Thursday, 20 March 2014

Wedding Checklist – What to do and when – Part 3: 6 – 12 Months To Go

We’re now halfway there to planning your wonderful wedding.  Welcome to Part 3 of the Wedding Checklist Series.  It’s now 6 – 12 months before the big day so the time has come to book anything you haven’t already booked and get all the key parts sorted.  Keep on reading to find out what you need to get done within the next 6 months.

1.    Dress Shopping
If you haven’t already chosen a dress now is the time to get out there and try on as many dresses as you can and find The Dress.  6 months is typically the latest date you can order a wedding dress to allow time for it to be produced, delivered to store and any alterations to be made.  Happy Hunting!

2.    Find Your Florist
By this stage in the game you will have made your mind up about your theme and/or colour scheme.  Meet with a florist who’s work you’ve previously admired or meet with several it’s totally up to you.  Sit down and discuss your colours and what you want your day to look like.  A good florist shouldn’t need anymore than that.  It is their job to suggest flowers and arrangements which work with what you’re thinking.  Once you’re happy with what’s on offer pay your deposit.

3.    Deliberate Over Décor
As above, now that you have your theme in mind think about how you want to decorate your church and/or reception venue.  Will this be with flowers only or will you create your own centerpieces?  There are so many things you could do and they don’t have to cost a lot of money to look good either.  I would recommend browsing blogs, magazines and Pinterest to see what’s out there for inspiration.

4.    CAKE!
Sorry for the capitalisation there but I get very easily excited about cakes, particularly the magnificent designs which are produced these days.  There are plenty of websites you can browse to check out the styles of various cake-makers (or is it bakers??  Hmmm… I’ll get back to you on that one.).  Personally, I prefer touring the wedding fayres as not only do you get to see the cakes up close and personal, there will usually be samples!  This can be a good way of narrowing down your potential options.  Of course all suppliers should offer a one on one consultation with you to go over your design ideas and offer samples.  With so many amazing designs out there take your time finding the right supplier as I can guarantee someone somewhere can make your wildest cake dream come true (not that I dream about cakes…).

5.    That’s Entertainment…
Book the Band/DJ/Ceilidh Band/String Quartet/Harpist/Piper/Jazz Trio/Death Metal Face Melters/Barbershop Quartet/1D… If you want them to play at your wedding get them booked.

6.    Say Cheese
And book your photographer.  I would recommend booking your photographer sooner but they should hopefully still have your date available at this stage in the planning process.  When it comes to choosing a photographer I would look carefully at as many of their photos as you can and get a real feel for their style.  When you find a style that matches yours then that’s the photographer to go for.

Again, my apologies for capitalising but if there’s one thing that gets me more excited than cake (if that’s even possible) it’s most definitely stationery.  As a self-confessed hoarder of notebooks I LOVE IT! Now you can order fantastic designs from many suppliers or this is a wonderful opportunity to delve into DIY and make your own.  Get yourself along to Hobby Craft and you’ll be amazed what’s on offer.  Or perhaps you’re very computer savvy and will design your stationery using one of the many softwares available and print them out on nice card.  The opportunities are endless.

8.    Send Out Save The Dates
Directly related to the above, once you’ve got your stationery it’s now time to send out Save The Dates to let people mark your wedding in their calendar.  These don’t have to be overly complicated just a simple note to let your guests know the date and time of your big day.   

9.    Time For Transport
Think about how you want to arrive at your wedding venue.  Do you prefer an old-fashioned traditional car or is a big flashy Hummer more your thing?  Now’s the time to get it organised.  One point I will mention is to consider the weather if you were thinking about going with something with an open top.  You don’t want to spend money on your hair and make-up for the wind and/or rain to ruin it.

10. Beautify Yourself
Speaking of hair and make-up...  (you see what I did there?) Start thinking about whether you want your hair up or down and in what style.  Consider what kind of make-up look you’re going to go for.  Scout out hair and/or make-up artists in the area you’ll be getting married, find out their prices and perhaps book a trial.  Some will come to your house/venue while others you may have to travel to so think about that when you’re planning your wedding day schedule.

11. Bridesmaid Dresses
Although there isn’t the same tight schedule with bridesmaid dresses as there is for bridal gowns, if you’re going shopping for your wedding dress it might be a good idea to hunt for your bridesmaid dresses at the same time.  You may want your maids’ dresses to co-ordinate with yours so it might help for you all to try them on at the same time.

12. Menu Thoughts
Now is probably the best time to sit down with your caterer and discuss what menu you will be offering to your wedding guests.  Ask if everyone will be eating the same meal or if there is an opportunity for choices for each course.  Try your best to choose things that will be enjoyed by most.  Also, make sure there are arrangements in place for guests with food intolerances or allergies.

13. Order of Service
It’s probably about time you sit down with your minister/priest/registrar or whoever you have chosen to conduct your wedding ceremony and discuss the order of service.  Ask them what the typical running order is and if there is room to move anything?  Are there opportunities for readings, if so how many?  It will be beneficial to you and your groom to have this meeting at this stage so you can both prepare mentally for the ceremony.  Now is the time to ask any nagging questions.

14. Start Planning Your Honeymoon!
Think about where you want to escape to with your new husband after you’ve said I Do.  Have a chat about what kind of trip you would both enjoy.  Personally, I am going to go somewhere hot where I can lie in the sun and totally relax with my husband after all the busyness leading up to the wedding.   I’ve also decided to delegate the organisation of our honeymoon to my fiancé.  It’s one thing less for me to fret about and he really enjoys that kind of thing.  When we have went on holiday in the past he has been the one spending his lunch breaks researching hotels, flights, fun things to do while we’re there…

And that’s you… for now!  I know it’s been pretty busy this time but as the wedding day approaches there will be more things to organise and that’s simply the nature of the game.  I hope you’re all enjoying planning your wedding days.  If you have any queries or things you’re not sure about feel free to drop me a line and I will do my best to help J

Maxine xxx

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