by Niamh Bartley
Week 1 -The nitty gritty bits
Basically, you’ll want to decide what your budget is and pick your date this week. Also, you should have a look at venues and try to nail one down, depending on the time of year you might have trouble getting a weekend date but midweek weddings are fab and sometimes cheaper. Another thing to do this week (if you haven’t already) is to register your marriage with the state, this needs to be done at least three months before your wedding date so make sure you do it now.
Week 2 - Vendors
This is a big one so it’s important to get as many of your vendors (florist, photographer, band etc.) locked in as early in the planning process as possible, you may have your eye on a photographer or band so try to set up meetings with them and see if they can do your date. Also, try to enlist as many friends and family as possible to help DIY your day up a bit.
Week 3 - Assemble the wedding party
It’s important to ask your best guys and gals whether or not they want to be in your wedding early on, just in case someone doesn’t. Try to find out the style of bridesmaids dresses your girls will want as well just to save time later on and give them and you a little bit of time to think about it.
Week 4 - Find your officiant
If you’re having a church ceremony try to find out what local church is free to celebrate your wedding on your date and if you’re not having your ceremony in a church, there are plenty of companies that will provide you with a qualified officiant.
Week 5 - The Dress
This is obviously a very important detail when planning your big day, you might have an exact idea of what you want or you might not have a clue. Either way, make some appointments with bridal shops and try to have your dress chosen by the end of this week as if alterations are needed, they can take a few weeks or even months. Also, make sure your groom has his suit chosen as well as those for his groomsmen. You’ll possibly need to buy a sample dress so please remember that when trying on dresses.
Week 6 - The cake and flowers
At this stage, you should have your colour scheme chosen so have a few cake tastings and design meetings to see what your cake will look like on the day. Meet up with your florist and go through exactly what you’re looking for with them as well. Check in with all other vendors that will be providing goods on your day that everything is on track with them.
Week 7 - Invite your guests
Send out your invites and set a date for RSVPs so you can start putting together your guest list and table plan and notify your venue of how many guests you are expecting.
Week 8 - Do it yourself
Have a girly night in with your bridesmaids and close friends and set up a DIY craft station for the night. Crack open a few bottles of wine and have a bit of fun making fun decorations or putting together bits and pieces for your special day.
Week 9 - Hair and makeup trials
Trying out your hair and makeup at this stage still gives you about a month to get everything right so you can look great on your big day. You should also be weary of changing anything else in your beauty routine from now until the big day, just in case you have a bad reaction to a product and don’t have time to recover.
Week 10 - Finalise everything
This mainly applies to your stationery i.e. menus, ceremony programmes and anything else you’re having printed for the day. Also, double check that your DJ has your playlist and your band knows every song you want them to play. Talk to the manager at your venue and find out what information they will need coming up to the wedding.
Week 11 - Guest list and table plan
Put together your guest list and contact anybody who hasn’t RSVP’d yet and find out where they stand. Make out your table plan based on the guest list, this could take a couple of days (depending on numbers) so clear your schedule as much as possible. Give your table plan and final numbers to your venue so they can set up for the day.
Week 12 - Take a breath
Ok, this might be a bit unrealistic for some brides, but you shouldn’t be stressed the week coming up to your wedding. Enjoy your final week of unwedded bliss and have a killer hen night to celebrate with your gals. Also, spend some time with your fiancé so you can relax together after an insane few weeks of planning and soak up the excitement of this week.