The day of your wedding is likely to be one of the happiest days of your life and rightly so, but if you don`t have the luxury of a wedding planner the weeks and months running up to the wedding can be a logistical and administrational nightmare for the bride and groom so it is important to be organised and the best way to start is with a wedding checklist.
Early Organisation – 12 Months or More to go
Its early days at this point, you should be thinking about what style of wedding you would like to have, unless you are thinking of booking last minute (which can be great for getting cheap deals but can make organisation tricky) then you look to find the perfect venue and get it booked with as much time to spare as possible. You can think of your theme in terms of how it fits with the venue, whether you want to go formal or informal etc.
Having popped the question to your partner this is a great time to choose and engagement ring if you haven’t done so already and announce your engagement to friends and family and perhaps arrange an engagement party. Start thinking in detail about your budget, think about what are the most important things to you and ensure there is budget for those, decide who will pay for what.
Meet your religious leader if you are having a religious wedding or speak to the registrar as soon as you have a date arranged at the venue as each county only has so many and they get booked up in the summer months, it is likely you will need to apply for a marriage license and they can point you in the right direction.
Wedding Countdown 9-12 months
The big day is getting closer and you should be in full organisation mode by now, choose your groomsmen and bridal party, flower girls and page boys and let them know their responsibilities. You will also need to decide on and book your vendors and service providers , popular companies can book up months in advance particularly in the summer months.
There are many, many things to be considered.in preparation for the big day, look for photographers and videographer for the day so you have lots of memories of the wedding, choose bridal gowns and bridesmaids dresses as well as the groomsmen`s suits.
You also need to plan your hair and beauty stylist for the morning of the ceremony, your transport to and from the venue and decide on venue decoration such as chair covers table decorations. Make decisions on entertainment, will you have a band or a DJ or maybe something different, sort out your floristry for the day including bridal bouquet and button holes as well as organising you catering if if is not included with the venue, you need to plane for the wedding breakfast and evening buffet as well as sort your aperitifs and of course choose a wedding cake.
Bridal magazines and the internet are great places to look for the right vendors but be sure to get yourself to a few wedding shows for inspiration and indeed meet some vendors and try their products.
There is little point messing about, if the vendors you like are available then you should take the plunge and book them, it gives you more time to work with them on your requirements and ensures you don’t’ miss out by them being booked by someone else.
This point is also a good time to choose and purchase wedding rings and thinking about your honeymoon.
4-8 Months Before the Big Day
Decide on your guest list for both day and evening celebrations and make decisions on your wedding stationary then get it all ordered, this way you can get your invitations out giving guests plenty of time to organise travel and if needed their overnight stay near the venue, if you are booking accommodation for your friends and family then better get on it as rooms can book up fast and if there are no rooms at your venue then book something for yourselves too.
If there are any arrangement for floristry, transport or other vendors get this wrapped up asap, if you are having wedding favours then now is the time do decide on what you are having and look into getting them ordered.
2-3 Months to go
The day of your wedding is fast approaching and most of your plans should be laid in stone, if not then you need to get your vendors finalised and quick then meet up with those you need to finalise arrangements. This close to the wedding should only be last minute prep, decide on your wedding vows and meeting up with your wedding official to go over the details of the ceremony and choosing gifts for your groom and bridal party as well as parents and grandparents if you feel this appropriate.
Most people won’t dramatically change in size or weight over 2 months so it is a good time to go for a suit fitting with the male members of the wedding party, get everybody organised to go on the same day if possible but if you have a large grooms party then it might be best to do it over 2 separate visits. If you are having beauty done by a professional on the morning then you will want to have a hair and make up trial so there is no difficult decision making on the wedding day morning.
If you will be changing your name then it is best to get this all sorted beforehand so0 you will need to complete the appropriate documentation.
Final Month Wedding Prep
Now we`re getting really close, time to meet up with your videographer and photographer at the venue to go over a list of shots you would like and give them a chance to make suggestions of their own. Decide on your seating plan making sure to separate the potential rowdy guests
Go over your other finishing touches like have a final dress fitting, if there are guests who haven’t responded to your invitations then chase them up, collect your marriage licence and send a copy as well as a copy of your wedding vows to your wedding official
1 Week Until Your Wedding
Argh, your wedding nerves are probably kicking in about now, well try not to worry, if you have made careful arrangement then everything should be in hand, if you haven`t then perhaps now is the time to panic!
Collect any clothing you don`t yet have like bridal gown, bridesmaid dresses and flower girl accessories and make sure the men have got their suits well and truly sorted.
The Day Before the Wedding
If you are having a wedding rehearsal then it often takes place the day before the ceremony, everybody is usually in wedding mode and close to the venue, treat yourself to some beauty treatments or a spa day to relieve the pressure of organisation, confirm with the vendors about arrival times etc and go over the duties of the wedding party again in detail. Try to have a relaxing evening and if possible get an early night and plenty of sleep.
On your Wedding Day
You’ve got a long day ahead, likely to be filled with wine and pims, then evening drinks as well as lots of lots of exertion on your part, so be sure to get some breakfast even if you aren`t hungry, get your hair and make-up done and start getting dressed as early as you can bear, you don`t want to be late to the ceremony, at least not too late. Now just relax with the knowledge everything is prepared and go out and enjoy your day!
If you are having trouble finding the perfect venue or deciding on vendors then see our directory section or get in touch today, we have wedding vendor contacts all over the UIK and can point you in the right direction whatever you are looking for.
Post Wedding Admin
Hopefully you have had the day of your life but there is still a little administration to be done, anything you have hired needs returning or you may be subject to late return fees, these items can include your men’s suit hire, chair covers or table decorations or specialised items.
Finally be sure to send out thank you letters to those who have been kind enough to get you gift or donated can to your honeymoon fund and then start looking forward to your honeymoon.