Wedding planning can be one of the most stressful parts of your big day, with many brides-to-be unsure of when they should be doing what. There’s the venue to sort out, plus your dress and also your bridesmaids fittings and groom’s outfit. You can start planning as far back as possible but there are always the little things that you will need to take into consideration nearer the time. We’ve therefore put together a wedding planner for you, looking at what you need to be doing in the year up to your big day. If you are getting married sooner than this, then condense the tips into two month or three month blocks instead.
You’ve still got alot of time to be planning this wedding, but the bonus of planning so far in advance is that you’ll probably be able to get the venue and band you want for your set day.
The things you should be doing at this time, if you haven’t already, is firstly choose a date. This could be a day memorable to you and your other half, maybe the day you met or a milestone such as the first time you said you loved each other.
You should also decide on the size of the wedding party and begin looking at venues, which will cater for this number. You should also try to book the venue at this point too as well as a church or registry office. Don’t book one without the other as you may be left with opposing days.
Another thing to consider is the budget. Will you be paying for it yourself or will both sets of parents be contributing?
Begin compiling a guest list. As horrible as it may sound, also draw up a reserve list for guests you would like there but cannot accommodate. That way if key guests drop out then you’ll be able to invite others.
If you’re getting married during Christmas or summer holidays then it may also be worth sending out “save the date” notices to guests as many people do tend to book their holidays early.
Research photographers, videographers, florists, cake decorators, caterer, DJ or band, and musicians for the wedding and reception. You should aim to book these around this month or latest next month as they get booked up quickly. – book each as soon as possible
It’s around this time you can also think about themes and colours for your big day so you have something to discuss with florists and get prices for.
Although wedding dresses take around 6 months to be made, begin shopping for a wedding gown from here as it could take a good few months to find one. Also begin looking for bridesmaids, mother of the bride and grooms outfits.
Choose wedding rings and meet with your reception co-ordinators to discuss possible meal plans. Research honeymoon destinations; decide on a honeymoon budget
This is the time you should start thinking about wedding invitations as you’ll need to get them designed and printed. You should aim to send invites out at least 3 months before your big day.
Shop for bridal accessories: shoes, veil, jewelry, etc.
Research the requirements for a marriage license for the state or country where you will be married
Book a food tasting with the hotel to test out the options available. You can also take your parents to this depending on how much you want them to be involved. However check what the venue policy is as some will charge for additional food tasters.
It’s around this time you should also begin thinking about the most important part of the big day and that’s ordering your wedding gown.
Reserve transportation for the wedding party; This can be anything from a classic car to a blinged up hummer. Or be a princess and go for a horse and carriage. Schedule fittings for attendants dresses and also finalise the guest list.
You should also start looking at wedding favours at this point too especially if you’re going to be making your own.
Meet up with your florist to discuss different options, this time should be sufficient for your florist to show you what’s in season and also give you quotes depending on what flowers you choose. It’s around this time that you should begin to experiment with hairstyles and makeup for the wedding.
Finalise play lists for the ceremony and reception; discuss with musicians, DJ, and band
Decide on attire for groom and groomsmen; reserve tuxedos if renting
Send out your invites to give you and your guests plenty of RSVP time. If you want to change your name on your passport then also let the passport office know as well as your bank and DVLA.
Design and print ceremony programmes
Shop for honeymoon clothing
Schedule your groom’s fittings and also go for your first dress fitting. Even if this is just trying the dress on it’ll give you piece of mind. Don’t worry if the dress doesn’t fit properly at this stage, many seamstresses can alter a dress within a few hours. They may also get you to wait until right at the end in case of any weight loss, which is natural with brides-to-be.