He has asked for your hand in marriage and you have finally said, "Yes." Wow what a fantastic feeling, as this is the start of your new life as a couple. After the celebrations have subsided and all your family and friends have showered you with congratulations and prior to that much awaited big day, both of you have so many decisions to make and wedding related tasks to complete in harmony.
Planning in advance of what you need to do for your wedding day is the answer to stress free preparing for your wedding day. As planning your wedding together should be so much fun, enjoyable and equally as memorable as your big day. So your starting point should be both of you putting together a wedding timetable and assigning responsibility for each aspect of this timetable to each other - sharing is caring. What I am going to give you is a short list of wedding related tasks as well as a rough estimate of when the activities should be done. I will present you with tips and guidelines to keep you organized and help you think of everything that you must take into consideration in the course of planning for your wonderful memorable Wedding day. These are mere suggestions which should help you to adapt the correct mindset and get you organised. I find it is always better to have suggestions to work from as opposed to a blank sheet so my suggestions will help you both agree on the perfect schedule of activities that you both need to decide on - depending on your priorities.
Let me start at the Time of the Engagement - What ever you do don't forget to tell both parents first cause forgetting to do that would get you both off to a slow start. So you must tell your parents the happy news as soon as possible.
- A wedding planner is a great idea and not that expensive, especially when you consider a good experienced wedding planner can find everything you require for your wedding at the right price which could result in saving you lots of money. The wedding planner is also great for helping you keep track of all the appointments, payments and other wedding related activities that you must attend to.
- No doubt you had your photo taken at the time of the engagement well that is a great idea and a great keepsake. If you did not have it taken on the day then go to a professional photographer and get it taken by him/her and yes while you are there check the photographer out for your own wedding day.
6 to 12 Months In Advance Before the Big Day
Step 1: Pick your wedding date. First thing to do is to decide what time of the year you wish to get married and pick the wedding date. Bear in mind getting married in the summer time can be more expensive when organising venues etc. I would suggest spring, early autumn or Christmas time are great times for a wedding and would certainly cut the cost considerably.
Step 2: Book the church, registry office, or wherever you decide to have the wedding ceremony. Again remember a church wedding needs to be booked three months in advance. Second thing to be considered is where are you going to get married - chapel, church, registry office, hotel, back garden - the decision is yours. Now that you have the date and the location of your ceremony planned - next step is to decide on where you wish to have your wedding reception.
Step 3: Book the wedding reception. Take your time on this one especially in this climate as most businesses are crying out for weddings so therefore that puts you in the driving seat so shop around and see who can give you the best deals. Don't be driven by cost remember it is your wedding day and the venue is something that you want everyone in attendance to enjoy and talk about for months afterward. Wouldn't it be nice to hear people saying that was the best wedding venue I was at, the food was great etc.. Consider your budget when deciding on your wedding venue.
Step 4: Establish your budget and stick to it. Now it is time to consider the size of the wedding you are planning and who must you have at the wedding and who you wish to invite. My advice to you is to start your list with the people you want.
Now we are getting into the detail of what you need to support your day e.g. photographer, florists, musicians, caterer etc.
Step 5: - Look around for a photographer - again they are plentiful and pick one you like.
Step 6: - yes a florist is also important and you must have a good rapport with him/her. Perhaps even consider making your own wedding bouquet.
Step 7: Your music is extremely important as this sets the tone, the mood, the fun, and the enjoyment levels for your wedding so choose carefully, if you are going to have either a DJ or a band make sure that you hear them at another venue in advance and only then decide if this is/are the musician/s for you.
Step 8: Perhaps you are going to organise your own food well then choosing a caterer is an important decision for both of you to make and again find out where they are catering and go and taste the food and get feedback from the guests at this caterer reception. Most important that you obtain estimates for these services. If you are booking your reception at a hotel where the food is provided make sure you go for a taster menu in advance prior to making the booking.
Step 8: To be sure you get the gifts that you want leave a gift list with your favourite department store.
Step 9: Have fun picking the wedding dress just for you, this does not have to be expensive as long it looks fantastic on you to the extent of turning heads when you walk down that aisle, up that garden, or into that registry office. If you are planning on getting your wedding dress made now is a good time to start this process. Once again need I remind you that you must have a good rapport with the seamstress you pick and also make sure that she/he has a good reputation. Find out who they have made dresses for already and go and view them. Remember several fittings may be required for this.
