The Ultimate Wedding Checklist: Your Complete Month by Month Guide

Get on top of your wedmin with our complete 18 month wedding checklist...

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You said yes (or popped the question yourself) and announced your engagement to your family and friends… but now what?

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The average bride plans her wedding in 13 months, but with so many tasks to take care of, it can be difficult to know where to start.

Breaking down your wedding to do list into monthly chunks can make everything seem that little bit more manageable, taking away the stress and injecting the fun back into your wedding planning journey.

With this wedding checklist, we start at 18 months before the big day and work right up until the day itself, letting you know what you should book or decide upon. Of course, this checklist can be condensed down (or stretched!) to suit however long you’ve got to plan your wedding, but for much shorter timescales, check out our guides on how to plan a wedding in six months and three months.

Wedding planner at the ready – it’s time to start making some notes!

READ MORE: Our 17 Step Wedding Planning Guide

18 Months to Go

1. Write Your Guest List

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Image: Getty

You can’t determine a wedding budget or wedding venue until you know how many people you’d like at your wedding and how much money you’re prepared to spend per head.

Sadly, you can’t invite everyone to celebrate with you, so think about who you couldn’t get through the day without. It’s often a good idea to get the mother of the bride or groom to help with the writing of the guest list, as they’ll be able to advise on distant relatives. If you’re struggling to whittle down the numbers, you might want to consider a no-ring-no-bring rule.

Once you’ve drawn up a final guest list, you’ll be one step closer to deciding whether you need a large capacity wedding venue or a small and intimate wedding venue.

READ MORE: How to Uninvite People From Your Wedding

2. Determine Your Budget

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Image: Getty

You’ve decided who’s coming to your wedding, but now it’s time to set a budget for each one of those people.

It might not be particularly fun, but sit down and do some number crunching to decide how much you’ve got to spend on your wedding. Make a note of who is going to pay for what, then prioritise every aspect. As long as you do your research and remain realistic, it shouldn’t take too long.

Remember – things do change, so it’s a good idea to make a spreadsheet which you can update every time something gets booked.

READ MORE: How to Ask Your Parents to Pay for Your Wedding

3. Provisionally Book a Venue and a Date

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Image: Moddershall Oaks

You might know who you’re going to marry, how much you’ve got to spend and who will be joining you, but the next biggest question is where?

Choosing your wedding venue is probably the most important decision of your entire wedding planning process, and it is also the biggest cost. It determines everything from what your photographs will look like to which theme will work best. Wedding venues often get booked up well over a year in advance, so although you shouldn’t make any rash decisions, you’ve got to act quickly.

18 months before your ideal wedding date, sit down and look through our venues directory which you can filter by venue style and location. Book a handful of venue viewings for the spots which most appeal, then provisionally book a date at your favourite.

Top tip – don’t put down a deposit until you’ve checked there’s a registrar to marry you on that date!

READ MORE: How to Choose a Wedding Venue

4. Check Whether a Registrar or Church is Free On Your Wedding Date

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Image: Fraser Parry Photography

It’s all well and good having a wedding venue, but if there’s no one free to actually marry you on your provisional wedding date then your plans will be pretty scuppered.

Once you’ve been to your wedding venue viewings and provisionally booked a date, there are two avenues you can go down.

If you’re hoping to host a civil or humanist ceremony, you’ll need to book a registrar or celebrant. To book a registrar, Google search “book a registrar” along with the name of your county council and you’ll be directed to the relevant page. Once it’s booked, you’ll have 14 days to change your mind, but otherwise, you can go ahead and put down your venue deposit knowing there’ll be a registrar there on the day.

If you’re hoping to get married in a church, you’ll need to check that the church you want to marry in is free on your venue date. They’ll often have requirements which you’ll need to fulfil if you want to get married there, such as attending a certain amount of services in the run up to the big day or living within the parish. Every parish is different, so do make sure you ask.

READ MORE: How to Plan a Traditional Wedding Ceremony

5. Confirm Your Wedding Venue

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Image: Hazel Gap Barn

Now that your church or registrar is booked, it’s time to get that wedding venue booking confirmed. Pay your venue deposit and begin getting excited for the big day!

