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Margie's 65 point, basic Wedding planner

Planning your wedding is hard enough but setting your Budget and sticking to it is the really tough part. Hopefully, Margie's simple plan will help you get your tasks into perspective and just maybe, keep your budget under control.

The first step should be to decide on the style of your wedding. Formal, casual, avant guard. Think about Indoor, celebrant or Priest. Church or garden ceremony. From those decisions can flow the rest of your plan.

  1. Choose your wedding venue and set an intended date. Keep in mind this may need to change, depending on the bookings your service providers might have. Booking ahead for your Photographer and Caterer may see you planing 12 months and more in advance.

  2. Choose a wedding officiate - A Priest or Celebrant. You may even consider a Ship's captain under some circumstances.

  3.  Make a decision on who will be part of the wedding party - groomsmen, bridesmaids, etc. Consult them to be sure they are firstly willing and secondly, free to take part.

  4. Draw up a guest list and calculate approximate numbers for the reception. Keep in mind there may be staff meals needed for Musicians, Photographers and anyone you employ over meal breaks.

  5. Consider your reception venue. Keep in mind the size of your guest list and make sure the venue's you consider are neither too small or too big. Many of the popular reception locations will be booked out for November and most probably October and December. Booking more than a year in advance is not uncommon with popular venues.

  6. Book the hire any extra equipment required - marquee, furniture, crockery, well in advance.

  7. Determine if a Wedding Decorator or a Wedding Planner is required. There are some links to companion services who provide this service on our links page.

  8. Begin shopping for wedding dress or dressmaker and accessories. Do not overlook buying your wedding dress from China. Many of our brides have saved major money buying their Wedding and Bridesmaids dresses on eBay.

  9. Select suits and dresses for the rest of the wedding party. Hiring formal suits may be a practical ideal if your Fiancé is unlikely to need a suit after the Wedding.

  10. Plan your honeymoon. Ask yourself if you would rather spend a week in a tropical paradise or spend the cost of it on a meal for your guests! I can highly recommend the Tropical Paradise. It's memories will stay long after the meal is forgotten.

  11. Book your wedding transportation - cars, horse and carriage, limousines, etc. Keep in mind many vintage cars favoured for weddings may only have limited registration for hire and may not be suitable for anything other than a photography prop. There are (or will be) service providers listed on our links page who provide Wedding transportation.

  12. Select your photographer. weddings N portraits (us) are well experienced and highly qualified. If you are reading this wedding planner, it was compiled by 'Margie' and came from Give us a call if you need to make a booking.

  13. Select a florist. I know this sounds simple but if you think about it for a moment you'll see it is far from a simple matter. Flowers you may like are not always in season. Some florists are more prepared than other to go the extra distance you need on your wedding day. Once again our links page has service providers we are happy to recommend.

  14. Choosing music or musicians for your ceremony is another area of over simplification. There is not much point in having an expert organist booked for your garden wedding but not having one booked for your church ceremony could be disaster.

  15. Book reception entertainment. I suggest you listen to quite a few entertainers before deciding on any.

    3 Months Before

  16. Order invitation cards and stationery. There are suppliers of this service on our links page.

  17. Make any necessary personal appointments. Be sure to book your hairdresser and any personal pampering.

  18. Choose wedding cake. Often cake makers need to allow fruit cakes to 'mature' for a month or two before the icing will take. If you intend to have a traditional cake, it will take all of three month to create.

  19. Arrange your travel plans. Apply for your passports, vaccinations etc if you will be honeymooning overseas.

  20. Arrange your Master of Ceremonies. There are some excellent band owners who can double as MCs or you may prefer to pay a professional MC for the task. If you intend to ask a relative, perhaps a quick course as an MC might freshen their skills?

    2 Months Before

  21. Compile a gift list and consult a gift registry if necessary. Some people still consider providing a list of useful gifts is offensive but on the plus side, if you do make one, there is a lot less chance of getting six steam irons as wedding gifts!

  22. You must give notice of intent to marry to wedding official at least one full month and no more than 6 months in advance of your wedding date. I know your celebrant or priest has an obligation to do this but reminding them if they haven't is not such a bad idea.

  23. Arrange a wedding rehearsal. I am amazed at how many wedding I photograph have never had a rehearsal. Rehearsals won't guarantee a perfect ceremony but they will ensure everyone knows what is expected of them. Plan for one, you won't regret it.

