Indian Wedding Planning Checklist

Your wedding proposal has taken place. Or your matchmaking has been arranged. Both you and your spouse have made a unified decision to take the next big step in life together. What will be your next course of action? Planning your wedding of course. And that’s where our Indian Wedding Planning Checklist will come in handy, and be your ultimate partner in ensuring a grand fiesta wedding is organized.

Yes, your wedding will be the first major responsibility which you and your spouse will undertake, be it with or without the help of your family and friends. The wedding venue needs to be reserved. The wedding caterer needs to be decided. Wedding photographers may need to be pre-booked months before your actual wedding. Wedding banquet chairs, tables and covers need to be rented. And the list goes on and on…

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The sheer number of items alone to prepare for a wedding event may make you feel worried or uncomfortable and cause you to have thoughts that you may lose control over the state of your own wedding. Even before you begin, you may already think of the unimaginable, and fear the shame that may arise from a badly organized event.

Fret not, as we at Indian Wedding Planning Malaysia have compiled an Indian Wedding Planning Checklist to assist you with all your wedding preparations. The list of wedding preparation items below has been constructed chronologically to ensure sufficient time is allocated for each event item. Therefore you should have enough time for sourcing ideas, contacting your wedding service vendors, detailed discussion with your service providers and finally confirming your vendor options.

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  • > 12 months

      More than 12 months before wedding

    • Choose a special date to tie the knot
    • Appoint a specialist wedding planner
    • Decide the number of guests, location and time of day for the wedding
    • Determine wedding budget and how the expenses will be divided between groom and bride
    • Determine how your wedding itinerary would look like
    • Organize a system to track payments made and the party who made the payment
    • Create and consolidate a guest list from both bride and groom side
    • Determine unavoidable factors which may impact your chosen wedding date (e.g. weather, elections etc.)
    • Reserve wedding ceremony site
    • Reserve wedding reception site
    • Reserve wedding photographer
    • Reserve wedding videographer
    • Decide on the matrimonial theme and colour
    • Order or renew passport & visa for honeymoon
  • 6 – 12 months

      Between 6 and 12 months before wedding

    • Reserve your marriage officiant (priest, qadi,minister etc.)
    • Reserve wedding ceremony musicians
    • Reserve wedding decorator/florist
    • Reserve wedding caterer
    • Reserve wedding reception entertainers / musicians / DJ
    • Decide who will be your bridesmaids and best men
    • Decide who will be the master of ceremony
  • 4 – 6 months

      Between 4 and 6 months before wedding

    • Reserve rental items needed for wedding ceremony
    • Reserve make-up artist, hair stylist and costume stylist
    • Reserve bridal night suite
    • Finalize guest list and obtain invitation mail addresses
    • Decide and purchase wedding card invitations; include map of the site for wedding ceremony and reception
    • Create online invitations
    • Prepare a list of wedding helpers (usherers, gift attendant, reception stage coordinator, food & beverage coordinator etc.) and their responsibilities
    • Begin planning for your honeymoon
  • 2 – 4 months

      Between 2 and 4 months before wedding

    • Reserve wedding cake
    • Reserve wedding transport including decoration for wedding car and wedding party entourage
    • Rent or purchase wedding attire for bride and groom
    • Rent or purchase wedding attire for bridesmaids, best men & parents
    • Decide and purchase party favors, wedding door gifts and gifts for wedding helpers
    • Plan activities for out-of-town guests both before and after the wedding
    • Consider bleeching or cleaning your teeth
  • 6 – 8 weeks

      Between 6 and 8 weeks before wedding

    • Mail wedding invitations and/or e-mail e-invites
    • Keep track of all invitations and RSVP. Same list can be used to track gifts received and send thank you notes
    • Rent or purchase bridal accessories
    • Purchase bridal shoes
    • Purchase jewellery (thali, wedding rings, etc.) and arrange for engravings
    • Consider and arrange for security escort for bride party who will wear heavy jewellery
    • Finalize your food and drinks menu with caterer
    • Arrange for a bridal portrait or pre-wedding photoshoot to be taken
  • 2 – 6 weeks

      Between 2 and 6 weeks before wedding

    • Confirm wedding ceremony details and what to bring with marriage officiant
    • Contact guests who have not responded and finalize seating arrangements
    • Create a detailed timeline of the wedding ceremony & reception
    • Provide your service providers a copy of the detailed timeline
    • Form your receiving line and decide how they will usher the bride and groom into the wedding site
    • Provide your photographer a list of special photos you would like taken
    • Provide your videographer a list of special people or events you want included in the video
    • Provide your DJ the songlist you would like played at your event
    • Prepare wedding site road guide boards, guestbook and gift containers
    • Prepare and decorate your home
  • 1 week

      One week before wedding

    • Arrange final dress fittings to ensure your attire is ready and perfect
    • Select your wedding transport drivers
    • Review your wedding itinerary
    • Provide the layout of your wedding reception to your caterer and reception manager
    • Provide the final count of guests to your caterer and reception manager
    • Communicate last minute changes to your service providers
    • Confirm honeymoon accomodation and reservations and pack for your honeymoon
    • Familiarize yourself with each other’s guest lists
  • 1 day

      The day before your Wedding Day

    • Review this checklist and list down all items to be brought for the wedding
    • Arrange for a trustworthy person to help you pay the service providers on the wedding day
    • Arrange for someone to return rental items after the wedding
    • Arrange for someone to place wedding site road guide boards at strategic junctions
    • Arrange for someone to coordinate reception food and beverage layout and receipt with caterer on wedding day
    • Arrange for someone to coordinate reception site and stage – to manage emcee, DJ, entertainers, site lighting etc.
    • Provide all members of the wedding party details of wedding day timelines
    • Provide all service providers details of wedding day timelines
    • Review ceremony seating with ushers
  • The Wedding Day

      The Wedding Day

    • Review this checklist and list down all items to be brought for the wedding
    • Bring the official wedding rings and/or thali
    • Relax and enjoy your wedding day

Although our Indian Wedding Planning Checklist was formulated based on a minimum one year preparation period, you can use this checklist for shorter or longer wedding preparation durations, with some smart modifications of the checklist.

For our readers who have very short preparation periods, we advise either of the following alternatives:

  1. Create an aggressive “catch-up” plan on wedding preparation items for the durations you have missed OR
  2. Hire a wedding planner

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If you are short of time and opt for alternative (2), but don’t want to pay too much for hiring a wedding planner, create a list of items which you think you and your spouse can manage on your own. You can always outsource the remaining items to your wedding planner, allowing you to be still in control of your wedding budget.