Wedding Checklist & Timeline
The Wedding Planning Checklist and Timeline
Not just for an Indian wedding, but generally for all weddings, whether you hire a planner or not, compiling your wedding checklist becomes very important. What is this wedding to do list and how do you prepare it? Let us discuss the what, when and how of the wedding checklist, especially for Indian weddings.
When do we prepare this wedding planning checklist?
It really depends on the type of your wedding, but ideally if you are planning for a destination wedding, the lead time to prepare our wedding checklist on an average would be 8 to 12 months ahead of the event.
If it is a regular wedding that you are planning inside a wedding hall, the lead time on an average would be 4 to 6 months.
However, there are certain weddings that happen within a month's notice and others that happen over a 2 year period of wedding planning. Whatever your timeline be, it is definitely an advantage to get that checklist prepared at the earliest, for a broad perspective.
Whatever the timeline may be, what is more important is the checklist for planning your wedding and below are the list of things that need to be checked.
Let us look at a comfortable case scenario with an 8 to 12 month lead time, if you are running behind schedule, no problem just ensure you follow the checklist items as you go along.
8 to 12 Months ahead
The Wedding Budget Checklist
Before you embark on an any project, it is good to do some thought to planning it; it is wise and important to freeze a budget, more so with your wedding. It is always better to have a buffer to accommodate a 30% to 40% shift (the variation will be much lesser when the lead time is lesser, simply because the more time you have to discuss your wedding, more are the inspirations and aspirations and additions; so it plays a crucial role.
Hiring the right Wedding Planner
It's important to hire a wedding planner once you fix the budget that will greatly help with ticking off your checklist items. You will pat yourselves in the back for this right decision you made for the wedding. Trust us, we have seen a thousand weddings and we know how chaotic it will be, unless you plan it, right to the dot. Hire the best wedding planners that you can afford. They will play an important role as your right hand, while they help your cause with their valuable expertise and experience contributing in every step, all the way, which you do not want to miss out on. It may be a first wedding experience for you, as against your wedding planner who has gained much in experience from 100s of weddings, similar to yours. So, experience matters, especially in conducting weddings.
Ask your wedding planner the list of services that they will be providing and cross check them with your requirements. If you need some additional services, do not hesitate to discuss it them.Marriage Colours, is a decade old brand, having been a part of over a 1000 weddings, as decorator and wedding planner. Do we use a checklist? We definitely do; an elaborate one.
The Wedding Venue
The best wedding venues get booked first, so always remember to have this on top of your wedding planning checklist. Wedding venues on a busy muhurtham date are like a hot selling limited edition sports bike, the first mover advantage is very true here. So, book your wedding venue immediately after your dates are finalized.
Planning your wedding invitation becomes very important. That's because, the wedding invitation is your first message to your guests that you invite for your family wedding. So, you need to take your time, to plan the best wedding cards, design and package them well to create the right impression in the minds of your guests. Wedding invitations have come a long way and the higher it is in the wedding planning checklist, the more time you would have to design a well thought out wedding invitation.
Standard invitations, premium invitations, box invites, designer invitations, acrylic invitations, sleek looking simple wedding cards are all available in the market, according to our budget constraints. Like we said, ensure that you have allocated a budget for each and every item in your checklist, considering the list of things needed for your wedding.
The choices are many and when you start early, you have much flexibility in choosing your type and model and design for your best wedding invitation.
There is this largest wedding store in Chennai, which you may want to consider for your invites, return gifts and all other items that make a wedding.
Our advice is that you start on the invitations, right after you book your wedding venue. Once you have finalised the wedding invitation content and design, you may take your time to finally decide when you want to print it. The physical invitations hard copy often takes a couple of weeks depending on the complexity and content iterations.
The Wedding theme
If you had noticed, we find that it is very pleasant to watch when the entire venue follows a pattern, a colour or a design in any event. So, a theme becomes important. Now that the venue is booked and you are planning your invitations and they are off your wedding checklist, it's now time to develop a theme, so all your wedding events follow the theme, whose orientation may be colours, concepts and ideas from the past, where you can involve your wedding planners, decor and designer to make it come alive.
Decor & Designers
Weddings are very auspicious and not every date is suitable for a wedding and even on those auspicious dates, the most auspicious times come in small slices. Since, the wedding professionals can service only a limited number of clients in a particular month or season, it becomes important that you meet a few as early as possible and finalize the one that you are sure can promise you complete peace of mind.
One of the most important aspects of the wedding is the food. Some venues have catering, food and beverages that will be finalized at the time of the fixing the venue. You may also hire a specialist caterer. Stand alone caterers with great reputation should be given priority and booked well in advance.
Your Wedding Photographer
Choosing the right wedding photo, video team is of prime importance, since they are the ones that show the couple in their most beautiful self. So, this should also be high on your wedding checklist. Choose the best one that you can afford. We have been in the wedding industry for long enough to know that as far as photography is concerned, it is not the company that offers you the least quote that you should be choosing.
