If you have just become engaged you are probably having a great time looking round wedding fairs and scouring pinterest for ideas to make your wedding day special. These can inspire you, but with such an array of suppliers and products, you may also be getting wedding overload and just too many ideas.

Our members are seasoned wedding professionals and can help guide you through all your wedding needs – and advise you on other good wedding suppliers in York too.

And the message from Clare, who manages Beechwood Close Hotel, and one of our photographers Nikki Bowling is: make a plan.

So here is a little guide gained from years of experience about what you need to do and when.

Before You Book Anything:

  • Agree the kind of wedding that both of you would like – size, style, venue type (church or hotel) etc
  • Agree a budget and remember that midweek weddings are often cheaper
  • Write down a rough guest list to get an idea of the size of venue you will need
  • Look at venues and ask about availability and whether they do packages
  • If you are getting married at peak season (June to September) you should book your venue(s) as soon as possible.
  • Start a wedding file which will include details of all your suppliers

After You Have Set the Date:

  • Once you have set the date and booked the venue, send out Save the Date cards – it may seem early but many people book up their weekends months in advance.

8 – 12 months

  • Choose and invite your bridesmaids, best man and ushers.
  • Make a list of all the services you need for the wedding – many venues have packages that include food, drink, chair covers, entertainment etc – so you may already be able to tick them off your list.
  • Book the officiant for your wedding if you are getting married at a civil venue or using a celebrant.
  • Meet with several photographers and videographers and book the one(s) you like
  • If you need a caterer, try their samples and check they can accommodate any dietary requirements before booking them and agreeing a menu
  • Decide on a colour scheme or theme for your wedding
  • Start meeting other key suppliers and discuss your theme with them.
  • Order your dress – even if you are buying “off the peg” or from the internet, you will need plenty of time for alterations
  • Reserve hotel rooms for your guests
  • Set up your present registry if you are having one
  • Take out wedding insurance

6 – 7 monthsChristmas Eve wedding

  • Book your florist, transport (including any transport you are providing for guests between the venues), any venue dressing you need, entertainment for both the evening and during the ceremony and your cake. (Taste before you book).
  • Order your stationery including your invitations and anything you need on the day.
  • Order bridesmaid dresses
  • Book your honeymoon
  • Organise hen and stag dos

4 – 5 months

  • Finalise your guest list and send out invitations
  • Book any other events for the weekend as appropriate
  • Buy shoes, lingerie and jewellery for you and the bridesmaids – they will be needed for the final dress fittings
  • Book hair and make-up – you may also want to book a rehearsal appointment too.
  • Book any menswear that will be hired
  • Choose the music you would like playing during the service, at the reception and for the evening – let the musicians and/or DJ know!
  • Choose your wedding rings
  • Book in dress fittings for you and the bridesmaids

3 months

  • Finalise your menu
  • Finalise provision of drinks either with the hotel, caterer or other supplier
  • Order favours and any other extras as budget allows eg sweet cart, photobooth, children’s activities.
  • Select your readings
  • Organise who will be giving toasts
  • Finalise Order of Ceremony or Order of Day cards and get them printed
  • Arrange for suit fittings
  • Reserve a room for the wedding night
  • Make sure you have any vaccinations required for the honeymoon

2 months

  • Contact each supplier to check they have the date, time and venue correctly booked and discuss any finer details, particularly flowers and photographs.
  • Put the wedding announcement in local press
  • Check any legal requirements are in place e.g Notice of Intention to Marry
  • Keep a record of all RSVPs you receive and any special dietary requirements
  • Enjoy your hen party

1 month

  • Chase up any RSVPs that have not been received
  • Make any final payments that are necessary
  • Start drafting the table plan
  • Have your hair cut and coloured
  • Buy gifts for the wedding party
  • Have final dress fittings and collect dresses from the shop

1 week

  • Finalise guest list and numbers with the caterers and venue
  • Finalise table plan and arrange to have it printed
  • Delegate someone responsible to be a trouble shooter on the day
  • Contact each of your suppliers to check arrangements and to give them the number of the delegated “trouble shooter” for emergencies
  • Change some money for your honeymoon
  • Pack for your honeymoon
  • Have any beauty treatments – leave nails as late as possible
  • Arrange for someone to collect buttonholes and bouquets on the day

The day

  • Have some breakfast
  • Get your hair and makeup done
  • Get dressed
  • Don’t panic, enjoy yourself

After the Honeymoon

  • Change your name on your official documents
  • Send out thank you cards

People often spend so much time planning their wedding that they forget there is life after the wedding. Remember, it is just the start of your new life together.

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