With between 18 and 24 months to go, you may want to start looking at the following:
* Determine your budget
It may not sound very exciting – but it’s a necessary task to figure out, early on, what your bottom line is for your wedding budget.
You may first want to note down who is paying for what… Then you could identify what is a priority for you and what is a ‘nice to have’.
Following on from this – and by undertaking some market research – you could begin to allocate funds to each individual item. These numbers will change as you plan and develop your ideas so creating a detailed spreadsheet from the get-go is a great idea! It’ll help you keep track of your spending and make it easy to amend costs as you go along.
* Select the venue
So… one of the most important decisions is now upon you! Where would you like to get married?
Depending upon the style of wedding you would like, your budget and your guest list, create a shortlist of locations which meet all of these choices.
Explore your options, visit the top contenders and create pros and cons lists!
12 to 18 months to go and you may wish to…
* Shop for your wedding dress!
If you need to order your gown, we would recommend you consider wedding dress shopping at this point!
Here at Sarah’s Wedding Boutique, we would be honoured to be part of your wedding planning journey!
Our experienced, expert Bridal Consultants will sit down with you to have a chat about what you like (and not like!) and get to know you before selecting wedding gowns and helping you to narrow down your dress search!
To book your wedding dress appointment, please click here.
* Make a guest list
Whether you plan on a small and intimate gathering or a massive blow out, it’s important to create a guest list (for the ceremony and reception).
So, you have to put a cap on the number of invitations you hand out. When deciding upon the head count, think about your budget and your venue’s capacity.
* Hire a wedding planner
If hiring help in planning your dream wedding is in your budget (and requirements!), now might be the time to reach out to wedding planners to help guide you in research, decisions and costs!
* Identify your theme
This might be one of the most exciting aspect of planning your wedding… deciding upon your theme!
With your partner, have a heart-to-heart about the theme you’d like for your special day.
Ask yourself, what’s important to you and why? What kind of venues do you both like? Would you like a black tie, formal affair or more of a relaxed, bohemian-style event? Once you have made up your minds, you can evolve your ideas to your perfect wedding.
* Choose your caterer
Linking in to your style and chosen venue, selecting your caterer is another exciting decision!
Whether choosing the venue’s in-house caterer, a preferred supplier recommended by your wedding planner or even a local BBQ company – the choice is yours!
* Hire vendors
Begin thinking about photographers, bands or DJs, videographers…
Ask questions, Google companies, check out portfolios and ask for family and friend recommendations.
* Hire the band
If you’re enlisting the talents of a band, now’s the time to get them booked in!
* Book in your hair and make up trial
If you are hiring stylists and make up artists, it might be time to book in appointments to see what they can do for you! Collate photographs of ideas of hair dos and make up looks you like… then you can discuss these ideas for the big day!
When you’re 11 months out, here are some things you may like to think about:
* Select your design and colour theme
Now’s the time to get to grips with Pinterest! The best place to gather of all of your ideas about colour palettes and styles of wedding you are interested in.
Gather inspiration, create moodboards… the world is your oyster!
* Choose your cake and book your cake maker
After months of research, you’re probably ready to make a decision on your wedding cake – selecting a cake you both love the look of… and the flavour profile! Bear in mind, some bakers allow you to choose a different cake for each layer! Pick a local baker (who, perhaps allows you to taste the flavours you are interested in) who can create your dream cake and a price within your budget.
* Meet with potential florists
Ask friends for recommendations, check out Instagram for inspiration and ask your wedding planner or venue coordinator for their advice. It’s necessary to find someone who can deliver on your vision, to your budget and timeline!
We love: Wild Bramble Blooms.
* Order rental items
Chairs, linens, furniture, dance floor… any items you need to hire out for your wedding day decor (if your budget allows), need to be booked out now!
10 months to go! Here’s some tasks to get underway:
* Order your gown now to avoid disappointment
If you’ve not ordered your gown already, you may wish to consider doing that now so you’re not missing the boat! Current lead times are between five and six months.
We also need to allow time for alterations, which usually take place a month before your big day!
Get in touch with us here at Sarah’s Wedding Boutique here!
* Book hotel room blocks for guests
If appropriate, now is the time to block out rooms (and secure a discounted rate) for your guests!
* Order your stationery package – including wedding invitations
A ‘save the date’ or wedding invitation is a guest’s first impression of your special day… so if you’d like to have a custom design, it’s worth getting in touch with graphic designers or wedding stationers now! (Just for your reference, invites will be sent out six to eight weeks prior to your wedding day.) Your stationers may also be able to provide your seating plan and place cards, menus and orders of service.
Order enough invites (accounting for some mistakes), make sure they will arrive in time, set up a system for recording RSVP replies and confirm all addresses and spelling.
Bear in mind that your wedding invitations should fit the theme of your wedding. So, if you’re sorting out the wedding invitations yourself (rather than hiring a graphic designer or wedding stationery), now’s the time to get designing and ordering!
We love: Rose and Grace.
* Take engagement photos
Very often, wedding photographers include an engagement shoot within the cost of your package. So it’s a great time to practice being in front of the camera by having your engagement photographs taken!
Nine months to go!:
* Send out your ‘save the dates’
Make it official! Send out your save the date cards (to be followed by a wedding invite in due course) now!
In eight months, you’ll be getting hitched… here’s the tasks for this month!
* Register for gifts
With your partner, create a list of gifts you’d like to receive from your guests. From staples such as bedding and cookware to adventures and experiences, think about your soon-to-be-married lifestyle!
* Select bridesmaids’ dresses…
…and schedule fittings within this month.
