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12-month guide to planning your wedding

Planning a wedding is a very exciting task that should be taken on as a united front. You’ll need to ask yourselves certain questions over the next 12-months to ensure that you plan the wedding that both of you dream of, setting off your new life together with a wonderful celebration. Once you have a rough idea of when you’d most like to wed, it is time to get the preparations underway and build your excitement!

12-months to go

If you are sticking to a plan of getting married 12-months from now, then this is a perfect time to check out wedding venues, as this is what the weather is likely to be like when you are to wed! You should be looking to book a venue around 9-12 months in advance to avoid disappointment, although some of the popular venues will be booked out even earlier. Narrow your choices down to a top two or three options, then visit them as a couple to see what most fits your needs and wants! This will be where you confirm a date for your wedding also, which may have to align with what dates the venues have available. Monday-Thursdays are usually cheaper and less in demand, whilst Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are the most popular choices to ensure that all the guests you wish to invite can attend. Try not to make a decision on the spot if you are offered a good price, as it is worth looking at all your options before settling on the final decision.

11-months to go

Research, research, research. This is the best stage to carry out all of your research, from searching out ideas on Pinterest, to looking through wedding magazines and collating ideas together. If you haven’t already set a budget, it is best to do so at this point to ensure that all of your purchases sit within your reach, things to think about when researching include:

  • Hair
  • Make-up
  • Dress
  • Venue décor
  • Bridesmaids dress
  • Food
  • Flowers

This is not all, but form a solid base for you to work from. This is great to refer back to at a later date, and might prompt you to start wedding shopping!

10-months to go

Now is also a good time to begin trying on dresses, as it can often take a bride a very long time to find the perfect one, particularly if alterations need to be made. If you have a goal to trim up before your big day, now is a good time to start, but remember to set realistic expectations, your other half loves you the way you are so don’t be too harsh on yourself!

9-months to go

It’s time to sent out the save the date cards! Whether you are getting your wedding save the dates made to order or opting for a handmade option, it is good to get these invites out early to ensure that all your guests have plenty of time to make arrangements to that they can attend your big day! The number of guests you invite will likely depend on the budget, as well as how big you want the event to be. Once you have a confirmed number you can then begin to organise and book the catering, cakes and decorations!

8-months to go

With 8-months to go, the time is probably flying by! It is now time to book florists, musicians and photographers. Hopefully you will have done all the research you need by now and will simply need to make your choice and check the availability. Refer back to your Pinterest boards or magazines regularly to see if there is any fresh inspiration, or to remind you of any little quirks that you want to include. If you’ve not yet asked the best men, bridesmaids and maid of honour to be a big part of your day, the 8-month mark is a good choice. You might want to offer them a little token gift such as a hamper, necklace or bottle of bubbly to add to the gesture!

7-months to go

Although the big day is still to get out of the way, now is the time to consider your honeymoon destination. A few questions to ask yourselves are:

  • Where do we want to go?
  • When do we want to go? (These days you don’t have to head off on honeymoon directly after the ceremony if you’d rather wait for a better time of year to visit your chosen destination.)
  • How much do we have to spend?
  • What type of trip do we want to take?
  • How long will we go for?

When booking, if you mention to the resort that it is for your honeymoon, they often have special packages available that offer you little perks and special treats to celebrate!

You may also want to take you best men and bridesmaids shopping to seek out some suit and dresses at this point, allowing plenty of time for any alterations that need to be made! By now you’ll likely have a good idea of where your theme is going and the main colour scheme for the day, so you’ll have all the information you need to get shopping! You wont necessarily have to buy the suits and dresses either if you are on a budget, as renting them out can prove to be a cost effective way of achieving the look you want!

6-months to go

With just 6-months to go until the big day, it is time to review your progress and see what you have and haven’t yet booked. Sit down as a couple, and possibly with close family and friends, to go over the preparations so far. It is a good idea to delegate some jobs to willing members of this group to ease the stress for yourselves a little, for example, your parents might like to sort the cake, so giving them an indication of what you are looking for will be helpful.

5-months to go

Although some see a wedding list as a little old fashioned, guests often find this very helpful in ensuring that they buy a gift that you will both love! Remember to include a range of items from a range of budgets and pick out things that will be useful and that you’ll love for years to come.

4-months to go

Most of the hands on prep work will now likely be over, so its time to move onto the finer details, order your wedding cake and choose your wedding rings. Don’t forget to book in early with your hairdresser and make-up artist for a trail session, as well as making sure that they save the date for your wedding.

Another thing to consider is transport, for both you and your guests. If you’re holding your ceremony in a far out location, then you might want to opt for hiring a coach or minibus to transport the guests with ease.

3-months to go

With just 3-months left, this is another time to review your progress and make sure that nothing has been forgotten. Any arrangements still to be made should ideally be made at this point so that there as little hassle as possible for the last few weeks before you are to wed. Think about the little details such as a children play area, gifts for the bridesmaid and groomsmen as well as wedding favours. If your wedding is to be outside, you may want to order some wedding umbrellas to ensure that if there is a downpour on the day, you are prepared and covered.

2-months to go

The wedding invitations with all the details should be sent out 6-8 weeks before the wedding, offering extra information such as dress codes, as well as a gentle reminder that your exciting day is

soon to arrive! Check on any hen-do/stag do preparations, as well as passports and tickets for your honeymoon! Once you have all the invites confirmed you can let your caterers know the final numbers and everything should start to fall into place.

1-month to go

This is probably the most excited you will be, with it being time to collect your wedding dress, suits and rings as the big day creeps up. Brides- you might want to pack a survival kit with hair pins, hair spray, deodorant and lip balm just in case of any last minute emergencies!

This is also a good time to call all the companies you have booked, including the photographer, caterers and the venue to confirm that everything is in place and ready for your wedding! You’ll soon be ready to go, so relax and enjoy the last few weeks knowing that all your preparations in place and you and your true love are soon to be wed!

married couple under a wedding umbrella

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