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      Thursday, 22nd March

Planning your wedding - wedding countdown timeline

What should you do when?! We'll help guide you through it...

Congratulations, you're engaged!!

So where do you start?!

Have no fear, WeddingToPlan.co.uk is here to help you stay nice and organised! Which means minimal stress and panic!

Once you're engaged (ideally 12 months +)

  • Throw an engagement party!
    This is especially worth while if you're planning a long-ish engagement - don't wait over a year to celebrate your happy news with friends and family! Engagement parties needn't be expensive either - a get-together at home or a simple function room down the local will suffice!

  • Set a date.
    Now this is the big one - will you go for spring, summer, autumn or winter?! It will also depend on your desired venue being available...

  • Book a Venue.
    You'll have to do this at the same time as setting your date, so you can be sure the church/registry office/place or the ceremony and the reception venue all tie up for the date you want. It's best to do this as early as possible as places can get booked up 18 months in advance for popular weekends (eg. Summer, Christmas).

  • Choose your Wedding Party.
    Pick your Bridesmaids, Best Man and Ushers - make sure everyone closest to you is available on your desired date! For more information on what each member of the wedding party does, read Traditional Roles.

  • Hire an Event Coordinator.
    If you think you want a wedding planner to help you on the day itself, check their availabilty as soon as possible. Browse our directory for a wedding planner near you.

  • Book a Photographer and Videographer (if required).
    These people get booked up too - so get seraching! Browse our directory for a wedding photographer or videographer near you.

  • Plan your Guest List.
    Make sure anyone you really want there can make it! A Guest List will also give you an idea of numbers, so you know what size venue you need.

  • Send out Save The Date cards.
    Just so people mark it on next years calendar and don't book a holiday on your special day! See Save The Date card suppliers in our directory.

  • Decide on your Budget.
    Be realistic - you want a lovely day but don't over stretch yourself. And allow room for unforeseens as in any major project. Read our Money Saving Tips as you plan your wedding. Sit down with everyone who will be contributing - it can be difficult to ask parents if they wish to pay some money towards the day, so just mention to them that you and your fiance will be sitting down to discus this, allowing them to mention their intentions!

  • Will your wedding have a theme?
    Depending on your venue, budget and the time of year of your wedding, you may decide to give the day a theme. If so, factor this in from the offset so you know where you're headed.

  • Do you need caterers?
    If your venue doesn't supply caterers, or you have the choice of providing your own, look into this now. You can find caterers in the WeddingToPlan Directory.

  • Book your entertainment.
    Whether you want a band or a string quartet, the most notice you can give them the better. You can find entertainers in the WeddingToPlan Directory.

8 - 6 months:

  • Confirm your Guest List.
    You'll need to know this so you can order stationery and organise catering.

  • Order your stationery.
    You'll need to give the stationer plenty of time to get your order to you in advance of the wedding. Browse our directory for wedding stationery.

  • Order your cake.
    Again, weddin cake creators can get booked up - so plan yours in advance! Browse our directory for wedding cakes.

  • Arrange your transport.
    You both (all) need to get to the Church, then to the reception, and then to where ever you're staying the night of your wedding! Browse our directory for wedding trasnport.

6 months:

  • Plan the Ceremony.
    Meet with your vicar/the person carrying out your service and discuss the hymns, music, readings and order of service.

  • Book wedding insurance.
    If you're concerned about things going wrong on the day, consider Wedding Insurance. It won't guard you against all eventualities but it can help. Browse our directory for a wedding insurance broker near you.

  • Choose your wedding dress!
    It's the extra fun bit! (Like you haven't been looking for years!) Browse our directory for a bridal boutiques and accessories near you.

  • ...And everyone else's clothes.
    Don't forget the Groom, Best Man, Ushers and Bridesmaids! Browse our directory for a bridesmaids dresses, formal hire and accessories near you.

  • Book your honeymoon!
    ...and somewhere to stay the night before if necessary.