READ MORE: 51 Essential Questions to Ask Your Wedding Venue Before You Book

6. Appoint Your Wedding Party

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Image: YTZ Photo

Perhaps the most fun part of your wedding planning is choosing and proposing to your wedding party. From the best man to the ushers and bridesmaids, there are lots of roles to be delegated. Think about who will be the most helpful, and don’t ask someone just because they asked you!

Once you’ve decided on your wedding roles, pop the question to them with a fun gift. Check out our round-up of the best bridesmaid proposal gifts here.

READ MORE: How to Ask “Will You Be My Best Man?”

7. Consider Wedding Insurance

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Image: YTZ Photo

Although you don’t want to dwell on the worst-case scenarios, it might be a good idea to consider taking out wedding insurance before you spend too much money.

As with home and contents insurance, wedding insurance prices vary depending on the level of cover you choose. Your policy will often cover scenarios like your wedding dress getting damaged or your venue going bust.

READ MORE: What is a Prenup and Do I Need One?

16 Months to Go

8. Choose Your Theme

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Image: Trenderway Farm

Pinterest at the ready, it’s time to decide on your wedding theme and colour scheme! This is such a fun wedding planning task which allows you to be totally creative.

Your wedding theme should represent you as a couple, and can be anything from rustic or travel to festival or nautical. The sky really is the limit. We’d recommend creating a mood board to collate all of your ideas as well as saving anything you see and love on Instagram.

READ MORE: The Best Instagram Accounts for Wedding Inspiration

9. Book a Photographer and Videographer

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Image: Sarah Fulton Photography

The booking of some suppliers can be done a little closer to the wedding, but others book up quickly and should be sorted as soon as your venue is confirmed.

Photographers and videographers are examples of those, so you should find one you love using our directory about 16 months before your wedding date. Photographers and videographers make the wedding fun and create memories that’ll last forever, so don’t take the decision lightly.

READ MORE: 22 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Videographer

10. Book a DJ or Wedding Band

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Image: Blue Lion Band

Other suppliers which should be booked at the earliest date include your DJ or wedding band plus any musicians you’d like playing earlier in the day. They’ll be the life and soul of your party, and since they can only attend one wedding per day, it’s a good idea to book your favourite pronto.

READ MORE: 25 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Band, Musician or DJ Before You Book

11. Book Caterers if Needed

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Image: Boxed Weddings

If the wedding venue you’ve booked is not going to be doing your catering, you’ll need to consider hiring outside caterers. Think about the type of wedding breakfast you’d like – it can be a BBQ, hog roast or selection of sharing platters if you don’t want something traditional – and go from there.

We’ve got a whole host of recommended caterers from almost everywhere in the UK right here.

READ MORE: The Best Alternative Wedding Food & Drink Ideas

12. Book Your Florist

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Image: Blooming Haus

If you’re not planning on DIY wedding flowers, it’s a good idea to book your florist as soon as you know your theme and venue.

Lots of florists will work on more than one wedding per day, but if you’ve got big ideas of flower arches and impressive floral installations, there’s nothing to lose from booking them early.

Don’t worry – you don’t have to know exactly what you want just yet, as you and your florist are likely to head on a venue visit together later on in the process before you get everything finalised.

READ MORE: Questions to Ask Your Florist before You Make a Booking

13. Start to Consider Your Wedding Dress

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Image: YTZ Photo

Start to think about the style of wedding dress you might want to wear on your big day. Look in wedding magazines and research which boutiques will sell the style or designer you’re after.

If you’re not sure what style of dress you’d like and would rather go with an open mind, find a local boutique and book an appointment to see what suits you. Central London has lots of incredible wedding dress boutiques with vast amounts of choice.

READ MORE: David Emanuel Reveals his Dos and Don’ts of Wedding Dress Shopping

12 Months to Go

14. Register Your Intention to Marry

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Image: Neil Atkinson Photography

12 months before your wedding you should book and attend a meeting with your registrar. These can be booked for any time between one year and three months before your wedding date, but it’s best to get it out the way.

On the day, you’ll register your intention to marry, pay for your marriage certificate (some parishes will only accept cash payments) and be given a form (or it’ll be sent in the post shortly afterwards) which asks for all of your wedding ceremony details.