Research Pinterest for initial ideas – and then ask your bridesmaids to come shopping with you in real! It will be so exciting for you to see them in the dresses you like for your theme – and lovely for them to see what they’re comfortable in!
* Buy or rent the groom’s tuxedo
Based on the theme of your wedding, you and your partner can choose an outfit for your groom (a tux, a suit…) and also decide whether you’d like to buy or rent.
* Select the groomsmen’s attire and schedule fittings
Tap into your research of the groomsmen’s suits and gather together the groomsmen themselves! Depending upon your budget, you’ll want to make a decision of either hiring or buying the suits… Then visit a tailor to book in a fitting of all of the fellas in your wedding!
Seven months away, you may want to:
* Book transportation for guests (if required)
Consider your venue’s parking, guests’ access to car services and public transportation… you may need a shuttle bus or to order car services (like Uber).
* Book the bride and groom’s transportation
Now’s the time to book your limo, Mustang or VW Campervan!
* Book the honeymoon
Try to get things half-sorted by this five-month mark! Research your location ideas, budget, times, travel arrangements and gather together an idea of an itinerary… your honeymoon should be a trip of a lifetime!
* Have your final tasting with the caterer
You and your partner can book in a tasting with your caterer to ensure everything is to your liking, if this is feasible. Some caterers offer the ability to customise everything from cocktails to desserts. Simply ask your caterer what’s included within their package.
With just five months to go, here are some things you may wish to think about:
* Book in your first dress fitting
Your first fitting is usually four to six weeks after ordering your gown so please get in touch to book your fitting!
Only four months to wait, think about:
* Buy your wedding rings
Now’s the time to purchase your wedding rings! This is such an exciting task to complete together, enjoy the thought of you both wearing these rings forever!
* Send out the wedding invitations
Once you receive your invitations, get writing and posting! (Be sure to remember that you require the RSVPs one month before the wedding).
* Purchase your ‘off the peg’ gown
If you are not ordering your gown specially, now is the time to purchase your ‘off the rail’ wedding dress to allow for alterations before your big day. Our seamstresses take bookings in advance to ensure availability on your chosen date(s). Please get in touch!
* Finalise your menu
After you’ve undertaken a tasting, you’ll have a sense of what your caterer can offer – so you’re ready to finalise your food. Whether you are a couple who are hands on or put your trust into the chef… get ready to sign off an approved completed budget that fits in with your budget, tastes and timing.
* Organise your favours
Obviously, you don’t have to do wedding favours but if you would like to, now’s the time to decide what you’d like to put together for your guests! Whether you’re DIYing them or ordering them, you’d better get going!
* Write your vows
If you’ve decided to write your own vows to each other, start thinking about what they sound like for you; whether you’re considering formal, humorous, heartfelt or a combination of all… start thinking about the wording for your promises. And, whilst you’re at it, you may wish to begin thinking about readings and bible verses you’d like to be read at your ceremony.
With just two months to wait, here are some tasks to consider:
* Attend your dress fitting with seamstress
Please get in touch with us here at Sarah’s Wedding Boutique to book your all-important wedding dress alterations appointment! The majority of brides require two to three fittings.
* Pick up your marriage license
Click here for information about getting your license in the UK… you’ll need details about where to go, what to bring, how long it’ll take and how long it’ll last!
* Buy wedding party gifts
Whilst you don’t have to buy your wedding party gifts, you may wish to treat your bridesmaids and groomsmen something that’s thoughtful, functional and personalised.
* Give your song selections to your band or DJ
Such a fun task! Gather together all of the songs you and your partner love and pass the track list over to your music providers!
* Buy all of the small bits and bobs
Table numbers, cake topper; stand and knife, guest book, card box, flower girl and ring bearer accessories and signs (welcome, guest book etc)… now’s the time to gather these items together… all in your design theme!
* Chase any outstanding RSVPs
Now’s the time to follow up with any potential guests who have not responded to your wedding invitation.
One month… one month to go!:
* Put together wedding favours
Assemble your gift bags/wedding favours now… it’s a nice idea to do this with your partner or your bridesmaids!
* Pay your vendors in full
Each supplier may have different terms but usually, with one month to go, now is the time to balance the bill for your vendors!
* Create a seating chart and place cards
Whether you’re obtaining the help from your stationers or you’re ordering a design online, thinking about making your seating chart can be a challenge! Think about relationships, the venue’s floor plan and who will be sitting at the head table (if you have one). Linking to the seating chart is your place cards – again, your graphic designer may be able to help with this… or you could order a design online.
* Break in your wedding shoes
Avoid painful blisters… break in your shoes by walking around your home in your heels!
* Schedule in your final dress fitting
It’s time to book in your appointment for your last wedding gown fitting! Please contact us to arrange your booking.
You made it!!
Now you may like to think about taking care of:
Having a hair cut and colour
Booking in a manicure and pedicure
Packing your bags for your honeymoon
Cleaning your engagement ring (whether it’s an at-home remedy or a professional jewellers job!)
Practicing your vows out loud!
Writing your partner a love note
Night before and day of the big day:
All of your careful planning has paid of and the most wonderful day is in sight! Here are some final tasks…
The night before –
Eat a healthy meal
Pack a small bag of personal items
Drink plenty of water
Get a good night’s sleep
Put any boxes, suitcases, bags and survival kits to bring to the ceremony or reception in the car
Take your dress and veil out of the garment cover, if possible
The morning of –
Stay off your feet as much as possible
Drink even more water
Lay out all the items (rings, invitations, flowers) that you want your photographer to capture
Exchange notes with your partner
Say thank you to everyone around you
And, from us here at Sarah’s Wedding Boutique, we wish you the most magical big day – and we thank you for letting us be a part of your wedding journey!