Saturday, October 2, 2010

Top Tips: Your wedding, what to plan and when

Autumn is upon us and if you are getting married in the Spring/Summer of 2011, you are probably putting your mind to getting your wedding plans sorted. Planning your own wedding can be lots of fun, but it can also be quite overwhelming if you haven’t organised an event on this scale before, or indeed, one that is so close to your heart. To help you approach planning your big day with a clear head, we’ve put together this sequence of events as a guideline.

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!

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