Wedding Countdown

Aug 27, 2014

A successful wedding, to quite some extent, is not going to happen without good planning. And good planning cannot be left to the last moment.

Here are some suggestions (with a proposed timescale) for some of those jobs that will need consideration and, probably, action. Naturally, some of these suggestions will only apply to weddings of a certain scale, but you are free to follow or ignore them.

image courtesy of Neli Prahova

A year before

This may seem to be ridiculously premature, but experience suggests that it is worth starting early, so you can choose the suppliers you really want, and take the pressure off yourself for later on.

  • Book your venue
  • Give formal notice of marriage (to the church or registry office)
  • Choose your best man, bridesmaids and ushers
  • Decide on the number of guests to be invited
  • Book a photographer/videographer
  • Book your civil celebrant or priest
  • Start talking to your florist
  • Book your entertainment (DJ, band, musicians, etc.)
  • Order your wedding cake
  • Look for wedding clothing (bride, groom, bridesmaids etc.)
  • Organise transport (if relevant)

6-9 months before

  • Choose your wedding dress
  • Buy your wedding rings
  • Order invitations
  • With your celebrant, work on an ‘order of service’
  • Choose a gift list
  • Book hair/beauty appointments
  • Reserve accommodation for guests, if appropriate
  • Book your honeymoon (including passports, visas, inoculations, etc.)

3-6 months before

  • Organise hen/stag nights
  • Select wedding music/book a band
  • Send out invitations
  • Organise the printing of order of service sheets
  • Confirm all bookings

6 weeks before

  • Go over final details with your venue
  • Write speeches
  • Finalise guest list and draw up a seating plan

1 week before

  • Arrange collection of hire outfits
  • Reconfirm suppliers (florists, photographers, musicians, etc.)
  • Start packing for your honeymoon

1 day before

  • Enjoy some pampering
  • Have an early night

The day itself

  • Ushers and Civil Celebrant should arrive 40 minutes before the ceremony
  • Bridegroom and Best Man 30 minutes before
  • Bridesmaids and mothers 10 minutes before
  • Bride 5 minutes before

Doing all this will not guarantee removing all potential stress , but if you start early enough and work at it steadily, there’s every chance that your big day will be a truly wonderful day from beginning to end. And that’s what you want, isn’t it?

Michael can help prepare and conduct a tailor-made civil ceremony in or around London, or, indeed, in Europe.