You will then have up until six weeks before the wedding to return your ceremony details, so don’t stress if you haven’t sorted it already.

15. Send Out Your Save the Dates

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Image: Made by Wood & Wood

This is where things get really exciting. It’s time to send your save the dates to your wedding guests! Just remember – you only send these to guests who are invited to the whole day, and not to evening guests.

Your save the dates should outline your wedding date and whether guests can expect a wedding invitation or wedding website to follow. Check out our favourite unique save the date ideas here, from magnets to bookmarks.

16. Go Wedding Dress Shopping

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Image: Josie Hooper Photography

Although you started thinking about the style of wedding dress you’d like 16 months before the big day, the 12 month mark should see you attend your first wedding dress shopping trip. This allows plenty of time for alterations.

Before you go, you should know your budget and buy some nude, seamless underwear. It’s also a good idea to try and go on a weekday when bridalwear shops are quiet, and prepare yourself for hard work. Oh, and don’t take too many people along with you. It’s nice to have your mum and your MOH with you, but any more opinions will only throw you off-piste.

READ MORE: 29 Things You Need to Know Before You Go Wedding Dress Shopping

17. Go Bridesmaid Dress Shopping

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Image: Suzi Photography

Once you’ve been wedding dress shopping, it’s a good idea to go shopping for bridesmaid dresses.

One year in advance might sound like a lot, but with a (sometimes) large group of girls to organise, finding something which everyone loves can be a little tricky. Even if you don’t actually purchase anything until six months before the wedding, an initial shopping trip well in advance can do no harm.

At the same time as purchasing bridesmaid dresses, consider your flower girl outfits.

READ MORE: 42 of the Best Bridesmaid Dresses

10 Months to Go

18. Book Your Bridal Suite

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Image: The Ned

If you haven’t exclusively hired a hotel with accommodation, you should make sure your bridal suite at your wedding venue or a hotel nearby is booked.

At the same time as doing this, book out a block of rooms for your closest family and friends so they’ve got somewhere to stay on the night of your wedding!

READ MORE: The Most Beautiful Bridal Suites in the UK

19. Find a Cake Maker

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Image: Suzi Photography

Finding someone to make your wedding cake can be done much closer to the wedding date than the booking of other suppliers needs to be. This is because cake makers can work on more than one wedding per day.

Find a supplier who is based close to your wedding venue and who creates cakes which fit with your theme. If you’re going for a rustic wedding you might want to consider someone who specialises in semi-naked wedding cakes, for example.

Send them lots of photographs of the cakes you like, and head out to meet them in person before you finalise your design.

READ MORE: Questions to Ask Your Cake Maker Before You Make a Booking

20. Meet With Your Florist

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Image: Josie Hooper Photography

At the ten month mark you should meet with your florist to finalise your order.

We’d recommend meeting them at your wedding venue, because although you’re unlikely to have forgotten anything, they might be able to recommend different ways of elevating your floral design to really bring the space to life.

21. Decide on Your Ceremony Details

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Image: Laura May Photography

You’ve already had your registrar meeting where you would’ve been given a form which allows you to process your ceremony details, so if you haven’t already, you should start to think about filling it in. Don’t panic though – you can send it off as close to up to six weeks before your wedding date!

You’ll need to know everything from what song you’re walking down the aisle to, to who’s in your bridal party, who’s giving you away, who your photographer is, what readings you want and whether you’re writing your own vows or using the traditional ones.

Here on Hitched we’ve got lots of inspiration for all of those things, so don’t feel overwhelmed. Take a look at our favourite non-religious wedding readings and our guide to writing your wedding vows.

READ MORE: Our Full Selection of the Best Wedding Readings

Eight Months to Go

22. Start Ordering Décor Items

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Image: Bubblegum Balloons

At the eight month mark, you should decide whether you’re going to be decorating your wedding venue yourself or whether you need to appoint a décor stylist. If you decide on the latter, meet with an expert ASAP and offload all your ideas.

If you’re decorating the space yourself, this is a good time to scour the web for décor ideas and budget décor items which you can begin to order.

