12 + Months 

First, have fun announcing your engagement! Throw an engagement party, picnic or small gathering depending on your and your fiancé’s personal preferences and style.
  • Choose a date (or up to 4 so you can beflexible)
  • Talk budget and decide who will be contributing to what.
  • Discuss prenuptial agreement (marriage contract)
  • Start compiling a guest list
  • Choose your weddingparty:maid of honor, bridesmaids, best man, groomsmen, flower girl and ring bearer.
  • Start to explore ceremony and reception venue options after you’ve established an estimate budget and guest list.
  • It’s important to have an idea of budget and your guest list as this will largely determine the venue you choose
  • Start doing research on wedding pros: planner, photographer, bridal designers, videographer, caterer, florist, and
  • Browse wedding designers, dress and veil styles
  • Create mood and style boards on Pinterest
  • Follow The Wedding Gateway Sa and online bridal magazines for inspiration and ideas.
  • Make a shortlist of venues to visit and appointments to visit them.
  • Get engagement photos taken If you want them on your wedding invites or save the dates       
  • Start browsing save the date designs to find your favorite type and style. Decide between sending online or postal.
  • Start browsing photographers and decide on photography styles that you like the most, documentary stylejournalistic, lifestyle etc.

    8 -9 -10 -11 Months

  • Reserve ceremony and reception venues and make deposit payments to secure booking
  • After your venue is confirmed book your wedding photographer, videographer, makeup artist and hairstylists  as soon as possible, this is important as quality vendors are usually booked months in advance.
  • Book Officiant
  • Refine your guest list
  • Browse designs for wedding invitations and stationary
  • Browse programs, menu cards, guest books and favors.
  • It’s usually much easier if you use the same person for all of your stationary requirements
  • Consider using wedding websites and digital invitations, they are great if you don’t want to go the traditional route
  • Search for accommodation for you and your guests 
  • Prepare a music playlist for JD/Band
  • Establish a beauty and skincare routine
  • Establish fitness routine
  • Set appointments to do fittings for wedding dresses, veils and shoes
  • Hire caterer, florist and wedding coordinator, ask your venue which services are included in your venue hire
  • Send your save the dates

    6-7 Months

  • Explore wedding day hair and makeup styles
  • Meet with officiant to discuss plans for ceremony
  • Reserve rentals: chairs, linens, lighting, décor etc.
  • Choose cake style and schedule tastings
  • Decide on groom and groomsmen attire
  • Hire DJ/band for your reception.
  • Hire ceremony musicians
  • Book wedding car and any other transportation needed to and from the venues.
  • Book any entertainment for your wedding day
  • Purchase wedding bands
  • Send out wedding invitations
  • Start to plan your honeymoon

   4-5 Months

  • Choose décor and flowers according to theme
  • Follow up on RSVP’s and finalize wedding guest list
  • Finalize dress style and bridal accessories
  • Book honeymoon flights and hotels
  • Book room for wedding night
  • Order wedding cake
  • Plan welcome baskets for out-of-town guests
  • Finalize food menu and go for a tasting
  • Plan rehearsal dinner or lunch
  • Book rehearsal dinner/lunch
  • Decide on guest wedding favors            

    3 Months

  • Finalize honeymoon plans and ensure all documents are in order
  • Plan ceremony and reception seating
  • Experiment with hair styles and veil with your stylist
  • Finalize readings and speeches
  • Purchase garter x 2 (one for throwing & one to keep)
  • Purchase flower basket, ring pillow, knife for cutting the cake, photo booth props or any other additional items
  • Purchase wedding shoes, earrings and hairpieces
  • Order guest wedding favors or start making if handmade items           

   2 Months

  • Review ceremony details with officiant
  • Go for marital preparation classes if this is part of your officiants marriage requirements
  • Begin writing vows if you’re writing your own
  • Go for dance classes if you’re in need
  • Lay out the content for wedding programs.
  • Apply for a marriage license if your officiant does not do this for you
  • Finalize seating arrangements
  • Finalize playlists with musicians
  • Arrange fittings for wedding party and parents
  • Create wedding day timeline and send to your vendors, officiant MC and wedding party
  • Finalize bridal party attire
  • Finalize bridesmaids & flower girl dresses
  • Decide on “something old, new, borrowed, and blue”
  • Book spa and beauty treatments for you and your bridal party
  • Purchase bridal robes & slippers
  • Purchase gifts for bridesmaids
  • Ensure marriage contracts are finalized          

   1 Month

  • Call vendors to confirm date, times and location
  • Confirm honeymoon reservations
  • Pick up wedding rings
  • Get engagement ring cleaned and polished
  • Pick up marriage license if officiant does not
  • Discuss wedding timeline with your MC
  • Final dress fitting (with shoes, veil & jewellery)
  • Do bridal registry           

    2 Weeks 

  • Pick up wedding stationary
  • Give final head count to caterer
  • Do bridal makeup and hair trial
  • Begin breaking in wedding shoes
  • Make arrangements for the caring of pets and plants while on honeymoon
  • Send playlists to DJ/band/ceremony musicians.
  • Get final haircut and colour
  • Delegate wedding day duties: gift table, guestbook, etc.
  • Delegate someone to pick up groom’s suit, tuxes and rentals
  • Send directions and times to limo/transportation driver

   1 Week                     

  • Prepare final payments to vendors
  • Pick up your wedding dress
  • Give photographer and videographer your image and video requests
  • Go for a spray tan
  • Prepare wedding day emergency kit
  • Spa treatments for you and your bide tribe              

   The day before

  • Deliver welcome baskets
  • Get mani, pedi and massage.
  • Attend wedding rehearsal
  • Have fun at the rehearsal dinner/lunch
  • Get to bed at a decent hour!             

   Day of the wedding                   

  • Eat a good breakfast!
  • Have a look at our 10 Tips For Your Wedding Day blog post
  • Allow yourself plenty of time to get ready
  • Give wedding rings to the best man
  • Relax, smile, and soak in every incredible moment

    After the wedding               

  • Ensure tuxes and rentals have been returned
  • Get wedding dress to cleaners or return if hired
  • Send out thank you cards or messages to your guests
  • Write down guest names for all gifts received so you can thank them for your gift
  • Freeze left over wedding cake and have a piece on your first wedding anniversary
  • Preserve your bridal bouquet or some wedding flowers as a keepsake

  ~ The Wedding Gateway ~

Download and print your free wedding planner and checklist below.



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