With 101 things to organise, wedding bells can often turn to alarm bells ahead of the big day. Between dealing with picky in-laws, organising body-conscious bridesmaids, and making 200 engraved table settings, your time and space quickly become precious commodities.
Don’t worry, take a deep breath and check out these simple ways to save time, money and reduce stress in the run up to the big day.
12 months till the big day
Never under-estimate the power of a timeline. Writing everything down will give you a clear view of what needs to be done and by when. Get into the habit of checking it often and update as inevitable problems crop up. It’s also worth informing suppliers, family and friends when your deadlines exactly are.
Similarly, make time to create a budget and cost tracker ahead of the big day. Be strict with sticking to it as costs can easily spiral out of control. It will also help you see when you’ve underspent on something, meaning you can re-allocate any costs to the all-important dress fund.
Pinterest can be a god-send, providing ideas for themes, colour schemes and creative ways to decorate your venue. Don’t get too sucked into it though, or you could find yourself wasting days distracted by ideas way above your budget.
Six months to go
If you have the time (and patience), save your pennies and get crafty ahead of the big day. From invites to wedding favours, photo-booth props to place settings, there are lots of ways to make your wedding unique and save money too.
As much as you may want to walk up the aisle with a huge bunch of peonies, they’ll be difficult (and expensive) to get hold of unless you’re getting married in May. Chat to a local florist about what flowers are in-season on your wedding day, and ask for alternative options that will be in bloom.
Have your dream venue in mind? Chances are it is someone else’s dream venue too. Avoid disappointment by booking as much as you can as early as you can. Wedding photographers, florists, make-up stylists, and chauffeurs all get booked up early so it’s a good idea to start making calls at least six months into planning. This way, you avoid missing out (or paying more) for your picture perfect wedding.
Three months and counting
Now is the time to chase your friends, and long-distance relatives so you can get final numbers for your big day. You can then pull together your final guest list, menu cards and place settings to give to the venue.
Love it, then list it
Arguably the highlight of wedding planning, you’ll need to create a wedding registry three months ahead of the ceremony. Arrange a time where you can go into your favourite department store and aim a scan gun at everything you want – just don’t go too crazy! We recommend creating a list beforehand, so you can make sure you register for everything you “need”.
Practise makes perfect
With your big day quickly approaching, now is the time to go through wedding day logistics with the venue, family, priest and wedding party. If you haven’t yet, run through the ceremony with the priest and make sure you’re comfortable with the whole service. You should also be selecting final menu options for your reception – which of course you get to sample! Make sure you try a variety of dishes and ask all guests about dietary requirements. Finally, you’ll need to schedule a wedding rehearsal to ensure everyone knows where to be and when, so your wedding day runs smoothly.
On the day
Blame it on the weatherman
No matter how good your sun-dance is, if you’re getting married in the UK there’s a BIG possibility it will rain. Get some clear umbrellas for the wedding party to ensure no-one ends up looking like a drowned rat ahead of those all-important photos.
Do the rounds
It’s important to make the rounds on your wedding day, greeting your guests and thanking them all from coming. Make sure that you do stop and take it all in as well – you’ve done an ace job planning this for your friends and family, you deserve to enjoy it (and have a drink or two!).
When the knot is tied
After saying “I do” and spending two weeks soaking up some rays, be prepared to come home to piles of wedding gifts, decorations and paraphernalia. Start this new chapter of your life with a big clear out to make space for your new KitchenAid, champagne flutes and Egyptian cotton towel-set.
Use self-storage to stash bits and bobs from the wedding you can’t bear to part with. Who knows, maybe they can be used in the future for a friend’s ‘something borrowed’.
Do you ave any other tips for organising your wedding? Share them here.