As soon as you can after your engagement...
• Spread the news to close family and friends – you might want to think about doing this over the course of a few weeks. Everyone will want to know the entire story of your engagement, and it can be really tiring repeating yourself again and again...and again!
• Set a realistic budget which you can easily monitor as you go
• Decide whether you are having a church or civil ceremony and book the registrar or minister
• Make a guest list and finalise numbers
• Search for reception venues that cater for the size of your wedding party and make a booking as soon as you fall for one!
• Make appointments with bridal boutiques and start the search for your perfect wedding gown
• Choose your bridesmaids, best man, ushers etc
• Search for and book a photographer
• Take out wedding insurance
• If it all starts to get on top of you, book a professional wedding planner
9 months before
Frill Cake by Maisie Fantaisie
• Choose and book your wedding cake maker (make sure you have a tasting first!)
• Think about the music and entertainment that you would like throughout the day, and book it. It is often best to go through a reputable a music company or agency. As a professional third party, they can often resolve problematic situations, without causing you unnecessary anxiety
• Choose and book your florist
Bridal Bouquet by Big Day Flowers
• Choose a supplier for your wedding stationery and start by sending out ‘Save the day’ cards
• Forget the wedding – have fun choosing your honeymoon destination!
6 months before
• Book your hair and make-up artists and go for a pre-wedding consultation
• Buy your bridal accessories
• Choose bridesmaids dresses and accessories
• Get your groom and his groomsmen kitted out
• Book your wedding transport (if you need it)
• Set up your gift list with a reputation retailer
• Order your favours
Elegant favour boxes by Kate Aspen
• Choose your wedding rings
3 months before
• Contact your minister and discuss the service and banns
• Choose your hymns and order of service
• Go for a menu tasting at your reception venue and finalise the menu and wine list
• Send out your wedding invitations (include details of your gift list, and local accommodation if needed)
• Have a make-up and hair trial
2 months before
• Choose your readings and/or poems
• Confirm all your supplier bookings – make sure you put everything in writing!
• Choose presents for your bridesmaids, best man, ushers and mums
1 month before
• Confirm your ‘must have’ shots with your photographer. Try to keep these to a minimum otherwise your mingling time at the drinks reception will be drastically cut short!
• Go for your final dress fitting
Final 2 weeks
• If you chose to hire a wedding planner, meet up for a final run through of every detail of the day
• Meet with your reception venue to go through final details including the menu, the wine, the order of the day and any special requests you might have
• Give the venue a copy of your table plan and guests’ dietary requirements
• Pick up and carefully store your wedding dress
• Take delivery of on-the-day stationery such as the menu cards, place cards, table numbers, order of service etc
• Finalise your choice of first dance and the evening’s playlist with your DJ / Live band
• Pick up any hired suits
• Pay any outstanding supplier invoices
The day before
• Go for a manicure and pedicure at your favourite beauty salon
• Deliver your on-the-day stationery, table plan, gifts etc to the venue
The day itself
• Allow yourself plenty of time to get ready. Try not to have too many people in your room as this can be quite stressful when you are having your make-up and hair done!
• Take delivery of your wedding bouquet, bridesmaid bouquets, corsages etc
• Relax and let the day take its course knowing you have done everything you can to make it perfect!
After the wedding
• Return any hired suits
• Thank your guests for their wedding gifts
• Write thank you notes and testimonials to your favourite suppliers. This isn’t mandatory, but will be gratefully received I am sure!
Photo credits: http://www.bigdayflowers.co.uk/, http://maisiefantaisie.co.uk/, http://www.mikaelamorgan.co.uk/, http://www.kateaspen.co.uk/