The Ultimate Desi Wedding Planning Checklist & Timelines - Eternity

The Ultimate Desi Wedding Planning Checklist & Timelines

18th September 2023

Congratulations on your engagement! Let the wed-min begin. Are you wonderful where to start with your wedding planning? Well, you’ve come to the right place, we’ve compiled the ultimate checklist to plan your desi wedding to perfection.

Quite honestly, no wedding planning process is the same. Some are longer, some are shorter, some couples make decisions quicker, some couples take a bit more time – so the best thing you can do is just live in the moment and enjoy your own process.

In this post, we’re going to go through an overview everything to consider pre-wedding planning, during wedding planning, and post-wedding planning. For a more detailed checklist, check out your Eternity UK portal.

All of these timelines are a guide, but it’s important to note that each supplier will provide an indication of how far in advance to book them on their profile, websites, or social media. Be sure to check that for the suppliers that you are certain you wish to book.

Don’t forget, you can sign up to your own FREE digital planning portal with Eternity, and even browse our extensive range of incredible wedding suppliers.

In this blog


before you start wedding planning

Understand your vision

First things first, understand your ultimate vision. You and your partner should sit down by yourself, and discuss what you had in mind. Did one of you want a more grand wedding? Did one of you want a more intimate wedding? It’s good to have a rough overview.

A fun activity is to start creating Partner A & Partner B Pinterest boards. Don’t look at each others before you sit down and have the chat, so you can truly understand any similarities or differences in thinking without any bias.

Determine your non-negotiables

Following on from the above, you want to understand your wedding non-negotiables ie. what are your absolute must-haves at your wedding. Try to narrow down 2-3.

For Partner A, it could be the entertainment & vibe, and for Partner B, it could be the outfits & accessories. This will help when it comes to staying within your budget.

Decide your no. of events

With any desi wedding, it’s so easy to get carried away with wedding planning and the number of events. We’ve seen some couples skip a separate sangeet & mehndi, we’ve seen some couples skip a reception, and we’ve seen some couples do 7+ events: the choice is yours!

This is a decision which you should ideally make with your family involved. To understand their preferences & your budgets on the number of events.

Build a guest list

This is a good one to start early. Start fleshing out a rough guest list, which you can easily access via your Eternity digital wedding planning portal.

You want to start making a list and adding a category on who they are / which side of the family they are from. This will begin to give you a rough indication of your numbers as well.

Decide your location

The next natural step, before you start looking, is to decide whether you want to opt for a local wedding or a destination wedding. This will totally depend on your budget, guest list, and vision.

Decide your date

Before you start enquiring, you want to have a date in mind. Whether this means understanding the most popular wedding dates, or speaking to a priest; it’s the best thing to do early on.


10 to 12 months before your wedding

Book venue viewings & finalise venues

The most exciting bit! This will definitely set your vibe for your events. Try to understand where each event will take place, and begin booking venue viewings. It’s important that you know the wedding & event dates beforehand, as well as your guest capacity, because this is the first thing your venues will ask.

Hire a wedding planner, if needed

If you are going to opt for a wedding planner, be sure to get them involved early on. Take them to viewings and visits, and share your wedding vision with them. The sooner you get them involved, the more you can make them the main contact with your suppliers.

Insure your wedding ring

In between browsing and booking suppliers, be sure to insure your wedding ring early on! Take a look at our ultimate guide on wedding ring care.

Book your menu tastings & caterer

Often, your venue will have a list of approved Asian caterers for your wedding. Have a browse and start booking in your wedding menu tastings. Some venues will allow you to bring your own caterer, free of charge, in which case you can browse different caterers for tons of events.

Speak with your decorator

Arguably one of your most exciting, yet overwhelming moments, will be speaking to your decorator. With this, your options are genuinely endless! Share your Pinterest moodboard with your decorators, and try and see who understands your vision best. You don’t necessarily need to have the same decorator for each event, so be sure to browse around.

Decide if you want wedding insurance

Now, this is a slightly controversial topic, but it really shouldn’t be! Decide if you want to have wedding insurance and be sure to start speaking to potential insurers to understand what it entails. Each policy will differ.

Hire your photography & videography team

Honestly, they get booked up so early, so prioritise booking your photographers & videographers pretty early. When choosing your photographer, be sure to ask them all the right questions and understand your rapport with the right suppliers.