Things to consider include fairy lights, centrepieces, table décor, wedding signs, chair covers, tablecloths, outdoor furniture, chairs and anything else you might need to make your venue look fabulous.

READ MORE:  17 IKEA Wedding Décor Hacks You Have to Try

23. Curate Your Gift List

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If you’ve decided to have a wedding gift list, now is the time to curate it. This is because it needs to be ready in time for the posting of your wedding invitations (more on that later).

There are lots of advantages to creating a wedding gift list, including the fact that it saves guests the stress of deciding what to buy you. They won’t waste money on gifts which you won’t need or like. There are lots of online gift lists which will be a huge help, including Prezola and The Wedding Shop.

If you’re not too keen on the idea of a traditional gift list, there are other options. You can ask for money instead of gifts, set up a honeymoon fund or consider Prezola’s Social Gifting scheme which won’t cost your guests a penny.

READ MORE: How to Create the Best Wedding Gift List

24. Curate a List of Recommended Hotels

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Image: Birdsall House

Another thing to do before you send your invitations is to create a list of recommended hotels (of a range of budgets) which are close to your wedding venue. You might want to speak to the hotels and ask if you can arrange a discount.

This is particularly important if your venue doesn’t have accommodation.

25. Book Your Transport

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Image: Jordanna Marston

If your wedding ceremony isn’t being held at the same place as your wedding reception, you’ll need to arrange transport to get your guests from one venue to the other. Check out our round-up of the best alternative transport ideas for your big day.

At the same time as booking transport for your guests, you should book the transport which will get anyone in the wedding party (who’s not staying on-site the night before) to your ceremony. Our favourite ideas include vintage cars, a helicopter (check that your venue has a helipad) or a horse and carriage.

26. Create Your Wedding Website

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Wedding websites are great way to keep your guests up to date with all the plans for your big day, and there are plenty of free options out there. Most also offer a personalised email address which is perfect for keeping your wedmin away from your regular inbox.

If you choose to have a wedding website, you can keep your wedding invitations simple. All you’ll need to provide is the date and location, plus the URL to your unique wedding website. Guests will be able to log on, get details of the day and RSVP paper-free! For this reason, you need to start curating your wedding website a couple of months before the invitations are sent.

READ MORE: The Best Wedding Websites

27. Order Your Wedding Stationery and Invitations

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Image: Made by Wood & Wood

With all of your details decided and two months to go before your wedding invitations need to be sent, you should get your stationery ordered. We’ve got an amazing selection of wedding invitations ready to order here, plus templates for your invitation wording. Most companies and designers will let you order a sample of your invite, so you don’t need to do a mass order before being certain on design.

Remember, stationery also includes orders of service, place cards, wedding signs and menus, so think about that too. If you’re not sure what else you might like yet, let your designer know you might be in touch with a further order.

If you’re trying to save money on your wedding stationery, you might wish to make your own wedding invitations! Check out our guide to DIY wedding invites here.

READ MORE: 13 Perfect Rustic Wedding Invitations

28. Book Your Honeymoon

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If all of this wedding planning has got you feeling a little stressed out, now is a great time to book your honeymoon.

Whether you’re dreaming of jetting off to Bali or kicking back in one of these stunning Greek honeymoon hotels, thoughts of the sun will be a welcome break from those of table plans and RSVPs. Your honeymoon is your one chance to go on the holiday you’ve always wanted to go on and do something that little bit different. Check out our round-up of the hottest honeymoon trends of 2019 for further inspiration.

At the same time as booking, you should check whether you need any vaccinations for the destination you’re going to and whether you need to renew your passport. Some destinations won’t let you visit unless you have at least six months left on your passport, so if you don’t, it’s worth renewing.

This poses the question of whether you should renew your passport in your new name. If you’ve made your holiday booking in your old name, your passport should be renewed in your old name, too. You can keep your passport under your old name for as long as you want. If you’ve made your holiday booking in your new name, you’ll need to renew your passport in your new name. The Government website advises on all of this.

READ MORE: Your Complete Guide to a Honeymoon in the Maldives

Six Months to Go

29. Send Your Wedding Invitations

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Image: Made by Wood & Wood

Wedding invitations should be sent six months before your wedding day.

