Your ultimate wedding planning checklist.

Plan ahead with our helpful organiser for an effortlessly memorable wedding day.

Your wedding is a milestone event, and, quite rightly, you want your day to be perfect. It doesn’t happen all by itself though, as marking such a momentous occasion requires a lot of thought, planning, and organisation.

With so much to think about, how do you make sure that you haven’t forgotten anything and everything is kept under control? Don’t worry because here at Dunham Forest Golf & CC, we’ve put together a wedding planning checklist that guides you effortlessly through the preparation.

Following these steps means that once your big day arrives, you can relax and enjoy the occasion knowing that everything has been taken care of.

When do you start planning your wedding?

Begin as far in advance as possible by creating a folder for your wedding planning checklist – our advice would be to divide it into four main sections:

  • Budget & Venue – 12 months ahead.
  • Research & Quotes – 9 months ahead.
  • Bookings & Receipts – 6 months ahead.
  • Final Preparations – 3 month countdown.

Ideally, you’d have at least 12 months to plan for your wedding, but even if you have less time, the four sections will keep you on track until your wedding day arrives. With so much to do, you’ll find the time will pass extremely quickly so use month, week and day markers to set reminders for each section.

Wedding planning checklist for your budget and venue.

Use this section to:

  • set your budget
  • select your date
  • choose your venue and book it
  • decide and delegate who is responsible for what during the preparation

Your budget, date, and venue are closely linked and you may find the decision about all three is made at the same time. These are likely to be your very first considerations. If done as far in advance as possible, you should be able to secure the availability of your chosen venue on the date you want.

Once this has been done, you can think about a theme, an initial guest list and who you want to be in your wedding party. You can then send out ‘save the date’ cards before turning your attention to the finer details of your wedding preparation. Use these early stages to decide whether you’ll be doing most of the organisation yourself or whether you’ll enlist the services of family or an experienced wedding planner.

Wedding planning check list for your research and quotes.

Use this section to keep all of your ideas together for:

  • your colour schemes
  • any dress codes
  • the choice of flowers and the arrangements
  • the choice of décor and lighting

Research services online or at wedding fairs for your officiant, wedding stationery, , photographer/videographer, wedding cake maker, florist, hairdresser and make-up artist, entertainment dressmaker or alteration services, transport and your overnight accommodation.

Keep all contact details and any quotes you receive in this section of your folder. Use the information to make your comparisons in line with your budget before deciding who to book.

At Dunham Forest Golf & CC, we have a list of trusted wedding service suppliers we work with regularly. This includes local hotels for overnight accommodation, florists, lighting, wedding planning, and dressing.

Wedding planning checklist bookings and receipts.

After you’ve done your research, you’ll want to book the services you’ve decided upon. Don’t forget to consult with your venue as you may not need to book everything separately.

For weddings hosted at Dunham Forest Golf & CC, we not only provide a beautiful room for your ceremony and an elegant dining room for your wedding breakfast, but we also offer tailored packages to include food and drink, décor, table linens, the cake stand and crockery and a very special red-carpet welcome.

At this point in your preparations, you’ll want to make a few important purchases and decide on a few important elements:

  • buy your dress and rings
  • book your honeymoon
  • decide your wedding breakfast menu
  • choose a wedding cake – taste what’s on offer before making your final decision

You may need to check the sizing of all your clothing and rings closer to the day so allow enough time for any adjustments to be made. Set yourself a reminder in your final preparations section.

Use this point in your planning to decide on whether you are going away for a honeymoon or opting for a popular mini-moon to wind down after your big day. If you are going abroad, check your passports will still be valid and whether you need to apply for any visas before you book your trip.

Wedding planning checklist final preparations.

The day is drawing near and now is the time to attend the final preparations that lead up to your special day. This is the busiest and most detailed part of your wedding planning. However, if you’re using your checklist to be organised, it should be a breeze.

  • Send out the wedding invites.
  • Meet with your officiant.
  • Book any overnight accommodation.
  • Book the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner venue.
  • Create your wedding day timetable.

Send your wedding invitations to your guests. Don’t forget to include details of how and when people should RSVP by. If you’ve set up a wedding website, include the web address so people can accept or decline online or a physical address for people to send their reply to.

If you have guests who are travelling a long way to your wedding and need overnight accommodation, supply them with a list of alternatives and remind them to book ahead.

Check whether you need to make any announcements of your intention to marry and meet with your officiant to discuss what will happen on the day.

Don’t forget to book a wedding rehearsal. This will help to calm the nerves as well as give you a clearer idea of timings. It’s also a good time to co-ordinate any readings you’re having during the ceremony and decide on the music. If you are having a meal after the rehearsal, book the venue for that and let your wedding party know.

Once you’ve received your RSVPs, you can finalise your guest list and create a timetable for the day. Pass the numbers and timetable on to your venue and suppliers and tick this off your list.

Use this remaining time before your wedding to double check the planning for anything that’s been missed or delayed. This is also the time for trial runs to make sure everything goes smoothly on the day.

  • double check your planner
  • do your hair and makeup trial runs
  • notify the Registry Office of your intention to marry/apply for your marriage license
  • go for your final dress fitting
  • draw up your initial seating plan
  • allocate wedding party roles

Double check your planner for confirmations of rentals, bookings and reservations and attend to anything outstanding. If you are having a registry office ceremony, make sure the date is booked and submit the appropriate notifications. Alternatively, and according to any religious customs and requirements, apply for your marriage license. Make any announcements you need to.

Book a trial run with your hairdresser and make-up artist. Take any ideas with you along with your veil, tiara or other hair accessory you’ll be wearing. Once you are happy with your look, confirm your appointments for the day for you and any other members of your party.

Confirm with your wedding party that they know what their roles are and who is responsible for what. Running through a list of ‘must dos’ and ‘must not dos’ may be a good idea!

Things to tick off your wedding checklist one week before the day.

  • purchase gifts for your wedding party
  • reconfirm with all your suppliers and resend your wedding day timetable
  • pay special attention to catering and florists and confirm final numbers again where necessary
  • finalise your seating plan
  • treat yourself to a relaxing spa day and get in some early nights

One week before your wedding and the majority of all your organisation should have been done. This is when you can begin to relax and enjoy all that you’ve planned for. Look after yourself and eat and rest well. Check through your planner one final time and prepare to make any final payments for after the day itself.

Planning your wedding with Dunham Forest Golf &CC.

Ask for assistance with your wedding planning checklist from us at Dunham Forest Golf & CC. As one of Cheshire’s top locations, we have a wealth of experience with different types of weddings and we’d be delighted to help plan and host yours.

Why not book an appointment to come and see for yourself what we can offer?

For further details, contact laura@dunhamforest.com or mike@dunhamforest.com.                 Alternatively, you can call us on 0161 928 2605.