Here is the second part of our Wedding Planning guide. From 6 months leading up to the big day.
6 – 3 Months
Start planning a honeymoon. This doesn’t necessarily have to be straight after the wedding. Make sure that any passports are up to date and any doctors appointments are made if travelling to a country that requires injections. Top honeymoon destinations for 2017 include Hawaii, Mexico, Greece and Italy.
If you don’t have much time why not take a mini moon for a couple of nights in the UK such as Devon, Scotland or Wales.
Order or make wedding invitations to send out. Addressing and making can be quite time consuming so make sure you allow for this. Now may be a good time to call in the Bridesmaids to help out.
Think about the designs for your order of service, menu’s and any place cards. These can be ordered once you have everything confirmed.
There are many different options, styles and designs that can be used for a wedding invite, remember you also need to include RSVP information and details. Wedding invites are also a good opportunity to give your guests a little preview of your theme and colours by matching the design.
Between 4 – 6 months before the wedding is a good time to send out invitations.
Hair & Makeup
Research and look at examples of wedding make up and hair styles. Remember it needs to last all day. Arrange meetings with a stylist and make up artist. They can advise you on different looks and styles to suit you, your dress and colour scheme.
Organise trials for you, your bridesmaids and any one else that will be having hair and make up done on the day of the wedding.
A make up artist that we like to recommend is, Beth Cox Beauty Therapist.
Choose and purchase wedding rings for both bride and groom at around 5-6 months before the wedding. This will give time to allow for any resizing or engraving.
Groom/ Ushers Suits
Work out how many suits you need and decide whether you would prefer to hire or purchase. Arrange a suitable time for the groom party, father of bride/ groom, page boys etc. If you are hiring then measurements will need to be taken. There are different styles to choose from such as jackets with tails, silk suits or even tweed.
Most people choose to match the waistcoats, ties etc. to the same colour as the bridesmaids and wedding colour scheme.
A supplier we like is Mens Hire in Bristol who were Regional winners at the wedding awards in 2017.
Start shopping for Bridesmaids dresses. If they need to be ordered then allow up to 5 months months to be safe.
There are many different styles to choose from depending on your colour scheme, the time of year and theme. A very popular choice is now a multi way dress which can be worn in a variety of different ways. Many brides choose the same colour dresses but opt for a different wrap style for each Bridesmaid.
Research some cake designers and bakers. There are many different flavours available now such as lemon, mocha, red velvet and chocolate, of course the traditional fruit cake is still a very popular choice. Arrange a meeting so you can try samples and decide on sizing and decorations.
An alternative to a traditional wedding cake is a Cheese Cake, made from a stack of different delicious cheeses. Macarons and Cupcakes are also a popular choice.
One of our favourite Wedding Cake Makers is “Cake Design by Holly Miller”
Read more about cakes on our Wedding Cake Blog.
Give Notice/ Apply for Marriage Licence – 3 months
Both the future bride and groom must submit their completed marriage notice forms, relevant documents, declarations and fees to the Registrar of Marriages for the council district where the marriage is to take place. The marriage notice will then also be placed on public display at the Registrar’s office.
Normally, notices should be with the Registrar about 2 – 3 months before the marriage, but if either of you have been married before, the notices should be with the Registrar before.
2 Months – Wedding Day
Chase non RSVP Invites
Follow up any invites that you are waiting for a response from. You will need to know numbers to be able to create a seating plan.
Table Plan (CAD Plan)
Once you have all of your confirmed numbers you can begin to work out a seating plan. If you are having a marquee then a layout drawing should be sent to you so you can see the sizing and begin to think about the positioning of everything.
You need to think about whether you are having a Top Table and if you are handing out any gifts you don’t want these guests seated too far away. Anyone that is giving a speech ideally needs to be in a central or top position.
If you are having your reception at a venue then they will be able to help and advise you on the best layout.
Marquee CAD layout plan of round tables including long Top Table.
Marquee CAD layout plan of solid wood feasting tables.
Favours / Place Names
Once you have your numbers confirmed and your table layout decided you can think about what you would like to include on each table. Decide if you are having a particular name for your table or just numbers.
Think about whether you would like to give individual favours or have a “help yourself” dish of treats for everyone. Name tags are also a good idea so there is no confusion when guests arrive to sit.
For more ideas and inspiration read our DIY Wedding Favours Blog.
Review Playlists for Band/ DJ
Confirm any specific songs with your band and DJ such as your first dance or any particular favourites. Ask to see the playlist so you can make sure you are happy with the chosen songs.
Final Dress Fitting
Attend a final wedding dress fitting to make sure you have the perfect fit. Allow a couple of weeks in case any last minute alterations need to be made. Make sure you try your dress with the shoes and any accessories you will be wearing to ensure you have the right length.
Stag/ Hen Party
Attend any stag or hen parties that have been organised. Usually the Maid of Honour and The Best Man will organise this for you as a surprise.
If you are going away for the weekend make sure you allow time for this and that it doesn’t clash with any other appointments.
The main jobs for the wedding should now be sorted so this is a good time to relax and enjoy yourself with your friends and family before the big day.
Some Top Hen/Stag Do Activities and Destinations for 2017 are;
- “Its a Knockout” Games
- Cocktail Making Classes
Week of the Wedding
Confirm final numbers with your venue or marquee provider and caterers. Make sure you receive any confirmations via written or email so you can refer back if necessary.
Make any outstanding final payments.
Attend any rehearsals at your church or venue so you can go over everything. Your bridal and groom party along with parents should attend as they will be a big part of your day.
Marquee Installation/ Venue Decoration
If you have booked a venue then they will confirm timings with you. Usually, you will be allowed in the day before to add any decorations. A marquee is usually installed a couple of days before the wedding to ensure you have enough time to add any props or decorations.
Liaise with your florist and caterers to arrange a suitable time for them to lay up the tables and add any flower arrangements.
Marquee Interior Decorated with coloured Linen and Hanging Flowers
Marquee Interior decorated with hanging jam jars with tea lights and flower rings.
Illuminated Hanging Hearts