SO WHERE DO YOU START??
Congratulations you’ve just got engaged!! But what do you do now?? It’s a crazy time and one which can be quite daunting for most couples. So here is a simple guide/timeline to help you plan your big day.
- Pick the ring: If your fiance hasn’t already picked your sparkler, then its time to go shopping!!
- Set your budget: Be realistic, how much can you really afford to save each month? *Remember you still have to eat and pay bills so don’t overstretch yourselves.
- Do your numbers: Time to pick your guest list, this is one of the most stressful parts of planning a wedding so best to start early.
- Set the date: Consult with immediate family member’s to ensure your date doesn’t clash with any significant others date.
- What will it be?: Church / civil ceremony, this can be a tricky one especially if you don’t share the same religion. Best to hash this out ASAP.
- Pop the question: Time to pop the question to your bridesmaids / groomsmen. If you’re looking for a quirky way to pop the question join Pinterest for some great ideas.
- Pinterest: If you haven’t got a Pinterest account, now is the time to open one. Great for wedding inspiration.
- Engagement shoot/party: Organize your engagement shoot or party(optional).
- Do your homework: Time to start researching your wedding dress and suppliers,band,photographer etc. Read testimonials, ask friends or family members who they used and if they were happy with them.
- Finalize: Once you settle on your date. Secure bookings for the church and venue. Once you have the date finalized everything else should fall into place.
- Start the search for the dress: This is one of the most important parts to any wedding(check out my ultimate guide to wedding dress shopping 2017).
- Send save the dates: Useful if you are planning a wedding abroad. If you are getting married abroad now is the time to research cheap flights and accommodation for your guests.
- Hey big spender: Time to start booking the wedding suppliers,band,photographer etc. This means paying deposits to secure them. This can be an expensive time for you both so make sure you are saving regular amounts each month.
*Be savvy.. If you know a photographer, hairstylist or make up artist,now is the time to pull in a favor or two. Offer them an invite to your wedding in exchange for their services, e.g my bridesmaid just happens to be one of the top wedding hair stylists in Meath and did my hair the morning of my wedding as a gift.
Here is a list of suppliers you need to book at this stage:
- Ceremony/ Church
- Videographer (Try combine the two for better value, my recommendation is Birds of a feather. They also do invites and have great package deals)
- Ceremony music (Katie Kilbride)
- Drinks reception music/entertainment(optional)
- Wedding band (The Ratzingers)
- DJ (Paul Duffy)
My recommendation for combining all four music elements is the Ratzingers. They will provide the music for your entire day at a great price!
- Give me sunshine: Time to book the honeymoon, they can be expensive so give yourself enough time to pay it off.
- Book your pre-marriage course: Places fill up pretty quick so best to do this early.
- Wedding insurance: Time to decide if its worth taking out wedding insurance e.g if you have a sick relative it might be worth it.
- Florist/decorative suppliers: Book your florist and any other decorative suppliers you may want to use e.g room draping, lighting or aisle decor.
Prepare for a lull around this time..it’s normal so embrace it!! By now you should have the major components of your day sorted so keep your head down, save your money and prepare for the busy months ahead.
- Shop until you drop: time to dress the maids and don the groom and groomsmen!! Bridesmaids dresses take a minimum of 3 months to come in when ordered so leave time for any necessary alterations.
- Check passports are in date: Crucial for your honeymoon!!
- It’s party time: Start planing those all important hen/stag parties.
- Legalities: Organize your marriage registration, your deadline is 3 months before the wedding so best to get this done ASAP.
- Invites: Choose and order your invitations and stationary.
- Transport: Organize transport for you and your wedding party, if you are hiring wedding cars do it now. * To save a few quid, why not use family members or friends with nice cars.
- Vaccinations: Travelling abroad on honeymoon..make sure you get your vaccinations.
- Addresses: Start collecting guests addresses for your invites. *Remember keep these safe. You will need them if your sending out thank you cards after the wedding.
- The ceremony: Organize music, prayers and readings etc.
- Stationary: Order your mass booklets, organize table names/numbers etc..
- Florist: Meet with the florist at the venue or the church to discuss floral arrangements.
- Sh*t just got real: Sending out your invites, this is when the nerves kick in but try stay calm and enjoy the build up.
