Organisng a wedding can be a fraught and stressful business. Alternatively, it can be an enjoyable and confident time. In order that the latter is the case for you, you'll fine below a countdown checklist of what needs to be done in the months before your wedding. It may not cover every eventuality but it certainly covers most that need to be planned, the timing of course may not be appropriate for every couple. It should also be noted that some venues for receptions may need to be booked up to two years in advance. Given this time span, some thought to insurance would be prudent.
18- 24 Months
- Announce your forthcoming marriage to family and friends (you may also like to announce this in the newspapers).
- Select an engagement ring (if the future bride desires one)
- Decide on the venue, day and time for the wedding. Remember that churches often have more than one wedding on some days, and it might not be possible to have the day and time you desire. Visit the priest and ask if it would be possible to have a certain day and time, rather than making plans which cannot be easily changed.
- Arrange to meet with both sets of parents to decide who will be financially responsible for which parts of the wedding budget. To help you to do this, get some estimates of costs for the church, flowers, cars, clothes hire, reception etc.
- Decide whom you want as best man, bridesmaids and ushers. Ask them if they are willing to perform these tasks. You may like to ask others to take part in the service by leading the prayers or doing a reading. Decide too what all these people will wear on the wedding day.
- Decide the number of guests to be invited to the wedding (remember that it is often sensible to consult your parents in this).
- Book a venue for the reception and decide what sort of catering you would like (buffet, sit-down meal etc).
- Start to make a wedding present list.
- Book holiday time at work for your honeymoon.
- Book the cars which will be used to transport the bride and bridesmaids to the church and the couple from the church.
- Book any music that will be played at the reception (band, disco etc).
- Book a photographer and a video firm if desired.
- Book an hotel for the wedding night.
- Buy or make arrangements to have made or hire dresses for the bride and bridesmaids.
- Visit the priest at the church where you will be getting married to arrange when the banns will be called. Discuss with him/her the music and order of service as well as the day and time for the wedding rehearsal.
Discuss also whether you want bells, a choir or flowers at the church. If applicable you need also to visit the priest of the other parish to arrange for the banns to be called there.
- Visit the florist and discuss colours and types of flowers. This may include flowers for bride and bridesmaids, buttonholes for groom, best man, ushers and guests, as well as flowers for the church and reception.
- Send out wedding invitations.
- Take out travel insurance for the honeymoon and consider general insurance for the wedding (reception disasters etc.). Ensure that you both have passports that will be valid at the time of the honeymoon.
Remember that airline tickets must be booked in the names that will be on your passports when you leave to go on honeymoon.
- Decide if you want service papers printed for the church. If so, order these, but remember to ask the priest to check a copy before printing, to minimise any mistakes.
- Arrange to hire suits for the grooms, best man, ushers and the fathers of the bride and groom.
- Shop for going-away outfits for bride and groom.
- Start to make a wedding cake or order it.
- Buy wedding rings.
- Check arrangements with florists and car hire firm. Check too the catering arrangements at the reception and advise on final number of guests.
- Meet the photographer and discuss with her/him the types of photos to be taken.
- Visit the doctor and arrange any injections that may be necessary for foreign travel.
- Obtain any foreign currency needed for the honeymoon.
- Buy any new clothes that will be needed for the honeymoon.
- Buy presents to give on the wedding day to best man, bridesmaids, ushers and any others taking part in the service. You may also like to give flowers to the mothers of the bride and groom at the reception - order these.
- Book hair appointments for bride and groom for a day shortly before the wedding (or even the day itself).
Ensure that you have adequate amounts of cash to pay people who may need payment at the wedding
(if requested, this might include fees for the priest, as well as payment for cars, florist or photographers) .
Have a wonderful day