down the aisle: a 12-month plan


It’s officially a year until our wedding in July 2019 so I thought now was a great time to share my planning process (full disclosure: I’m an epic planner, love lists and am the kind of person who starts packing for holidays two weeks early).

We’re having a destination wedding, so we need a bit of a longer lead time on some things than we would if we were doing it at home but we have chosen to go with a planner to help ease the pressure of negotiating with all our vendors in a different language/timezone. Our nomadic lifestyle also means our friends are now scattered around the globe so no matter where we went, a large contingent would end up travelling regardless.

Of course, this is just our own plan and every wedding is unique – we also obviously haven’t put this full plan into action so I may still have missed some things!

12 months to go…
– Start a Pinterest board (cliched, yes, but vendors will ask to see it)
– Set a budget (which you will revise up regularly)
– Choose a date and a venue (choose whichever is more important first and the other will follow!)
– Lock in your wedding planner (Skype conversations are a great way to work out if you’re on the same wavelength)
– Book chosen photographer/videographer as soon as possible (especially if a spring/summer wedding!)
– Research accommodation/transport options for guests
– Start setting up the wedding website
– Research local legal obligations for marriage (it may be easier to do a legals only ceremony at home beforehand)
– Start looking at wedding dresses

9 months to go…
– Finalise guest list (with a ‘back up’ list – destination weddings will likely have a lot of people who can’t attend)
– Update the wedding website with as much detail as possible (e.g. schedule of wedding events, local airports/train stations, accommodation options, weather, things to do in the area)
– Design and send save the dates/invitations so guests can start booking flights/accommodation
– Book entertainment, officiant and caterer
– Order wedding dress
– Start looking at wedding rings

6 months to go…
– Book any wedding transportation
– Book florist
– Start planning honeymoon/mini-moon
– Order the groom’s suit
– Start shoe shopping (consider heels for the ceremony with flats for dancing)
– Have a make-up tutorial to get ideas/tips, especially on long-wearing products
– Order wedding rings

3 months to go…
– Follow up with guests who haven’t RSVP-ed and invite back-up list if required
– Send final invitations/wedding info to guests who have RSVP-ed
– Confirm friends for readings/music during ceremony
– Start preparing a play list for DJ (and, if not having a DJ, confirm booking of speakers)
– Buy wedding shoes and start breaking them in
– Confirm any pre/post-wedding events
– From this point, make no changes to skincare routine

1 month to go…
– Final dress fittings
– Start writing vows
– Start writing speeches
– Confirm timeline of the day
– Practice hair and make-up at least a few times

1 week to go…
– Get hair cut
– Fly to destination
– Finalise vows and speeches
– Allocate tasks to friends and family

Two days to go…
– Get any spa treatments (nails, spray tan, brow threading)
– Final check in with wedding planner
– Start catching up with family and friends as they arrive

On the day…
– Enjoy the best party ever!

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