- 5 years ago
The Ultimate Wedding Checklist for newly engaged couples…
The Ultimate Wedding Checklist:
12 Months Before
- Start a wedding folder or binder
- Choose a date
- Work out your budget
- Start the guest list
Prioritize the different elements of your wedding (IE For some, its more important to have a great photographer than a reception band, for others to have the best wines on your tables is what works for some)
You will need an approximate number to start searching for a suitable venue.
- Hire a wedding planner
- Reserve your date at chosen venue
Choose your preferred style wedding such as beach, hall or garden venue; Decide between a day or evening ceremony.
- Research the Rabbi and different Chuppah ceremony styles
Will your ceremony be traditional or alternative? Will family members recite the ‘Sheva Brachot’? This is a good source for weddings in Israel…
- Research photographers, bands, DJ’s, designers, and caterers
For personal recommendations, contact me via my contact page
Use the questionnaire’s provided to help you get all the relevant information.
- Have an engagement party
9 Months Before
- Finalize the venue
Make sure you have researched venue restrictions such as music limitations. See questionnaire provided more a detailed set of important questions to ask.
- Decide if you will have extra wedding celebrations
as a Henna, Shabbat Chattan, and Sheva Brachot. Book asap to synchronize with the wedding date.
Henna party is huge fun…
Send ‘save the date’ emails to close friends and family
- Book flights and travel insurance
Some airlines can offer special prices for group bookings. Check the luggage limit as this keeps changing.
- Plan ceremony and reception details
- Think of a unique wedding themes
Decide on bridesmaids and pageboys
- Hire the photographer and the videographer – For personal recommendations, contact me via my contact page
No need to talk specifics yet.
- Book the entertainment
Attend gigs of potential acts to see how they perform in front of audiences, then reserve your favorite.
- Meet with the Rabbi
Map out the ceremony and confirm that you have all the official documents for the wedding
- Meet caterers
If your wedding venue doesn’t offer its own catering service, time to go food and wine tasting. Hire your favorite.
- Meet with a few designers
Think from candles and flowers to napkin ties and curtains. Decide on theme & color scheme.
- Purchase a dress
You’ll need to schedule time for at least three fittings. Veil and accessories shopping can be postponed for another two to three months.
- Think about reserving a block of hotel rooms for out-of-town guests
Pick a couple of hotels at different price ranges for guests to choose from.
- Register at your favorite retailer for gift lists
- Consider wedding insurance
Protects your financial investment in your wedding, covers cancellation/postponement, lost deposits, and more.
- Open a file at the Rabbanut
Check you have all the documents they need from you and your local Rabbi.
- Order Kippot
Now this one may seem a little strange to do so early, but if you want something a little different than usual, you will need to import it and that takes time.
6 Months Before
- Select and purchase invitations
You can also decide on menu cards, benchers, kippot, thank-you gifts/cards, place name cards/stickers, a seating plan board and printing guest address stickers for envelopes. It will be a good idea to weigh the invitation to determine postage costs. Decide if you will have pre-paid response cards. Alternatively you can ask guests to reply by email or phone. Also consider whether to print the ‘thank-you’ cards here or in your home country.
- Start collecting guests addresses for invitations
- How about a honeymoon?
- Write your vows
- Passport check
Confirm your own and family members’ passports are valid.
- The groom should purchase/hire his tux/suit
- Shop for bridesmaids’ dresses and pageboy suits
- Shop for veil and accessories
- Arrange transportation for wedding party and guests
Consider limos, minibuses and coaches.
- Start putting together a timeline for the big day
Draw up a schedule of the event and slot in each element (the cake-cutting, the first dance, the speeches)
- Select and order the cake
- Purchase wedding shoes and start dress fittings
Bring the shoes along to your first fitting so the dressmaker can measure the appropriate length of your gown. Buy comfy shoes for later.
The wedding rings and bridal shoes at Kim and Yaron’s wedding in Israel by Herschel Gutman Photography
- Choose hair and makeup artists
- Book the sound system, lighting and effects, dancefloor, dancefloor logo
- Choose your music playlist
What should be playing during the reception? the Chuppah? during dinner? to kick off the dancing? Keep a running list of what you want (and do not want) played.
- Launch a wedding website
Create your personal page through a free provider such as weddingchannel.com. Note the date of the wedding, travel information, accommodations and after wedding photos. Then send the link to invitees.
- Book a suitable time for the Mikva ritual
- Appoint ushers, maids of honor, best man & bridesmaids
- How about a wedding cake?
- Consider musicians for reception.
3 Months Before
- Finalize the menu and design
You’ll want to wait until now to see what will be available, since food and flowers are affected by season.
- Experiment your beauty routine
Hair, make-up, self-tanners, facials, skincare etc.
