Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Wedding Planning Timeline Checklist

It's a good idea to begin your wedding planning as soon as you get engaged. The longer you have to establish a solid routine, the better. Planning will ensure your wedding is a success, and keep stress to a minimum. Start now:

Wedding planning timeline

Six months or more before your wedding:
  • Decide on the date and time for your wedding, and a minister/celebrant to conduct your ceremony. This will include deciding on the ceremony venue.
  • Determine what your budget is.
  • Draw up a rough guest list as you will have to ensure that your venue can accommodate your guests.
  • Book your caterers if you are having outside caterers.
  • Book the marquee, chairs, tables, dance floor, and so on if you are going to hire them.
  • Book a wedding coordinator if you are having one.
  • Book the photographer and videographer.
  • Book the musicians, band or deejay for the ceremony and the reception.
  • Book your accommodation for your wedding night.
  • Book your honeymoon. Inform the venue that it is you honeymoon as most venues will lay on something special for honeymooners.
  • Apply for passports or visas if you will be travelling overseas, and find out if you will need any inoculations.
Three to four months prior:
  • Arrange a meeting with the minister/rabbi or marriage official to discuss details of your service, readings, music, possible restrictions on photography and confetti.
  • Design and send off "Save the Date" requests if you will be doing so.
  • If you will be hiring a wedding dress or the groom's and attendants outfits, start looking around and book them as you find them. Final fittings should be done closer to the wedding day to allow for any weight fluctuations!
  • If you will be having your wedding dress made for you, book the dressmaker and start looking around for styles that appeal to you. Confirm with the dressmaker when she requires your final design and fabric.
  • Decide on bridesmaids, flower girls, groomsmen, master of ceremonies, ushers, etc
  • Start designing your invitations and if you will be having them printed, start getting quotations.
  • Book transportation for your wedding if you will be making use of hired cars, limousines, and so on.
  • Meet with your florist to determine what flowers will be in season and what kind of bouquet, flower arrangements and button holes you would like and ask for an indication of price.
One to two months to go:
  • Decide on your menu.
  • Groom and groomsmen's outfits need to be purchased (if you are not hiring them).
  • Send out invitations six to eight weeks before the day.
  • Order your wedding cake. Fruit cake is traditional, but many couples opt to have carrot cake, a vanilla cake, or a chocolate cake.
  • Visit various outlets and decide on gifts for the bridal registry. Once you have made your final decision, register with your chosen outlets. Many of the larger stores have on-line registries and you can register and view the items on line.
  • Order or purchase your wedding rings.
  • Make bookings for hair, nails, make-up, or beauty salon for the bride and other members of the bridal party.
  • Make an appointment with your attorney to have your Antenuptial contract drawn up.
  • Purchase any accessories, for example, shoes, garter, lingerie, etc.
The two week countdown:

Pay a visit to your regular stylist for a final trim and hair colouring session. Remember: now is not the time to try anything drastic! Stick with your plan and get a trim. This should be the time that you get your last deep pore cleansing facial, to avoid any breakouts close to the day. Continue to exfoliate and exercise. Increase your water intake to keep yourself healthy and hydrated.

A week before:
  • Bubble baths, herbal tea time, and date nights with your fiancee are all important in this last week.
  • Collect your wedding dress and ensure you have all the accessories for the bride, groom and attendants. 
  • Start packing for your honeymoon. Remember passports, visas, inoculations and travel insurance if you are going overseas.
  • Have the rehearsal for the ceremony.
The night before:

Have a light dinner and an early night. Ensure that all your requirements are ready for the next day.

On your wedding day:
  • Ensure you have a designated time-keeper to keep the bride and bridesmaids on track.
  • Allow at least three hours to have your manicure, pedicure, hair and make-up done, about half an hour for dressing and about half an hour for re-ceremony photographs. The photographer may wish to take photographs of the preparations, as well as prior to the ceremony, so check with him as to what his requirements are.
  • If you are having an afternoon or evening wedding, have something light to eat prior to your wedding.

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