As an ex-bride (Oh I wish I could be a bride every year) and having gone though all the planning myself I now know when things actually need to get booked.
There are lots of scary timelines out there, and yes if you love a venue or have your heart set on a photographer then I’d say get right onto it as soon as you can as they can get booked up to 2 years in advance…
But there are some things that really you do have a little more time to think about and research well and buy, beg, steal or borrow for the day!
Here’s our rough guide line for 12 months of planning. But i’ve known friends do it in 5 and planning a wedding day really does depend on the couple – if you’re super laid back then half a year may be too long but if you’ve been dreaming of this day since you we’re knee high you may want to take 2 years to get it just right and make the most of being a bride-to-be.
12 MONTHS TO GO:
-Chat to your hubby-to-be about the type of day you’d like and start heading round some of the venues. You may have to compromise on your dream date if the wedding is looking pretty busy, or wait a little longer to marry just where you want.
-If your having a church wedding then make arrangements there. If the church isn’t in your parish you may need to speak to the vicar about joining the congregation for at least 6 months to be allowed to marry there if you have no other connections to the church.
-Start looking at photographers as soon as poss and get in touch to arrange meetings to see how they work and if you connect.
-Set that budget and start saving! (You will go over)
-Email caterers and get costings together for the food you’ll be wanting.
9 MONTHS TO GO:
-Book the caterer.
-Ask your wedding party if they will do the honours; bridesmaids, best man, maid-of-honour and ushers. Might be a good time to ask family or friends if they’d like to read at the service too.
-Write the guest list!
-Send out save the date cards (if you we’re going to)
-Start looking for THE dress, try on as many as you need – the shops don’t mind, really.
-Research you cake maker, great to pop along to local wedding fairs to find some inspiration and try a few tasters!
-Think about the invites and stationery you’ll be needing.
-Wedding music/band/DJ’s, book them in!
6 MONTHS TO GO:
-Book transport, not only for getting there but for getting back to the hotel too!
-Think about your decor and details at the ceremony and venue and the vibe you want to create for the day.
-Look for Bridesmaids and Groomsmens’ attire and accessories.
-Book your Honeymoon! Woop!
-Go to another dress fitting.
-Reserve your hotel for the wedding night.
-If you’re having hair and make-up done, find your pro now!
-Send out the invites. That’s when it will all feel very real.
3 MONTHS TO GO:
-Buy the wedding rings
-Think about your wedding favours.
-Start the dreaded seating plan (it will change 100x’s before the day!)
-Finalise Table Decoration and Venue decor – Star to source or hire. (We’re happy to help for last minute detail if we have the items even with 3 weeks notice we can help!)
2 MONTHS TO GO:
-Confirm the menu with caterers and rough run through of times for the day with them.
-Choose music for the ceremony and night, and that important First Dance!
-Confirm everything with your registrar.
1 MONTH TO GO:
-Stay off the do-nuts now as its last fitting time and picking up the dress!
-Run through with everyone involved in the day their roles and what they need to bring.
-Write your place settings up for the final seating plan – caterers and venues like a copy about now.
2 WEEKS TO GO:
-Check all the details with all you suppliers and make sure they have full addresses and phone numbers. Pay anyone that hasn’t already been, the less hassle the week before the better.
-Practice your hair and make-up at least once.
-Buy your thankyou gifts for people that played a part to hand out on the day.
1 WEEKK TO GO:
-Re-confirm times with the venue and co-ordinator.
-Have your run-though of the ceremony.
-Have a massage or really long bath and a large glass of wine. It’s about now everything starts to go 100 miles an hour. Take it all in, this is going to be the best week ever.
THE DAY BEFORE:
-Have your nails done.
-Set up the tables and decor at your venue, if anything needs to be put out in the morning show the caterer/co-orinator where things are to go.
-Try and get an early night or if not stay up and watch Bridesmaids with the girls.
I downloaded a checklist on my phone, there are some great free app’s out there and as my phone was rarely out of my hand it was perfect for checking things on the go or before bed.
There is alot to do and think about all for one day so from time to time forget about the ‘to do’ list and give your favourite a hug. If things don’t go to plan don’t beat yourself up – there will still be a beautiful wedding and thats what its all about.
The Little Lending Co. x