We've put together a handy timeline checklist, tailored for UK weddings, so you can stay organised as you prepare for your special day.
You should start making a provisional booking with the venue and Registration Service to secure your preferred date. Research where you would like to hold your reception and start to make enquiries.
Some of the best wedding bands and musicians will start taking bookings about 18 months in advance (some bands are even booked up more than 2 years in advance), so to avoid disappointment, it’s best to start making enquiries as early as possible.
At this point, it’s a good idea to make a final decision on your wedding budget, and how you are going to subdivide this into broad categories, e.g. catering, entertainment and flowers.
Get in touch with the Registration Service to schedule a time to give Notice.
Make bookings with your photographer or videographer, your catering suppliers and venue decoration company (e.g. for table and room decoration). This would also be a good time to book your honeymoon.
At this time, you should also make final decisions on your guest list, including bridesmaids, page boys, ushers and best man. Start to think about your dress and your bridesmaids’ dresses and about hiring formalwear for the men.
A good time to make your order for the flowers. Have a think about your gift list — an online gift list with John Lewis is an easy and fun way to do this. 6 months before the wedding is also an ideal time to book transport for your special day.
Place your order for stationery, and purchase the rings. At this point, you should also decide on the menu for your wedding breakfast and order the wedding cake.
It’s a good idea to check your passport is up-to-date and go through any final arrangements for your honeymoon, like booking hotels or itineraries. This is also the traditional time to send out wedding invitations, along with information about accommodation in the area. Think about presents for your attendants.
Return the ceremony plan to the Registration Service and settle the fees for the ceremony with the venue.
Contact guests who have not responded. Also think about purchasing currency for your honeymoon, if required. You should give provide the caterers with your final guest list. With 8 weeks to go, this is the time to organise the stag and hen nights, and to book your hair appointment.
This is a good time to make contact again with your wedding band or musicians, to discuss details like parking on the day, changing facilities, any song requests you might have, and to discuss their food arrangements (most bands will request some food and drink on the day).
At this point, it’s essential to check final fittings for the bridal gown and the bridesmaids’ dresses and make sure that hired clothes are collected. Start to pack for your honeymoon as the wedding day will come sooner than you think!
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— Adam is a co-founder of FixTheMusic and works on everything from copywriting and marketing to design and user experience. He studied Music at Cambridge University. Adam is a keen pianist and also learned cello and trumpet from an early age.