Bride to be guide
A wedding can be a very stressful event if you do not know what you are doing. There are many ways to plan a wedding without having the stress to go with it.
Follow the easy steps in this guide to plan your wedding stress free so that you can enjoy your wedding day and remember every moment.
Twelve months before:
It is always a good idea to start a wedding folder and look through magazines for inspiration on wedding dresses, décor etc.
Work out your budget depending on family contributions and your own.
Select a wedding party because everyone will be curious to know who the bridesmaids will be.
Plan a guest list with names, telephone numbers, gifts and addresses or any other relevant information that you might need. ( If you want to keep costs low then keep your list to a minimum. Start with family and very close friends first and work your way down.)
Reserve your dates and venues and decide whether you would like the ceremony and reception at one venue or different ones. Time the distance between the two.
Book your priest or officiant.
Research photographers, bands, caterers, florists and keep the information in your folder.
Have an engagement party and remember that the people you invite should be at the wedding!
Eight Months Before:
Book your photographer and videographer. Remember to ask if they can do the shots that you require.
Book your band and don't forget to listen to them before you hire them for your big day. Ask them if they can do all your favourites and let them know exactly what you want and expect.
Caterers should be booked now too if the venue does not cater. Ask fo samples of their food and explain exactly what you want.
Get your dress and prepare to do at least three fittings before the final fitting. Try to maintain your weight and leave the veil for later.
Reserve a block of hotel rooms for out of town guests and ensure you find the cheapest rates possible.
Now is the time to register for gifts. Do this with at least three places.
Six Months Before:
Select an purchase invitations. This is time consuming so you might want to get a calligrapher or someone to do it for you.
Start planning a honeymoon, ensure that your passports are up to date and that you have enough time for injections or medication, should you need it.
Shop for the bridesmaids dresses because they will also need time to have fittings and don't forget to allow for this.
It is also a good idea to build a website to show people your engagement photos, wedding registry and basically anything to do with your wedding. Websites are free and it is easy to use.
Meet with the priest, pastor or officiant and ensure that you will have all the documentation that is needed.
Send save - the -date cards
Reserve all the electrics, marque, etc that you will need if you are not using a specific venue.
Book a florist because by now you will know exactly what you want.
Reserve your transportation and remember if you are wearing a fitted gown then a limo will be very difficult to get in and out of!
Draw up a schedule of events for the day; ie, cutting of the cake, garter throwing, speeches etc.
Four Months Before:
Book the rehearsal dinner and venue. Try to keep prices low for this if you have a budget.
Check on your wedding invitations
Select and order your wedding cake, this takes time. (Ask for tastings before you select your favourite)
Send your guest list to the host for your bridal shower
Purchase wedding shoes and start your fittings.
Look for your veil
Schedule hair and make - up people and take a few photos before you decide.
Choose your music; wedding song, what should play and when. Let your band know and give them a list of events for the evening.
Three Months Before:
Finalise your food and flowers because most things are seasonal and you will now know exactly what you will be able to get.
Order your thank you gift now
Make your list of people who will be giving speeches and doing toasts. Don't forget to let them know now so that they can prepare.
Finalise the readings for the ceremony
Get your undergarments and go for a fitting
Finalise the order of ceremony and reception
Print menu's and programmes
Buy your rings
Send out your event schedule to all your vendors.
Two Months Before:
Check on your vendors and make final arrangements.
Meet with the photographer and walk through the location and let them know which areas you like.
Review the playlist with your band and remember that they might not always have exactly what you want.
Send out the invitations with R.S.V.P date, ensure enough time.
Now would be a good time to have your bacholerette party and this is usually the job of your maid of honour.
One Month Before:
Enter your R.S.V.P's into a database on your website or in your bridal folder. People whoi have not yet replied, should be called to confirm.
Get your marriage license and if you are changing your name then get a few copies. This takes a couple of days so get on with it!
Mail rehearsal dinner invitations
Get your final fitting
Order the bar stock
Ensure that all your final deposits have been made and paid out.
Confirm hair and make- up appointments, confirim times for all your vendors.
Email and print directions for transport and drivers.
Assign seating for your guests and draw up a table plan for the entrance.
Purchase bridesmaids gifts
Week of the Wedding:
Reconfirm times with all your vendors!
Select people to help you on the day and give them an event schedule and task sheet.
Pick up your dress.
Give a last call to the photographer.
Set aside final payments for all your vendors.
Break in your wedding shoes.
Book a massage.
Pack for your honeymoon.
You can avoid large amounts of stress and arguments by hiring an event or wedding planner. They can do everything for you and all you have to do is arrive at your wedding on time!
Most of them can get cheaper rates for you on most items and they can also work with budgets, so don't be afraid to call one and get a quote. It might surprise you!