Planning and arranging all of the different parts of your wedding can be both fun and stressful, yet very rewarding. We have compiled a three-step list of the items that you will need to consider along the way - no doubt there will be other items depending on your personal choices. We have tried to make planning for your wedding day straightforward, but don't think that it is an easy task, it will take hours of hard work and dedication to create your own personal and unique wedding.
There are numerous things that you have to decide when you start planning your wedding, but some of them will have a greater priority than others. The first item that you need to consider is the budget - without this information you cannot begin to arrange your wedding day. Who will be paying for the wedding? It is not unusual for the bride and groom's parents to each take a share of the costs, often with additional monies from the bride and groom themselves. Sometimes friends or relatives will add to the finances for the wedding and you may even find that a relative or close friend will offer to pay for one particular part of your wedding as a gift. If several parties are contributing to the wedding costs, make sure you know the total wedding budget when you start to make your plans.
When you have decided on the type of wedding ceremony you would like, you can then start to arrange the date and the wedding venue. Until you have established a firm date for the wedding, you can't make any other definite arrangements with any of your wedding suppliers.
If you're having a church wedding, then you will need to find a reception venue within reasonable travelling time from the church. If you've chosen to have a civil ceremony, you can then decide if the reception will be held at the same location. You may wish to have a different reception location, at a hall or marquee, or another location for the evening, etc. If there is a particular place where you want to hold your reception, bear in mind that some of the most popular locations can be booked up for Saturday weddings up to two years ahead - some even more! When you have decided on your reception location, you can then consider the catering requirements, provided by the venue or your own outside caterers.
After you have established your budget, decided on the date and located the wedding venue(s), you will be able to begin arranging the main wedding suppliers that you will need on the day. Photographer, videographer, caterers and wedding cars will need to be booked early if you are to secure your first choice of suppliers. If you are having special entertainment at your wedding reception, then these may also need booking far in advance of the date.
At the earliest stage of planning for your wedding you should consider arranging wedding insurance. This cover is comparatively low cost insurance and will give you the reassurance that should events beyond your control disrupt your wedding plans you will have the peace of mind of insurance cover to reimburse your investment in the big day.
When you have arranged the main items for your wedding day, you can turn your attention to the style of wedding that you are going to have. Do you wish to have a wedding theme? What will your colour scheme be for the wedding? The colour scheme will influence your choices for bridesmaid's dresses and other accessories on the day. What type of wedding dress will you wear? Is the wedding dress to be specially designed and made for you? The dress code for the groom and groomsmen, will it be formal, bought, hired, etc?
When you have answered these questions and started to make the arrangements that you want for the wedding attire and accessories, your next stage of planning for your wedding is commenced. There will be make-up, hairdressers and a host of other things to arrange around them, but the starting point must be with the wedding dress, attire and accessories. Don't forget to check that the bride and groom's mothers are arranging their outfits and that they don't clash!
Put time aside for the bride and groom to choose their wedding rings. You will probably need to have the rings sized to fit, so don't leave this until too close to your wedding day, as re-sizing can take a while before they are ready for collection.
Chose your wedding cake. This is often done in conjunction with the caterer. You will need to coordinate the icing and cake decoration with your wedding dress and chosen colour scheme. The wedding cake supplier will be pleased to advise on the many options available to you. If you are intending to have a traditional fruit cake as the base, then you will need to allow several months for the preparation of your cake.
Choose the special place where you will spend your honeymoon together. Book your travel and accommodation as far ahead of your wedding date as possible and don't leave anything to chance - this is your honeymoon! If you need to arrange to have inoculations for the country where you're spending your honeymoon, try to have these as far before your wedding as is reasonably possible. Couples rarely ever leave their wedding and travel directly to their honeymoon location, so don't forget to arrange your accommodation for your wedding night and any nights between the wedding day and your honeymoon departure date.
Arrange for your wedding invitations to be printed, along with other stationery items that you require; RSVP cards, Order of Service, Serviettes, Thank You cards, etc. You will need to appoint your wedding florist and arrange your floral requirements for the venue, reception, bride's bouquet, buttonholes, etc.
Ensure that accommodation is reserved for those guests who will require it (you may also have to decide who is paying for guest's accommodation). Also consider the transport needs of your guests between the wedding and reception venues, and afterwards if they need onwards travel to their hotel.
You will need to decide on the wedding favours for your reception guests and arrange for their supply in sufficient number to cover everyone. It is traditional for the bride and groom to present a gift to the best man, bridesmaids and their mothers at the reception - so you will need to choose and purchase these.
Decide on the bride's hairstyle and make up requirements for the wedding day, along with making arrangements for the bridesmaid's make up and hairstyling. While you're arranging for the beauty regime for the bridal party, don't forget that the groom and best man will also probably require a haircut ready for the big day.
Do you wish to have a toastmaster present at your reception? Do you need a calligrapher to complete your invitations? Is there to be a fireworks display? Have you arranged the DJ? Do you wish to have a children's entertainer present to keep the kids happy through those long and boring speeches?
When everything is organised, suppliers booked and your prefect wedding day arranged, it's time to check everything again. A few days before your wedding, speak to all of the suppliers, check that everything is arranged as you want it and confirm the dates, times, places, etc. Don't leave anything to chance.
What we have given here is a summary of the different tasks that you will need to do to organise your wedding. This does not reflect the huge amount of time, energy, planning and hard work that will go into making it all happen, in the right order, at the right time, in the right place. If you enjoy organising and you have a logical mind when it comes to planning, then it is worth the effort and, sometimes, frustration. If you're unsure, unwilling or simply don't have the time, then turn to a professional Wedding Organiser and let them take care of the hard work, while you advise them of your wishes.