Congratulations – you’re engaged! Whilst you may want to take a little bit of time to tell everyone and of course, show off the ring, it’s time that you start thinking about planning the biggest, most glamorous party of your life.
If you’ve been leafing through wedding magazines and researching on the internet then you may feel completely overwhelmed. Well don’t worry, this is where we come in. We’ve put together a handy guide to help you every step of the way when it comes to planning your big day.
It’s never too early to start planning and the key to pulling off a great wedding is to be organised and in control.
12 Months To Go
Set a budget. One of the first things you’re going to need to do is decide on a budget. It’s really important that you decide on a set budget or else you may find that your costs will spiral out of control. Not only that but you need to be realistic about how much you can spend. There is no point in starting off married life stressed about money.
Open a wedding bank account. One of the best ways to manage money when it comes to a wedding is to open a separate account which you make all the payments for items relating to your wedding. That way you know exactly what’s being spent and on what.
Decide on a date. Picking a date is a BIG deal. Be sure that you’ve taken in to account your closest friends and families commitments (for example if your maid of honour is a nurse, she may not be able to get popular times off such as Christmas). Not only that, look at other events happening that day, are there any major sporting or entertainment events going on? If you don’t check these vital details then you may find that you not only lose some of your guests attention to the “big match” but travel and accommodation may also prove tricky.
Send your save the date cards. Right you’ve picked a date now you need to make sure that people save that date. Weddings are a big deal for everyone involved so there needs to be plenty of notice given. Save the date cards are a great way to book someones time whilst you get all the details in place.
Start looking at venues. You want to make sure that you make the right decision so start looking at venues in your price range as soon as possible. You don’t have to decide just yet but remember that good wedding venues book up fast.
11 Months To Go
Wedding insurance. Before you start booking all the main elements of your wedding, you may find it useful to take out some form of wedding insurance. That way you’re covered should something happen further down the line.
Book your venue and registrar. You’ve had a good look, you’ve made your choice, now it’s time to book. Don’t forget that really good venues can be booked up to two years in advance so once you’ve made your decision don’t waste time, get on the phone and get booking. You may want to book somewhere with a dedicated wedding co-ordinator who can help you plan the big day.
Time to book all your main suppliers. You’re going to need to book all your main suppliers so entertainment, cars, photographer, florist and caterer. You may find that it’s a good idea to start a vision board on a service such as Pinterest so you have some visual examples to send your suppliers on what you want.
DRESSES! Probably one of the most exciting times for a bride but it is time to start looking for THE dress. This is also a good time to start looking for your bridesmaid dresses too. If you find the dress that you love then buy it because once you’ve found the one – you know.
10 Months To Go
Start your beauty and exercise regime. Time to kick it up a gear and start eating well, exercising and sticking to a daily beauty regime.
9 Months To Go
Chose the outfits. If you haven’t already bought or rented outfits for your groom, bridesmaids and ushers then you need to do it this month.
Order your shoes. If you’re on a diet then one thing that you know won’t change is your shoe size. So order your shoes now because not only will you need to break them in but you’ll also need them for your dress fittings.
Draw up a guest list. Time to decide who you want to invite. You may find it useful to draw up two lists: those who you want to come to the ceremony then another for the reception.
8 Months To Go
Order your stationary and send out your invites. You’ve booked your venue, now its time to get your invites out.
Confirm. Contact all your suppliers to confirm that your services are booked and to just make a note of when final payments need to be made. If there has been a mistake with the booking, this gives you plenty of time to rectify it.
Time choose your rings. Diamonds are always a girls best friend but its now time to choose your wedding bands. Make sure that you choose something that’s timeless as you’re going to be wearing it for a long time.
Out of town guests? Then make sure that you book accommodation for them. If you block book you may get a discount so discuss this with any potential accommodation.
7 Months To Go
Honeymoon. You may have already decided on where you’d like to go but now it’s time to book. You’re going to be extremely busy in the weeks leading up to your honeymoon so think about booking all the extras such as insurance, car parking, luggage etc when you book the actual holiday.
Food Time. You’ve already secured your caterer but now its time to confirm you menu. Ask your caterer if they can provide a tasting session so that you know what it is that you’re paying for.
Cake. Now is the time to order your perfect wedding cake. When choosing think about details such as how long it’s going to be standing, what flavour you and your partner both like and how you want it to look.
Wedding Favours. Wedding favours are a big part of how your tables are going to look so decide what favours you’d like and start thinking about purchasing them. If you’re making the favours yourself be sure that you’re going to have enough time to execute your ideas.
Gift Registry. Research what gifts you’d like to receive and register your gift list. Be sure to send the information out to your guests so they have plenty of time to decide what they’d like to get you.