Step 10: Time to consider what colours and style of dresses you wish your bridesmaids to wear. The style should be complimentary to your own wedding dress. Set a date by which these need to be ordered.
4 to 6 Months In Advance Before the Big Day
Step 1. Now is the time for both of you to consider ordering your wedding invitations, stationery and thank you notes - this is one place that you could save money as you can make these yourself or get someone to make them for you at half the cost of what they are to buy in the shops.
Step 2. At this stage you will have decided on your photographer, your florist, your musician, and choice of food whether it will be complete by a caterer or be part of the venue you have selected. Go over all the details with each of these services to make sure that everything is as agreed upon. I would do this more than once.
Step 3. Grooms have the life, they have two decisions to make when it comes to their attire - do I rent a tuxedo or buy a new suit. I believe it is best to hire a tuxedo for groom, best men, and fathers of both bride and groom as there are great styles out there now and the wedding party looks so much better in the photographs this way.
Step 4. Now for the fun bit arranging the honeymoon, where to go, for how long etc. once this is decided then go ahead and make those reservations. Remember this will be the holiday of your dreams so make it a romantic one.
Step 5. Now it is time to confirm the delivery of the bridal gown and the bridesmaids dresses.
Step 6. What about the mother of the bride and the groom - ask them do they need help in choosing their wedding outfits. It is tradition that the mother of the bride wears the same colour of the bridesmaids.
2 Months In Advance Before the Big Day
Step 1. Excitement is building the big day is getting closer so it is time to plan your rehearsal dinner.
Step 2. Perhaps you have some guests coming from far and wide - If so you may need to secure accommodation for them or an even better idea is to put suggested accommodation into the invitations and let them book their accommodation themselves.
Step 3. Make an appointment with your photographer to discuss where and when you want him to be on the day to capture the best bridal portraits for you.
Step 4. What about the cake - choose a cake type that you enjoy and make sure that you order the wedding cake right now.
1 Month In Advance Before the Big Day
Step 1. It is getting closer and closer, at this stage you will probably already have decided on your wedding band set so now is the time to collect them and put them away safely.
Step 2. Send out the wedding invitations plus the R.S.V.P. with an self addressed envelope and remember to put a selection of accommodation into them for those guests who wish to stay over.
Step 3. Check the apparel for the wedding party - at this stage everyone should be dressed to perfection with matching accessories, shoes, bags, etc.
Step 4. Assign the role of organising your bachelor and hen's parties to the bridesmaid/s and bestman/men.
2 Weeks Before the your wonderful Wedding day.
Step 1. Ensure that you have got your marriage license and any other legal documents in order for your wonderful wedding day.
Step 2. If the bride is going to change her name then it is time for you to order a new passport, make the relevant changes to your name and address on bank accounts and any other official documents.
Step 3. It is now time to test what wedding hairstyle and make up you wish to use on the day and have a practise run at this to see how the entire image suits you. Again grooms relax no need for you to do this.
Step 4. Double check with the wedding venue that all is as expected as this point.
Step 5. Go on a pleasure shopping trip to purchase the relevant gifts for your bridemaid/s, bestman/men and attendants. Don't forget to buy each other a gift for that day too.
1 Week Before your special Wedding day.
Step 1. Ensure you have everything ready that you need to take with you on your honeymoon packed at this stage. Caution - do take the correct amount of kgs in fact take less than you are allowed to leave room to bring back some lovely souvenirs from your honeymoon location.
Step 2. Wrap all gifts for the groom, bride, and attendants. (keep each others gifts as a surprise for the day.
Step 3. Now it is time to schedule the wedding rehearsal - make this a fun day / evening. Relax you are almost there.
Step 4. Make sure everybody knows, especially the wedding party, of the exact time and place for your wonderful occasion on the wedding day.
On your memorable wedding day.
Step 1. Start the day by getting up early and meditating to help you relax. See wedding fitness on my need help with weddings site.
Step 2. Make sure you eat a good breakfast - make the breakfast fun by having your immediate wedding party join you at the breakfast table.
Step 3. Have the hairstylist and make up artist arrive to your house at least 2 and half hours before you are due to leave.
Step 4. Take time out with you Mum or someone close to you to share a special moment.
Step 5. Relax this is your day, which you have well planned, so enjoy every minute of it.