Planning your wedding: what to do when.
March 21 , 2016

Planning your wedding: what to do when.

Organising a wedding is a big task: our checklist makes it easier

As early as possible

  • Tell your family and friends
  • If the two sets of parents haven’t yet met, arrange a meal so they can get to know each other.
  • Discuss how you want your wedding, and make sure you’re in agreement.  Set a budget.  Will what you want fit into your budget?  If not, alter your plans or find more money.
  • Book the venue(s).  The earlier you do it, the more chance you have of getting what you want. 
  • Decide what needs doing and who will to be responsible for it.
  • Book the venue(s) for the ceremony and reception.  This will decide the number of guests you can invite, so now is a good time to write a list.
  • Some people send out a “book the date” notification.  You can also set up a personal website to keep friends and family in the loop, but make sure it’s password-protected.
  • Choose your best man, bridesmaids and anyone else you want to be part of the ceremony.  Don’t forget to ask them!
  • Get wedding insurance before you start spending money.

6-9 months before your wedding date

  • Book your photographer and/or videographer, caterers if required, florist, car and driver, cake-maker, hairdresser, make-up artist, and anyone else who definitely has to fit in with your date.
  • Book the honeymoon – the sooner the better if you don’t want to fly cattle-class, especially long-haul.  First and business class seats go very fast on some routes.
  • Make sure your passports will be in date for your honeymoon; many countries require at least 6 months validity from the date of arrival.  If either of you will be taking the other’s surname make sure their passport has their new name.
  • Choose your dress.  If you think you may lose or gain a lot of weight you can always ask for it to be reserved for you until nearer the time.
  • Choose the bridesmaids’ dresses, if you’re having them.
  • Organise your wedding-present list.  Include a link to it when you ...
  • Send out your invitations, particularly if you didn’t send “book the day” notifications.  A map of the venue(s) can be useful, with parking, the route between venues if relevant, and other useful information.  Ask guests to RSVP, and to tell you if they have particular dietary requirements.
  • Choose and buy the wedding rings.


2-3 months before the day

  • Decide on your service: the music, the readings and who will read them, your vows if you’re writing your own.
  • If you’re getting married in church, discuss the banns with the minister.  If your religion requires a pre-marriage counselling/training course, make sure you organise it in good time.
  • Arrange a tasting of the food to be served.  Make sure your guest’s dietary requirements have been catered for.
  • Meet the photographer/videographer at the venue to discuss what sort of photos or video you’d like.  Find out if photography is allowed during the ceremony.
  • Do a trial run with your hairdresser; take any head-dress and veil you’ll be wearing.
  • Confirm the date with your venue, caterer, cake-maker, car and driver, florist and all the other relevant people.
  • Confirm your honeymoon bookings.
  • Organise the Stag and Hen do’s.  Don’t have them the night before the wedding!

1 month before the day

  • Make sure your wedding dress fits.
  • Give notice of marriage to the registrar, unless you’re being married by a priest of the Church of England/Scotland/Wales.
  • Pay all your suppliers.  Make sure they know where and when to deliver everything.
  • Start wearing in your wedding shoes.
  • Sort out currency for the honeymoon.
  • Collect the wedding rings.
  • Buy presents for the best man and bridesmaids.

The week before

  • Give final guest numbers to the venue and confirm all the details of times, locations and contact numbers.
  • Finalise the seating plan, if you’re having one, write place cards and make up any favours.
  • Reconfirm details with the photographer, hairdresser and make-up artist.
  • Collect your wedding dress.
  • Pack for the honeymoon.  If you don’t know where it is, at least try and discover whether you’ll need a swimsuit or sweater.

The day before

  • Help decorate the venue.
  • Run through the order of the day and rehearse the ceremony.  Make sure everyone knows what they’re meant to do.
  • Have a relaxing, pampering bath and get an early night. 

On the day

  • Put yourself in the hands of your hairdresser, make-up artist, dresser and driver. 
  • Stay calm and enjoy yourself, even if you hate being the centre of attention.  You can spend the rest of your life hiding if you want to!

And that’s all there is to it: just tick off all the jobs as you do them and everything will slip into place.  There is a lot to do when you’re planning a wedding, but if you’re organised it’s much less stressful.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share, or any comments or memories about your wedding here at The Red House Hotel?  We’d love to hear from you.

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