Believe it or not, wedding planning can be simple and almost stress free if well organised and executed. Grab a notepad and write down all thoughts and ideas in the one place.
The only time planning a wedding starts to become stressful is when finances are challenged and other people start getting involved (especially when they shouldn’t), or when the bride and groom put too much pressure on themselves. This is quite often typical of a bride stressing about how she will look on the big day. Relax. You will look fine and everything will go to plan. If it doesn’t and it’s out of your control, then think realistically about how you can solve the problem.
There is no point screaming and crying, especially if it’s your wedding day, as quite frankly you will look a mess. Trust me as I’m speaking from first-hand experience. The strap on my dress broke half way through my photographs and I dealt with it by taking a deep breath and using a safety pin and a brooch. Of course I was mortified but imagine if I had thrown a paddy strop in front of all of my guests. I would have been too embarrassed to show my face again and my day would have been ruined. People were none the wiser that I had a dress crisis, in fact most people thought the brooch was part of the dress. The moral of this story is to remain dignified and think before you act!
So, to help plan your perfect day, we’ve created a little checklist of all the important things you should be thinking about in the lead up to your big day.
6 – 12 months before your big day
♥ Setting a date and a budget is a good place to start!
♥ Open a dedicated bank account and purchase wedding insurance
♥ Decide on the type of wedding you want – civil ceremony, church wedding, overseas?
♥ Choose who will be part of the wedding party
♥ Arrange a meeting with the church, if you’re having a civil ceremony then book the registrar
♥ Shortlist wedding venues and book the one you fall in love with
♥ Book transport
♥ Choose the bridal and bridesmaids outfits
♥ Book photographer and videographer
♥ Organise your wedding stationery (choose a gift list company and include these details on your invites) and send your save the date cards
♥ Book your musician, band or DJ
♥ Sample wedding cakes and order your favourite
♥ Book the florist and discuss ideas
♥ Arrange honeymoon – including insurance and visas. Remember you are likely to travel under your maiden name so book flights and accommodation in your maiden name and not your married name!
4 – 6 months before your big day
♥ Confirm arrangements with your minister or registrar
♥ Purchase your wedding rings
♥ Organise the grooms’ wedding party suits
♥ Send out wedding invites
♥ Organise hen and stag events
♥ Buy wedding lingerie
♥ Organise dress fittings
2 – 4 months before your big day
♥ Buy wedding décor items and sort favours
♥ Confirm florist ideas and arrange delivery/collection times
1 – 2 months before your big day
♥ Chase unanswered invitations and draw up a final guest list
♥ Confirm final numbers with the venue
♥ Finalise transport details
♥ Arrange for a final dress fitting; be sure to wear your lingerie, shoes and headwear to your final fitting
♥ Confirm arrangements with the photographer/videographer/honeymoon venue and cake supplier
♥ Send list of must-have shots to photographer
♥ Send list of must-play songs to your wedding entertainment
♥ Choose ‘thank you’ gifts for the wedding party
♥ Buy marriage licence
♥ Subtly remind the grooms’ party to write their speeches, if they haven’t already!
2 weeks before your big day
♥ Start packing for your honeymoon
♥ Finalise hair and make-up arrangements
♥ Wear-in wedding shoes
♥ Make a list of all the things you need on your wedding day and store them in one area so there is no last minute panicking
♥ Hold the rehearsal with the wedding party – this is typical of a church wedding
The big day is here!
♥ Give yourself plenty of time to get ready and have a decent breakfast. You might not feel like eating but you don’t want to run the risk of fainting, especially as your nerves will be in full swing!
♥ You are likely to have hair and make-up done before you get into your wedding dress, so make sure you wear a cardigan or zip top so you don’t ruin your hair
♥ Have tissues on hand for tears
♥ Assign your chief bridesmaid to hand out the bouquets and button holes to the wedding party
There’s nothing else left to say except, Happy Wedding Day to you!
Penelope x x