Your Wedding Countdown Step By Step

Get to the drawing board and put together some ideas that you and your partner agree on.
You need to set a date for the big day and book the church or registrar. Ministers and registrars do not tend to agree with booking a venue before them.
It’s hard to do so initially, however decide on a rough budget that you can afford to pay and do your best to stick it.
Keep in mind the costs for the ceremony. Whether you’re choosing a church or registry office you may want flowers and decoration, and if you choose a church a choir and organ player maybe required.
Pick a venue for the reception and arrange a meeting with the caterer or banqueting manger at the hotel that will be in charge on the day. Always ask them if there are any limitations and rules that may go against your requirements. For example if they don’t allow live music and you want a band you’re stuck!
Plan your wedding cake and what sort of filling and decoration you require. You will need to know how many guests are attending so you know how large the cake should be. The amount of tiers on the cake will affect the overall cost.
Book a wedding car for the bride. You will normally get a car for around 3 hours which is enough time for transport you to the ceremony venue and then to the reception venue.
Look for a florist who can decorate the wedding venue and church, or registrar venue. Choose flowers that are not only beautiful and fit within your theme, but they must be durable and with able to stand heat / cold and a possible drop to floor!
Think about wedding attire, particularly the bridal dress. The dress normally needs to be ordered 6 – 12 months before the wedding day. The men normally hire a suit, so for the groom, best man and ushers. If the groom decides to buy a suit they should get measured and start shopping around.

Once you have a colour scheme, theme and style which will be carried through the whole day talk this over with the dressmaker, catering company, florist and whoever else is providing a service. Everything must be coordinated and correspond with each other.
Ask the venue what entertainment you’re allowed, and importantly not allowed. Once you know book either a DJ or band.
If you’re going on a honeymoon straight after the wedding day, you should definitely start looking, or if you can, book up. You can leave it until the last minute to get deal though.
Decide whether you want to make your own wedding invitations so you can start work on these immediately. Do it yourself invites can take up a lot of your time and effort, but in the long run could save you more than £300 – £500.
6 months before the wedding.
Send out the wedding invitations to everyone. It’s crucial that family and friends who live abroad get these in good time, so they can book their flights and get a good deal.
If you’re not making the wedding favours yourself order those from a company.
Discuss the order of the service with the registrar or minister and decide what hymns and how many you’re planning on singing. Maybe as your guests enter you want music played from either a stereo with a special meaningful song to you both. You also need to arrange with the church if you want an organ player as this will normally effect the price (if you’re being charged).
Try and make an appointment with your caterers or banqueting manger at the hotel to find out if you can attend a menu tasting session and understand what menu course’s go with each other. It’s also a good idea to choose what wine you and your guests need for their tables.The wine needs to compliment the food being served.
Decide on a wedding present list for your respected parents, best man, bridesmaids and ushers.
Order the rings.
Book mobile disco & DJ or band
A doctor and dentist check up is a good idea to fix any decays and to make sure you’re fit and well.
If you plan on going abroad for your honeymoon, find out if you need injections against diseases.
Organise visas, passports and make sure they’re in date and in good condition. Passports will be rejected if in bad condition.
3 months before the wedding
Organise the appropriate pre-marriage documents and certificates. Maybe another meeting with the registrar or vicar would be a good idea to discuss these documents if you do not have them.
Finalise your colour scheme with the florists for the bouquets, buttonholes and any other decoration you’re having on yourself or others.
Make sure you have finalised the wedding guest list and check to make sure everyone has responded to the invites so you know how many numbers attending. Remember to keep a careful track of replies. Caterers will want to know this so they can send you a final bill! Maybe set up an email address which everyone needs to reply to.
Arrange accommodation for your guests and advise & send web links to travelling guests of prices for your hotel. It’s best to have as many stay over in the same hotel as you to keep the atmosphere going the next morning.
1 month before the wedding
Make sure the bride, bridesmaid, groom, best man, ushers all attend a final fittings meeting. Ask the bridesmaids to make sure they’re all wearing the same shoes.
Have a hair and make-up rehearsal with chosen artist and hair dresser.
Finalise seating arrangements and numbers for the church and wedding reception venue
Discuss with the registrar or minister a plan for the ceremony and arrange a rehearsal.
Keep yourself fit and healthy and do not take any risks in day to day life. Make sure you get lots of rest so you’re full of spark and energy. 1 month will fly past!
Two Weeks to go
Sort out and arrange traveller’s cheques, exchange money, insurance, car hire and all other documentation needed on the honeymoon.
Plan seating arrangements and label place cards.
Finalise and confirm details with the photographer, florist, caterers and disco service or band
Make an appointment to dry wedding dress for final fitting.
A week to go
Have the wedding rehearsal at the church or registrar office.
Nominate someone to look after the wedding dress and the groom’s outfit after the wedding, if you’re going on your honeymoon straight after the wedding day.
Gift wrap all presents for the bridesmaids, best man, ushers, parents etc.
Pay fees for the church or registrar, musicians, disco & DJ or band (best man should do this)
Ask the best man to take documents and rings for safe keeping. He must guard the items with his life!
Two days before the wedding
Confirm your final guest numbers and list to your banqueting manager or venue for the reception.
Make sure the wedding cake is in the progress of being baked or ready to eat and make sure all transport arrangements are confirmed to and from your reception venue.
The day before your Wedding
Take and treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure session, a long hot bath and get your head down for well earned early night. If the groom goes out with his mates and family, make sure he keeps is mind clear for the big day ahead. Once again the Groom should also get a nice early night.
The Wedding Day
Relax and take deep breaths.
Have a good breakfast – next meal is mid afternoon.
Get your hair and make up done nice and early
Give yourself plenty of time to reach the church or registrar and always allow for the last minute delays.
Have a fantastic day to remember for the rest of your lives.
Carl Tulumello works as a professional DJ for Best Event mobile discos. He provides professional DJ hire in Berkshire and entertains all occasions.
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