Preparing your own wedding ceremony regardless of whether 2 yrs or even 8 weeks ahead of time could be demanding. If you are like most young women, who seem to wish to generate never-ending lists then fail to remember the details a matter of minutes later, in that case our How To Plan A Wedding guideline may be for you. The following guideline is a typical countdown with all the different important steps you ought to make. Wedding preparation should be fun but may also be a bit of a headache at times; choosing all the right colours, details and suppliers, So I have written a month by month countdown of when to do the typical things a wedding might have, from visiting venues to sending out those thank you cards. The following simple timeline is a 12 month schedule, working with the common components of a typical wedding of around the average budget. We all know brides who have taken two years to put their wedding together as we know brides who have pulled off an amazing day in less than 8 weeks. Fortunately, you can find common guidelines which are useful. Therefore here is our How to Plan A Wedding guideline…
· Sit down with your other half and discuss your ideal wedding to make sure you’re on the same page
· Draw up a realistic budget
· Start planning the guest list. Decide on approximate number of guests – this may impact your choice of venues
· Pick potential wedding dates – check with important guests to avoid clashes
· Research potential wedding venues and ceremony locations – if separate
· Pop the question to your bridesmaids and groomsmen
· Search for local wedding fairs
12 months before your wedding
· Visit and book your reception venue and ceremony location
· Research potential wedding services and suppliers – photographer, florist, invitations, cake, decor, music, hair and make up
· Buy wedding insurance
· Decide what type of entertainment you want for ceremony, drinks reception and dancing
· Book Photographer and follow up meeting for a month before your wedding
· Book Videographer and follow up meeting for a month before your wedding
· Research and consider options for your venue and ceremony decor
· Start your wedding dress research
· Send Save the Date cards – important if you’re getting married abroad, or during a very busy time of year
8/10 months before
· Book ceremony music, band and DJ for reception
· Research and reserve accommodations for guests
· Contact decor hire companies if you need to rent anything for ceremony/reception, such as chairs, tables, and tent.
· Book Honeymoon
· Order wedding cake
· Book Groomsmen’s Suits
· Book Pre-Marriage Course
6/8 months before
· Book ceremony musicians
· Ensure passports are in date for honeymoon – order new ones if necessary
· Start planning honeymoon
· Start planning Hen & Stag Parties – well not you, the best man and bridesmaids should!
· Choose bridesmaids’ dresses
4-6 months before
· Choose and order wedding invitations & stationery
· Attend pre-marriage counselling, if required (for catholic ceremonies)
· Meet with florist to discuss options
· Shop for groom’s suit
· Organise the legalities — give at least 3 months notice to registrar or priest/religious celebrant
· Decide on prayers, readings and music for mass booklets — check with your priest / registrar
· Organise invitations and order of service booklets
· Arrange travel vaccinations if necessary
· Organise wedding transport
· Start gathering addresses for guest list – create spreadsheet for RSVPs
2-3 months before
· Send invitations to guests
· Order wedding rings
· Rent the men’s formalwear
· Book dress fittings
· Choose wedding rings
· Organise gifts for parents, bridesmaids, groomsmen and each other
· Book hairdresser and organise hair trial
· Book a makeup artist and go for makeup trial
· Contact suppliers for final meetings/ payments schedules
4 weeks before
· Have final wedding dress fitting
· Make any last-minute adjustments with suppliers
· Finalise details for, and order mass booklets/order of ceremony
· Create table plan
· Final meeting with photographer and videographer.
· Pay any remaining final balances
2 weeks before
· Review final RSVP list and call any guests who have not yet responded
1 week before
· Give venue/caterer final guest head count
· Supply wedding coordinator with a list of supplier requests such as a table for DJ or setup space needed by florist.
· Print placecards
· Call all wedding suppliers to confirm arrangements, create timetable for day
· Give ceremony and reception site managers a schedule of vendor delivery and setup times, plus contact numbers.
· Get manicure, massage, waxing & all your preening and prep
· Do full wedding dress rehearsal from underwear to veil
· Pack an overnight bag for the reception
· Pack for the honeymoon
· Organise money to be paid to suppliers on the day
2-3 days before
· Make last minute changes to table plan if necessary
· Groom: Go for final fitting and pick up your formalwear.
· Groom: Ask the best man to make sure all groomsmen attend fittings and pick up their outfits.
· Confirm pick-up times with wedding car company
· Reconfirm final details with all vendors. Discuss any necessary last-minute substitutions.
The day before
· Drop off place cards, table cards, menus, favours, table plan to reception coordinator
· Provide all wedding professionals with an emergency phone number to call on the day of the wedding.
· Sort out payment (write cheques/organise cash) for any final balances to be paid at the end of the reception.
· Ensure the cake is on track to be delivered to reception venue
· Rehearse ceremony with full wedding party ceremony readers your officiant at the ceremony site to rehearse and iron out details.
· Get a good night’s rest
The Wedding Day!
· Give the gifts for your parents to the best man/bridesmaid for after the speeches
· Get flowers delivered to the bride’s house
· Give wedding bands to the best man to hold during the ceremony
· Give best man the officiant’s fee envelope, to be given after the ceremony
· Introduce your reception coordinator to your wedding planner (if you’re having one), or bridesmaid/bestman for questions or problems during the reception.
· Assign a family member or attendant to be the photographer’s contact so he knows who is who.
After your wedding
· Prearrange for someone to return any rentals.
· Pre plan for attendants to take the bride’s gown for cleaning and return the groom’s suit to the rental shop.
· Write and send thank-you notes to gift-bearing guests and vendors who were especially helpful.
· Relax and find something to do with all your spare time!
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