One year before the wedding date.
Get to the drawing board and put together some ideas that you and your partner agree on.
You need to set a date for the big day and book the church or registrar. Ministers and registrars do not tend to agree with booking a venue before them.
It’s hard to do so initially, however decide on a rough budget that you can afford to pay and do your best to stick it.
Keep in mind the costs for the ceremony. Whether you’re choosing a church or registry office you may want flowers and decoration, and if you choose a church a choir and organ player maybe required.
Pick a venue for the reception and arrange a meeting with the caterer or banqueting manger at the hotel that will be in charge on the day. Always ask them if there are any limitations and rules that may go against your requirements. For example if they don’t allow live music and you want a band you’re stuck!
Plan your wedding cake and what sort of filling and decoration you require. You will need to know how many guests are attending so you know how large the cake should be. The amount of tiers on the cake will affect the overall cost.
Book a wedding car for the bride. You will normally get a car for around 3 hours which is enough time for transport you to the ceremony venue and then to the reception venue.
Look for a florist who can decorate the wedding venue and church, or registrar venue. Choose flowers that are not only beautiful and fit within your theme, but they must be durable and with able to stand heat / cold and a possible drop to floor!
Think about wedding attire, particularly the bridal dress. The dress normally needs to be ordered 6 – 12 months before the wedding day. The men normally hire a suit, so for the groom, best man and ushers. If the groom decides to buy a suit they should get measured and start shopping around.
Once you have a colour scheme, theme and style which will be carried through the whole day talk this over with the dressmaker, catering company, florist and whoever else is providing a service. Everything must be coordinated and correspond with each other.
Ask the venue what entertainment you’re allowed, and importantly not allowed. Once you know book either a DJ or band.
If you’re going on a honeymoon straight after the wedding day, you should definitely start looking, or if you can, book up. You can leave it until the last minute to get deal though.
Decide whether you want to make your own wedding invitations so you can start work on these immediately. Do it yourself invites can take up a lot of your time and effort, but in the long run could save you more than £300 – £500.
6 months before the wedding.
Send out the wedding invitations to everyone. It’s crucial that family and friends who live abroad get these in good time, so they can book their flights and get a good deal.
If you’re not making the wedding favours yourself order those from a company.
Discuss the order of the service with the registrar or minister and decide what hymns and how many you’re planning on singing. Maybe as your guests enter you want music played from either a stereo with a special meaningful song to you both. You also need to arrange with the church if you want an organ player as this will normally effect the price (if you’re being charged).