A Beginners Guide to Planning a Wedding

You’ve now taken the plunge and said you to his marriage proposal. You’re excited but have some trepidation about the next step. Embarking on wedding preparations can be a daunting experience. But don’t worry there is help at hand. This beginner’s guide to wedding planning will give you a good starting point for planning the biggest celebration of your life.The First step is to consider the date. Do you want an autumn wedding or do you prefer the symbolism of a springtime celebration. Whichever you choose you need to allow yourself enough time to book your venues as most a booked months in advance.The budget is the next step in planning your wedding. How much you are willing to spend will determine the type of wedding you’ll have. Big or small. Extravagant or simple. A fully catered event or a cocktail party. To put a budget together you should estimate the cost of everything and then try to keep to your budget. Make sure you expectations and budget are realistic.Research suppliers and vendors you think you might use for your wedding. Below is a suggested checklist with timelines.12 TO 24 MONTHS BEFORE WEDDING- Announce your engagement to family, and then friends
– Decide upon a budget and list who will pay for what
– Determine wedding style and degree of formality of your wedding
– Meet with clergy. Arrange for pre-marital counselling or classes suggested by clergy
– Select ceremony site (have alternative plan if wedding is held outside)
– Select reception site (have alternative plan if wedding is held outside)
– Set date and time of wedding and receptionNote: You must coordinate your ceremony site, reception site, date and time of wedding, budget and size of the wedding before any other definite plans can be made- Both families begin to compile guest lists. (Set a definite date for final lists.)
– Develop a record-keeping system for all wedding details, contracts, etc.
– Develop a record-keeping system for guests, invitations, gifts, and thank-you notes6 TO 9 MONTHS BEFORE WEDDING- Select colour scheme and wedding theme
– Select photographer/ videographer
– Select music for ceremony
– Select reception entertainment
– Select florist
– Select limousine service or other transportation
– Select caterer (if not provided by reception site)
– Select and order wedding cake
– Choose your attendants including bridesmaids and groomsmen.
– Shop for your gown, veil, headpiece, jewellery and accessoriesNote: You should order your gown at least 7 months before your wedding date.- Select bridesmaid’s gownsNote: These gowns should also be ordered at approximately same time as your gown. Obtain a swatch of fabric to coordinate all other wedding colours.- Select shoes for you and bridesmaids.
– Select formalwear
– Finalize honeymoon plans
– Apply for passport and arrange for inoculations (if necessary)
– Select beauty consultant
– Make arrangements for rehearsal dinner.
– Reserve wedding night hotel suite4 TO 6 MONTHS BEFORE WEDDING- Finalize guest list, eliminate duplicates
– Enter guests’ names, addresses, and phone numbers into appropriate record book.
– Delegate duties to the bridal party i.e planning bachelor/bucks party and brides party/hens night
– Select wedding rings
– Select bonbonniere. (If they are to be made, begin preparations.)
– Make appointments for hairdresser, nail salon, makeup, tanning salon
– Try new hairstyle now, rather than just before wedding.
– Order invitations, wedding stationery, personal stationery with your married name, etc.
– Reconfirm plans with ceremony and reception sites, clergy person, caterer, florist, Photographer, videographer, ceremony and reception musicians, baker, and travel agent for honeymoon plans.
– Check on status of attendants’ gowns.
– Write and review wedding vows, if appropriate.
– Ask special people to do reading at the ceremony.
– Design wedding program handout for ceremony and arrange to have wedding program printed.
– Make sure all deposits are paid, and contracts signed.2 TO 4 MONTHS BEFORE WEDDING- Address wedding invitations. (Invitations should be mailed six weeks before wedding date.)
– Select gifts for attendants
– Compile bridal shower guest lists.
– Purchase garter, cake top, knife, toasting glasses
– Set up a Bridal Registry1 TO 2 MONTHS BEFORE WEDDING- Have fittings for gown and attendants’ gowns
– Obtain marriage license. (30 days before wedding date)
– Purchase wedding gift for fiancĂ©.
– Prepare seating list for reception and make place cards, if appropriate.
– Confirm ceremony details with officiate.
– Finalize wedding music
– Finalize music list for reception. Request special dances, songs, etc.
– Make an itinerary for your wedding day. Give to all wedding party members, parents, and wedding consultant.
– Make sure all transportation arrangements for wedding party have been finalized.
– Confirm that all men have been fitted for formalwear.2 WEEKS BEFORE WEDDING- Call guests who have not responded to invitations
– Confirm time and date of wedding rehearsal with all wedding party members.
– Obtain travel tickets, itineraries1 WEEK BEFORE WEDDING- Try on wedding gown to check fit and make sure it is pressed.
– Reconfirm all wedding plans: ceremony and reception site, florist, photographer, videographer, musicians, baker, and honeymoon plans.
– Give caterer/reception site final head count.
– Make final payment for any services that require prepayment.
– Verify that all attendants have wedding apparel.1 DAY BEFORE WEDDING- Set aside everything you will need at ceremony site: gown, headpiece, veil, accessories, shoes, stockings, slip, purse, brush and hairspray.
– Attend rehearsal
– Get a good nights sleep!WEDDING DAY- Forget any details that run amok.
– Eat a good breakfast.
– Take a relaxing bath.
– See hairdresser for wedding hairstyle.
– Have makeup applied.
– Don’t forget rings and wedding license.
– Thank everyone for their help.Enjoy the day!