If you are counting down the final 3 months before your wedding, the tasks soon begin to mount, and can feel overwhelming if you don’t have a great checklist to work to. I began writing this 3 month checklist prior to our wedding, and have added to it since. If you are planning the entire wedding within three months, of course you’ll also have to review the 12 month and the 6 month wedding planning checklist, and then get down to business here. It’s not a bad idea to have a quick review through those checklists before this one too, just to make sure you’re on track.
From there, I suggest you review the below 3 month countdown guide, and put these dates in your diary at regular intervals. If you’ve been using a little white book as your wedding diary and organiser then you’ll certainly be on track, but just incase you haven’t started using it yet, let’s ensure you’re covered.
The 3 Month Wedding Countdown – don’t stress!
To begin with, I want to reassure you, that while there are lots of little tasks in the last three months before your wedding, so long as you take them slowly and one by one over the next 12 weeks, there’s really no need to ever feel overwhelmed. By now, you’ve made all the ‘big’ decisions, and now it’s about just pulling the day together and getting yourself organised so that all your work comes together without a hitch.
If you’ve ordered a gown, or designed something custom, you will probably have done this somewhere between 6 months and 12 months before the wedding. Within your last 3 months, you are likely to have at least 2 fittings: when the dress first arrives; and then once the first round of alterations are made. You may change shape a little before the wedding, so the last alteration is usually around a month prior. If you are buying off the rack or second-hand, and haven’t already, I would recommend you do so soon, to allow time for alterations.
- Confirm the delivery date for bridal party attire/dresses, and add the date to your Calendar.
- Purchase a veil or headpiece, if desired, before your final fitting. Purchase bride’s shoes, if needed, before your final fitting.
- Purchase any items you’ll need to accessorize your look: necklace, earrings, bracelets, a clutch.
- Decide whether you’re going to wear a veil and choose your wedding bands and wedding day jewellery – you may like to make this a wedding gift if you two are opting to exchange those.
- Shop for your wedding shower outfit.
- Shop for your rehearsal dinner outfit.
- Shop for honeymoon outfits.
- Discuss any pre wedding gatherings, such as a bachelor party, with your Best Man. Purchase Groom’s Shoes.
If your fiancé is responsible for his own, and the groomsmen’s attire, ensure that he’s getting the guys sorted. In a previous life I was the Assistant Manager of Barkers, and you wouldn’t believe how many guys would come in on the day before (or morning of) their wedding looking for a suit. There are also some pretty good options on Asos, or The Iconic – for something more casual. As for your ‘maids, if you are ordering made-to-measure bridesmaids dresses, now is the time. Asos has some great Bridal and Wedding attire and I also see a lot of great bridesmaids’ dresses on The Iconic.
Likewise, choose your wedding shoes with around 3 months to go if possible, so that your dress can be altered to the right length, and you have a chance to wear them in.
Whether or not you sent ‘Save the Dates‘ earlier, at the 3 month mark you should be sending your wedding invitations, requiring final RSVPs at around 1 month before the wedding and advising your venue and caterers accordingly.
- Visit the post office to send out wedding invitations, request for them to hand cancel wedding invitations if possible.
- Take a complete, stuffed invitation to the post office and weigh for postage.
You can apply for your marriage licence anytime between 3 days and 3 months til the wedding, but there’s no sense leaving it til the last minute – read more about the legalities of marrying in New Zealand.
Vows and Speeches
Don’t leave your vows right ’til the last minute, they’re the most important part of your wedding ceremony.
- Reflect on some of your earlier wedding diary entries.
- talk to your partner about what marriage means to you both, and meet with your celebrant to discuss your ceremony.
- If you are asking others to do a reading or make a speech, give them plenty of time to prepare too.
- If you are having a professional make-up artist and hairstylist, contact them to confirm, and to organise your trials.
- Find inspiration for your look, and send them images of what you have in mind.
3 months is also a key time to focus on the health of your skin, with regular facials, good skincare, lots of water and plenty of sleep. If you haven’t already, book in to see a facialist and ensure your skin is in tip-top condition for the big day and all the events in the lead up too.
Catering and Cake
While you’ve already organised your caterer, now’s the time to finalise your catering style, food choices and cake flavours.
- If you’re supplying your own beverages, make sure to research options and order them well in advance.
- If you are hosting many overseas guests, you may want to showcase some of our best New Zealand wines to them – there’s a reason they’re world famous. . For our guests we served a selection of Loveblock and Villa Maria wines.
- Consider visiting the wineries you love to choose your wine, a great excuse for a pre-wedding date too.
- Purchase a cake topper.
I’m sure you’ve been thinking about (and dreaming about) your honeymoon for a few months now, so why not sort out a few bits of the honeymoon admin before the wedding countdown gets crazy
- Check your passports for their expiry dates
- Book your flights in the name on your passport
- Buy travel insurance immediately
- Book your accommodation
- Check if the country you are flying to requires a visa, or get an ESTA if you are flying through the US. FYI these should only cost around $10 – don’t get ripped off by an agency website.
Hopefully your bridal party will take the lead on this, but within the next 3 months you’ll probably be planning your hens night.
- Give a bridal shower guest list to your bridesmaids.
- Give bachelor party guest list to your groomsmen.
- Send thank you notes for any gifts received at your bridal shower.
- Purchase your bridal party robes, if desired, for the bridal party to have matching outfits on the morning of the wedding. Robes are ideal to wear while having hair and make-up done, so that they can be removed without disturbing your final look. Available via something blue.
Reserve your wedding night accommodation
It may be the last thing on your mind right now, but it will make such a difference to the days after your wedding if you have somewhere to retreat, have a little alone time, and enjoy your first few days as newlyweds. Go on, treat yourselves!
Keep your diary up to date
Remind yourself why it’s so important to keep a wedding diary, and keep writing about all the adventures you’re having during your engagement so far.