there are other important days in between that need to be considered and planned for accordingly.

✅ Decide if you'll throw an engagement partyyoung-bride-in-white-dress-standing-between-her-pa-2023-11-27-05-20-29-utc

This is held shortly after the proposal is announced. It's a party that brings both families together to celebrate the pending union of a couple in love. While not as big as the wedding, this can still be a significant event that requires a lot of planning and resources.

✅ Plan bachelor / bachelorette parties

This is to celebrate the wedding couple’s proverbial "end to singledom" and upcoming marriage. This is usually a night out, a weekend trip, fun, drinking, and games where the couple has time with their respective wedding party members and friends.

✅ Plan the rehearsal dinner

This takes place within the week before the wedding, it is a dress rehearsal for the big day, where the couple practices and the wedding party practices the standing arrangements, how to enter the ceremony area, and reciting of vows.

✅ Book your honeymoon

While this technically takes place after the wedding, it should still be a part of your plans. Deciding where you will be jetting off for a few days requires advanced preparation, booking flights, reserving accommodation, and planning activities. This is so that you can both enjoy your time together without being stressed out.

3. The booking stage

For certain vendors, you need to book them well in advance to secure their services for your chosen day. This is even more imperative if you are having your wedding during peak season - you will want to avoid any scheduling clashes. To secure their services, you will have to pay a deposit ahead of time

✅ Secure your venue 

There are many venue options to choose from for your big day. You need to choose one well in advance, especially if it is a hotspot for weddings, as someone else can come along and book it on your envisioned date.

However, before you settle on a venue, you need to conduct site visits to make sure everything is as you would like it, if they have in-house vendors, and the venue is easy to travel to.

✅ Hire your vendors

Like the venue, you need to choose your vendors and hire them as early as you can. Visit the vendors you have in mind and see the options they provide, and if they adhere to the plans that you have set out. This includes cake testing, trying out food options, and live musicians or DJs for the reception entertainment.

✅ Find your *dream* wedding attire

If you’re buying a dress off-the-rack, then this can possibly be left for closer to the date. However, if you’re having one custom-made, then you need to book a seamstress as early as possible to have your measurements taken. Making a dress is an arduous process, and a wedding dress, by nature, requires more attention to detail.

4. The final stretch

✅ Apply for a marriage licensethe-hand-of-a-young-man-who-signs-in-the-registry-2023-11-27-05-18-07-utc

Unsigned marriage licenses are valid for 90 days, that being said, it would be best to acquire your marriage license anywhere from 2 months before your wedding so that it can be signed on the day of the ceremony. 


✅ Enjoy your big day

While you can check if everything is in order, and have contingency plans in place, your main focus needs to be on getting ready and getting to the altar on time. It is your big day, reciting your vows and exchanging rings with your partner is the only thing you need to have on your mind.

The day has come, it is time to enjoy yourself

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