Hire your DJ & entertainment

This is one of the other larger foundation things that you want to get booked up early. The DJ & entertainment you choose will really depend on your vibe, so have a browse and block their dates early. A lot of the time, they will work quite closely with your decor team to ensure the booth / DJ floors are all in sync, so be sure to put them in touch early on too.

Book your hair & makeup artists

Hair & makeup artists get booked up extremely fast, and naturally, they have limited capacity on how many clients they can work with. If you know who you’re after, and you also have quite sought after dates, be sure to book them early.


8-10 Months before your wedding

Start wedding outfit shopping

Honestly, this one comes at the 10 month mark to ensure you’ve had enough time to browse through Pinterest and understand your wedding themes, so you can shop for your outfits accordingly. Decide whether you want to coordinate with your partner, with your families, with your bridesmaids, with your groomsmen, or not at all!

Create your wedding website

If you are creating a wedding website, then now is your time to get started. It’s honestly a lifesaver for you and your guests – so have a look at all our FAQs and suggestions here.

Speak to a wedding stationery supplier

Again, following on from the above. If you choose to do a sole wedding website, or physical invites, or a combination of the two: speak to a wedding stationery designer accordingly. One of the first goals will be to get a save the date ready – so this is the best time to start.

Speak to bar suppliers

For each of your events, if you are serving drinks, you’ll need to understand whose responsible for this. Whether it’s the venue, the caterer, or a separate bar service – you’ll want to agree this quite early on to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Hire your wedding cake artist

Once you have your themes nailed, you’ll want to start speaking to a wedding cake artist, to ensure that it fits your vibe too! Depending on which event you want your cakes for, the flavours you choose will also vary.

Start planning your hen / stag

Arguably the most exciting aspect of wedding planning! If you choose to have a hen or stag, now is your time to get started with planning this and getting dates in the diary. Choose whether you want to be involved in the planning, or if you wish to outsource this to your maid of honour of best men.

Your bridesmaid / groomsmen proposal

Another super exciting aspect is to propose to your bridesmaids and groomsmen. These individuals have been and important part of your life, and they will be equally as excited to start this journey with you.


6-8 months before the wedding

Book your florist

Depending on whether you’re after fresh flowers, be sure to speak to a fresh florist in advance to understand your rough prices, availability and what’s in season. This will be useful for your decor, buttonholes, bouquets, and any other accessories you choose to have.

Send save the dates

This is around about the time that you will get asked tons of questions from your loved ones, so it’s the right time to send out your save the dates or direct couples over to your wedding website with the basic information.

Create your wedding gift list

Gifting is a MASSIVE aspect of our South Asian wedding culture! Now is the time to begin making a guest list of all the close family members / your partner that you will need to buy gifts for. This takes up a healthy chunk of your wedding budget at times, so it’s good to have clarity sooner.

Book your registrar

Be sure to inform your local council of your wedding, and book your wedding registrar for the day. There will be elements of paperwork, witnesses that you will need to decide, so it’s best to start the process early.

Book more wedding entertainment

Now is the time to start booking the ceremony music and fun elements you want at your wedding. Are you having a photobooth? Wedding guest games? A kids corner? Get deciding & get booking!

Book your honeymoon

Woooop! Bet you’ve been waiting for this one. Six months out is enough time for you to have a better indication of dates for your honeymoon, so get exploring fun honeymoon destinations for your well deserved break.


4-6 months before the wedding

Book your mehndi artist

If you’re like us, you spend ages obsessing over mehndi designs, and so now is the best time to start speaking to mehndi artists and share your vibe with them. Be sure to have your initial consultation quite soon.

Choose your wedding bands

Time to shop for the bling! Have a look at some of the designs you absolutely love, and make a fun date of going wedding band ring shopping.

Send your wedding invites

The sooner your wedding invites go out, the sooner you start getting RSVPs back. Now is the time to start your wedding website, e-invites, or physical cards to your friends & family. Be sure to clearly write out the RSVP date.

Book your hotel rooms

Depending on where your wedding takes place, you will want to book hotel rooms for your close family, and maybe even wedding parties, around about this time. Depending on where you book rooms, you may even be able to get some discounts for bulk bookings.

