Countdown to your wedding
PUBLISHED: 11:15 13 July 2009 | UPDATED: 15:02 20 February 2013
6-12 months ahead
6-12 months ahead
*Give notice of marriage.
*Announce your engagement in the local newspaper.
*Choose a date for the wedding. Bear in mind that if it is on or near a public holiday most reception venues will be booked well in advance, and will charge extra.
*Decide on a budget, and who is going to pay.
*Book the church or register office or other location for the wedding.
*Reserve the venue for the reception.
*Draw up the guest list.
*Choose the bridesmaids and best man.
*Choose a caterer. If it's someone you don't know arrange to meet the caterer as well as tasting their food. Ask for references.
*Book the photographer.
*If you plan to have a video of the wedding, arrange this now.
*Choose a florist.
*Order the wedding dress, shoes and other accessories.
*Book the musicians for both the wedding, if necessary, and the reception.
4-6 months ahead
*Buy the wedding rings.
*Order bridesmaids' dresses and clothes for the groom, best man and the other members of the wedding party.
*If you are renting a marquee, or tables and chairs, etc, reserve them now.
*Order the wedding cake.
*Order wedding stationery: invitations, thank you cards, and place cards.
*Make honeymoon reservations. Check that your passports are valid.
*Book cars for the day of the wedding.
*Reserve accommodation for visiting guests.
2-4 months ahead
*Finalise the guest list. Bear in mind that about 20 per cent of guests are usually not able to come.
*Meet the caterer or hotel manager to finalise the menu and table decorations.
*Meet the clergyman or registrar who is going to marry you to plan the ceremony. If you are asking guests to do readings, send out copies now.
*Final wedding dress fitting. Make sure to try on with the shoes and lingerie that you will wear on the day.
*If you wish to have a rehearsal dinner, arrange this now.
*Buy presents for the bridesmaids and best man.
1-2 months ahead
*Buy a guest book, if you wish, for guests to sign at the reception.
*Order the printed programme for the ceremony.
*The bride should change her name, if appropriate, on driving license, passport, credit cards and bank account, etc.
*Send wedding announcement to local newspaper.
*Post the wedding invitations.
*Tell the Post Office of your change of address, if appropriate.
*Make hair and make up appointments and meet now to discuss what you will require.
2 weeks before
*Collect wedding dress. Make sure it is carefully protected.
*Finalise the guest list and tell the caterer or hotel manager.
*Finalise the seating arrangement.
*Address wedding announcements to be sent to those friends who are unable to come.
*Send out thank you notes for presents received in advance of the wedding.
*Check arrangements with florist, photographer, videographer, caterer, musicians.
*Distribute a schedule for the day to the wedding party so that everyone knows what they need to do and when.