New! Wedding planning 12-month checklist

Wedding Stress? These words don’t exist (for us). The question is popped, the ring is on and the countdown has begun… now what? Firstly, enjoy this time full of anticipation and excitement even through uncertain times like these.  A wedding should be, will be, and will remain the most beautiful and memorable day of your life, so get excited. Yes, of course there is lots to do, to take care of, plan, and choose, but this marks the beginning of your wedding and we couldn’t be more excited for you!

 So before you start to panic we have put together the ultimate 12-month wedding planning checklist for you, helping break things down and to hopefully take the stress out and put the fun in!

12 months before the big day….

* Set a wedding budget

The budget, boringly, is the most important part to the planning, so make sure you are realistic. Discuss your priorities with each other, meet with suppliers to get an idea of costing and top tip – always have a miscellaneous fund! This is perfect for those gifts you didn’t remember, or the hairpiece you just have to have.  Making you fully prepared for the unexpected!

* Draft your wedding guest list 

Your wedding day is 100% about you, so make sure to invite the people you want to share your special day with. Make sure that you separately write your lists of who has to be there and then those who could be added on for the evening celebrations. Couple of things to bear in mind is your perfect venue may only cater up to a certain number and your budget may only stretch so far!

* Create your mood board...Pinterest it up!

Making a wedding mood board is one of the most helpful activities in the planning process. Not only does the practice encourage you to make decisions about the look of your day, but it can also aid in defining the overall feel your wedding will have. Pinterest is the ideal tool, take a look at our boards to help get you kick started!

* Book your venue & set the date

The sooner you book your venue the easier everything is to plan. At Coombe Lodge our dedicated event managers are on hand to listen to your plans and to help bring your visions to life. Estimates can be tailored to you and budgets molded around. Make sure your quick….dates go fast!

* Choose your wedding party

Choose those close friends and family that will be just as excited on the big day as you are!

* Send save the dates

You have chosen the venue, set the date and organized the guest list so it is time to send the ‘save the dates’. This is a great way to make sure everyone can come and to get that all important date in the diary.

* Book your suppliers

There will of course be so many to choose from, so make sure to resort back to your mood boards and be clear of your style and budget. Here at Coombe Lodge we have a recommendations list with suppliers that are known and trusted – to help those who find themselves getting a little overwhelmed!

* Meet/book your Registrar/Church

It is always important to get this booked in once you have set the date! They will be able to answer all your questions about the ceremony, and help offer advice for ceremony music and readings!

10-8 months before the big day….

* Find your wedding dress

What am I going to wear?! This is a question most of us worry about, even if we are only invited to a wedding as a guest. When it comes to choosing your wedding dress, many women come close to having a nervous breakdown. You don’t have to let this happen! Have a read of our brief guide to help you find your dream dress because we feel good advice is invaluable.

* Order your wedding cake

It’s a great idea to get your baker decided on early. They often book far in advance, and if you wish for a bespoke cake, they’ll want to start thinking about your design and flavour nice and early. Plus you get to try cake, to us that’s a win win!

* Book the honeymoon

Do you dream of a safari honeymoon? Or perhaps a celebration with your loved one on a Caribbean beach? Now’s the time to get thinking and booking. Top tip – You don’t have to book your honeymoon for straight after the wedding. Mini-moons are becoming quite the fashion, giving you a) time to save some pennies & b) something to look forward to later on in the year.

* Sort your wedding invitations

You may have heard that your wedding invitations are the first step to setting the tone of your big day, but choosing where to purchase your stationery can be as overwhelming as picking a style. Check out or to help inspire.

6-7 months before the big day….

* Sort the Bridesmaid dresses & Groomsmen suits

It is safe to say Bridesmaid dresses traditionally match or semi-match, so it’s best to get these ordered early to make sure you have the right ones! The groom needs to start thinking about what he wants to wear but suit fittings generally happen around the 3 months prior to the big day for them.

* Start thinking about the food!

With such a choice of delicious menus here at Coombe Lodge it is always worth deciding with each other what style you both would like. Would it be a sharing style like our Valencienne menu or the more formal sit down menu like our Mechlin & Reticella? Our event managers are always more than happy to offer advice where needed.

* Finalise your guest list 

Time to get this finalized – any last minute additions to be added ready for sending out the invitations.

 3-5 months before the big day….

* Send out wedding invitations

Traditionally invites are sent out 6-12 weeks before the wedding but you can send them sooner if you prefer. Include information for your guests on overnight accommodation, transport, parking and any dress code if appropriate. Include reply cards to ensure they all RSVP and ask your guests if they have any specific dietary requirements.

