Your go-to guide to get you from ‘yes’ to ‘I do’…
AFTER THE PROPOSAL
Getting engaged is overwhelming and exciting in equal measures, so for a few weeks don’t stress about getting things sorted. If you’re really keen to start planning, set up a Pinterest board for initial ideas and start discussing the type of wedding you’d like and what time of year you’d like to get married. It’s also a good idea to set a budget and have chats with family members who might be contributing to the cost.
ONE YEAR TO GO
This is the ideal time to start making some of the bigger decisions about your wedding. Write a provisional guest list so you have an idea of numbers, as the length of your list will determine the type and size of venue you go for. Once you’ve got an idea, book appointments to see venues. Also bear in mind that you may need to book a registrar and arrange a wedding license.
Although it might seem too early, 12 months before the wedding is also a good time to start thinking about dresses. Finding ‘the one’ can take a while and boutiques have limited weekend appointments, so there’s no harm in getting organised and booking a try-on session.
9 MONTHS TO GO
If you’ve managed to find and book a venue then this a good time to send your guests ‘save the date’ cards to let them know about your impending nuptials.
At this stage you may be overwhelmed by websites, bridal magazines and lists. To see the bigger picture, book to go along to a wedding fair. This will give you a great idea of what’s available from cakes, caterers, bands and photographers. Plus, many exhibitors have discounted rates for brides booking on the day.
6 MONTHS TO GO
Now hopefully the bigger elements of the wedding, such as your venue, caterer and dress are all sorted, which makes way for you to focus on the finer details, like decorations and accessories for the day, bridesmaid dresses and your groom’s suit.
This is also the time to get booking – if you’re planning to have your hair and makeup done on the day, book these now. The same goes for securing a wedding car and a hotel for the night of your wedding. It’s also time to think past the wedding to the honeymoon and start making arrangements for that too.
THREE MONTHS TO GO
Your guests should all have the date firmly in their diaries, but now’s the time to make it official by sending out your invites. Allow guests enough time to RSVP but also bear in mind that until you have their confirmation you won’t be able to firm up numbers and complete table plans.
TWO MONTHS TO GO
As the wedding gets closer there’s lots to confirm. Choose your ceremony music, finalise your menu choices and speak to your suppliers to confirm everything is in place.
It’s also a good time to have your hair trial and start thinking about a beauty regime. Begin having pedicures so your feet are ready for the day, and if you’re having a spray tan it’s a good idea to book in a practice one first.
ONE MONTH TO GO
Obviously the most important thing to focus on is the hen and stag parties, but also book in a final dress fitting where you can try on your shoes and accessories. Give your venue copies of supplier contracts a month before too.
TWO WEEKS TO GO
Write a list of photographs you’d like on the day and give it to your photographer. If you can, meet them at your venue so you can run through everything with them. If you’re jetting off straight after your wedding, begin packing now so it’s not a stress on the day.
This week will be busy but try to relax! Have some beauty treatments booked so you’re ready for the big day, confirm the final details with your venue and suppliers and get any DIY projects and setting up completed. Then, have a glass of wine and an early night before your day commences…