Countdown to your wedding

PUBLISHED: 11:15 13 July 2009 | UPDATED: 15:02 20 February 2013

Countdown to your wedding

Countdown to your wedding

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.

*Write speeches.

*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.

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