* Have your Planning Meeting

This is one of our favorite parts of the planning where we get to meet you and begin the preparations for the big day! This meeting is a great way for us to answer any questions you need answers to…

* Organise your ceremony music

Your Vicar/registrar will be able to advise further. Here at Coombe lodge we recommend to have your walking down the aisle song, around 3 to 4 tracks for when signing the register (always nice to have some background music at this point) and finally your exit music – make sure it’s an upbeat one, you’ve just got married!!!

* Wedding dress fittings

Top Tip – If you’ve already got your wedding shoes, bring them along. If not, bring some with a similar heel height.

* Hair & Make-Up

Get an idea of who is out there, contact and speak to several to find who is right for you. Once decided it is a good idea to organize your trials to help create the look you want on the big day.

 3 months before the big day….

* Buy the wedding rings

Make sure they are both the right size and that your wedding ring will sit comfortably alongside your engagement ring if you plan to wear them together.

* Buy any accessories

There is a huge range of wedding accessories available nowadays, so you can choose from a beautiful tiara, gorgeous jewellery, or a majestic veil…or all three! Think about whether you want your bridesmaids to be accessorised too

* Buy decorations for the tables & venue 

Deciding on decorations for you day is where you can be really fun and creative (need we say Pinterest again?!). You can do as much or as little as you want depending on your theme and how personal you want your wedding to be! Whatever you decide to use, you can leave the decorating to us!

Top Tip: Sometimes florists can provide items like tea lights, candelabras etc so it is always helpful to check with them first before you buy your own.

* Organise gifts for the wedding party

Thank you bouquets for the mothers of the bride and groom are always a traditional favorite. Personalized gifts however, with your own message engraved make very special keepsakes.

 2 months before the big day….

* Meet with your photographer to discuss plans for the day

This is the time to run through the group shots you want and how many? Weather plan for the ‘just incases’ and timings.

* Review the playlist with your evening entertainment

Make sure you have those classics to get everyone up on that dancefloor!

* Let loose at your hen/stag dos!

Finally, something you hopefully haven’t had to plan! So leave the wedding plans behind and go and celebrate!

 1 month before the big day….

* Have the final dress fitting

Make sure to take your mum, sister or best friend along to this one! Don’t forget the tissues.

* Final numbers stage & payment

Send all your final numbers, dietaries and final changes to the day to your event manager. From this payment will be required.

* Create your table plan

Now all of the invitations have been chased up it is time to decide who is sitting where. You’ll need to consider this carefully. Who knows who. Who will get on with who? This takes careful consideration, so don’t panic when you find yourself doing several drafts!

* Book beauty appointments

You’ll be needing these! Having your nails done or a treatment before the wedding day will ensure that you enter the celebrations with a wonderfully calm state of mind.

Top tip – Facials are great at relieving any stress build up…. Stress-free = spot-free. 

 1 week before the big day….

* Final check with suppliers

This is the point for any last minute adjustments and to simply re-confirm timings with everyone.

* Delegate all roles to the wedding party

Get everyone together (bridesmaids, groomsmen, family members) to run through all roles so everyone including yourselves are fully prepared. This helps with the stress – trust us!

* Pick up the suits

Grooms – go for the final fitting and pick up your suits.

* Organise decoration drop off

You will be having plenty of contact with your event manager so this can be arranged with them.

Top Tip – Create a checklist for the decorations and where you want them to go just so you know you have everything covered (and our staff will love you for it!)

* Pack for the honeymoon

You’re going on the holiday of a lifetime so take time to pack the essentials!

* Have your beauty treatments

Go for pre-wedding and honeymoon waxing or fake tanning in good time before the big day. Get eyebrows shaped and anything else that needs attention done the week before, not the day before.

Don’t forget the groom….make sure he gets a haircut!

 One day before the big day….

* Have the day off to relax

Spend the day with friends or family and don’t do anything too exhausting.

* Have your nails done

It is always a good idea to book to have your nails done in the afternoon to avoid chips and breaks.

* Try get an early night!

You’re getting married in the morning!Do something nice with your friends! It’s your wedding eve and now is the time for ultimate relaxation! Whether you want to have a nice meal out or having the friends over for a chilled evening, tonight is all about being RELAXED.


On your wedding day, the one thing you should try to keep in mind is that it’s not the end of your wedding planning, it’s the beginning of your marriage. So whatever may happen on the day, your marriage is what really matters most, and that’s why it will be a wonderful day you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

Whatever style or size your wedding is, you will be completely prepared for the big day with this ultimate checklist. Just click the download below!

Your Wedding Planning Checklist

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