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One of the most exciting moments in a woman’s life is being proposed to by the man she loves. Next comes the rather daunting task of planning the wedding. When confronted with the many things that need to get done for the big event, things can get pretty overwhelming, pretty quickly.

As the mother of the bride or the groom, you’ll no doubt be keen to lend a helping hand to take some of the pressure off your child during the all-important wedding planning. If this is your first mother of the bride moment, then you’ll no doubt be as overwhelmed as your offspring.

Not to worry though as we’ve put together this complete wedding checklist to help you guide the bride or groom as they prepare for their wedding. But before we go to the detailed checklist though, here are the most important things to prioritise.

Things to Keep in Mind When Planning a Wedding

Figure out the budget
The couple should be open from day one about how much they can afford or are willing to spend. If you’re happy to help them out with the expense, then let them know how much you can contribute. This will allow the bride and groom to plan their budget, choose their suppliers, venue, and set up accordingly.

Make a list of non-negotiables

Depending on the couple’s budget, the bride and groom may have to forego spending too much on some elements of their wedding in order to accommodate the things that are most important to them. It is highly advisable therefore, to get their priorities straight early on so that they can realistically budget and focus where it matters the most.

Decide on who they will be inviting

Once they’ve ascertained budget the couple should think of who they want to invite. This is important as it will also allow you to assign roles to key family members and friends during the early stages of wedding planning.

Start looking for pegs and inspiration
One of the best ways to find inspiration is to browse wedding blogs, watch wedding videos on YouTube or use social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration. Whilst you don’t want to tell the bride or groom what their wedding should look like, there’s no harm in sharing these nuggets of inspiration, as one may ultimately help them determine what style of wedding they want.

Book the vendors

They should decide on the date and venue first then move on to the photographer and planner (if the couple is availing the service of one). Other suppliers that should be booked early on are florists, caterers (if there is no in-house option available at the venue), and cake maker.

Keep everything organised

Finally, the bride and groom should make copies of important documents such as agreements and receipts, then file them accordingly. They should take note of payments they have to settle and their corresponding due dates. It’s also best that the couple keeps track of their expenses to see whether everything is still within the budget and if they have to make adjustments.

Now that you know the important things one should remember when planning a wedding, here is a timeline of the things that need to be taken care of as the big day draws near.

The Ultimate Wedding Checklist

One Year before the Wedding

  • Decide on a date
  • Create a vision
  • Come up with an initial guest list
  • Book the ceremony and reception venue
  • Consider getting wedding insurance
  • Start looking for suppliers
  • Shop around for a wedding dress
  • Select the members of the wedding entourage

Wedding Dress Shop

8-10 months before the Wedding

  • Decide on the colour motif and theme
  • Choose and order the wedding dress
  • Plan the entertainment
  • Find and book accommodation for guests, if applicable
  • Plan for the honeymoon

6-8 months before the Wedding

  • Book tickets for the honeymoon
  • Decide on the attire of the groom
  • Decide on the attire of your entourage
  • Schedule cake tasting
  • Attend pre-marriage course (applies to couples getting married via Catholic rites)

4-6 months before the Wedding

  • Choose a hair and makeup artist
  • Provide the registrar a notification of intention to marry
  • If the ceremony is Catholic, secure baptism and communion certificates
  • Pick out shoes and accessories for the wedding
  • Finalise ride for the wedding
  • Inform the florist regarding the styling of the venue
  • Tend to any formal documents that might be needed for the honeymoon

3 months before the Wedding

  • Purchase wedding bands
  • Schedule fitting appointments to make enough time for possible alterations
  • Start with the decors and favours if the plan is to DIY
  • Come up with a wish list for your wedding registry
  • Decide on the music for the bridal march and other important parts of the wedding wherein it is neededwedding rings

2 months before the Wedding

  • Process the mass booklets and get its content approved by the presider if necessary
  • Send out invitations to guests
  • Come up with at least a rough draft of the table assignments

1 month before the Wedding

  • Set a meeting with suppliers to finalise everything
  • Finalise the menu for the reception and take note of any dietary restrictions that apply to the couple or to the guests
  • Schedule the final fitting for the bridal dress
  • Provide your requested set list to the wedding band or singer
  • Finalise RSVP list
  • Give the wedding shot list to the official photographer

2 weeks before the Wedding

  • Pick up wedding dress
  • Finalise table assignments
  • Write the vows
  • Break in wedding shoes

1 week before the Wedding

  • Do a final ocular of the venue to visualise the setup
  • Submit final headcount to the caterer
  • Prepare a timeline of activities for the wedding
  • Get hair and beauty treatments as needed
  • Pack gown and the corresponding bridal accessories (bride)
  • Pack suit and shoes (groom)
  • Prepare the payment envelopes for your suppliers

3 days before the Wedding

  • Get nails done
  • Finalise the leaving time from the preps venue
  • Prepare gifts for parents and other significant members of the family

The Night before the Wedding

  • Remind the wedding party their call time
  • Review the checklist to ensure that nothing was missed
  • Get a good night’s rest

Day of Wedding

  • Savour each moment and don’t forget to have fun (yes that applies to you to, mother of the bride or groom. Your work here is done.)

Remember, a wedding is a celebration of love, so throughout all the pandemonium remember to try not to let the stress get to you. Being able to execute everything in this checklist smoothly is important, but your role goes beyond project manager. As the bride or groom’s mother, your presence and moral support during this milestone in your child’s life actually matters more than anything else, so as well as helping to organise, the most important thing is just to make sure you’re there for them.

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