Lindy Cooke Celebrant

Wedding checklist – After you’re engaged

After You’re Engaged

When you’re planning your wedding, there will be a multitude of things to consider in the lead up to your big day. The more lavish your wedding and reception, the more planning will be required. In this 3 part series, I will provide a wedding checklist that steps through some of the key things you may need to take into account after you’re engaged. This will include:

  • Part 1 – What to Do After You’re Engaged – This is the subject of this blog.
  • Part 2 – 2 Months, 1 Month and 2 Weeks Before your Wedding – To be published 31.1.23.
  • Part 3 – When you Return from Your Honeymoon – To be published 28.2.23.

Each wedding will be different so your requirements will not be the same as someone else’s. These lists will, however, provide a good starting point for consideration.


Things to Do

Order your engagement ring (and any other rings that may form part of a set.)

Lock in your wedding date, time and venue.

Discuss a budget for your wedding and honeymoon and how the expenses will be shared. You may choose to create a wedding account and deposit funds regularly into that. Your parents may also offer to contribute to the overall cost.

Draw up a spreadsheet so you can keep track of spending.

  • Include one column listing items/services you need to purchase/arrange in the lead up to and on your wedding day.
  • In a second column, include quotes from wedding suppliers for each particular item/service.
  • Type your total budget at the top of a third column with a simple formula calculating the balance at the bottom. As you start spending, include the amount next to each particular item/service. By including a simple formula, the balance at the bottom should decrease each time you make a payment. If it looks like you’ll be going over budget, you then have an opportunity to re-assess the “essentials” or increase the budget.

Arrange your engagement party.

Work out who (if anyone) you would like to have in your wedding party. This includes bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls and ring bearers. Invite them to take on their individual roles.

Decide on the style of wedding you would like e.g. black tie, vintage, rustic, relaxed garden/beachfront, themed etc.

Liaise with both families regarding names/numbers and then draft/finalise your guest list.

Order your stationery. This includes save the dates, invitations, RSVPs, bonbonniere and thank you cards.

Determine the colour scheme for your wedding. This will affect many of your other decisions.

Decide if you’d like to purchase a special gift for your partner, or for those in your wedding party.

Check out gift registries and choose a range of possible gifts in varying price brackets or consider advising your guests that you will be having a wishing well where they can leave a card (and contribution to your future if they wish.)


Suppliers to book

Confirm availability and ask for quotes.

Pay a booking fee (or in full where requested) to hold your wedding date/time with each of your suppliers.

Local celebrants – arrange an appointment to meet. Once your celebrant has been chosen, complete a Notice of Intended Marriage.

Ceremony/reception venues – visit those of interest to see if you like the location, vibe and amenities.

Caterer – investigate options if a food/beverage package is not included at the venue.

Wedding photographers/videographers – look at their past work and see if their style suits the look you’re going for. Discuss options for post-ceremony photos away from your guests.

Musicians/DJ – decide if you need live or recorded music for your ceremony and/or reception.

Accommodation – consider booking sufficient rooms for the night before and night of the wedding.

Hair and makeup artist – arrange a trial in the lead up to your wedding day.

Wedding planner – decide if you’d like to hire one.

Decorators – check who can supply the style of furniture etc. you prefer.

Local florists –  look at what’s in season and choose your bouquets, buttonholes etc.

Cake maker – arrange to sample some cakes before making a decision on flavour or decoration.

Transport – see what options are available in the local area.


Wedding Attire

Wedding dress, bridesmaids’ dresses, groom and groomsmen’s outfits – order and pay upfront.

Arrange dates for fittings and allow time for alterations.

Discuss payment options with those in your wedding party. For example, your bridesmaids could choose/pay for a dress/shoes in their chosen style and your chosen colour. You could then pay for their hair/makeup.



Choose your honeymoon destination, check passport validity and book flights, accommodation and travel insurance. When travelling overseas, book flights in the bride’s maiden name. There will be insufficient time to order a new passport in a new name after your wedding.



Delegate to a select few people you can trust.

Most of all, have fun!


~     ~     ~     ~     ~


After you’re engaged, my suggestion is to work your way through the list, decide what’s relevant to you and tick things off along the way. Add items to the list if required.

The other thing to look at closely are the Terms & Conditions for your suppliers. Remember, each of these people is allocating their time and energy to meet your expectations on your chosen date. If you change your plans (upgrade, postpone or cancel), this may incur additional fees.

You can read a previous Blog I wrote on “How to plan a wedding day that flows seamlessly” by heading over here.



097 ~  ©Lindy Cooke Celebrant

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