  • Book your hair and makeup for the day.
    Choose if you want someone to come to you or if you will go there, and if your bridesmaids will be having a professional do their hair and make up too. Browse the directory for beauticians and stylists.

  • Book a Florist.
    Discuss what you want on the day. Browse the directory for florists.

3 - 6 months:

  • Choose your wedding rings.
    Are you both having one? Are they to be engraved?

  • The Banns of Marriage.
    If you are getting married in the Church of England the Vicar will 'Publish the Banns of Marriage' for you on selected Sundays leading up to the big day.

  • Book other decorations if appropriate.
    If you want balloons or alternative decoration, look into this now. Browse the directory for ideas.

  • Arrange your Wedding Gift List
    If you're setting up a gift list, look into this about 3 months before the wedding - before you send out your invitations. Browse the directory for Gift Lists.

  • Sample Catering
    Sample some menus by your caterers to decide what options to offer your guests. Also decide on welcome drinks/champage/wines.

3 months:

  • Order your new passport!
    If you're changing your name, you can order your new passport 3 months before your wedding day. This will depend on the name you booked your honeymoon tickets in.

  • Send out your Invitations.
    Send out your day invitiations - and your evening invitations 2 weeks later. Include details of any menus, asking about dietary requiremnts. You can also include details of your gift list if appropriate.

  • Meet with your Photographer.
    Discuss exactly what you want - and if possible visit the venue with him/her to plan specific shots.

  • Plan your favours.
    If you're having favours/bonbonierre, plan this now. Browse the directory for Favours.

2 months:

  • Double Check EVERYTHING.
    Set aside a day to ring EVERYONE and check everything - including your honeymoon tickets. Better safe than sorry!

  • Dress Fittings.
    Have dress/suit fittings for you, your bridesmaids, the Groom, Bestman and the Ushers.

  • Final plans for Decorations.
    Make sure you're clear on everything the florist has planned and ensure all other decorations are organised.

  • Plan your hair and make up.
    Meet with your hair stylist and beautician for a run through/discussion. Remember to ask your hair stylists when is the last point you should have your hair cut/coloured.

  • Lingerie.
    Choose what goes under the dress!

1 month:

  • Speeches.
    Make sure the men all have their speeches planned!

  • Make your favours.
    If you've got any parts of your favours to make, get cracking on them asap!

  • Buy your wedding license.
    If you need a wedding license, arrange this now.

3 weeks:

  • Chase any late R.S.V.Ps
    Check anyone who hasn't replied, and then confirm final numbers and menu orders with your reception venue/caterers.

2 weeks:

  • Final Fittings.
    Make sure everyone's measured and fitted perfectly - and bring your dress home!

  • Dress Rehearsal.
    Try on your whole wedding outfit - without your Groom seeing ofcourse!

  • Buy your wedding license.
    If you need a wedding license, arrange this now.

1 week:

  • Organise Everyone.
    Make sure everyone knows where they have to be and at what time. You'll also want to have a wedding rehearsal so people know where to stand/what to do on the day. This is often the night before if people are travelling for the event, but can be anytime in the week leading up to the wedding.

  • Double check AGAIN!
    Give the venue, photographer, florist, cake maker - everyone a call to confirm everything's still as planned.

The Day Before:

  • Decorate the Reception Venue.
    Depending on any functions at the venue that evening, try and ask if you can decorate the venue in advance, rather than have to go there on the day before the ceremony.

  • Check your outfit.
    Make sure you've got everything you need - and it's all together if you're not getting read at home.

  • Beautify youreslf!
    Get waxed, trimmed, manicured, pedicured - the works!

  • Pack your honeymoon luggage.
    ...And arrange for it to be dropped off at your wedding night accommodation.

  • Arrange any fees.
    If you need to pay anyone on the day, ensure this money is sorted, preferably put in labelled envelopes and given to the Best Man/someone responsible.