Planning the Perfect Day

CONGRATULATIONS! It’s official: you’re engaged. Enjoy this time: swan down the pavement with your feet hovering slightly above the flagstones, and flash that rock of yours at every available opportunity.

Celebrate with those closest to you and be excited. But once you’ve shared the good news with everyone, from the bus driver to the man who sells you your morning latte, it might be time to start the planning process.

It might seem like a daunting task, but don’t panic- we’ve got you covered! Have a look at our handy step-by-step checklist, and Organisation will be your middle name.

12 months to go…

•          Sit down and do a little bit of maths. What kind of budget have you got to work with here? Allocate guide sums to different elements of the day, whether it be Venue or Transportation, so you can begin to keep an eye on the figures.  Perhaps open a wedding bank account too?

•          Set a date and time, but be prepared to be flexible at this point.

•          How many aunties can you accommodate? Have a think about your guest list and numbers.

•          Tour round potential reception venues, and whack down a deposit as soon as you can.

•          Consider purchasing wedding insurance, just in case…

11 months to go…

•          Now the date and venue are sorted, send out your Save the Date cards to your guests.

•          Meet with potential wedding photographers and agree a package with the one you and your partner gel with best. Will you have a videographer too? Now’s the time to decide.

•          Band or DJ? And who will cater the wedding breakfast? Gather your recommendations and get booking.

•          It’s dress time! Make appointments at boutiques and with local vendors and start trying on some beautiful gowns.

10 months to go…

•          Select your closest allies and choose your bridesmaids. The groom should be picking his best man and ushers too.

•          Take the plunge and decide on your dress to allow plenty of time for alterations. If you’ve opted for a made-to-measure gown, remember that construction will take a good while.

•          Start folding down the page corners on holiday brochures. Where would you like to go on your honeymoon?

•          Order or create your invitations.

9 months to go…

•          Speak with your florist about arrangements, bouquets and button holes.

•          Get your bridal party kitted out. Put aside a day (or a weekend, even!) and hit the shops.

•          Take full advantage of the tasting sessions, and agree on your final menu choices with your catering team.

•          And whilst on the subject of food, what about getting that cake organised? Red velvet, chocolate fudge, lemon drizzle… Oh, you might just have to try one more spoonful to be certain!

8 months to go…

•          Decide on any readings for the ceremony and discuss these with the person marrying you. Don’t forget music selections too.

•          Set about ordering the place settings, table plans and any other necessary stationery.

7 months to go…

•          How will you get to your wedding? Get organising your transport.

•          And how will you get to your first night hotel or to the airport? It pays to think of these logistical details now.

•          It’s always nice to treat your guests to favours. Place your orders for these.

•          Post out the invitations. Set up a spreadsheet too to log an up-to-date list of those that can join you on the day.

6 months to go…

•          Is your passport in date? You might need to renew it before you jet off on your honeymoon.

•          The men need to get suited and booted too. Remind them to organise their outfits.

•          Confirm your order of service with your registrar or priest to make sure everyone’s on the same page. And then have these pages printed!

•          Post out the invitations. Set up a spreadsheet too to log an up-to-date list of those that can join you on the day.

5 months to go…

•          Decide what gifts you will be giving your mums and special helpers to thank them for all their hard work.

•          The all important wedding rings- take a trip to the jewellers to pick out your bands.

•          Book hair and makeup consultations to try out different styles ahead of the big day.

4 months to go…

•          Apply for your marriage licence. It’s surprisingly easy to forget about this! You’ll need to give a minimum of 16 days notice to your local register office before the wedding day, but a clever bride gets this sorted well in advance.

•          Are you changing your name? Make sure you have all the appropriate legal paperwork. Your officiating minister will be able to sign this to confirm your new title.

•          For those honeymooning in exotic locations, you might well need to organise inoculations and visas. Make sure you do your research.

3 months to go…

•          Is your marital home in need of a new dinner service or mug tree? Pop it on the wedding registry to give your guests an idea about what to get buying.

•          Have your final make-up trial so you can be certain on that smokey eye look.

•          Organise a date for a wedding rehearsal, and let everyone involved know that they need to attend.

•          Get your hens together and start planning your big night out!

2 months to go…

•          Has your fiancé sorted everything he was in charge of? Has he got cufflinks and a pocket square? Ask him to double check he has the little things under control.

•          And what about you? Make sure you haven’t forgotten any accessories for your own outfit too.

1 month to go…

•          Something old, something new… Have you thought about your items yet? No bride wants to be scavenging for blue accessories on the morning of her big day!

•          Trial any new beauty products you’re planning to use, just in case you have a bad reaction to the ingredients.

•          Order holiday currency for your special post-wedding escape.

•          Book yourself an appointment with your favourite stylist. Go for your final cut and colour two weeks before the day.

•          Make sure that hen party of yours is a night to remember!

1 week to go…

•          Pack your bikinis ready for your honeymoon.

•          Make sure you’ve called all your vendors to confirm what time you’ll need them from on W-Day.

•          Put an emergency kit together. A needle and threat, extra bobby pins, a nail file- these might just save the day!

Budget Planner

LET’S  face it, weddings can be eye-wateringly expensive. If you don’t want to spend your honeymoon on Skid Row it’s a good idea to keep a tally of the costs involved – and keep a check on them if necessary.

Don’t be afraid to make room for what matters most to you. There are always savings to be made somewhere along the line that won’t be missed.

And – very important – once you’ve set a budget, stick to it; you’ll stand a far better chance of it really being the happiest day of your life without the threat of bankruptcy hanging over you!

Item                                                               Your Budget

Wedding Rings

Venue Hire

Stationery

Registrar/Church fees

Wedding Dress

Shoes

Accessories

Groom’s Outfit

Bridesmaids’ Dresses

Best Man/Ushers’ outfits

Hair and Make-up

Catering

Drinks/Bar

Photography/Video

Transport

Flowers

Cake

Reception Decoration

Entertainment

Thank You Gifts

First Night Hotel

Honeymoon

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