Wedding Planning Check-List – 12 Months Out

There’s no denying it, planning a wedding (even a tiny one) is a huge task.
But like any huge task, you can make it much easier on yourself and (hopefully) avoid becoming overwhelmed simply by breaking this huge task down into lots of smaller, less daunting tasks and setting a clear priority/timeline for them.
That way you can just focus on the now and worry about the later, later.
With this in mind I’ve come up with a total Wedding Planning Check-list for you right from 12 months before the wedding through to the day before the wedding.
I have then broken all these tasks down into those due 12 months before the wedding, those due 10 months before the wedding, those due 1 week before the wedding etc…you get the idea.
So without further ado, let’s start at the beginning with our 12 months out check-list.
Note: I drew heavily on online resources like’s 12-Month Wedding Planning Check-list Calendar but tweaked them for Queenstown NZ weddings.  (For the interactive version of this Check-list go to  You might also want to check out as they have some awesome resources available there.

12 Months Out Check-list

  1. Think about what you want from your dream wedding and write do.  You don’t necessarily have to pigeon-hole your wedding into a popular “theme” but the more of your personalities you put into every aspect of your wedding the more unique, fun and “you” your wedding day will be and he more comfortable you will feel.  And a comfortable you = relaxed, natural and beautiful wedding photos.  Hint: answering these 2 simple question can be super-helpful in getting a handle on what kind of wedding you are after; Describe your dream wedding in 3 words.  Describe yourselves in 3 words.
  2. Rough out a budget.
  3. Especially if you are planning your wedding from out of town/overseas and you have chosen a DIY venue, consider hiring a wedding planner to take all the stress out of organising everything.  And remember: wedding planners cost money but they can also save you money – not to mention a lot of headaches.  (For Queenstown/Wanaka weddings I recommend Rebecca at Fantail Weddings).
  4. Start looking for The Dress.
  5. If it’s important to you, hire a photographer ASAP.  The good ones are booked years in advance so get onto it ASAP.
  6. Pick a wedding date and time.  Hint: If you are flexible with dates and you are choosing a venue/celebrant/photographer/band that is very popular, contact them first and see when they have availability around about the date/s you are thinking.  Then if necessary, consider reverse-engineering your wedding date based on this information.  Likewise if you are inviting some special guests (and what bride and groom aren’t?) and them being able to make your wedding is the most important thing to you then check what dates they can make it (try and get a few options out of them) and then check whether your preferred venues/celebrant/photographer/band is available.
  7. Start attacking your guest list.
  8. Start Googling potential ceremony and reception venues.  Hint: If you have lined up a photographer who’s work you love, you have a great rapport with them and they are local to the area then pick their brains on the pros and cons of your list of venues and ask them if they have any other suggestions.
  9. Choose your wedding party.
  10. Have an Engagement Party.
  11. That’s it for now – we’ll be back with the “Wedding Planning Check-list – 10 Months Out” soon so stay tuned.

Author Details

Patrick Fallon

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