- It has arrived: By now your dress should have arrived in store. The store will contact you to attend your first dress fitting. If your boutique does not offer an alterations service you will have to organize this yourself. Make sure you use a seamstress who specializes in wedding dresses. *Do not let someone who you don’t know and trust near your dress!
- Accessorize: Attending your first fitting is a good time to purchase veil/birdcage, jewelry and shoes. If you don’t like anything they have to offer don’t panic there are plenty of high street stores that have just as good shoes quality and jewelry. Alternatively you can buy online. *I wouldn’t recommend buying veils online as quite often what you see is not what you get.
- Accessorize bridal party: Groom/Groomsmen and bridesmaids all need shoes etc.. This can be your gift to your bridal party.
- Bling it out: Time to purchase your wedding rings. Try use the same jewelers you bought your engagement ring from as most jewelers will offer a discount for returning couples.
- Hair & Makeup: Organize hair and makeup trials. *Try organize for the same day you attend your dress fitting, that way you get to see the complete look and make any necessary changes before the big day.
- Presents: Organize gifts for bridal party/parents and for each other.
- Planning day 2: If you are having second day celebrations, time to organize venue/ food/ drink/ entertainment. *This is like a second wedding so don’t leave it to the last minute!
- Time to party!: Hen and stags should take place around this time.. Just in case you or your hubby to be should break any limbs this should leave you enough time for them to heal!
1 MONTH TO GO..
- Money Money Money: Start paying off suppliers if you can, the next few weeks will be very expensive!
- Dress deadline: Organize your final dress fitting.. eek!!
- Bridesmaids: Organize alterations for bridesmaids dresses(if needed)
- Pamper session: Organize tan and nails for you and your bridal party. *This can be your gift to your bridesmaids.
- Final Numbers: By now most of your guests will have sent back their RSVP’s so you will have a rough estimate of how many are attending.
- Seating plan: Oh the seating plan..the god damn seating plan!! Probably the most stressful part of any wedding, between family feuds and fighting friends where do you put them all? *Think it through you don’t want any drama at your wedding so keep possible troublesome guests apart..if you can!
- Wedding favours: If you are making them yourself or buying them now is the time to organize.
2-1 WEEKS TO GO..
- The chase: Chase guests who have yet to RSVP! Give them a deadline, after all you don’t want someone turning up on the day that hasn’t RSVP’d (Oh the horror!!)
-Organize a meeting with your wedding planner/venue to give final numbers and to run through the order of the day.
-Create a timetable and give it the venue.
-If you are using music for your ceremony or walk in music, soundcheck their equipment.
-Give them an emergency contact in case anything should go wrong on the big day.(it won’t)
-If your venue does not provide a printed seating plan/place names, you will have to print these yourself. (make sure to go through all this when you book your venue)
- Touch base: Contact all wedding suppliers and make sure everyone is organized for the day. Give your emergency contact number to all suppliers.
- Organize wedding rehearsal: Generally a rehearsal takes place a night a two before the wedding, this is a nice opportunity to get family together for food and drink, after the rehearsal obviously.
- What to wear: Pick and choose outfits for rehearsal/ morning after wedding/ day after wedding. ASOS is great for second day outfit choices.
- The dress: Collect your wedding dress, try it on one last time to make sure everything is perfect.
- Photographer: Compile a list of family members and photos you want taken on the day and give it to your photographer.
1-2 Days to go…
- Relax a little: You and your maids can relax and get pampered while you get your tan and nails done..time to unwind!
- Groom: Time to collect your rental suits, make sure all groomsmen attend final fitting and if you’ve bought the suits best to try them on one last time!
- Attend rehearsal: Make sure everyone knows the time and place of your rehearsal.
- Final touches: Transport centerpieces, lanterns, table plan etc to the venue(day before).
- Contact cake supplier: Ensure the cake is due to arrive on the day.
- Payment: Organize all outstanding payment for all suppliers, place in separate envelopes with their names on it and give it to someone you trust to hand out on the day.
- GET SOME REST!: I know it may seem really hard but do try and get some sleep. Tomorrow is a big day and you want to be on top form!
The Big Day Is Finally Here!!
You have done all you can so relax and enjoy the day knowing that everything is in place!
Best of luck
MK Bridal x!!