12-MONTH WEDDING PLANNING CHECKLIST

12-Month Wedding Planning Guide
Written by Christina Rowan
From one year before to one week before, we’ve got your wedding planning guide covered

You’ve said, “yes” to the love of your life and now you’re overwhelmed at the thought of how much there is to plan. Where will I hold the ceremony? How many people should I invite? Where will I get my dress? Planning a wedding takes time, organization and most of all patience, which is why we’ve come up with a 12-month wedding planning guide to help you plan your nuptials stress-free!

10-12 Months Before

  • Announce your engagement: Let your family and friends in on the excitement by having a professional photo session done, personal website made or picture of your shiny new ring shared on social media.
  • Set a date: Think about which season you would prefer, what range of dates would work well for you and then start scouting venues for availability.
  • Develop a budget: Sit down with your new fiancé and prioritize which elements of your wedding will receive more attention. You may not be able to work out every detail at once, but you can at least lay down a foundation.
  • Compile your guest list: Take your venues and budget into consideration when picking those you would like to attend. Do you want an intimate ceremony with less people and then a party reception to follow?
themrsbox-w800-h2000

Ring Boxes by The Mrs. Box


7-9 Months Before

  • Shop for your dress: Hit up the best bridal boutiques in the city for the perfect dress to say, “yes” to. Try on as many as you need to until you have that “Aha!” moment. Don’t step outside your budget!
  • Pick a theme: Browse through Elegant Wedding and start selecting colour palettes, flowers and decor you would like to centre your wedding theme around.
  • Hire vendors: Do your research and recruit the best wedding planner, photographer, florist, musician and caterer. Here you will have to decide which professional ranks highest to lowest on your budget.
  • Form your wedding party: It’s your turn to propose to your bridesmaids and groomsmen. Show them how much you appreciate their friendship by asking them to stand alongside you from the start of your wedding to the very end. The sooner you ask, the better.
  • Create a gift registry: Make it easy for your guests to choose a wedding gift by signing up for one or two bridal registries. Keep the price range open so guests have the option to splurge or save.
kleinfeldhudsonsbay-w800-h2000

Toronto Showroom at Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay


4-6 Months Before

  • Pick a cake: Stimulate your sweet tooth by going for a tasting with your fiancé. The colours, flavours and design choices truly are endless!
  • Order invitations: Customize your own crest or select a signature suite that will hint at the theme you’ve selected. Your guests won’t be able to say no.
  • Plan your honeymoon: Spend the following weeks together as a married couple on a breathtaking beach, in a villa secluded from the world or backpacking through Europe. Reserve, reserve!
  • Scout hotels for out-of-towners: Make your guests from out of town feel right at home by reserving rooms for them at a local hotel. The option will be greatly appreciated.
  • Book officiant: Whether you’re getting married in a church or at a hall, you’ll need someone to lead the procession. Research a few officiants before you commit to one by reading reviews online and meeting in person.
  • Reserve for rehearsal dinner: Find a location where your family, close friends and wedding party will gather for the night before the big day. Here you can hand out your gifts to your bridesmaids and groomsmen.
creatif-colore-lisa-renault-photographie-67-w800-h2000

Cake & Sweets by Pâtisserie Petit Lapin | Photo by Lisa Renault Photographie


2-3 Months Before

  • Save the date: You want people to witness your nuptials don’t you? Make it official with your guests by sending out the beautiful invitations you’ve ordered/created.
  • Book makeup and hair: Trial different beauty looks with a hairdresser and makeup artist. Make a day of it and secure the look you want for the big day.
  • Order wedding rings: Accompany your new sparkling engagement ring with a wedding band that matches your partners. This will give you time for resizing and engraving.
  • Get favours: As a way of saying thank you to all the guests who attend, prepare a little something for them to go home with.
  • Shop for dresses and suits: Take your wedding party out shopping for their wedding day attire. Coordinate the bridesmaids’ dresses with the colour of your theme and bouquets or let them choose the style for themselves.
mangostudios-461-w800-h2000

Invitations by Ferris Wheel Press | Photo by Mango Studios | Flowers by Living Fresh


1 Month Before

  • Solidify seating plan: Call guests who haven’t RSVP’d, make cuts and create a final headcount for the caterer and venue.
  • Follow-up with vendors: Call your photographer, caterer, florist and baker to confirm everything is a go. Any last minute requests will need to be made now.
  • Order rentals: Refer to your venue, guest list and desired theme before renting chairs, tables, lighting and any necessary decor for the ceremony and reception.
  • Get a marriage license: Since the process can take a few days, give yourself enough time to gather the appropriate documents before heading to city hall for the marriage license.
  • Write vows: Channel your inner Shakespeare and jot down the best things about your partner. What comes from the heart is undeniable. There won’t be a dry eye in the place.
  • Pick up your dress: Go for a final fitting, make sure any alterations came out just as they should and keep that dress on lockdown. No liquids allowed within 10 feet!
_mgl4280-w800-h2000

Rentals by Joe’s Prop House | Photo by Monique Simone Photography


Final Checklist

4 Weeks Before:
• Arrange transportation: Get that limo, carriage or vintage Bentley into gear! You don’t want to be late to your own wedding!

3 Weeks Before:
• Book a spa day: Get your bridesmaids together for one last pamper before the big day. You’re going to need it!

2 Weeks Before:
• Set aside cheques: Don’t forget to put aside cheques to pay your vendors for all their hard work!

1 Week Before:
• Pack for honeymoon: Get out your passport and pack your bags! You two lovebirds are off on your next adventure!

ecp16-9550-w800-h2000

Design by Classy Affairs | Flowers by Country Lane Floral Design | Photo by Emily Christine Photography


Written by Christina Rowan