Book your transportation

Are you coming in on a traditional car? Supercar? Party bus? Now is the time to start booking your transportation for you and your guests, especially if you want some private numberplates.

Shop for wedding favours

Once you have a better indication of your numbers, you can start searching for fun, practical and unique wedding favours that your guests will love. This will give you a better indication of your budgets too.


2-4 months before the wedding

Have your final tastings

This is an exciting one! Book in any final tastings with your caterers, drinks companies, or cake providers. This is where you can knuckle down the final details of your wedding.

Have your final fittings

Around 2-4 months is where you should go to your final fittings, to ensure your outfits are fitted and styled exactly how you want them to be.

Start your DIYs

If you are planning on being a DIY-bride or DIY-groom, now is your time to start getting your materials and DIY’s together. Be sure to get your wedding parties involved – the more, the merrier!

Decide on your wedding songs

Whether it be creating playlists for your home events, or your first dance song, your cake cutting song, or even your wedding exit songs – now is the time to start finalising those and sharing them with your DJ.

Understand the order of your day better

If you are hiring a wedding coordinator for the day, now is your time to begin liaising with them and understanding the finer details of your day better. Some coordinators will also begin the handover process now, as well. If you aren’t, be sure to start creating your wedding week itinerary yourself.

Start dance practice

This will either be the most exciting part of wedding prep, or the most daunting! It’s time to allocate someone as your wedding coordinator to prep your wedding parties for your dances.

Book your beauty treatments

Be sure to book your pre-wedding treatments, nail appointments, hair appointments, and maybe even a fun spa day. 

Let your suppliers & guests know of any name-change choices

Whatever your name change intentions are (or indeed are not) – be sure to let your suppliers and guests know in advance of your desi marriage. It’s important that everyone involved is clear on how you want to be formally addressed after you say I do!


within 2 months of the wedding

Have site visits & sort the finer details

Bring all your suppliers together for your site visits! This is the perfect time to iron out any last minute details and understand everyones responsibilities. After this point, your wedding coordinator should definitely take charge of supplier conversations.

Get your wedding day emergency kit together

Your wedding day emergency kit should include everything from A-Z! Whilst you will most-likely have tons of the items at home, there are lots of new items which you may need to purchase. Have a look at our extensive list of wedding day emergency kit items and ensure you have everything ready.

Write your wedding speech or vows

This is a fun & sentimental aspect of your wedding planning. Now is the time to start writing your wedding speech and/or vows for your big day. It will likely take a few iterations, so don’t put too much pressure to finish everything in one sitting.

Chase last minute RSVPs

We hate to say this, but not all of your guests will RSVP in the first go, or even the second, and maybe not even the third. For any important guests, you may need to give them a nudge and finalise the numbers.

Send your suppliers your final numbers, guest list, and dietary requirements

Once you have your final numbers, be sure to send all the lovely little details to your suppliers. This will ensure that everyone is kept in the loop.

Get your seating plan together

The dreaded seating plan! If you are allocating tables or seating for your reception, now is the time to get your plan together. You will need to share this with your wedding stationery supplier, caterer, and wedding coordinator, to ensure name cards, seating charts, and dietary requirements are in place.

Allocate responsibilities

If you aren’t having a wedding coordinator, be sure to allocate any responsibilities to your friends & family. It’s good for everyone to be on the same page, and ask any questions they need to, as well.

Ensure your supplier payments are made

Make sure you don’t have any outstanding payments, which were due before the wedding, left.

after your wedding

Change your name (if applicable)

If you are choosing to change your name, whether it’s a full name change, addition of a middle name, a double barrel, or anything else you may be considering when changing your name; we have partnered with NameSwitch to make your process easier.

NameSwitch believes that a new chapter in your life should be a time of excitement – not drowning in paperwork and procrastination.  The average name changer needs to notify over 24 government bodies and companies of their new name! NameSwitch can dramatically reduce your workload and save you roughly 15 hours of time that you would have spent on the admin.

NameSwitch have made it super easy. You simply login to their website, tick their list in choosing exactly who it is you want to notify of your name change and enter your basic details.

Then, in the click of a button, all of your pre-filled letters & forms are instantly accessible for you to access from their secure server. It really is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

As your reward for being a highly valued Eternity member, NameSwitch are offering £5 off each package with the code ETERNITY-FIVE.

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