We've joined forces with Kelly Chandler, director at the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners to give you a month-by-month guide to what you should be doing, when.
Once the excitement of the engagement has died down it's time to start organising the day of your dreams. But for most people it can be a daunting task just knowing where to start. We've joined forces with Kelly Chandler, director at the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners to give you a month-by-month guide to what you should be doing, when.
The ring is on the finger so it's time to let the planning commence. "The key is to be organised from the start," says Kelly. "First and foremost you need somewhere to keep all of the wedding documentation - there are a variety of specialist wedding organisers on the market."
[ ] Set a rough date for the wedding
[ ] Discuss what you both want from the big day
[ ] Compile an approximate guest list
[ ] Set a budget and discuss with family and friends if they can contribute
[ ] Book the venue
[ ] Arrange your wedding license or book with the local vicar
[ ] Choose the bridal party/groomsmen
With the date set and the venue booked, now is when the fun really starts - choosing the dress! It's also time to start getting your suppliers on board. Kelly explains, "Don't rush into any decisions and certainly don't assume a wonderful website means a fabulous supplier - always ask to see references and, when necessary, a copy of their insurance."
[ ] Choose the all-important gown
[ ] Choose the bridesmaids' attire
[ ] Book a photographer
[ ] Book a videographer
[ ] Book the day/evening entertainment
[ ] Book a caterer
[ ] Produce a supplier spreadsheet
As the wedding draws closer, the to-do list gets longer. "It's time to start thinking seriously about what you want your day to be like," says Kelly. "Make a scrapbook of magazine pictures and section it into different parts of the day: flowers, décor, cake and stationery. This will help suppliers to see your vision."
[ ] Book a florist
[ ] Choose your stationery
[ ] Book a cake-maker
[ ] Book transport
[ ] Choose the attire for the groom and his attendants
[ ] Book your honeymoon
[ ] Check your passports are in date
By now all the big elements of the wedding should be complete and it's time to start bringing together the finer details. "If you have been buying items for your tables then ask to visit your venue when they have them set up and have a dummy run," says Kelly.
[ ] Buy the wedding rings
[ ] Book overnight accommodation for you if necessary, also block book rooms for guests
[ ] Choose your favours
[ ] Book a beautician and hairdresser and have a trial session
[ ] Finalise ceremony wording
[ ] Choose gift list
[ ] Send out invitations
Hopefully everything is just one step away from completion and it's the time to make any last minute alterations that are needed.
[ ] Chase missing RSVPs
[ ] Finalise the table plan and layout
[ ] Give final numbers to the caterers
[ ] If you're having a choreographed first dance book some lessons so you feel confident on the day
Your big day is just around the corner so every item on your check list needs to be fine tuned. "It's time to confirm details and ensure everyone knows what to do on the actual day."
[ ] Attend a wedding rehearsal
[ ] Buy gifts for the wedding party
[ ] Pack holiday clothes
[ ] Create a wedding schedule for key members and the venue
[ ] Reproduce all supplier contracts for the venue
[ ] Run through duties with the best man and ushers
[ ] Start to wear in your wedding shoes at home
Sit back, relax and look forward to seeing all your hard work finally pay off.
[ ] Decorate venue (if needed)
[ ] Check in at hotel
[ ] Have a long, hot bubble bath
[ ] Get an early night
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