[Laura] In a perfect world you need 12 months to arrange a wedding. You can do it in less, of course, especially if you’re opting for a simple-but-quickie, but if you’ve got the whole kit and caboodle in mind, complete with 400-tiered cake and a whole new set of better looking relatives (to ensure the photos look right) it’s probably best to get cracking as soon as you can.
12 Months to go – 5 starting points
Tell all of your family
You may want to go ahead and tell all of your friends first but it’s probably best to start with the family. You’re friends will understand that they weren’t the first to know – you’re parents won’t. Families are surprisingly good at bearing grudges, and a surly set of relatives could well mar your wedding shots.
Don’t start picking bridesmaids and ushers
Try to avoid making decisions about bridesmaids and groomsmen in the initial period of excitement. I made this mistake and I had 6 bridesmaids and 4 groomsmen, which may have been lovely and all that, but wasn’t great for the budget. Besides, after 12 months you may find you no longer like Susan in accounts as much as you thought you did.
Don’t ruin the initial high by working out that you can’t
possibly afford that bespoke Vera Wang gown, but do begin to decide at
least how you are going to finance the big day. Are your parents
feeling a bit flush this year? Will the groom’s parents contribute?
Have you been saving up since you went on your first date? If you said yes to the last one it’s probably best to keep quiet about it. Don’t want the groom to find out you’re loopy.
where you want to get married.
Really popular places, which are often
the most spectacular, will almost certainly need to be booked 12 months
in advance. Civil or religious? This is a big question and one you and
your fiancé may have discussed already. It’s really important that you
reach a decision you both feel comfortable with. After all, if you’re an
atheist you don’t want to be crossing your fingers while you say your
vows. God wouldn’t approve.
looking for wedding dresses.
You really need to have picked your dress
about 6 months in advance to be on the safe side but deciding what you
want can take a lot longer. If you’re anything like me then trying on
hundreds of obscenely priced gowns is not going to be too much of a
hardship, so pick an honest shopping friend. If you have someone who’s prepared to say you look like a loo roll
holder in that particular frock, it avoids having anyone say that as you
walk down the aisle. [Laura]