  24. Select and secure you wedding rings and any wedding jewellery you may need. Consider gifts for your bridesmaids at the same time.

  25. Collect and write invitations. Unless you engaged someone to do this for you in step 1 of the 3 months before section. If you did, remind them now.

    6 Weeks Before

  26. Confirm reception arrangements especially if you booked hire goods but need to select them.

  27.  Order beverages.

  28. Confirm arrangements with florist.

  29. Confirm your honeymoon travel and accommodation.

  30. Plan your honeymoon wardrobe.

  31. Mail your invitations unless you used a contracted service and if you did, make sure they have mailed them.

  32. A good idea is to keep a record of who accepts your invitation and who doesn't. RSVP does not alway guarantee an invitee will reply. You need to know the exact number of acceptances for caterers etc.

  33. Advise your caterer and reception host of estimated guest numbers.

  34. Start making arrangements for your hen's and buck's nights. Traditionally these are organised by friends of the couple but if you don't plan them now, they may not come off.

  35. Select your gifts for the attendants. Tradition is that bridesmaids get a gift of appreciation along with gifts for the best man, ring bearer and flower girl.

  36. Start planning your speeches. Make sure your Fiancé knows what speeches are expected of him  and any friends who wish to speak know what they are going to say. It is timely if you, yourself, know what people are going to say in front of your guests!

    4 Weeks Before

  37. Arrange wedding insurance for gifts and holiday insurance. In particular, health insurance if you are travelling overseas.

  38. Confirm reception arrangements and delivery of any goods you have hired.

  39. Confirm arrangements with your wedding officials. Even if you have already completed the necessary forms, you may still need to finalize a few details and book for the wedding rehearsal.

  40. Confirm your bookings with hairdressers, beauticians and your makeup artist.

  41. Final wedding dress fitting and alterations if necessary. If you purchased your dress from overseas, you should make sure it still fits in time to have it altered.

  42. Finalise arrangements with your photographer. If you booked with us, we will attend the rehearsal and arrange for any pre-wedding portraits about now. You also need to go over our 'shoot-list' and make sure it contains all the shots you personally want and importantly... Get it back to us!

  43. Finalise your attendants outfits.

  44. Update your Guest List and begin writing thank you notes if gifts are received early.

    2 Weeks Before

  45. Final fitting of all wedding attire and arrange delivery well in advance of your wedding day.

  46. Make sure the wedding party is fully aware of all arrangements and of what is required of them. It is a wise idea to have a written guide to distribute to them.

  47. Finalise your guest numbers and confirm with your caterers and the reception venue.

  48. Arrange wedding reception seating. Most reception venues will offer you a 'floor plan of the seating layout. Use this to work out who will be seated with who.

  49. An alphabetical list of guests and their table allocations along with the place cards you have written should be given to your reception venue.

  50. Make the final payment for your Photographer and any other people you agreed to pay before the wedding.

    1 Week Before

  51. Finalise all arrangements - catering, floral and photography.

  52. Have your wedding rehearsal.

  53. Final fitting check of all outfits and accessories.

  54. Ensure that all guests (especially interstate and overseas) have transport to and from the church and reception and accommodation for them is finalized.

  55. Get together an emergency kit for the day which the bride's mother can carry. Margie generally carries one with her to every wedding we Photograph, in case you forget.

  56. Pack for your honeymoon.

  57. Layout your clothes for the wedding day - this will set your mind at ease and allow you to see first hand, anything you have forgotten.

  58. Emergency Kit

  59. Paracetamol or other tablets for a headache.

  60. Sunscreen if it's an outdoor wedding.

  61. Bandaids and/or blisters pads if your shoes have never been worn before. I may well be a wise move to wear your wedding shoes around the house for a few days to 'break them in'.

  62. Tissues - A small travel pack should be enough.

  63. Spare stockings - especially if the bride or bridesmaids do not have full length dresses.

  64. Sewing kit and safety pins. Bobby pins if your hair needs securing.

  65. Lipstick and compact for touch ups. Include blotting paper, even paper towelling, to mop up any perspiration.

  66. Medicine if any of the wedding party suffer from hay fever - especially if any of the day is outdoors (perfume can also trigger the sniffles for allergy sufferers).

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