Check their credentials, speak to them about your wedding and how you want your wedding photos and videos to be captured; show them some references so that they know what your expectations are.
There are a few things that you can consider as positive indications from your shortlisted photo, video services vendor. A really serious brand, responds quickly to your messages. Instead of sending an email, send them a message on Whatsapp or better still, call them up.
Make time to visit their studio and get a first hand feel of the vibes for yourself. Wedding photo, video is to be considered very important, since they are the ones who capture all your moments and offer you the time machine by way of their photos and videos that can transport us to those wonderful moments, again and again. So, shortlist the best one within your budget. And, if possible, try and extend your budget to accommodate the better one from your shortlist.
Book Wedding Photography Early
As we all know wedding photography is a service and professional and specialist photographers are hard to get as they get booked early. So, if you want a particular photographer or a brand to capture your moments, you gotta be first in the queue and ensure that you block them on your preferred dates as soon as possible. Most importantly, have a contract signed with the post wedding deliverables; these are the only guys who work on your wedding even after your wedding is over. We recommend Atlhea, who make exceptional wedding films and are one of the leading players in wedding photography, videography, with hundreds of happy clients to their credit.
The options are plenty, but the right one for your skin? You definitely dont want to confirm one without a trial, and its important to fix one at the earliest so you could make use of her services during the acclimatization period. MUA are also very important, since they make you look good on your most important day; a priority in your checklist.
Bridal & Jewellery
Here is another important element in your wedding checklist. These become important, because you need these to look good in photos and videos. Some of you might have already decided on the outlook for gowns, lehengas and the jewellery you are going to wear. Today wedding trends are customisation. We dont always customize our costumes, but when it comes to the wedding, you will be looking to do a lot of customization. It is good to give some time for the artisans to as these are very detail oriented works and will take a lot of time.
If you are after A listers or famous names you will need a good amount of time, again it is important that the artists dont outshine the couple, also remember that its your big day and you are the highlight of the ceremony. In our experience you can be a great artist, but your wedding needs a performer, a performer that pleases your guests and yourself. So, if you are a fan of rock n roll, it doesn't make sense to have a rock band for your reception, if your guests don't enjoy it. So, choose somebody whom every guest will like.
6 to 8 Months
You should have fixed most of your vendors with one round of discussion, this is the time to curate your menu; as we all know, catering is another subject that occupies a high preference in our wedding planning checklist, so pay attention to this, as the menu will be talked about well into the future. Then, finish up your decor and themes, measurements for your attire,finalizing the jewellery, advance payments etc.
Wedding Website/Socials, etc
Time to move on to the second gear, starting with the wedding website for the ease of your guests. There are a lot of family members who might not know the bride or the groom. It makes sense to write about your story and the family associations, so when you all meet during a sangeet or a cocktail dinner most of them will recognize key family members.
Website and socials is more like a pre ice-breaker, a great tool to increase the excitement of meeting in person, among your friends, family and guests.If you are looking to showcase your wedding to your near and dear from overseas or other remote locations, do add "live streaming" to your wedding checklist.
Yes, this is one big activity and something that is another important element of the wedding planning checklist. Sometimes, it gets confusing, especially if you are having multiple events and multiple invitees. But, there are a good number of wedding planning tools available that can help you organise.
Travel, Accommodation & Honeymoon
It is important that travel and accommodation are taken care of at the earliest; the sooner you book the more you save the money! You may also be eligible for some bulk deals.
Gifts & Favours
If the quantity is high or if you are planning for full customisation of gifts then you might require a higher lead time for procuring or making them.
2 to 6 Months
From among the items in your wedding to do list, the following topics also need special focus.
Make up trial
Decor Moodboard finalisation
Wedding wardrobe trials
1 Month to Go!
If you have followed the above things you would have completed like 95% of your wedding checklist. We suggest you to chill, spa and party your wedding month, celebrate it with your friends and family. Have a cracking time.
As a final note, trust your wedding planners and vendors, let them do their magic curated for your day.
Guest hospitality and Travel Desk
Most of the guests can find a way to the venue in time through Ola, Uber or Google maps. Similarly, most can take care of themselves during their stay or at the event.
What we are offering them is an experience, and small things that get etched in their memories for sweet recall. Right from the airport to the check-in assistance at the hotel, gestures can be as simple as holding an umbrella under the blistering Sun, carrying luggage or a trolley, to having a separate helpdesk counter at the hotel reception.
A little bit of welcoming and assistance during the event will add the experience, it's always nice to be received by a well groomed professional, when you are at a 5 star hotel or a luxury cruise, so it will be at your wedding too.
World of Weddings
To get the big picture about planning weddings, we encourage you to go through the elaborate Marriage Colours Wedding Planning Handbook World of Weddings Digital Book, click here to access
Conducting is a wedding is a mammoth job. Ask those who have done it. We at MC, endeavor to share our thoughts and experiences to make your wedding better and memorable. We welcome you to join in the discussion.
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