In our last post on planning your big day we covered the early stages of planning your wedding. In this post we talk more about the middle stages
7-6 months before
– Choose and purchase (or make) invitations- The wedding invitations give guests a hint of what they can expect from your wedding, and will get them excited about your big day. A photocard invitation is a lovely keepsake that shows off your personalities, whilst a colour coordinated, themed invite will look stylish and sophisticated. It’s best to leave plenty time to do this task as addressing and stuffing cards and envelopes is time consuming.
– Start a wedding beauty regime: Eat vitamin rich fruit, vegetables and nuts, oily fish and focus on investing in a great skincare regime and taking time out to relax to avoid needing a drastic make-over
– Start planning honeymoon: Make sure your passports are up to date and check if vaccinations are needed for any out of country travels.
– Shop for bridesmaids’ dresses: Be sure to leave 6 months for dresses to be ordered and sized. If you are taking charge of the groom’s party too, be sure to order groomsmen suits, ring bearer outfits etc
– Meet with officiant: Map out the ceremony and confirm all needed documentation for a legal marriage
– Send save-the-date cards
– Reserve structural and electrical necessities: reserve chairs, heaters or air conditioners, portable toilets, extra lighting or anything else that is not provided by the venue.
– Book a florist: At the point of booking communicate colour palette and floral preferences for your wedding. They will help you ascertain all the different areas of your wedding you may need floral assistance including: centrepieces, bouquets, boutonnieres, aisle pieces, and so forth.
– Arrange transportation: Time to book your transport! Consider limos, vintage cars, trolleys and minibuses. Make sure you take into account your dress as you choose a vehicle. Low to the ground vehicles or vehicles that you have to climb into can make entry/exit dicey in a fitted gown.
– Start a day-of timeline: Draw up a schedule of the event and slot in each component (cake cutting, dance, photos etc) that you want to experience on your big day.
5-4 months before
– Book the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner venue: It’s perfectly acceptable to negotiate the cost and the menu for the rehearsal dinner. If planning a day-after-wedding-brunch, book this place too.
– Check on invites: Check out samples of the finished invites and revise them if needed.
– Select and order cake: Attend several tastings before committing to any baker.
– Send a guest list to the host of the bridal shower: If you know about the bridal shower, that is!
– Purchase wedding shoes and start fittings: Make sure you bring your shoes along to your fittings so that the tailor can choose the right length for your gown
– Schedule hair and makeup artists: Make a few appointments with different stylists and artists and try them out. Take a picture at each one to compare later
– Choose music: Decide what songs you want to play during the different components of your day. Keep a list of what you want played and what you do not want played, and share it with the band or DJ.
3 months before
– Finalise menu and flowers: Choosing seasonal foods and flowers will help keep costs down and ensure the best quality possible.
– Order favours, if desired: Monogrammed cookies or a treat to eat are popular choices for favours. Any welcome baskets for out of town guest should be planned now too.
– Make a list of people giving toasts: Ask the loved ones you want to speak at the reception to prepare speeches and keep this list in your binder to confirm with them closer to the date of your wedding.
– Finalise the readings for the ceremony: Determine what you want read at the ceremony and who you want to do the reading.
– Purchase undergarments and schedule second fitting for your wedding dress: Make sure you wear your undergarments at the fitting so that the tailor can get the fit picture perfect.
– Finalise the order of the ceremony and reception
– Print menu cards and programs: For a budget wedding, these are easy to do at home on your personal computer.
– Purchase the rings: Starting now will give enough time for sizing and engraving. Think about what style of band would work with your engagement ring, and whether you want a simple band or a diamond encrusted one. You can also get your wedding rings engraved.
– Send your event schedule to vendors
Check out our next article where we discuss the final stages of planning coming up to the big day