Planning your wedding day: Part 1

Engagement, wedding venues

After the engagement. . .

The most important starting point for you and your fiancée is to sit down and decide on the type of wedding you wish to have, and the budget you will work within. It is good to gets these things ironed out early on, to save arguments further down the road.

The next big step will be looking at and booking the wedding venue and deciding on a date, but before you do this you need to decide on who you wish to share your special day with. Having a total number of guests will be helpful when selecting a venue to make sure that it is appropriate. It will also be beneficial for you to discuss with important guests when they are available so that you don’t pick a date that will clash.

Once you have decided on all of this it is time to start short listing wedding venues. For some, you may be looking for two venues: a ceremony and wedding venue.  When making a decision it will be helpful for you to visit and get a feel for them and the packages that they offer. Remember that many of these places have open days and it is often said that you will know the place is right when you see it.

12 months before the wedding day . . .

At this point you need to look to have your venues confirmed and booked; you may require more than one visit to these to select exactly what it is that you want from your venue, as there may be different packages and services available. You will need to know what services they do not supply e.g. do they do their own catering or do you need to bring someone in yourself?

Once you know this information, you need to begin research and booking suppliers for your special day. This will include things such as a photographer/videographer, a florist, a cake, décor, invitations, music and entertainment and hair and makeup etc. Don’t forget the most important thing a registrar/cleric, as without these the day can’t go ahead- this does not apply to all, as for some places this will be included.

To help your day go to plan, and be as special as possible, make sure that you get your wedding party organised, so pop the question to your bridesmaids and groomsmen and get them involved in the planning. Also get your ‘save the dates’ out as soon as possible to ensure all your loved ones can attend and share your special day.

You may also want to set up your own personal wedding website, where you can share information with your guests about your relationship, wedding party and special day, it’s also a great way to share your gift list with your guests.

Oh and let’s not forget, start researching the wedding dress!

8-10 months before the wedding day. . .

It’s time to send out the invites, remember not to leave these too late, as guests need to have time to RSVP, book time off, and book accommodation if they are travelling. You also need to know in enough time so that you can share this with the suppliers, where the numbers matter.

The most important thing for any bride is the wedding dress; this is a good time to start looking as it will give you plenty of time for alterations, especially if you are thinking of losing weight for the big day. Don’t leave it any later than 6 months, as some boutiques will count this as a ‘rush order’ and will apply an extra fee for this.

Now let’s skip forward 8 months and think about after the wedding, it is time to start thinking about the honeymoon, and where you would like to be spending it. It is important to think about this now as this may be something you would like your guests to contribute towards instead of the more traditional wedding gifts.