So you finally got it together and made things official with your engagement … Congratulations – we’re chuffed for you! But after the emotional roller-coaster of your proposal, followed by the excited calls to friends and family, we wouldn’t be surprised if you are left thoroughly confused on what on earth to do next!
Weddings open up a whole new world that you never knew existed, and things can quickly get a little overwhelming if you don’t have a clear action plan to navigate your way through it all! A lot of your family and friends will have been through it all before and will be able to give you some great support and guidance, but we thought it would be useful to get you off to a flying start by putting together an informative & simple guide on the sorts of things you should be doing to get yourself on the road to wedding success!
We are going to present this in 2 parts, to let you ease into things! So here you go …
PART 1 .. up to a month before my wedding - what should I be doing!
Straight away (once you have got over the excitement of the proposal!)
- Go for a romantic weekend break, or a nice meal to have a proper chat with your partner about your wedding plans. Figure out what’s important to both of you so you can move towards a joint vision that you can work towards together. You can keep this high level for now as it’s easy to get bogged down in the detail
- Figure out your wedding budget – It’s really important to calculate how much you have available for your wedding as costs can quickly spiral out of control! Remember both of your families may be willing to contribute so take this into consideration but only if the funds are certain!
- Figure out how many guests you want to invite – This will impact your budget (particularly cost of food & drink) and venue choice
- Come up with some possible dates for your wedding – Make sure key members of your family and important friends can make it. The earlier you do this, and get people to save dates, the less likely there will be a clash of diaries!
- Research & start visiting wedding venues to get a good feel of your options
- Sign up some friends and family members who are willing and able to help you with arrangements
- Think about allocating important roles on the day e.g. best man, bridesmaids, ushers etc.
- Let your friends and family know the great news and throw an engagement party to celebrate! … this is a great way of getting your other half to meet your wider social circle in an informal way
6+ months before the wedding
- Book your wedding venue(s) for the ceremony and reception
- Book your wedding décor (if venue not providing) – e.g. marquees, table/chair covers
- Book your wedding photographer
- Book your wedding videographer
- Book your wedding florisst
- Book your hair and makeup provider
- Order your wedding cake
- Book your wedding entertainment – dancers, magicians, photobox, caricaturist etc.
- Book your wedding music – band, DJ, harpist etc.
- Book your wedding transport
- Order your wedding dress
- Send out ‘save the date’ cards particularly if your wedding is at a destination away from most of you guests or abroad
- Consider taking out wedding insurance – which covers things like cancellations for illness, wedding suppliers going out of business etc.
- Reserve a number of hotel rooms for guests that are travelling – see if you can block book and secure a group discount
- Book honeymoon – make sure you get free honeymoon upgrades, and your passports have at least 6 months left on them at the date you travel!
- Start planning your stag and hen (or leave this with your hopefully reliable and not too crazy!) best man/bridesmaid
3-6 months before
- Find and order your wedding rings – you might like to do this together and make a day of it
- Select and order your groomsmen suits
- Select and order bridesmaids’ dresses
- Design and order wedding invitations – you can easily do these online now
- Have a pre-wed shoot if you have agreed this with your photographer – this will get you comfortable with each other, and also provide some great shots for you display on the day either in a photo guestbook or on screens
- Meet your décor company & florist to discuss your options and make some choices base on the venue and theme you have gone for.
- Deal with the legals! You need to give notice to the registrar at least 28 day’s notice, but it’s safest to book an appointment well in advance
- Speak to your registrar & priest to agree on the various options for prayers, readings and format for your ceremony. Ask them to explain the entire ceremony to you so you know exactly how things should pan out on the day
- Book into your GP or a travel clinic to take any necessary vaccinations for your honeymoon – there are some that require a course of 3 so you need to leave plenty of time!
- Pull together your guest list – this is where things can get political! Try to be consistent with who you invite so nobody gets upset
- Gather together names and current addresses for your guests – this is often one of the most time consuming and frustrating tasks especially if you are inviting large numbers. A good starting point is to ask recently married people in your circle to share their list. You can then get in touch with others on text, social media, messenger, email or call them to fill in the blanks. Put this all in a spreadsheet to stay organised , print address labels and keep track of invites sent and RSVP’s
2-3 months before
- Send invitations to guests and track on your spreadsheet
- Design and print an order or service book
- Attend dress fittings for bride
- Call your hairdresser and arrange a trial
- Call your makeup artist arrange a makeup trial
Ok .. let’s stop there! As you can see there’s plenty to get on with but if you are reading this article, you have already made your first babystep towards wedding success! Remember, it’s meant to be one of the happiest days of your life, so make sure you keep things fun and fresh for you and your guests!
Look out soon for Part 2 of this guide: One month & counting till my wedding - HELP!