CityLife WEDDING FEATURE
Roadmap to the Perfect Wedding
The question is popped, the ring is on, the day you’ve been dreaming of is approaching… now what?
Planning a wedding can be overwhelming, however it doesn’t need to be stressful.
Follow our checklist on what to do when, and your tasks will become less stressful and more fun. Enjoy!
12 Months Out
Determine Your Budget
It’s time to work out who’s paying for what and determine your wedding’s bottom line, so you can start to allocate funds accordingly. Keep a detailed spreadsheet so you can keep track of spending.
Make a Guest List
If only you could invite everyone! Chances are you won’t be able to, so you may need to limit invitations. You will also need to take into consideration your budget, your venue and who’s paying for what.
Hire a Wedding Planner
Your wedding planner will be your right-hand person and will guide you in all decisions, from selecting a venue to tracking your budget and handling all the logistics.
Select the Venue
Choosing your venue is one of the most important decisions you will make. Location will affect everything from guest numbers to flower type. When it comes to this decision, trust your gut instinct and how you feel when you’re there.
Select the Caterer
Your wedding is the best (and largest) dinner party of your life. So how exactly do you feed 150 of your family and friends? Start with hiring people you trust to deliver — a recommended caterer, or even your favorite taco truck. And don’t be afraid to get creative with the menu.
11 Months Out
Choose a Theme
It’s time to gather inspiration from Pinterest, your favourite designers and even colour schemes you love.
Hire Vendors, Including Your Band, DJ, Photographer and Videographer
These are the people who will make your wedding fun, and those memories last forever, so make sure you do your research!
10 Months Out
Start Shopping for Your Wedding Dress
Now’s the perfect time to start shopping for your wedding dress! Make sure it’s one you’re 100% happy with that makes you feel like Cinderella! Enlist the assistance of your nearest and dearest to ensure you look your best.
Book Hotel Rooms for Guests
If interstate guests require accommodation, start checking out the best options for them and secure the best rooms possible.
Take Engagement Photos
Practise being comfortable in front of the camera with your groom-to-be to ensure you capture perfect memories!
Start Looking at Invitations
Your invitation is your guests’ first impression, so make sure it’s eye-catching. Start working with a graphic designer or stationer to create your dream design.
9 Months Out
Buy Your Wedding Dress
Say ‘yes’ to the dress to avoid late rush fees.
Let everyone know where and when you’re making it official so they can plan around your special day.
8 Months Out
Register for Gifts
When registering, while it’s smart to ask for staples, it’s also a good idea to think about what you really want, as well as your hobbies and interests.
Select the Bridesmaid Dresses and Bridal Party Accessories and Schedule Fittings
Ask your bridal party to come shopping with you to ensure the colour scheme and style is suitable. Keep accessories in mind as well.
Meet With Potential Florists
Have colours and styles in mind and find a florist who is able to deliver on your vision and your budget.
7 Months Out
Book the Rehearsal Dinner Venue
Personalise this as you wish – perhaps at your favourite restaurant or even a backyard BBQ.
Hire the Ceremony Musicians
Now’s the time to enlist the talents of a band. As for the music, personalise it as much as possible.
Hire an Officiant
You will need to hire someone to make it official – do your research or ask family members or friends for recommendations.
6 Months Out
Hire a Lighting Technician
Lighting is a very important detail that may be neglected. The bulbs and candles you select are what will ultimately light your perfect venue, make your photos just right and keep the party going – even after the sun sets.
5 Months Out
Book transportation for yourself and your beloved – whether it’s a stretch limo or another form of transport. Also consider car services, Ubers or buses for your guests.
Book the Honeymoon
Try to have your honeymoon semi-sorted by the five-month mark, including the destination, timing, budget, travel arrangements and itinerary.
Buy or Rent the Groom’s Tuxedo
It’s time to choose between a tux or a suit, and whether to rent or buy. Make sure the groom makes a good first impression on your guests and that his suit allows him to show off his dance moves!
Begin Premarital Counselling
Counselling can work wonders for couples, whether you are religious or not. Counsellors can also provide healthy conflict resolution tactics should the need arise.
4 Months Out
Have Your Final Tasting with the Caterer
Tastings have become increasingly important as couples choose to customise everything from signature cocktails to dessert. Ask your partner or wedding planner to accompany you.
Choose Your Cake
Settle on a look and flavour you and your partner both love. Don’t stress about pleasing everyone, this is your cake as a couple. Next, find a reputable baker who’s available on your date and happy to take on your dream design at the right price.
