Now you are engaged to be married, you need to understand that a lot of things need a lot of planning. Telling family and friends of your engagement is a small drop in the ocean compared to what has to be arranged and ‘ brought in on time ‘ to make sure your wedding day goes smoothly and is a day to remember for you, your partner, family, friends and everyone else who attends your wedding – even those employed to cater and supply for your wedding.
Designing a Wedding Timetable
From the groom’s perspective (having been one myself, its best for me to stick to what I know) a best man can be selected. Traditionally he will make sure you get to the wedding in one piece and of sound mind and body. In my own experience, the best man can also be trusted with something called a ‘wedding timetable’. The timetable is a step-by-step, day-by-day, countdown to the wedding and incorporates arranging everything from A to Z that needs arranging for the wedding. It will detail lists of tasks and when they need acting upon, and followed up on.
6 Months before the Wedding
With the ‘bones’ of the timetable in hand we can look at the wedding from about 6 months out. At this time it’s a good thing to look at your budget. When you have planned the budget, also plan a small ‘contingency fund’ for those small accidents that will spring up and try to de-rail you. Obviously the wedding day will have been set by now, as will the place for the wedding reception. If not, do it now! Call your wedding official, be it a priest or registrar and set the date.
Build a list of wedding guests. Warning! Be diplomatic and be aware of ‘politics’ within the families. Plan accordingly. Contact wedding photographers, florists, bands for music and caterers and get quotes. Make sure your partner is, or already has, picked the wedding dress provider, not forgetting to arrange the accessories that need go with the dress. Be aware that, if the dress is hand made, it may require 3 or even 4 fittings so make time for that now. Also bridesmaids need to be picked. Remember to arrange appointments for the fitting of their dresses also.
4 Months before the Wedding
About 4 Months from the wedding, see to the wedding invitations. Make sure they are what you want. Don’t be fobbed off with something which isn’t perfect for you both. Also confirmation-of-acceptance notes could be arranged at this time too. By now you must have selected the photographer, florists, musicians and caterers. Contact them and go through basic arrangements with them, enough for them to begin their work for you. Tell them you need approve everything. This stops any unapproved amendments being made. The groom goes to pick his suit at this point. Honeymoon plans must be provisionally made before this date, because now the arrangements must be confirmed. Verify that the wedding dress, if being made, is on target for delivery as arranged.
2 Months before the Wedding
Roughly 2 months from the wedding, your timetable will show you that plans for any rehearsal dinner will have to be made around now. Get in touch with your selected photographer and finalise arrangements that include the wedding album. Contact your caterer, if they are doing the cake, and make final arrangements for the cake. Make sure you get what you want and the caterers haven’t made any ‘adjustments’ you don’t approve of. The florist can be contacted at this time and reminded of the wedding date and that you are ordering through them.
1 Month before the Wedding
One month before the wedding, take some time out and go shopping for the rings. This is a wonderful time so enjoy it. Shop around, have fun. When that’s done, make sure all the wedding invitations are sent out. A double check on the wedding dress, bridesmaid’s dresses and groom’s suit won’t hurt and will make sure there are no last minute problems that seem to plague less organised couples.
2 Weeks before the Wedding
Its getting close now! Its 2 weeks before the wedding, and a good time to see to all matters legal, like name changes. Its ok to do that now. Some documents can be changed just prior to the Wedding. They can be done now. The hairdresser can be called and arrangements made for the bride’s hair and makeup on the day. The groom has his best man to Brush his hair – lol. Check again with the caterers and the reception venue that all is in order and no last minute changes are foreseeable. The Photographer can be contacted to also make sure everything is in place and, if you haven’t got it yet, arrange to pick up the wedding album.
1 Week before the Wedding
Whoa! Its only 7 days. You need make final preparations for the honeymoon and even start some packing. Its going to get hectic from here on in, so save some time now. Another overlooked problem area is reminding everyone, again, of the time and date of your wedding. Its amazing how many people forget these things.
The Wedding Day
Its here! Its your wedding day. Your timetable has seen to it that everything is in place, on time and as you both want it. Have a small breakfast. Saves the nerves getting the better of you and you passing out in the aisle. Get to the hairdresser and makeup specialist and enjoy the pampering while they enhance your beauty. Check with the best man to make sure everything foreseeable has been done and there are no last minute surprises. Now breathe. There is just one thing left to do in your wedding timetable – enjoy your wedding. Enjoy your day. Enjoy your new lives. Congratulations.
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