Where do I start? I’m currently going through this with Emily at the moment, and we seem to be getting somewhere, but I wanted to share with you a combination of lists and planning checklists merged into one based on my experience.

 Eighteen months to go

  • Set a provisional date for your wedding
  • Agree on a budget
  • Draft a rough guest list, so you know what size of venue to look for both the ceremony, day and evening reception
  • Decide whether you would prefer a civil or religious wedding ceremony and what type of venue you want
  • View and book your wedding (to secure the date)
  • If getting married in a church, visit the minister and provisionally book the wedding date
  • If it is a civil ceremony at a licenced venue provisionally book the registrar to attend the licensed venue.
  • Finalise your guest list
  • Invest in wedding insurance
  • Book your photographer and videographer

Twelve months to go

  • Choose your bridesmaids, best man and ushers
  • Send out your save the dates
  • Book transport, if you need it
  • Book your entertainment
  • If you need to book caterers, book them and discuss the menu options
  • Start dress shopping
  • Start bridesmaid dress shopping
  • Book your hair and make-up artist, if you’re having one

Nine months to go

  • Book your florist
  • Book your cake maker
  • Order the dress, if you haven’t already
  • Buy your bridal accessories, such as shoes, jewellery and underwear
  • Sort out your wedding favours

Six months to go

  • Start shopping for grooms wear
  • Buy the bridesmaid dresses if you haven’t already
  • Book your honeymoon
  • If travelling abroad on your honeymoon check passport for validity. Consult your doctor about any vaccinations needed
  • Buy your wedding rings
  • Sort out your first-night accommodation
  • Discuss the order of service with the vicar or registrar
  • Choose the readings, hymns, songs or poems you want at your ceremony
  • If you are writing your own vowels, start now
  • Setup your gift list

Three months to go

  • Send out your invitations
  • Have dress/suit fittings
  • Have a hair and makeup trial
  • Go on your hen and stag dos
  • Break in your shoes
  • Start writing your speeches
  • Buy thank you gifts for key members of the bridal party
  • Have a menu tasting with your caterers
  • Start the table plan
  • Confirm guest numbers and any dietary requirements with your venue and caterers

Four to six weeks before the day

  • Order any stationery required, e.g. order of service, menus, place cards, thank-you cards
  • Put together a list of telephone numbers in case of an emergency such as a local cab firm, doctor’s surgery and all the suppliers that will be attending or delivering items on your special day.

One week to go

  • Have a wedding rehearsal (if required)
  • Confirm bookings and timings with your suppliers
  • Go through the day plan and duties with the wedding party
  • Settle all final balances
  • Collect any hired items
  • Pickup your wedding dress