If you’re not including all the finer details of the day on a wedding website, your wedding invitation should include details of your guest list, timings of the day, nearby accommodation recommendations, dress code, date and place.

You should also provide an address for RSVPs to be sent to, and you should ask for any dietary requirements to be submitted with their response. It’s also a nice idea to ask for a song request for the wedding DJ to play at the party!

30. Book Hair & Makeup Artists for the Big Day

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Image: Butterfly Hair & Makeup

One of the many beauty preparations you need to make before the big day rolls around is to have hair and makeup trials and book your preferred artists for your wedding day.

If you’re not going to be doing your own wedding makeup, search through our directory of hair and makeup suppliers and choose the ones whose work you like the best. Then, collect inspiration from Instagram and Pinterest and take it with you to your trials (which should be booked for any time between now and 3 months before the wedding).

READ MORE: 47 Simple Wedding Hairstyles That Are Easy to Master

31. Buy Your Wedding Rings

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Image: Josie Hooper Photography

With six months to go, you’ll want to purchase your wedding rings. Take your time to make the decision, because you’ll be wearing it every day forever! Also, make sure you choose something which complements your engagement ring (if you have one), and set a firm budget.

Designing a bespoke ring is a lovely alternative idea to choosing something in a ready-to-wear collection, but it might take a little longer. We’d recommended starting the process a little earlier on if this is the route you choose to go down.

READ MORE: What Hand Do Your Wedding and Engagement Rings Go On?

32. Purchase Your Bridal Accessories

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Image: Charlotte Mail Photography

Since you now know exactly what wedding dress you’ll be wearing, you should head out on a shopping trip to purchase your shoes, hair accessories, garter, bridal lingerie and anything else you might want to wear. This is such a fun step in your wedding planning checklist!

READ MORE: 23 Pairs of Designer Wedding Shoes That Are Worth Blowing the Budget For

Four Months to Go

33. Start Crafting Any DIY Items

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Image: Locate to Create

If you’re crafting any décor items or wedding favours for your wedding day, we’d recommend starting to craft them four months before your date (unless they’re edible, of course).

DIY wedding décor can be a lot more time consuming that you might first think, particularly if you’re having a large celebration.

Enlist the help of your bridesmaids and make a night of it – it’s one of their bridesmaid duties, after all!

READ MORE: 3 DIY Food Wedding Favour Ideas and How to Make Them

34. Buy or Rent the Groomswear

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Image: Laura May Photography

If the groom and his groomsmen are buying their groomswear then it can be purchased at any point before the big day.

If they’re hiring it, most groomswear suppliers often won’t let you rent it any further in advance than three months before the wedding.

At the same time as shopping for your groomswear, consider your page boy outfits too.

READ MORE: 17 Thoughts Every Group Has During Wedding Planning

35. Host a Bridesmaid Get-Together

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Image: Samantha Pells

If your bridesmaids don’t all know each other very well (or even if they do), it’s a nice idea to arrange a bridesmaids get together so they can bond ahead of the hen party.

Consider a spa day, making brunch for everyone one Sunday or a cocktail night.

READ MORE: How to Host a Bride-to-Be Breakfast

36. Order Your Cake

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If you haven’t already done so, make sure your cake design is finalised at the four-month mark and get it ordered.

Confirm whether you’ll need to collect it yourself or whether the cake maker will deliver it to your venue, and at what point you need to pay.

37. Have Your Final Menu Tasting

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Your venue will invite you to a menu tasting when you make your booking, but it’s usually around this time. If you’re using external caterers, ask them for a menu tasting at the four-month mark.

You might be invited to a menu tasting evening with lots of other couples, or you may be invited to something more private. Either way, trying all of the delicious menu choices which the chefs have on offer will enable you to make your final wedding breakfast choices.

Just remember – if you don’t want a traditional sit-down three-course dinner, you don’t have to have one! Hog roasts, sharing platters and BBQs are all fabulous options.

READ MORE: The Best Alternative Food & Drink Ideas for Your Wedding

38. Decide on Timings for Your Day

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Image: Made by Wood & Wood

It might seem like a minute detail, but now is the time to start thinking about the timings for your day.