- Begin to put together the guest list and seating arrangements
- Register for gifts
- Decide on alcohol menu and bar attractions
- Make a list of the people giving toasts
Which loved ones would you like to have speak at the reception? Ask them now.
- Lingerie shopping
- Order benchers and kippot
- Consider designing your own personal monogram
Which can be used as your signature on your invitations, the dancefloor, benchers, kippot etc.
- Finalize the order of the ceremony and the reception.
Send schedule to the vendor, allowing ample time for tweaks and feedback.
- Purchase the rings and ring-bearer pillow
This will give you time for resizing and engraving.
- Purchase a guestbook and a special pen. Think of the table design.
- Assign safe keeping of the guestbook and gifts
- Decide on wedding favors for guests and dancefloor giveaways (hats etc)
- Decide on design for table numbers, menus and placecards
- Begin to arrange the wedding day schedule
- Consider welcome baskets for hotel guests
- Decide on what to do with leftover food, cake, flowers
We promote donating the leftover food to families in need.
- Touch base again with all the vendors
Make sure any questions you or they had on your first draft have been answered.
- Meet with the photographer
Discuss specific shots, moments you want captured, and walk through the locations to note spots that appeal to you. What about a studio/outdoor photoshoot? Trash-the-dress?
- Review and finalize the playlist with the band or DJ
Though you probably won’t be able to dictate every single song played, you should come prepared with a wish list.
- Send out the invitations
Addresses can be handwritten, printed on stickers or on the envelope itself.
- Will you organize some group sightseeing activities?
For Example walking the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem, a visit to the Western Wall.
1 Month Before
- Prepare important documentation
IE birth certificates of bride/groom/the parents, ketuba of your parents, plane tickets and passports
- Submit a newspaper wedding announcement
If you’re planning to include a photograph, check the publication’s website: Some have strict rules about how the photo should look.
- Enter RSVPs into your guest-list database & assign seating
Phone people who have not yet responded and send to the vendor and caterer.
- Enjoy a bachelor/ette party
- Do you need to arrange special parking for anyone?
- Do any of your guests have special dietary requirements?
- Assign your best friends with roles/responsibilities that you need help with on the wedding day.
- Allocate the Sheva Brachot blessings for the chupah and benching.
- Apply for your marriage license/Ketuba
The process can take up to six days, but it’s good to give yourself some leeway.
The Ketubah by Herschel Gutman Photography
- Visit the dressmaker for your last dress fitting
For peace of mind, you may want to schedule a fitting the week of your wedding. You can always cancel the appointment if you try on the dress then and it fits perfectly.
- Stock the bar
Now that you have a firm head count you can order accordingly.
- Send out as many final payments as you can
- Get your hair cut and coloured, if desired
- Confirm honeymoon reservations
- Prepare your wedding day bag
Week of the Wedding
- Delegate small wedding-day tasks
Choose someone to help you with your dress, someone to carry your things, someone to be in charge of guestbook etc.
- Pick up your dress
Or make arrangements for a delivery.
- Go to the Rabbanut office
Collect your ketuba
- Order your Wedding Bouquet
- Set aside cheques for the vendors
And put tips in envelopes to be handed out at the event.
- Book a spa treatment
Make an appointment for a manicure and a pedicure the day before the wedding. (You might want to get a stress-relieving massage, too.)
- Send the final guest list to the caterer and all venues hosting your wedding-related events
Typically, companies close their lists 72 hours in advance.
- Print the final place name cards or seating plan board
DAY of the WEDDING 🙂
Your big day has finally arrived!!
Now just lay back and let all the arrangements unfold smoothly.
No need for stress or panic,
for you have your wedding planner right by your side…. 🙂
- Make sure you eat a good breakfast
- Allow yourself plenty of time to get ready
- Take veil and accessories to the hair and make-up artist
After the Wedding
- Open presents and record gifts received
- Send ‘thank you’ cards
- Return any rented equipment/accessories/clothing
- Ensure all vendors have been paid
- Record your marriage in your home country
- Freeze the top layer of your cake for your 1st wedding anniversary
*Natalie Abraham at Dreamcatcher events is a UK-born wedding & event planner in Israel and is considered one of the best wedding/bar mitzvah/bat mitzvah planners in Israel. Her British background gave her a precise understanding of what was needed in the events industry; Someone who can provide a bridge between the values and expectations of the Anglo personality, with the local customs and mentality. Her trademark is in the fine detail that makes every event a UNIQUE and unforgettable experience. She has made dreams come true for clients from all over the world. See what they have to say.
**See Natalie in action – https://youtu.be/d6MkSbOZ0Uc
***For more information visit her website – www.NatalieAbrahamDreamcatcher.com
Make your special #WeddingMoments alive forever with outstanding photography services by #HerschelGutmanPhotography
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