Big Day Countdown
Big Day Countdown!
The minute that ring is on your finger, you become addicted to blogs and pinterest sourcing ideas and inspiration. I always advise our couples to make two lists, the ‘must-haves’ and the ‘no-ways’. Set your budget and be realistic, then take 10% of that budget away, hide it away, I will come back to it later.
Let us assume you have 12 months to plan, these are just my ideas/thoughts as to how to make the planning process that little bit easier for you.
Decide if you wish to have a church wedding or civil ceremony, and if the latter, does the venue you like have a license to hold these, or would you need to marry elsewhere. You will need to pay a venue deposit upon securing your dates/booking so be prepared to lose a chunk of that budget immediately! Consider off-peak days to keep the cost down!
Book your photographer now! If your budget allows, ask your photographer for a recommendation for a videographer to film your day. It is very important that both have a good working relationship so can co-ordinate closely for the day, without falling over each other trying to get ‘the shot’.
Now you need to think about your guest list! Do not let well meaning family members interfere with this, as this is where the cost could escalate once you have been persuaded to invite Great Aunt Doris and her 24 siblings. Also decide as to whether you will be inviting children, this is always a hot topic, again, is personal to you!
Time to decide who is going to be the best man, bridesmaids, etc. You also need to agree now what your theme/colours will be, do you want rustic, fairytale, star wars or simple and elegant.
Send out Save The Date cards, that way everyone will know about this very important event. Also take out wedding insurance! It is worth every penny!
Look at accommodation at the venue or nearby so that you can agree preferential guest rates and send this info out with your Save The Dates. That way guests can secure their hotel bookings early, eliminating any last minute panics.
Whether you be having a Civil Wedding or Partnership, go and give notice at the necessary Registry Offices. In the case of a religious Wedding, arrange a meeting with the person who will deliver the ceremony (e.g. minister, priest, rabbi etc.). These are a great opportunity to discuss your thoughts and wishes for the day, including any readings or hymns/music you would like to include, plus you can sort out all the legal bits and paperwork required.
Time to start looking for ‘the dress’. You need to be ordering at least 6 months before the date. Try on a dress from every style before you make the big decision as quite often, what you think you want, is not what you buy!
Girls day out! You may have an idea of your colour scheme but try to be a little flexible as one colour may not suit all! Take the girls out for the day, try some dresses on, make sure you look at High Street too!
You now need to decide about the honeymoon. This is the perfect blue job. Throw some ideas around, look at the budget and let him get on with it! Some grooms are happy and confident enough to plan it all on their own, and if you trust him (you should do, you are marrying him!) then let your future hubbie surprise you.
Whilst your man is planning the vacation of a lifetime, you can turn your attention to flowers. Big or small, bright or subtle, the choice is endless. If you are having a church ceremony, most will already be decorated so you might not need to do this, or find out who else is marrying that day and liaise with them and the church regarding colours/costs.
How do you want to arrive at the church/venue? Are you dreaming of a classic Rolls or something more retro like a Camper? Whatever you fancy, look around at what is available in your area and get it booked.
Entertainment will be required not only for the evening, but also whilst guests are dining, and indeed for their arrival. Do you fancy a string quartet? Or maybe a magician? Will you have a DJ or a live band?
GO, eat cake! Your chosen cake maestro will advise you on how many tiers you need depending upon guests, they know what flavours work, and how to cater for guests with food intolerances. You need to clearly explain what you are looking for, and ensure that their interpretation is the same as yours!
Visit your venue/caterers and discuss/taste options for dining. Include their vegetarian and food intolerance options and discuss what wine/juice/champagne will accompany.
Send out those invitations! You really need to know who is attending, so RSVP no later than 1 month, ie 5 months before the actual day! Include in this your gift list/voucher/gift guide.
For those of you choosing a Church of England wedding, you must attend church on 3 consecutive Sundays fr the reading of the Banns. Your vicar will inform you of the dates.
By now your dress should be awaiting it’s first fitting, this for me is when everything becomes real. Putting your actual dress on for the first time, is a feeling second to none. Now you can discuss alterations if required, and purchase your jewellery, tiara, veil etc.
Wedding rings! Order these now!
Have your hair and make-up trial, finalise your flowers and decorations and buy the smaller things like the wedding favours.
Check all the RSVP’s so you know who is attending, and who has specific requirements for the day albeit catering or mobility.
Final dress fittings/collection and check the suits have been ordered if hiring!
Now, remember that 10% of your budget I told you to hide away? Spend it on something special for just you 2, maybe a romantic meal. Or that one item you wanted but never thought you could afford for the day.
By now you should have your final numbers so get the table plan sorted.
Stag/Hen Do’s – go & enjoy!
Attend the Church rehearsal and get those last minute nerves and giggles out of the way.
Get your nails done ladies! Manicure & pedicure please! And if you are having a tan done, ensure this is done at least 48 hours prior to the big day (and make sure you have tried one before and that the colour and product works for you).
The Day Before
Try to do nothing! Relax! And wherever you are spending the night make sure you have everything you will need for the following morning and despite your excitement try and get a good nights sleep.
You did it! As you stand before each other and say those vows, the months of preparation will all be forgotten! Have a magical day, you deserve it.