- Carly Raynsford
This 12 Month Countdown equals Wedding Success!
Huge Congratulations to you both!
Firstly, take a moment to soak up that just-said-yes bliss. This is one of the most exciting times of your life and you deserve to enjoy every second of it. Planning a wedding is a big deal, and it'll be accompanied by so many joyous moments to be shared with your fiancé, your family, and your closest friends. But, if you feel overwhelmed by the big stuff and the thought of planning your big day from start to finish, then just follow the 12-month countdown below to help you get started.
Also, each couple's wedding journey is very different, so this is just a guideline.
Right, firstly, it’s time to celebrate! Whether you gather your nearest and dearest over a few bottles of bubbly OR you decide you want to go big, PLEASE make sure you do something special. It’s a time for both families to officially meet, if not already, and NOW is as good time as any rather than waiting until the big day.
OK…. Let the planning commence!
12 down to 10 months
Choosing a date
Now you need to decide if you want a Spring/Summer or Autumn/Winter wedding? Do you want to save a bit of money and have a weekday wedding or are you thinking of making it into a long weekend? This is your first big decision and not an easy one! It is probably best to get the ‘save the date’ cards out early too!!
Choosing the guests
This can get political!!! Asking yourself who you want to invite whilst deciding on what date you would like your dream wedding, will also influence all the other decisions which are about to come your way. Knowing your budget early on will play the biggest part on where to go next and what you can actually afford.
Choosing how to spend
Venue hire is likely to be the most expensive, followed by catering if not included and then photographer, entertainment and your dress. Don’t forget to include the costs of a honeymoon, that's if you are choosing to have one..
Choosing the venue
Are you thinking traditional, abroad, hotel or maybe a lavish country house? Seeing as this is the busiest time for weddings right now, I would make this a priority, venues are getting booked up fast post pandemic.
Choosing the right suppliers
Make sure you do your research, always try to checkout recommendations/reviews for caterers, florists, photographers & entertainment. Try book what you can and as early as you can. (Many photographers will include the engagement shoot with compliments or include into your packaged price)
Choose who will marry you
I know this is way ahead of time, however just to make sure your officiant or registrar is free for the date and time that you want to get married, this is for civil ceremonies only. Otherwise, you need to plan through your parish.
10 down to 8 months
Choose the dress
You will no doubt already know what style of dress you ideally want, however when it comes to wedding dresses, how they look on the hanger and how they look on you, will surprise you. Start shopping soon, plus it’s so much fun especially if you are doing it with your girlfriends!
Choose your colour scheme
Not as easy as it sounds!
Think about the season, think about the reason, consider the venue and check if it also matches your wedding style.
Choose the bridesmaid dresses
I take it you have already chosen your bridesmaids? I hope so. Then they can help with all the exciting plans still to come your way. Also try to consider that all your bridesmaids will be different heights, shapes and not everyone suits the same colour to their skin tones.
8 down to 6 months
Choose the honeymoon destination
Do you dream of a safari at sunrise or perhaps a celebration with your loved one on a beach at sunset? It is becoming more popular amongst couples to have a honeymoon many months after the wedding, plus it gives your wallets a bit of a break too!
Choose your wedding transport
Now’s the time to get the cars booked! Doing it this far in advance means that there will be more of a guarantee in getting exactly what you envisioned!
Choose the wedding rings
Whether you are doing this together, or maybe as a surprise, this should be thought of quite early on. It gives you lots of time to find ‘the one’ and get them altered.
6 down to 4 months
Choose a cake maker
Cake makers are often booked so far in advance, that if you wish for a bespoke cake, they will want to start thinking about your designs and flavours.
Choose a table plan
Who’s sitting where? Table plans can be a bit of a jigsaw and will also change many times before you have to let the venue and caters know, so it’s definitely worth starting the seating plan now or as soon as you receive your RSVP's. Get ahead of the game!
Choose those wedding shoes
It is so important to be as comfortable as possible on your wedding day, while also looking sleek and elegant! Don’t forget to try different styles whilst you have your dress on.
Choose the florist
Florists also get booked up months and months in advance, so get your floral order in.
A hint regarding saving costs. Choose flowers that are in season.
4 down to 2 months
Choose gifts for the bridal party and parents
Your bridesmaids and groomsmen are your best friends, so finding something can add pressure, don’t stress – they will love whatever you give them, its also not essential to get gifts!
Choose song requests for the wedding reception
I recommend handing your DJ a ‘must’ play song list for the party portion of the night. This will ensure you get some of your ( and your guests ) all time favourites and classics added to the mix.
Embellish the tables with flowers or floating candles, big or small. Table décor is where you can be really fun and creative without spending a fortune.
Choose suits for groomsmen
So you have kitted out the bridesmaids, but what about the groomsmen? They also need to be looking suave on the day.
2 down to 1 month
Choose hairstyle and make up
Enhance your own style and be open. If you are someone who normally has their hair down and minimal make up, you will need to make the decision whether you go for something that represents you, or do you fancy going for something totally different.
Choose wedding favours
Think about what you want your favour to do! Do you want it to go with your meal? Do you want it to provide entertainment? Also this doesn’t need to be anything costly, its just a bit of traditional fun.
A week to go……
This is it, the final countdown, all the big stuff is done, do one more check with all of your suppliers just to confirm that all is well!
Make sure the groom gets a haircut and that you take a day out to relax and be calm, book yourself a spa treatment too.
The night before…..
Do something nice with your friends. It’s your wedding eve. Enjoy and just remember
' Once in a while, in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy-tale'