The Wedding Countdown
published June 18th, 2014
Your wedding is a whole year away. To put that into perspective it’s 365 sleeps until your big day (170 if you’re an insomniac). So put the kettle on, sit down, relax… you’ve got all the time in the world, right?
Wrong. Your wedding day will sneak up on you like a lion about to pounce on a gazelle. In the blink of an eye you’ll go from a year to six months away, and before you know it you’ll be pulling your hair out on the eve of your wedding, and wishing that you’d started your preparations a lot sooner.
This guide should help you plan for your wedding day a bit better. You’re advised to read it now and not bookmark it and read it in six months… that kind of defeats the object.
Right, you’ve said “Yes” and told your family and friends about your upcoming nuptials. You’ve posted the status update that received 200 likes and perhaps you’ve held a shindig in celebration of your engagement. Now forget about catching up on Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad or whatever box set is sitting on your coffee table. Now it’s time for action. For the next year you’ll be living, breathing, sleeping and eating one thing. Your wedding. Well, not literally of course.
This wedding should now be the centrepiece of your life. Maybe focus on work occasionally, and ideally driving… while it’s perfectly acceptable to drift off into cloud cuckoo land now and again it’s not advisable when you’re behind the wheel.
First you need to discuss finances with everyone contributing and set a budget. Once you have a budget you can then set a date and seek a venue for the ceremony and reception. It’s easier if you can be a bit flexible with the dates as your ideal venue may be booked one week but available the next. Unless you’re planning to get married on a “special date” then you may have to do a bit of phoning around…
You also need to establish a guest list and start thinking about the style and theme of your wedding. Hopefully you didn’t rush out and buy a dress the day after accepting the proposal as it may not be in keeping with your chosen theme. Once you’ve settled on your theme you can then have some fun shopping!
6-9 months before
Mail out the Save-the-Date invitations. You may have already dazzled guests with your custom made wedding website, but nothing beats paper invitations to tell someone they’re invited to a wedding!
Interview, book, and get a signed contract from your vendors. Select members of your wedding party and shop for their suits and dresses. Order your stationary and register at a few stores for your wedding registry.
At this stage you should also be looking into your honeymoon plans. New York? Costa Del Sol? Clacton-On-Sea?
4-6 months before
Start planning for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Book your hair and make-up and shop for wedding rings/bands. Call a few hotels to block rooms for your guests.
You should also be tying up loose ends relating to your honeymoon and booking flights/hotels, etc.
2-4 months before
Think about purchasing gifts for the attendants. Choose music and readings for the ceremony. Ensure that your marriage license requirements are being met. Met with your caterer and brief them on food and drinks. Order the cake, pick out favours, shop for welcome bags, and book your wedding night room.
4-8 weeks before
Yes, you’re now counting weeks and not months!
Mail out your official wedding invitations. Send ceremony programs, reception menus and place cards to be printed. They may promise a 7 day turnaround and you may think that for this reason you’re safe leaving these things to the last minute, but this could prove to be a deadly and costly mistake...
2-4 weeks before
Brief your photographer about the shot list and issue a set list to your DJ. Finalise the seating plan and go for that all-important final dress fitting!
Those pies you’ve been nervously gorging on for the past six months? Bad idea.
1 week before
Spend some time breaking in those shoes. Give your caterer the final headcount. Deal with the boring stuff like sorting out your payments and then pack for your honeymoon.
Oh, and don’t forget to pick up the dress.
1 day before
Get a manicure.
Get plenty of sleep.
Chill. You’ve got this.