From when to start getting ready to the time of your ceremony, reception drinks, wedding breakfast and cutting of the cake, everything needs to be laid out ready to inform your suppliers and create orders of service (if you haven’t already).

Two Months to Go

39. Contact Any Guests Who Have Not Yet RSVP’d

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Image: Made by Wood & Wood

You’re soon going to be sending your venue and suppliers final numbers, making place settings and creating your table plan.

For that reason, if there’s anyone who has not yet RSVP’d, the two month mark should be when you chase them for a definite answer.

READ MORE: 8 Things Guests Will Do to Annoy You on Your Wedding Day

40. Attend Your First Wedding Dress Fitting

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Image: Rosanna Lily Photography

You went wedding dress shopping and ordered your dream gown a little while ago now, so it’s time to head to your first fitting and try your dress on properly.

This is an exciting appointment, but be open with the seamstress about any major alterations that need making (such as the adding of straps or sleeves). Your final fitting will be the time to make smaller changes to the size.

READ MORE: Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Dress Alterations and Fittings

41. Buy Your Wedding Party Gifts

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Image: Emma Kenny

Start to think about bridesmaid gifts, gifts for your groomsmen and all the other treats you want to buy to say thank you. This is such a fun wedding planning step and it’s great to be able to give back to the people who have helped you with your plans.

Top tip: if Black Friday ties in with your wedding party gift purchasing, that’s a great time to shop for presents and save the pennies while you’re at it!

42. Host Your Stag and Hen Parties!

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Image: Jacqui McSweeney

After all that wedding planning, you totally deserve to let your hair down.

The two-month mark is a great time to host your stag and hen parties which will get everyone even more excited for the big day. There’s not much you need to do here, since your maid of honour or best man are in charge of sorting everything out. Just turn up, have a wonderful time and forget about wedding planning for the night.

READ MORE: The Best Man Duties Explained

43. Sort the Finer Details

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Image: Artlectric Events

Two months before your wedding you should plan the finer details. Think about the below:

READ MORE: The Best Photo Booth Suppliers in the UK

44. Attend a Ceremony Discussion Meeting

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Image: Samantha Pells

This step is optional, but you might wish to attend a ceremony meeting with your local council two months ahead of your big day.

These meetings come at a cost (usually around £50), but they’ll leave you feeling assured that everything to do with your wedding ceremony is decided upon. You’ll go through the schedule of the ceremony and everything you need to know about how the legal aspects of the day are going to work.

You can choose to attend as a couple, come alone or attend with a family member or friend, and the meetings usually won’t last much longer than half an hour.

One Month to Go

45. Pay Suppliers in Full & Confirm the Running Order

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Image: Baya Hire

With everything set in stone, it’s a good idea to create a wedding day schedule to send to your suppliers. Florists and cake makers will need to know what time to arrive and drop things off, and entertainers will need to know when they can set up.

With the schedule which you send to the DJ, include your final wedding playlist with details of your first dance and the song you want to end your wedding to.

You should also make sure all suppliers have been paid in full if they haven’t been already.

46. Break in Your Wedding Shoes

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The last thing you want is blistered feet on your wedding day. Wear your wedding shoes around the house to break them in and ensure they’re comfortable.

READ MORE: How to Break in Your Wedding Shoes

47. Take Care of All Final Beauty Appointments

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Image: Samantha Pells

With one month to go, there will be lots of beauty appointments to attend to ensure you look and feel your best on your wedding day.

From eyebrow shaping to your trial fake tan and your final haircut, there’s a lot to consider. Check out our bridal beauty countdown which details your entire beauty schedule starting six months in advance of your wedding date.

READ MORE: The Best Flawless Foundations for Your Wedding Day

48. Write and Order Your Seating Plan

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Image: Locate to Create

With all of your RSVPs (finally) rounded up, you can write and order your seating plan. This is best left to the very last minute in case of any cancellations.

Once you’ve created your seating plan, give your caterer a copy along with the final headcount and details of any dietary requirements (and where those with the dietary requirements will be sitting) the week before the wedding.

READ MORE: The Life-Saving Hitched Table Planner

49. Call or Meet With Your Photographer

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Image: Diana V Photography

A month before the wedding you should call or meet with your photographer to inform him of any particular shots you’d like capturing. If you want group shots, you should let him know which ones, where and who will be involved.