Buy Wedding Bands
Shop around, and find wedding bands that both you and your fiancé are happy with.
Select the Groomsmen Attire and Schedule Fittings
Don’t be afraid to get the groom involved as you ensure his groomsmen are perfectly fitted and matching.
Hair and Makeup Trial
Do your research before booking in for a trial – have a look at pictures on the Internet and in magazines, as well as styles that have suited you in the past. Bring photos for inspiration and be as specific as possible with the stylist to let them know what you do and don’t want.
3 Months Out
Order the Invitations
Keep a few ground rules in mind – order enough to account for any mistakes, make sure they will arrive in time, set up a system to record RSVPs and confirm all addresses and spellings. The theme of your invitations should match the vibe of the wedding.
Create or Plan Your Menu
Finalise your menu, including hors d’oeuvres, mains, sides, desserts and drinks. Stamp your approval on the budget, tastes and timing.
Book a Photo Booth Rental
Book a photo booth – this is a bit of fun for your guests and a great way to capture some informal pics.
Write Your Vows
Write vows that encapsulate who you are as a couple and personalise them as much as possible.
There are plenty of options to choose from, either religious or non-religious. Ensure it’s a style that suits you and your partner.
Meet With the Officiant and Invite Them to the Rehearsal Dinner
Once you’ve chosen an officiant, ensure they are on the same page as you with regards to expectations and the overall tone of the ceremony.
2 Months Out
Send the Wedding Invitations (With RSVPs Due One Month Before the Wedding), as well as Rehearsal Dinner Invitations
The hard part is over (the selection process). Now it’s time to send out your invitations.
First Dress Fitting
Your first fitting should be anywhere between two to three months after ordering, and your second fitting should fall around the six-week mark.
Pick Up Your Marriage Licence
When obtaining your marriage licence, it is important to know the fine print – where to go, what to bring, the cost, how long it will take etc.
Buy Wedding Party Gifts
The goal should be to gift something that’s thoughtful, functional and personalised.
Do a Floral Mock-Up With Your Florist
It’s time for final tweaks – your florist should include a mock reception table setup, centrepiece and bouquet.
Give the Song Selections to your Band or DJ
Do some research online for popular songs for your ceremony and reception, but make sure you choose songs that are special to yourself and your partner.
Buy All Small Items
These can include table numbers, toasting flutes, cake topper, cake stand, cake knife, guest book, ring bearer accessories, flower girl accessories, a hanger for your dress and a garter (if you choose to wear one!). Don’t forget signs, such as ‘Welcome’ and ‘Guest Book’.
1 Month Out
Assemble Gift Bags
Ensure this task is fun and personalised.
Pay Vendors in Full
Keep track of when and how much you need to pay each vendor, the last thing you want is being chased for money right before your wedding day!
Create a Seating Chart
This can be a challenge – you need to think about who will sit next to who, as well as your venue’s floor plan, your head table and who will be sitting at it, as well as choosing a cool design.
Order or Make Place Cards
Choose a design you love that complements the overall wedding theme.
Have a Final Venue Walk-Through
Make a list of questions beforehand, and take your planner or another close friend or family member with you in case you forget anything.
Break In Your Wedding Shoes
Do everything in your power to avoid painful blisters on your wedding night – strut down your hallway, dance in your lounge room!
Congratulations – you’re nearly there! Most of the hard work is over, now it’s down to the final details. Take care of things like:
• Refreshing your hair color
• Getting your eyebrows done
• Manicure and pedicure
• Having a massage (why not make it a couples massage?)
• Final dress fitting (take a friend or
bridesmaid with you)
• Pack your bags for the honeymoon (don’t forget your passport if you’re leaving the country), and confirm travel arrangements
• Clean your rings professionally
• Chase any outstanding RSVPs and advise the final headcount
• Practise your vows out loud
Night Before & Day of the Wedding
The big day has finally arrived, it’s time to enjoy your special day.
Here’s what to do:
The Night Before:
• Eat a healthy meal
• Pack a small bag of personal items
• Drink water
• Get a good night’s sleep
The Morning Of:
• Stay off your feet as much as possible
• Eat breakfast
• Drink even more water
• Take your dress and veil out of the bag early on and have someone steam them if needed
• Lay out all the items (rings, invitations, etc.) that you would like the photographer to capture
• It’s time to feel like a princess, with your beautiful dress, hair and makeup!
• Say thank you to everyone around you
The Big Event
You are now fully prepareda, so relax, enjoy your day and create a lifetime of memories!