So, you’re engaged – but now what? Wedding planning can seem overwhelming when you think about it as a whole, but breaking it down into more approachable tasks will keep you from losing your head! Creating a guide that allows you to check items off as you go will help you feel accomplished and ready for your big day.
First and foremost, you will need to set your date. This will help you understand how much time you have at your disposal, and be crucial when setting your timeline! You also have to set your budget very early on, as this will affect every decision you make as you plan your wedding.
12 MONTHS TO GO
With a year to go, you’ll want to focus on booking your major vendors: venue, catering, photographer, and music. Give yourself some time to find the perfect venue. Getting the space booked and the deposit paid will give you peace of mind (and will allow you to start imagining your big day!).
Many venues provide catering options, but whether you’re doing that or going off on your own, you’ll want to plan this out far in advance.
Next, you want to find the photographer that will capture all of the important memories on your wedding day. Checking out photos from past weddings they’ve captured as well as meeting in person with the photographer will help you find someone who has the style you’re looking for!
Finally, you have to find your entertainment. Whether you want a string quartet, a live band or a local DJ, you will want to lock this down and pay the deposit to secure their services. Always be sure to have the conversation with them if you have a “do not play” list of songs, or if there is a certain genre you’d like to avoid.
Now comes the fun part: dress shopping! You likely already have a dress style in mind, but now is the time to take your loved ones for the longstanding tradition of trying on wedding dresses. You will also want to keep your shoes in mind, and search for the perfect pair to stand in as you say “I do.”
Because you have your date selected, you’re ready to send out the save-the-date cards. Finalize your guest list and find cards that have the aesthetic you’re going for. You can design these online, or do-it-yourself with at-home printing kits.
Organising a marquee that will be perfect for your reception should happen around this mark. You can find lovely options at marquee hire in Essex, as they offer a holistic wedding package that will leave you without having to do excessive planning or stress.
Next, you’ll want to shop for wedding rings and get them sized as necessary. This will ensure that they’re ready and returned to you in plenty of time for the wedding!
While you may have your wedding dress selected, you have to be sure to do a fitting around this time. You want your dress to fit perfectly so there is no discomfort when you’re wearing it on your wedding day! In addition, this is around the time that you’ll want to pick your bridesmaid dresses and have them purchase them in advance so there is no room for error.
With just three months remaining until the big day, it’s time to send your official invitations! Whether you’ve ordered them through an online service or you’re hiring someone to address them for you, now is the time to send them out.
The groom and groomsmen should order their suits or tuxedos as well. Booking your hairdresser and makeup around this time is also important. Use a trusted salon and let them know the style you’re going for with your hair and makeup, as well as that of your bridesmaids! Finally, hire the wedding day transportation including limousines or other cars.
It’s crunch time. Write your vows if you’re doing so yourself, get your marriage license, and do the final dress fitting. The day is coming up quickly!
With just a couple of weeks to go, the venue will be expecting your final guest count. Review the final RSVP list, and call any guests who have not sent a response. With the final head count, you can create the seating chart for the reception, taking everyone into consideration.
Pick up your gown, as well as the groom’s outfit! Be sure not to let the groom see your dress if you’re traditional. You’ll also want to remind groomsmen to get their suits.
Any materials that you’ll be using to decorate for the reception should be handed off to the reception site manager for use on the day of. Finally, you’ll want to set times with limo or car company to ensure a smooth delivery and pick-up of the bridal party.
THE BIG DAY!
Once you reach your wedding day, you have to sit back and let things happen as they may! With all of the planning you have done over the last year, there’s nothing left to do but say “I do” and celebrate with your husband-to-be, family, and friends.