Unless you decide to get married at very short notice, it will be a good idea to make plans well on advance, even more than a year before the big day.
A Year Before
At this stage, you should decide what you want and buy the magazines that will show you what is available. You also need to work out what it is going to cost. It is easy to get carried away, so either cut your cloth to fit the budget, or find a way to make more money. It will also be an idea to pick who is going to play a big part on the day.
- Who will give you away – There is not always a father or an obvious replacement
- Best man – That is a big job and they can help with some planning
- Bridesmaids – These will give people who are not selected time to accept the decision.
- Guests – These include guests who will be there all day and those who will just come at night.
The sooner you pick the venues the better choice you will have. This also goes for officiant, florist, photographer and caterers. The best will soon get snapped up.
Eight Months to Go
If you have not already done so, confirm with caterer, photographer etc. If you are going to have a performer you could go to see them to see how they go down. It is also time to look at dresses. You will want a couple of fittings.
If you have people traveling you will need to arrange for somewhere for them to stay. If you decide to have a list or website this is the time to do it.
At this stage, you will be getting ready for the things you should do with a few months to go.
- Buy invitations
- Look at locations for a honeymoon – don’t book as you may need to readjust the budget.
- If you are not hiring a venue, consider things you may need for the garden – extra chairs, portable toilets, marquees etc.
- Look at buses to transport guests and cars for you and the bridesmaids.
Four Months and Counting
Book rehearsals – make sure the people who need to be there know the dates. You can arrange a shower if you are having one and look towards booking a hair dresser and make-up artist.
Down to Three Months
Make sure everything is OK with the caterers and flowers. Speak to the people making speeches and toasts, and arrange the music for the first dance. If you haven’t already got the rings – get them now.
The Last 2 Months
Send out the invitations and contact the press if there is to be an announcement. If you are having a bachelorette party, make sure it is well before the big day. It is also advisable to wear in wedding shoes – but not at the bachelorette party!!
As the day approaches, check the replies about the visitors who can and cannot attend and ensure you have the license. You may need a last fitting, but then it should all be done. Now all you need to do is set out a seating plan, buy bridesmaids gifts and ensure payments that should be made have been made. Now you can just wait for the day to arrive.