A detailed wedding checklist and sound planning can make or break your event. Consider having the wedding at home and hire things to cut costs. Order bridesmaids dresses online. Delegate tasks to family members to reduce stress. Of course, a lot of these items are optional.

 

 

  • Work out your budget
  • Find a wedding dress that makes your heart flutter when you try it on
  • Buy wedding shoes and lovely undergarments
  • Purchase the rings
  • Make the guest list
  • Send out online save the date cards
  • Order or make some gorgeous invitations
  • Keep a data base and enter RSVPs into it
  • Book a celebrant
  • Write your vows
  • Find readings for the ceremony and work out who will do the honours
  • Apply for your marriage license
  • Delegate small wedding day tasks, such as usher and print a program for those people involved   
  • Book a makeup artist and hairdresser for an up-do, or style on the day
  • Get your hair cut and coloured
  • Visit a nail technician
  • Find a photographer – try to get one that will just give you edited photos on a CD. This is usually the cheapest way to go rather than taking a package where the photographer upsells for stuff you may not really need. You can order all the extras yourself, such as albums, online.
  • Book a videographer
  • Sign up to a gift registry
  • Create a wedding website
  • Choose your flowers – bouquets for the bride and bridesmaids, floral arrangements for tables and centrepieces (don’t forget the toilet)
  • Pick out decorations – paper pompoms come in a variety of colours, themed table cloths and table runners are lovely (order some patterned material online and make your own). Lamps and posters create atmosphere and chalkboards are also great for signage.
  • Arrange lighting
  • Organise transportation
  • Book in with a baker to make your wedding cake
  • You might want to get some plastic noodle boxes (I found some cheap ones at K-mart) for take homes – leave cake pieces in noodle boxes at the exit for guests to take home when they leave.
  • Buy a pretty knife to cut the cake
  • Find a wedding planner
  • Organise an event manager to coordinate events on the day – I wish I had this for my wedding, so I could have relaxed more.
  • Draw up a run sheet with phone numbers for the wedding planner/ event manager.
  • Organise music – DJ, band or playlist.
  • Break the music up into chunks and burn onto separate CDs – wedding aisle walk, ceremony and reception.
  • Hire a stereo with speakers.
  • Hire a dais with microphone (these can be rented for around $60) or PA system.
  • Decide on food – catered or self prepared, buffet style, cocktail, sit down meal, spit roast, noodle stand etc. – we did cocktail food then a late night buffet at 11.30pm with ham, breads, cheeses, olives and spreads – people tucked in with big smiles.
  • Make sure there is food provided for vegetarians or people with allergies.
  • Hire a marquee with flooring if you’re having your wedding at home or in a park.
  • Buy alcohol, soft drink, plenty of ice and water (make sure you have plenty of water, so people don’t just hit the alcohol and peak too early).
  • Signature cocktail – we made Vanilla Blushes - a mix of vodka, vanilla, soda, lemonade, fresh lime juice and rose water – it was a big hit.
  • Organise a bar and bar tenders
  • Book waiters/ waitresses
  • Rent a fridge or cold room (this is not a major expense and well worth the money)
  • Arrange Eskies or ice buckets – it’s lovely to leave some metal ice buckets around with ice and champagne. We bought some cheap, but fancy looking ice buckets from Bunnings.
  • Hire glasses – champagne, wine, tumblers and shot.
  • Hire cutlery, plates and platters, an urn for tea and coffee, a selection of teas and coffee, sugar, tea cups and coffee mugs.
  • Buy or rent gas heaters if it’s cool. They are not much more expensive to buy than hire.
  • Hire dry bars and bar stools
  • Organise table cloths and table runners
  • Hire furniture – if you have a theme consider hiring some pieces from a vintage hire company, such as mirrors, chaise lounges, lamps and hat/coat stands that can add atmosphere.
  • Rent photo-booth, or set up your own with a good camera set to a timer focused on a fun furniture setting. Leave dress ups on some shelves for some hilarious results.
  • Organise a cheese platter - Guests love this towards the end of the night. Make your own on a wooden chopping board and sprinkle with edible flowers.
  • Consider pretty glass lolly jars on a table or a desert table.
  • Hire or buy groomsmen’s suits or ask them all to wear a black suit and buy them matching ties or bow ties in your theme colour.
  • Order bridesmaid’s dresses – choose beautiful flattering dresses and your friends will love you forever.
  • Buy gifts for the bridesmaids
  • Buy bonbonnieres
  • Make place settings
  • Organise table centrepieces
  • Hire seating – bar stools, dry bars or folding white Hampton chairs look pretty, especially for a beach wedding or go for white plastic chairs with chair covers and sashes.
  • Make a seating arrangement chart.
  • Book entertainment - band, a jazz singer, dancers, acrobats, contortionists, fire-twirlers – sky’s the limit here.
  • Buy a take home gift or organise a piece of cake in a cute box for take homes
  • Organise speeches – our speeches went like this: emcee, best man speech, groom responds and toasts his new bride and thanks the parents, matron of honour speech, father of bride, groom speech, bride speech, other guests of honour speeches
  • Thank you cards