Wedding Countdown: 12 Month Plan

File:Sticky Notes.jpgOnce you've announced your wedding, the road to the alter can seem a very long way off but don't underestimate how quickly a year can pass by.

 Most couples begin planning their wedding between 12 and 18 months in advance and some will start sooner. 

Whenever you start, just remember the sooner the better. 

With so much to plan and pay for, your best intentions aren't worth anything unless you actually make a start.  Pick the date and venue and then get going because...

getting married on a Saturday? Between May - September? Yeah, so's everyone else.

There are only 52 weekends in a year, so when you see something you like - book it!

12 Months or More Before

  • Announce the engagement. This is the fun part: where you can enjoy the thought of being married without actually having to do anything about it.
  • Have a serious chat with your partner about the type of ceremony that you both want: religious? country? Foreign? Themed?
  • Set a realistic budget that you can stick to.
  • Create a rough guest list and then compare this list to each venue's guest capacity.
  • Pick a venue and then book it.
  • Once the day and venue are secure, you can send out the save-the-date cards. Small business cards are ideal in this instance as they're cheap and effective. They'll also give you enough time to sort the invitations out, too.
  • Decide on any bridesmaids, ushers and the best man. 

9 months - 1 year to go

  • Find & book:

    DJ or live band



    Toastmaster (if required)

    Cake maker

    Wedding transport

    & start looking for wedding dresses or suits.

  • Write up your guest list for both the day and evening ceremonies.
  • Think about registering your intent to marry.
  • Get going on venue decor and colour schemes

6 months to go

  • Book anything above that hasn't already been booked or sorted
  • Find a hair & beauty stylist
  • Start planning the honeymoon & book as soon as you can
  • Reserve any accommodation needed for the wedding party
  • Dresses/suits should now be booked
  • If you're looking to lose weight or tone up, now would be a good time to start

3 months to go

  • Buy the wedding rings
  • Start sending out wedding invitations
  • Choose the first dance music and any special songs requests
  • Start buying presents for those with key roles in the wedding
  • Make a start on the seating plans
  • Plan the stag/hen/hag night
  • Do you need any holiday vaccinations?

6 weeks to go

  • re-confirm all the details with all the vendors and venues
  • Have a hair and make-up trial if necessary
  • Arrange a date to collect any suits
  • Write any vows or speeches
  • Make sure the officiant has a copy of the order or service and any vows.

4 weeks to go

  • Have a chat with the photographer about the type of photographs that you'd like
  • Arrange a final dress or suit fitting (earlier than this if excessive alterations are needed).
  • Have the hen/stag/hag do

1 week to go

  • Wear-in any new shoes around the house
  • Cut and colour hair if needed
  • Have the rehersal
  • Have any spray tans or facials
  • Double check the weather in case you need umbrellas

1 day before

  • Manicure and pedicure
  • Dress the venue
  • Confirm the details with members of the wedding party
  • Get an early night 

Obviously, this list isn't exhaustive. You might have far more or far less on your to-do list, but the point is to be as organised as you can. It will make it easier. And of course, the timings above are only suggestive. Perhaps, you did everything 18 months before? Perhaps 8 weeks before?

Whatever works for you and whatever works on the day is fine.

Did you're wedding run to plan? How did you get organised? Let us know.

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