Setting a budget

In order to set up your initial budget, you will need two things. First, you need to know how much money you plan to spend on the entire wedding. Second, you must know must prioritize the different elements of your wedding. For example, is it more important for you to have a sit-down dinner or a designer gown? Since these two items vary from couple to couple there is not a one-size-fits-all sample budget available. The following guidelines determine a percentage of the entire budget to be designated for each expense. Then based on what is most important to you, you can reallocate the percentages as needed. Read More

Maintaining a budget

In order to set up your initial budget, you will need two things. First, you need to know how much money you plan to spend on the entire wedding. Second, you must know must prioritize the different elements of your wedding. For example, is it more important for you to have a sit-down dinner or a designer gown? Since these two items vary from couple to couple there is not a one-size-fits-all sample budget available. The following guidelines determine a percentage of the entire budget to be designated for each expense. Then based on what is most important to you, you can reallocate the percentages as needed. Read More

Decide an ideal date
and time

Discuss the ideal time of year Check for important events that might clash Check for clashes with key family members Shortlist a few possible dates Finalise the date once you have chosen your venue Note: Check if your intended date clashes with major sporting events.

Put together your guest list

Decide on an ideal number of guests Discuss with your parents who they would like to invite Consider how many guests your budget or venue will permit Write out your ideal lists Add all your lists together and start deleting!

Decide on a Church or Civil Ceremony

Discuss the options with each other Check if there are any legal restrictions Note: You can marry in any venue with a licence for Civil Ceremony, or a church with which you have a strong connection.

Choose and book your venue

Draw up a shortlist Contact them for availability, capacity and costs Visit those that seem suitable Discuss any issues that are important to you Pay a deposit to confirm your booking Note: If you want to get married at a venue they must be licenced for civil ceremonies.

Book your Church or Registrar

Contact your local Registrar or Vicar Check their usual procedure Provisionally book them to reserve the date Confirm the booking as soon as applicable

Arrange marquee if required

Discuss the pros and cons of marquees and venues Find and measure a suitable space Contact marquee companies for an estimate Arrange a site visit for a firm quote Confirm the booking with a deposit. Note: The size of marquee will be dictated by the number of guests you are inviting.

Get organised!

Set up a wedding planner Start a mood board for colour schemes Put together a ring binder for quotes and ideas Set up a wedding email address you can both access

Take out insurance

Estimate the total costs Get a couple of quotes Book online for immediate cover Note: Insurance covers you from the moment you take it out, so choose a policy now for the best value for money.

VIDEOGRAPHER

Draw up a short list Check their availability and prices Ask to see a sample DVD Confirm your booking with a deposit

photographer

Choose and book your photographer Draw up a short list Check their availability and prices Arrange to meet them and see their work Confirm your booking with a deposit Note: As photographers can only be at one wedding per day, popular dates get booked up very early.

Choose bridesmaids, best man and ushers

Discuss with each other who would be appropriate Approach them individually Speak to anyone who may feel offended that they were’t asked

BANDS & DJS

Decide on the style of music you want Check with the venue in case of noise limitations Listen to a sample CD If possible, see them perform Confirm your booking Note: Most live bands will play recorded music during their break

ENTERTAINMENT

Look at all the entertainment options Check with your venue for any noise or space restrictions Check references if possible before booking

FLORISTS

Make a list of the bouquets and arrangements needed Have an idea of the style you are aiming for Check what flowers are in season Get a rough quote Book with a deposit

WEDDING CAKES

Shortlist companies specialising in the styles you like Arrange a tasting to check the quality Book with a deposit Note: You can decide on the style and size nearer the time.

CHILD MINDING

Check facilities with your venue Estimate the age range and number of children Book with a deposit

Venue decoration

Decide on a theme or colour scheme Compare quotes Book with a deposit Note: Consider chair covers, balloons and lighting

Bridal gowns

Visit bridal shows or browse magazines for ideas Make appointments at three different boutiques Try on a number of dresses in different price ranges Allow plenty of time to be carefully measured for ordering Double check ALL the details on the order form Note: Allow plenty of time, remembering that most gowns take 8-12 weeks to make.

Buy shoes, underwear and accessories

Take a photo with you of the dress you have ordered Buy now and keep them safe for the dress fittings Note: Decide on your shoes, underwear and accessories after choosing your dress, but before your final fittings. Top Tip: Wear your shoes in at home and cover them in tights to stop them getting damaged before the big day.

WEDDING CARS

Discuss the sort of transport you would like Work out logistics and timings Go to see some different options Confirm the journeys required Book with a deposit Note: Remember to arrange transport for bridesmaids too

Choose bridesmaid dresses

Discuss colours and styles before going to a boutique Take just one bridesmaids to choose a suitable range from a boutique Take all your bridesmaids to your chosen boutique Note: Your choice of bridesmaids dress may dictate the rest of the colour scheme.

Choose clothes for the groom

Give him a sample of the bridesmaids fabric Decide what various members of the bridal party will wear Look into buying and hiring before committing to either Note: The choice of bridesmaids dress may dictate the colour of waistcoats or cravats.

honeymoon

Discuss ideas and read reviews together Check passports are up to date Check if injections or visas are needed Arrange transport for honeymoon Book time off from work Note: Traditionally the groom’s role, but he may want some pointers first!

Wedding rings

Decide on designs if being made Get quotes Note: Allow additional time if you are getting them made for you

WEDDING STATIONERY

Decide on designs Get quotes Make a list of all the different items you need Double check the proofs when they arrive Note: Order in plenty of time to check and correct proofs

HAIR & MAKEUP

Remember that Saturdays are usually the busiest day for the beauty industry.

LAST FEW WEEKS TO GO

Confirm numbers with venue and caterers Confirm timings for transport Confirm timings for photographer Email all other suppliers to confirm plans Make sure all balance are paid

THE WEEK BEFORE

Collect hired menswear Make sure outfits are ready Arrange someone to return hired items Pack a going away” bag” Manicure and Pedicure Rehearsal for church wedding Brief best man, bridesmaids and ushers

THE day BEFORE

Check wedding cake arrangements Wash and condition your hair: if you’re having it styled, it will hold better Check that dress accessories and suits have been collected (try everything on) Try and get to bed early

your wedding day

Arrange for your wedding outfits to be packed and taken home Any presents need to be packed and taken home. Arrange for presents to be left at friends or family until after the honeymoon Arrange for person to return hired items Wedding Cake to be sent to people unable to attend

Wedding Dresses

Choosing Your Wedding Dress as soon as you begin planning or the big day, choosing your wedding dress becomes an urgent need for most brides. Nobody wants to wait. While dealing with wedding stress and preparations, be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to try on different styles and find the one who says Read More