Congratulations on getting engaged! What an exciting time you have ahead! Read our blog post on the first few tentative steps here. Once you've gotten the over the shock! and enjoyed the thrill of being engaged, set the date with us and celebrated your engagement, here's a realistic look at what to do and when...
1. Consider your ceremony options (if you haven't already.) Check our guide for ceremony types, recommended celebrants etc here.
2. Compile your guest list - it doesn't have to be exact, but for many reasons you're going to need to know how many people you're inviting!
Also at this stage, if not before, decide on your bridal party - there are lots of fun ways to ask friends and family to be an extra special part of your day too - have fun with it! For anyone else, there are other ways to include people - readings, prayers, the list is endless.
3. Once the date is set, and your ceremony is decided, your immediate suppliers that need booking are the band and photographer. See our recommended suppliers list for our favourites.
4. Consider wedding insurance- it's no harm to have it!
12 months to the big day
- Videographer - some see it as a luxury, others a necessity!
- Hair & make-up- they book up fast!
- Florist - bouquets & button holes only or full floral design
- Additional decor - while our wedding set-up is stunning, some couples like to add their own special touches - ceremony suite draping and decor, sparkle dancefloors, LED signs, there are far too many options to mention and we are happy to recommend suppliers and work with them to achieve your preferred look
- The dress! Bridal boutiques recommend 12 months prior to your wedding, however it's entirely up to you how soon you go shopping.
- Save the dates - not always necessary but can be really helpful for some guests, particularly those abroad who have to travel for your wedding
9 months to go
- Additional entertainment - drinks reception, photobooth, comedian, magician - there are so many briliant additions to your wedding to make your day unique
- Ceremony music / musicians
- Wedding cake - any excuse to taste delicious cakes and discuss your dream creation
- Transport - is your wedding car included with us? Perhaps your bridal party need transport too? Annaharvey Chauffeurs are our wedding car supplier if you need any help!
- Invitations - start looking at suppliers and options
- Honeymoon - research where you want to go and how long for, start pricing around
- Register your intent to marry (must be no less than 3 months prior to your ceremony)
- Book your pre-marriage course (if having a church wedding)
- Hen / Stag parties- time to enlist the help of your wedding party
- Bridesmaid dresses
6 months to go
- Ensure your documents are all in order - especially passports for that all-important honeymoon!
- Order your invitations, RSVP cards, start getting postage stamps to put away
- Browse for wedding rings and/ or order them!
- Finalise guest list and details for hen & stag parties
3 months to go
- Begin arranging appointments with the necessary suppliers - florist, wedding celebrant
- Readings, prayers etc for your ceremony - who's doing them, any stationary required (mass/ceremony booklets for example.) Your celebrant can help with this
- Start compiling addresses for guest list
- Book your hair and make-up trials (sometimes more than one may be needed to perfect your desired look and style)
- Suit hire - arrange appoinments to look at various styles and book however many are needed for the groom / groomsmen / fathers
- Arrange wedding dress fittings with bridal boutique
- Book your menu tasting with our Head Chef & final details with our Wedding Team
2 months to go
- Send your wedding invitations and give a final RSVP date for guests, normally 1 month before the wedding
- Menu tasting with our Head Chef - taste each course and ensure you're happy with your dishes, discuss dietary requirements and timings for the meal on the day
- Final details chat with our team, last minute questions and run-through of the day
- Check over any minor items you may need - headpieces, accessories for you and/or wedding party, gifts for any special guests, bridesmaids, eachother etc.
- Arrange wedding favours (if any)
- Book your other beauty bits - nail appointment, tan, pedicure for the week of the wedding
- Honeymoon clothes - go shopping! Also, if any vaccinations are required, get them!
Your wedding month
- Meet with priest / celebrant to confirm final run of the ceremony, readings, music, any guests who are involved, songs for various parts of the ceremony
- Start your table plan - our team are here to help!
- Final wedding dress / suit fittings and alterations if required
- Start touching base with your suppliers, if they haven't already contacted you. In particular:
Your band with timings for the day, specific songs, first dance
Photographer - list of specific shots you wish to have captured on the day, discuss photo locations, times, organise addresses for where they have to go etc
Any other musicians - drinks reception, ceremony music - arrange any final songs you want for the day, times
Hair & Makeup
Florist for final arrangements
Collect wedding rings and ensure they fit comfortably
Get engagement ring cleaned - it's gotta sparkle on the day!
- Start gathering all your RSVPs and chasing those who haven't gotten back to you (there'll always be someone!)
- Check over all bridal party outfits - do bridesmaid dresses need steaming if creased? All shoes fit and are comfortable? Earrings, bracelets, fur jackets are all ready to go?
- Mass / ceremony booklets - do them yourself or get a professional to take care of them
- Wedding Week!
- Give us your final numbers and table plan
- Attend those appointments for manicures, pedicures, tan, waxing etc
- Collect the dress, suits and put all items in a safe place (no animals can get near, no strong smelling foods will be prepared near
- Arrange breakfast for the morning of the wedding - who's cooking or collecting it?
- Wedding rehearsal / ceremony run-through with your priest / celebrant
- Pack your bag for the day after the wedding
- Drop off any favours, cake, gifts to the hotel
- Tick off all your suppliers once they've been given your addresses, times, contact number of whoever they can call on the day (not you - you've enough to be doing!)
- If any suppliers are to be paid on the day, organise your envelopes and the person responsible for each payment
- ENJOY THE WEEK! It's the most exciting part - don't be stressed, all your hard work and planning is about to pay off on the best day of your lives. Talk to us, whatever we can do to help we will, and delegate - your friends, family and bridal party are there to help!