Your wedding is an occasion to remember forever. Once you meet your soul mate and decide to get married, you’d want everything to be perfect. If you are looking forward to a fairytale wedding, here are some tips to help you plan and execute it to perfection.
If you are getting married some months after your engagement, you can make use of the wedding planning timeline to plan things well. Here is the how to plan a wedding on your own during the months following your engagement. You can download the free wedding planning checklist at the end of this article.
18 to 12 months before the ceremony
Make a wedding folder- Once you’ve decided on the date, the first thing to do is to create a wedding folder. You can put all the inspiring ideas into this. You’ll get loads of ideas from bridal magazines, fashion, food and design magazines.
Decide on a budget – It is easy to overspend if you don’t have a clear idea of how much you are ready to spend. Get a clear idea of how much you can spend – include yours and your family’s contributions (if any).
Create a guest list – Make a list of people you wish to invite to the party. You wouldn’t want to forget any important people. Head count is especially important if you want to keep the costs low.
Reserve the date and venue – This is important if you wish to get married on a specific date or at a specific venue. If you don’t book the dates and venue at the earliest, you may have to compromise on them. Decide if you should have a single venue for the ceremony and reception. You could save some travel time that way.
Arrange for photographer and videographer – It is wise to book your wedding photographer and videographer well in advance. If you delay booking, chances are others might book them before and you’ll have to settle for the next best.
Get your wedding dress – It is better to shop for your wedding dress at least five to six months before the d-day. It will give you ample time to get the fittings done to perfection. You should also get the bridesmaid dresses ordered by now.
Book your official – Make sure you book the person to officiate the ceremony well in advance.
11 to 6 months before the ceremony:
Things would be heating up slowly by now. You’ll have your hands full. Don’t miss out the following:
Meet the official – discuss and create a plan of the actual ceremony. Make sure you have all the requisite official documents ready.
Start planning the honeymoon – get your passports ready, check out the destinations and prices, book hotels and finalise your itinerary. You should get doctor’s appointment if you need any immunisation shots before you leave.
Select the invitation – Find a card designer and get the card done. Card addressing is a time consuming task. So, you’ll have to plan ahead.
Engage specialists – You’ll need caterers, florists, entertainers, bands, and personal stylists for the occasion. Make sure you book them at the earliest. Keep their contact details easily accessible in your wedding folder.
Hotel reservations – If you have guests coming over from other cities, you’ll have to arrange for their stay. Look at hotels near reception venue that offer you good prices.
5 to 2 months before the wedding
Now the time has arrived to move things faster. You’ll have to:
- Book the rehearsal and rehearsal-dinner venue
- Confirm with photographers/videographer – discuss how you’d like your wedding day to be. They might have suggestions for you too.
- Check on the invitations before sending them out
- Select and order the cake – gives your baker enough time to design your special cake
- Purchase wedding shoes and start dress fittings, schedule hair and makeup appointments.
- Finalize the menu and floral arrangements
- Create a list of the people giving toasts
- Finalize the readings
- Purchase your clothes, including undergarments
- Finalize the order of the ceremony and the reception
- Purchase the rings and get them altered if necessary
- Send your event schedule to all the vendors
One month before the wedding
Now that things are on the fast track, you have to get going at full throttle.
- Get your marriage license
- Mail the rehearsal-dinner invitations
- Get the final dress fitting done
- Send out as many final payments as you can to the vendors
- Confirm times for hair and makeup
- Confirm the times and schedule with photographer, videographer and all vendors
- E-mail and print directions for drivers engaged for the wedding day
- Make seating arrangements
- Purchase bridesmaids’ gifts
- Write down your vows, if necessary
- Pick up your dress after final alterations
During the Wedding Week
This is your final chance to make sure everything is going according to plan. You should:
- Reconfirm the arrival times with vendors
- Ensure the florists and caterers are clear about your needs
- Delegate all the wedding-day tasks to friends and family
- Set aside the payment cheques for the vendors
- Send the final guest list to the caterer and the venues hosting the wedding-related events
- Get yourself a spa treatment and have a session with the stylist to finalise your style
- Break in your shoes
- Assemble and distribute welcome baskets
- Pack for your honeymoon
Now that you have mastered wedding planning to perfection, all you need to do is execute it to enjoy a fairytale wedding.