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.
Within the last 3 months, most of the final payments will become due, so do keep an eye on your budget spreadsheets and be sure to allocate your finances. For many, it will be a tight few months, but it will all be worth it.
To make life easy for those who are using the little white book, I will set out the below to-do’s in the order they are in the book, but you can take them as you like.
Attire – your Wedding Dress, the Bridal Party’s attire & his Suit
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.
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. I ordered the guys’ suits from a really affordable website called ‘The Syndicate‘ and had them altered to fit the guys well. 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. Many of you will know, I’ve recently started a new company called Elizoe, with my best friend, a stylist and designer. We have designed a capsule collection of bridesmaids’ dresses, made-to-order in New Zealand, so don’t hesitate to get in touch. If you want something off-the-rack, 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.
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.
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. I’ve recently been working with The Diamond Shop who have kindly offered to give a copy of I still do to all couples who purchase their wedding bands through them. They also have the best priced wedding bands – a comparison I did recently for a friend put them at less than half the cost of Walker & Hall, and one third of the cost of Naveya & Sloane.
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. While you can leave this til later, the final month before your wedding can get a little hectic, and you don’t want to rush this decision.
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 & 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. I love that you can visit Villa Maria for a tasting to choose your wines – a great excuse for a date for the two of you, and an even better excuse to spend the afternoon drinking wine.
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 (get $40 off on Booking.com)
- 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. Seeking inspiration?
Your beauty regime and trials
Your wedding day make-up artist and hairstylist will be booking up if you’re getting married in peak wedding season, so make a time with each of them for your make-up and hair trials around three months before the wedding.
Of course, it’s also a key time to think your own beauty regime. You want to look and feel your absolute best on your wedding day, of course, which means taking action a few months before the big day. I strongly suggest that with three months to go, you book in for a facial and consultation to ensure you are using the right products for your skin. I see Louise Gray skincare for regular facials, and she ensures I am also using the right products and taking the right supplements. Lou also swears by flaxseed oils, as well as having a varied, healthy diet with lots of good fats.
Product wise, I’ve long sworn by Dermalogica for my skincare, and have recently been given the opportunity to give my followers free samples of my favourite products, so you’re very welcome to grab a couple of those. Even if you don’t book in for a facial, I recommend the Dermalogica “Face Fit” to see what the best products will be for you. My current favourite products are the essential cleansing solution, phyto replenish oil and pre-cleanse-balm (which I use with SKIN SONIC).
Check in with all vendors
As well as all of the above, check in with all of your vendors to be safe.
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 (and use $40 off booking.com).
Keep up your diary!
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.
First and last photo courtesy of The Official Photographers.