Planning Your Perfect Wedding Day
So finally, you and your partner have set a date for you wedding. The excitement has calmed down a little and now you need to start planning your perfect wedding day.
But where to start?
I guess the first thing to ask is ‘Do you want a themed wedding?’.
I ask this first because you’ll want everything else to fit into your theme if you have one. Your venue, food, outfits, entertainment, etc..
Once you’ve decided on a theme (if you’re having one) then you can start planning in earnest.
Before you Start
Choose your date – an obvious one, I know but you need a date to plan everything else around.
I’d thoroughly recommend getting a planner or diary (it’s a nice keepsake to go with your wedding album after the big day) for this purpose as you’ll find it easier to keep track, although you could use it in conjunction with a digital diary. Just remember to make any entries and mark things off as they are done in both.
Decide on your budget as well. If you don’t you’ll find that the cost could spiral without you even realising!
A Year Ahead (or longer...)
You’ll need to book your venue first. If it’s a popular venue you’ll need to book it at least a year ahead – popular venues could be booked 2 or 3 years ahead at the busiest times of the year for weddings.
The same goes for photographers, videographers – good people may be booked up for 18 months or more for the most popular dates – and bakers for your cake (you are having cake, aren’t you?).
Start looking at dresses. Find out what styles you like and what suits you.
10 - 12 Months To Go
Start making a guest list and mail out ‘Save the Date’ cards if you’re using them.
Buy the dress! You’ll probably need to have it adjusted so allow plenty of time.
Book your ceremony officials – registrar or clergy depending on where the actual wedding ceremony will take place.
Now is a good time to book your venue decorators if you’re having your venue decoration done by by a decor company.
It’s also time to book things like your caterers and entertainments – most will do as we do here at Make A Memory Events and take a small retainer with the balance due nearer the time so helping spread your budget.
Speaking of entertainments, are you having a live band or a DJ? Photo booth? Maybe a Candy Cart too? If you’re having an early wedding – say 1pm rather than 4pm – remember that you’ll have a longer time to keep your guests entertained.
8 - 10 Months To Go
Choose dresses and accessories for your bridesmaids. Maybe a chance for some fun times with the girls and a glass of prosecco!
Book your florist – again, the more popular the florist, the earlier you’ll need to book.
Finalise your guest list and research rooms for those that are travelling a distance – maybe make a block booking too.
Register with companies for gifts – many department stores will help you make a list of gifts to start you in married life and then guests can choose from the list and mark them off so you don’t end up with 3 toasters and 5 kettles!
6 - 8 Months To Go
By now, you should be finalising your cake design and flavour with you baker.
You also need to be discussing what your Groom and Groomsmen will be wearing as well as looking at how you will have your make up and hair – have you got a favourite hair stylist or make up artist? Book them now.
Also, now is the time to be looking at how you’re getting to your wedding – maybe a sleek Rolls Royce or an old London bus? Do your research and book these.
Have you thought about your honeymoon yet? Now’s a good time to start looking and maybe booking it.
Look at wedding invitations – see what styles and designs you like as you’ll need to book these soon.
Buy your wedding rings assuming you’re having rings. You can make a nice romantic day out out of this.
You’ll probably also need to be meeting with the person who’s marrying you to plan out your ceremony. Let them guide you on the timing of meetings.
If you’re having a rehearsal dinner, now would be a good time to get it booked.
4 - 6 Months To Go
Order your wedding cake if you haven’t already done so. The same goes for your wedding invitations.
It’s also time to book your wedding night accommodation and your honeymoon.
Finalise your wedding flowers with your florist.
Schedule dress fittings for you and your bridesmaids. Make sure to leave enough time for any alterations that may need to be done.
Decide on a playlist or do not play list for your DJ or band.
Order favours if your having them.
3 Months To Go
Finalise the timeline for your ceremony and reception.
Order gifts for Bridesmaids, parents and each other.
Confirm your reception menu with the caterer. Are you having menu cards? If so, order those now.
Send out your invitations and make sure you give a clear RSVP date. Work out what suits you regarding the replies you get as you’ll need to keep tabs on numbers.
Order invites for your rehearsal dinner and send them out.
2 Months To Go
Decide on your wedding vows and review the ceremony details with the registrar or Vicar.
Finalise your seating arrangements and create a schedule to distribute to your vendors.
Are you having a written programme? Now’s the time to decide on the design and content.
1 Month To Go
Attend a final dress fitting.
Pick up your wedding rings and confirm your honeymoon details.
Confirm details with your vendors and check when any balances are due. Make payments as needed.
Order your Thank You notes and follow up with any guests that haven’t replied to your invitation.
1 - 2 Weeks Before
Give a final headcount to your caterer and make sure that Musicians or DJ have your play/don’t play list.
Give your ‘Must Have’ image list to your photographer if they haven’t already requested it.
Get a final haircut and colour if you’re having one.
Make any final payments to vendors.
Provide scripts for anyone doing a reading during your ceremony. It will give them time to rehearse and practice.
The Day Before
Make sure everything is laid out or packed for your big day.
Have a manicure and pedicure. It will help you to relax.
Attend your wedding rehearsal and dinner.
Go to bed early and get plenty of sleep – tomorrow is your big day and you’re going to need your energy!
Your Big Day!
Eat a big but healthy breakfast.
Make sure the Best Man has the rings and any fees that will need to be paid.
Finally, relax! It’s the day that you’ve been planning now for so long. Enjoy your day.
Congratulations from Make A Memory Events. Go make some memories