28th January 2015
So it finally happened, the man / woman of your dreams got down on bended knee and popped the question! Of course you said YES and so the planning begins! But hang on, where do you start? Is it right to try on dresses before the venue has been decided? Do you order the cake before the final numbers have been agreed? And hang on, in between organising the party of the century, aren’t there some legal bits that have to be in place in order for it to be a wedding? Don’t fret brides-to-be, we have a fully comprehensible check list of what is required and when the right time to do it is. Follow this and you’ll be getting hitched without a hitch!
12 months +
- Set a date – sounds easy enough, but it’s important to sit down with a calendar and choose a date that either means something to you both (the 1st day you met/kissed etc) or choose one that doesn’t clash with immediate family members birthdays / anniversary’s.
- Book a wedding planner – if your budget can afford one or your lifestyle means you can’t afford to be without one.
- Send out your Save the Dates – these are great as they don’t need to go into detail such as where you’ll be getting married. They are there simply to share the good news with your friends and family as well as to allow them time to keep the date free so they can make sure they’re there to celebrate with you.
- Set your budget -although there are always means to cut costs, weddings don’t come cheap. Decide how much you have to spend overall as well as who will be contributing and by how much. Once this is in place, you can start to allocate your funds. It may also be helpful to write down what is important to you for the day so that you can establish a starting point for how much you may need to have.
- Decide on the theme of your wedding – Will it be formal, informal, held at a church or will it be a civil ceremony. Have a chat about what is important to both of you and what is involved in both ceremonies before making a decision.
- Guest list part 1 – this is likely to change before you send out your invitations, but it’s a good idea to estimate he number of guests you’ll be inviting as this will have an effect on the venue you choose etc.
- Vehicle hire – if you’re hoping to have some truly spectacular wedding transportation, it’s a good idea to start looking early to avoid disappointment.
- Preparation – it’s never too early to start looking through bridal magazines, blogs and websites for some inspiration for the finer details.
9 months +
- Go wedding dress shopping! – Don’t forget your wedding lingerie and shoes too, you’ll need these for any dress fittings you go to once it’s been ordered. You’ll also need to start looking at what you’re groom will be wearing. If they’re planning on hiring formal wear, start looking into this now.
- Nominate your bridesmaids, best man and ushers – it’s so important to choose not just the person you know you can go out and have a good time with, but those who will be there to help you in times of indecision and stress as well as give you an honest opinion and not just what you want to hear.
- Choose your venue – popular venues will get booked up sometimes years in advance.
- Hire a photographer / videographer – good photographers will get booked up well in advance, especially in the spring / summer months. Make sure you feel comfortable with them as well as loving their work. Read our previous blog for a guide on a diy photo booth.
- Choose whether you’ll want a live band, DJ or playlist to entertain your guests in the evening – if it’s a live band or DJ, be sure to secure the booking asap.
- Book your florist – not only will they create your bouquet but they’ll help you create the wedding as you dreamt of. You’re florist may be able to provide room styling and chair covers for you, but don’t forget to ask in case you have to source another supplier for this.
- Book your honeymoon – if you’re feeling daring enough, nominate your other half to organise this part.
- Choose and book your cake maker – whether it be a family friend or contemporary baker they’ll need time to design and create it.
- Caterer – if your venue doesn’t provide this on site, you’ll need to find someone who can and have tastings etc.
- Hair & Make Up – If you are planning on having someone do this for you, make sure that you get a trial for both before the big day.
- Finalize your colours, theme and style – this will be a great help when it comes to making those final decisions and help to bring everything together.
- Buy or order your wedding rings – they’re likely to need to be made from scratch so best to get it done and dusted now to save a last minute panic buy.
6 months +
- Choose your ceremony and reception music – nominate a night with your partner, open a bottle of wine and go through the music choices you want to celebrate your marriage.
- Start looking at invitations and stationery for your wedding – This can sometimes get left to the last minute, but it’s important to start looking or making contact with someone who will create your bespoke wedding stationery about now.
- Gift list – if you’re having a gift list, sign up now and have fun choosing items that you and your hubby / wife will be using together soon!
5 months +
- Contact florist to go through final details
- Create your 2nd draft of your wedding guest list
- Order your stationery – take a peak at our current collection!
- Decide what kind of favours you would like for your guests and purchase them.
3 months +
- Send out your wedding invitations – as a guide it’s best to have your guests RSVP 6 weeks before your wedding date.
- Meet your wedding officiant to go through your ceremony – you’ll have lots of fun personalising it to make it as special as it can be
- Choose your gifts for your parents and attendants – who needs an excuse to go shopping?!
- If you’ve chosen to write your own wedding vows, now is a good time to start writing your first draft, it’s bound to have a few changes from now until the big day!
2 months +
- Finalize details with all of your suppliers
- If you haven’t done so already, book a trial with your hair and make up artist
- Changing your name – if you are doing this, make sure you have all the proper documents to do so and that they are completed in due course.
- Start work on your seating plan – You’ll need to finalize this shortly after you know who’ll be attending so that you can let your venue know final numbers, as well as to your wedding stationers so that they can create a seating plan in good time.
1 month +
- Arrange a meeting with your photographer – you’ll most likely have to provide a list of required shots on the day as well as names of “important” people on the day.
- Make sure your officiant has a copy of your vows.
- Confirm payment details with all of your vendors – Some will need their balance paid on the day so it’s important to know who is expecting money, have it ready in envelopes ready for your best man to sort out whilst you’re having your pictures done on the day (just make sure you let your best man know now that you’ve nominated him for the role)!
- Collect your marriage licence – without this your day will just be a very expensive party!
- Confirm your honeymoon arrangements – this is always a good job for the groom to take control of!
- Have your final wedding dress fitting – and try not to crash diet from here! Any dramatic weight loss in the last month is not only very bad for you but will alter the way the dress fits, so be careful.
1 week +
- Collect your wedding dress! – And your bridesmaid / flower girls dresses if these have been made to order too.
- Give your final numbers to your venue / suppliers – you can never be too careful!
- Confirm everything with your vendors one last time.
1 day before
- Attend rehearsal (if you’re having one)
- Take some time out and get your nails done
- Make sure you’re wedding party know their jobs for the next day
- Make sure the groom remembers to pick up his formal wear hire!