If you’re after inspiration before making this call, check out our round-up of the 23 photographs we think you must capture on your wedding day.

50. Have Your Final Dress Fitting!

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Image: The Bride Tribe

Have your final dress fitting two-three weeks before your wedding, because your body shape is unlikely to change very much in those final weeks.

There’s still time for small alterations to be made, but this is not the time to ask for anything drastic!

If there are no alterations to be made to the dress, you’ll usually take it home with you at this fitting. If there are, you’ll go back to collect it a week before.

One Week To Go

51. Do Your Last Minute Tasks

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Image: Tom Aizenberg

There are lots of last minute tasks to do the week before your wedding which shouldn’t be forgotten about. Don’t worry – everything major will be done by now – it’s just a case of sorting the finer details. Here are a few things to think about:

  • Go perfume shopping.
  • Plan a wedding day surprise for your other half.
  • Pack a bridal emergency kit.
  • Collect your wedding dress if you didn’t take it away with you at the final fitting.
  • Brief your wedding party on their roles for the day.
  • Relax!

On Your Wedding Day

52. Get Ready

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Image: Samantha Pells

Now for the part you’ve been waiting for! It’s time to get ready.

Create a schedule so that you can get your hair and makeup (hair first, makeup after) done with plenty of time to spare. You’ll also need to account for touch ups and for your bridesmaids to get their hair and makeup done.

53. Be Ready an Hour Before the Ceremony

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Image: The Bride Tribe

One thing lots of couples don’t realise about their big day is that they’ll have to meet with their registrar before the ceremony begins. This is just for them to check you are who you say you are.

The registrar will come to meet you in your bridal preparation room 15 minutes before the ceremony is due to start, or when you arrive at the registry office if you’re getting a car there.

Being ready an hour before your ceremony will give you time to relax and have some photographs taken before you meet the registrar.

54. Gather Your Thoughts After the Ceremony

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Image: Samantha Pells

Your wedding day will be overwhelming and fly by in an instant, so take five minutes after the ceremony to gather your thoughts and take in the fact that you’re finally a married couple! It will be a really special moment.

55. Where Will You Keep Your Wedding Certificate?

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One thing couples often forget is that they’ll be handed their wedding certificate after their ceremony.

Give someone the job of keeping it safe for the entirety of the day.

56. Give Your Gifts

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Image: Alex Wysocki

The giving of gifts to your parents, bridesmaids, best man and groomsmen is usually left until the groom’s thank you speech.

That said, if your gifts are something you’d like the recipient to wear or carry with them on the big day, these might be best given first thing in the morning.

They’ll be so thankful and will love using or wearing what you’ve bought them on the big day!

READ MORE: The Most Thoughtful Wedding Gifts for Parents

After Your Wedding Day

57. Change Your Name

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Image: Rosanna Lily Photography

Once all the fun of the wedding is over, you might want to consider changing your name to match that of your partner. You might even want to consider double-barrelling your names to create something totally new. We have an entire article about changing your name which will help you decide what to do.

Whatever you choose, NameSwitch will make the process a whole lot easier.

READ MORE: Meet the Men Who Changed Their Names after Getting Married

58. Write Thank You Cards

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Image: Etsy

Wedding thank you cards are almost as important as your wedding invitations. After guests have taken the time and effort (and spent money) to attend your wedding, it’s only polite to say thank you. You can also thank them for any wedding gift they might have treated you to at the same time.

Handwrite the notes, ensure the message is personal and put as much effort into the cards as you did with planning your wedding.

READ MORE: What to Write in Wedding Thank you Cards (Plus Our Favourite Designs)

59. Arrange a Photograph Viewing Day

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Image: Samantha Pells

A couple of weeks after the wedding, your video and photographs will be delivered. It’s a lovely idea to invite your nearest and dearest to your house to look at all of the photographs together. What better way to relive the day?

READ MORE: The Ultimate Post-Wedding to Do List

And there we have it! The ultimate wedding planning checklist which takes you from 18 months right the way through to your big day.

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Check out our ultimate guide to wedding anniversaries once your wedding is over.