Wedding Planning Stage 1: 12 Months Before Wedding
- Work out your maximum budget
- Write out the elements of the wedding needing organised, e.g. wedding dress, catering & entertainment, honeymoon etc.
- Rank each area based on it’s importance to you. This way, you’ll be able to spend more money on what’s important to you, e.g. you may want to spend more on great entetainment as opposed to the catering.
This stage is crucial and will inform the whole of the wedding planning process. It lets you know exactly how much you can afford to spend on each element, thus making the vendor selection process less arduous.
Wedding Planning Stage 2: 11-12 Months Before Wedding
- Calculate guest numbers
- Search for suitable venues that can cater for your guest numbers on your chosen date
- Visit venues if possible to get a feel for them and short-list top 3
- Select preferred choice and sign contracts and pay deposit to secure venue booking
Wedding Planning Stage 3: 8-11 Months Before Wedding (Vendor research phase)
- Investigate theme options, e.g. colours and styles – refer to wedding magazines, websites for inspiration
- Research wedding dress vendors and dressmakers who can create your dream outfit in the fabric and colour you desire
- Do the same for groomswear and bridesmaids
- Seek out appropriate caterers only if necessary (your venue may provide catering)
- Investigate the following vendors:
- Entertainment, e.g. bands, DJ’s etc
- Wedding Transport
- Décor companies for linens etc
Always be prepared to continually refine your budget based on the costings you receive. You may need to re-allocate funds to certain areas you’d not previously regarded as being that important.
Wedding Planning Stage 4: 6-8 Months Before Wedding
- Arrange transport, e.g. wedding cars
- Choose groomswear and bridesmaids outfits
- Arrange fitting times for above nearer wedding date
- Get fitted for wedding dress
- Book honeymoon!
- Confirm floral and/or décor vendors who best match your brief and budget
- Post ‘Save The Date’ cards
Wedding Planning Stage 5: 4-6 Months Before Wedding
- Investigate and embark on appropriate fitness and/or beauty programme
- Seek out professionals who can help you achieve your vision and desired look, e.g. fitness instructors, dieticians, beauty therapists
- Research whether special license is required for your marriage and if so arrange
- Research any legalities that will require attention both pre and post wedding for example:
- Credit Card Companies
Wedding Planning Stage 6: 2-3 Months Before Wedding
- Confirm ceremony details with religious person/registrar
- Arrange the wedding rehearsal and inform relevant people who must attend
- Select wedding stationery for invites, order of service, menus and thank you cards
- Finalize guest list and mail invitations
- Go for final dress fitting
At this stage, it would be wise to review everything you’ve arranged to date to see if you’ve missed anything important. Consider meeting with a recently married friend who’ll be able to review your progess and advise of anything you may have forgotten
Wedding Planning Stage 7: 1-6 Weeks Before Wedding
- Confirm final guest numbers and chase non-RSVP’s
- Read and go over vendor contracts and advise of guest numbers and requirements, e.g. special dietary issues etc.
- Pay final balances to vendors
- Take out wedding insurance cover based on appropriate amount you require
Wedding Planning Stage 8: Final Week
If you’ve stuck to the plan as laid out above, you should be super organized and have minimized your stress levels. If you can, try and arrange some time off to yourself to simply relax and enjoy your last few days of single life before the big day!