Weddings can be very stressful so we thought we would offer a little help with this checklist.
This is only a guide and there may be other things to do but nonetheless it’s still a rather comprehensive list to help you on your way.
Twelve to eighteen months ahead of time
❏ Check the availability of your wedding date with the venue you want. Most venues accept bookings up to 18 months in advance.
❏ Decide if you will need ‘extended access’ to the venue.
❏ Choose between a civil (non-religious) or church ceremony.
❏ Decide on a venue for your civil ceremony (check with your venue if they are registered for civil ceremonies).
❏ If you opt for a civil ceremony, contact the Registration Service to book a provisional date.
❏ Confirm your venue once you have your ceremony arrangements in place.
❏ Make an appointment with your local Register Office to give notice of marriage.
❏ Decide on your best man, bridesmaids and ushers.
❏ Decide if you are using the ‘catered’ or ‘self-catered’ option.
❏ Choose a caterer if you are using one. Be sure to sample the food! Make sure the caterer you select visits the venue to assess the facilities we provide and understands the arrangements for access, staffing and drink allowances. The caterer will be responsible for organising any additional requirements eg service tents, refrigeration plant, power distribution boards.
❏ Book the photographer. Look at examples of their work and discuss the styles you like. Book a videographer if you want one.
❏ Book the entertainment – D.J, band, harpist, magician, toastmaster. Arrange a site visit for the entertainment provider if they think they need to. You’ll find that most experienced entertainers will know most venues already.
❏ Choose a florist. A good florist will tell you what’s in season at the time of your wedding and help you spend your money wisely.
❏ The really fun bit for brides: start trying on dresses. Ideally, the dress should be ready for the final fitting two to four months before the wedding day.
❏ Book your honeymoon – check that your passports have not expired for the dates you are planning to travel
Six to twelve months ahead
❏ If you are not planning to stay at the venue overnight reserve alternative wedding night accommodation.
❏ Choose and order your wedding stationary.
❏ Reserve hire wear for the groom and the bridal party.
❏ Arrange any transport required for the day.
❏ Purchase your wine and champagne allowance for the welcome drinks, meal and toasts.
Four to six months ahead
❏ Decide which bar options depending on what venue offer.
❏ Purchase wedding rings. Allow plenty of time if you plan to commission a particular style.
❏ Start to draw up your wedding gift list.
❏ Arrange for the final fitting of the wedding dress and shop for shoes and special lingerie.
❏ Buy gifts for the ushers, bridesmaids and mothers.
Two to three months before
❏ Finalise the guest list. Often about 20% of invitees will not be able to attend – but this is not always the case.
❏ Select any ‘favours’ that you might like to add to the tables.
❏ Choose any readings that you wish to have and approach friends or family to do this for you. (If you are having a civil ceremony agree these with the registration officer in advance.).
❏ Send invitations out at least eight to ten weeks in advance to give guests enough time to make arrangements. Don’t forget to include a map. If you are having a civil ceremony at our venue please advise your guests to be prompt as the registrars will not be able to delay the ceremony.
❏ Plan hairstyles and makeup and perhaps book a trial run.
❏ Arrange to change your last name (if necessary) and notify the organisations that need to know.
❏ Plan any hen or stag parties.
One month before
❏ Advise the wedding co-coordinator on your final numbers.
❏ Ensure that you have your ‘decorating’ team in place, if required.
Three weeks before
❏ Arrange the seating plan for the ceremony (if applicable) and any sit down meals– involve both families here and submit your plans to the wedding co-ordinator.
❏ Decide how you are going to display, cut and serve the cake.
Two weeks before
❏ If you are using a caterer, advise them of your final numbers.
❏ Book currency (if necessary) for the honeymoon.
❏ Confirm all your bookings, from the photographer to the cake.
❏ Collect the dress and hired suits and ask how to store them.
❏ Make sure that everyone knows what they’re doing and at what time on the day.
❏ Buy a guest book if you want to capture guest’s comments and thoughts on the day.
❏ Decide what you are going to do with wedding gifts brought to the venue.
One week before
❏ Try on your wedding shoes and wear them in a little around the house.
❏ Check and double check your arrangements but do not panic!
❏ Read through your vows or special words as this will help with nerves on the day.
❏ Arrange to have the flowers and cake brought on the either the evening before or on the day.
❏ Advise when and where transport is to arrive.
❏ Collect the rings.
❏ Pack for the wedding night and honeymoon.
On the day
❏ Don’t be late if you are planning to have a civil ceremony at our venue as the registrar will have a schedule to fulfil.
❏ Enjoy your day!