Well, you’re in for a little treat today! We are SO lucky to have Tina Reading, Editor of Ultimate Wedding Magazine, (the UK’s only fully interactive UK wedding magazine available at the push of a button on your tablet via iTunes or GooglePlay), here to share her wedding expertise just for you!
Magazine editors like Tina have absolutely nailed down the wedding day countdown, sharing general guidance on the main things you need to do during your wedding planning and a little timeline to help you get there! These wedding planning countdowns were my saviour when I was planning, it’s so hard to know where to start! Take it away Tina!
Big Day Countdown
The minute that ring is on your finger, you become addicted to blogs and Pinterest (Nu Bride: I should think so n’all!) sourcing ideas and inspiration.
I always advise our couples to make two lists, the ‘must-haves’ and the ‘no-ways’.
Set your budget and be realistic, then take 10% of that budget away, hide it away, I will come back to it later.
Let us assume you have 12 months to plan, these are my tips as to how to make the planning process that little bit easier for you.
Choose your wedding ceremony: Decide if you wish to have a religious, bespoke, or civil ceremony, and if the latter, you will need to check if the venues you like have a license to hold ceremonies.
Book your photographer:If your budget allows, ask your photographer for a recommendation for a videographer to film your day. It is very important that both have a good working relationship so can co-ordinate closely for the day.
Book your venue: You will need to pay a deposit to secure your wedding date, so be prepared to lose a chunk of that budget immediately! Consider off-peak days to keep the cost down.
Guest numbers: Start to think about your guest list numbers: Do not let well-meaning family members interfere with this, as this is where the cost could escalate, once you have been persuaded to invite Great Aunt Doris and her 24 siblings. Also decide as to whether you will be inviting children, this is always a hot topic, again, is personal to you.
Get wedding insurance! (It is worth every penny)
Send a Save the Date: Once you have your wedding date confirmed, send out a save the date, that way everyone will know about this very important event.
Give Notice: Whether you choose to have a religious, civil wedding or partnership, you will need to give notice at your local registry office.
Book your honeymoon: This is the perfect blue job. Throw some ideas around, look at the budget and let your other half get on with it! If you trust your beloved, (you should do, you are getting arrived!) then let them arrange the honeymoon and surprise you. (Nu Bride: Or use a honeymoon specialist like Beaver Travel if neither of you are inclined to scan the net!)
Copyright: Nisbet Plantation
Choose your girls and guys: Now the fun starts, if you haven’t already decided, decide who you would like to be the best man, chief bridesmaid and wedding party.
Choose a wedding theme: Start to think about what your theme/wedding colours will be; do you want rustic, fairytale, Star Wars or simple and elegant.
Dress shopping: Time to start looking for The Dress. You need to be ordering at least 6 months before your wedding date. Tip: Try on a dress from every style before you make the big decision as, quite often, what you think you want is not what you buy!
Bridesmaid shopping: You may have an idea of your colour scheme, but try to be a little flexible as one colour may not suit all! Take the girls out for the day, try some dresses on, have some lunch, make sure you look at the high street shops too!
Flowers and Decorations: Big or small, bright or subtle, the choice is endless. Start to explore what you would like.
Book your transport: How do you want to arrive at the church/venue? Are you dreaming of a classic Rolls Royce or something more retro like a Camper? Whatever you fancy, look around at what is available in your area and get it booked.
Order your wedding stationery!
Book your entertainment: Entertainment may be required throughout the day and evening including whilst guests are dining, and indeed for their arrival. Do you fancy a string quartet or gospel choir? Or maybe a magician? Will you have a DJ or a live band?
Book your cake: Your chosen cake maestro will advise you on how many tiers you need depending upon guests, they know what flavours work, and how to cater for guests with food intolerance. You need to clearly explain what you are looking for, and ensure that their interpretation is the same as yours!
Menu tasting: Your venue / caterer will advise you on timings for this. But you will need to choose your wedding menu and have a menu tasting.
Choose your wedding gift list: so many to choose from, from John Lewis, to Amara to honeymoon registries.
Send out those invitations: You really need to know who is attending, so RSVP absolutely no later than 1 month, i;e 5 months before the actual day! Include in this your gift list/voucher/gift guide.For those of you choosing a Church of England wedding, you must attend church on 3 consecutive Sundays for the reading of the Banns. Your vicar will inform you of the dates in advance.
Order of Service: Finalise your ceremony music choices and readings and confirm your order of service with your chosen wedding officiant
Book your first wedding dress fitting: By now your dress should be awaiting its first fitting, this for me, is when everything becomes real. Putting your actual dress on for the first time, is a feeling second to none. Now you can discuss alterations if required and purchase any jewellery, tiara, veil choices.
Order your wedding rings: Choose and order your wedding rings, try on a variety of styles and metal colours to see what suits you
Suit shopping: Encourage your hubs-to-be to start shopping for his suit (especially if he is going bespoke)
Book your hair and / or make-up trial.
Copyright: Desire Hair & Beauty
Flowers and Decor: Finalise any wedding flowers and decorations with your florist.
Wedding Gifts: Don’t forget the little things like the wedding favours and gifts for your parents and your wedding party.
RSVPs: Collate your RSVP’s so you know who is attending and who has specific dietary/mobility requirements for the day.
Here’s where it gets really exciting….
Have your final dress fitting!
Suit Hire: Check the suits have been ordered if hiring.
Final Splurge: Now, remember that 10% of your budget I told you to hide away? Spend it on something special for just you 2, maybe a romantic meal. Or that one item you wanted but never thought you could afford for the day. (Nu Bride: Jimmy Choos!)
Table Plan: By now you should have your final numbers so get the table plan sorted.
Hen or Stag Celebrations: Enjoy your classy hen and stag celebrations
Timings: Re-confirm timings of the day and final details with your venue and wedding suppliers.
1 – 4 Weeks
Rehearsal: Attend any church rehearsal and get those last-minute nerves and giggles out-of-the-way. If you are having a non-religious wedding ceremony there is no official rehearsal, so make sure your wedding party know who needs to stand where and on what side, etc.
Pamper: Get your nails done ladies! Manicure & pedicure please! If you are having a tan, ensure this is done at least 48 hours prior to the big day (and make sure you have tried one before and that the colour and product works for you).
The Day Before
Relax: Try to do nothing! Relax! (Nu Bride: Highly recommend a bubble bath, lavender, onesie, DVD’s, book a massage!)
Sleep: Wherever you are spending the night make sure you have everything you will need for the following morning and despite your excitement try to get a good nights sleep. (Nu Bride: Yeah right)
You did it!
As you stand before each other and say your vows, the months of preparation will all be forgotten!
Have a magical day, you deserve it.
Copyright: Tina Reading
Thanks so much Tina!
For more tips, competitions and super wedding planning tools and for further information on Ultimate Wedding Magazine, please visit:email@example.com www.utlimateweddingmagazine.co.uk