For many of us, our wedding day is the most important day of our lives. It is a chance to celebrate your love and devotion with your beloved, and share this amazing experience with your closest friends and family. With the heady excitement, however, can come some stress and anxiety; weddings are major occasions, and it is easy to feel overwhelmed!
Every bride and groom-to-be dreams of their perfect day which runs smoothly and seamlessly, allowing you to focus on having fun. Planning a wedding can be described as two parts excitement and one part stress, so it is important to have a solid plan in place.
To help you out, we have put together the ultimate wedding checklist to make sure you don’t miss out any essentials, along with suggestions for timings.
This helps you spread the planning over a wider period, making it a more manageable task, and allowing you to enjoy and savor picking each and every detail!
12 Months to Go: the Who, Where and How
The first task is to determine how you will get married; are you planning a fancy destination wedding in a luxurious holiday resort, or taking your nearest and dearest to elope on a far-flung beach?
Deciding the type of wedding you will have determines the rest of the planning, so get this sorted first.
Picking a venue is a task which needs to be thought about well in advance; many popular venues have a waiting list of a year or more, and you don’t want to have your heart set on a perfect site only to be disappointed.
There are two main choices here; if you have a specific date in mind, you will be restricted as to the venues available, while having a specific venue will restrict the dates you can wed. Work together to decide which is most important; this is your starting point.
Deciding on a venue will also trigger the planning of the guest list. It is important to sit down together and make a list of non-negotiables, such as treasured family members, beloved friends, and perhaps family children.
This list will also include key members of the wedding party, such as your best man, bridesmaids, and ushers. Once you have picked a venue, you may find that you need to be selective with your invites, but you will have a solid group of essentials whom you can guarantee will share your big day.
Remember: this is your wedding, so pick the people you want to celebrate with, and don’t feel pressured to invite parents friends or relatives you are not close to over a treasured friend you are desperate to see.
9 Months to Go: Save the Date and Say Yes to the Dress!
About 9 months in advance, you will need to send your Save the Date cards to guests – this should be done as early as possible especially if you are asking them to travel abroad or a long distance.
It also gives you time to rejig the guest list as needed if members can’t make it. At this point, you should also be seriously considering your dress, and aiming to make that final choice. This is also the time to start booking key figures, such as DJ’s, photographers, videographers, caterers, hair and makeup, transport and so on.
6 Months to Go: Let Them Eat Cake!
With 6 months to go, it is time to tackle that oh-so-terrible task: trying wedding cake! Now is also a good time to chat with your florist, and liaise with the hotel to decide on a decorative and color scheme for the big day, as well as deciding on the final menu.
You can order your invites ready for distribution, and head out with the bridesmaids and groomsmen to make sure they are suited and booted. You can also scout out accommodation for your guests to include in the invite – if you are booking with a hotel, you may grab a great discount!
3 Months to Go: The Final Checks
With just 12 weeks until the big day, now is the time for final fittings for dresses and suits, and to make sure that your rings are a perfect size, as well as making any inscriptions or alterations.
It is a good idea to check in with the venue to finalize the little details, and make sure your wedding party is cued up on their responsibilities – including taking charge of an unforgettable bachelor and bachelorette party!
1 Week to Go: Steady Those Nerves!
Before you know it, you will be 7 days away from saying ‘I Do,’ and the nerves may have well and truly kicked in! Take this week to make sure your beauty treatments are complete, such as spray tans and nails, and try out a test run with your hairstylist.
Start some serious packing for the honeymoon, and make sure you are wearing your wedding shoes around the house to avoid blisters on the big day.
Hopefully, this checklist will ensure that everything is running like clockwork, giving you plenty of time to kick back, enjoy the excitement, and look forward to spending the rest of your life with your favorite human – after all, that’s what all this is for!
Questions about planning a wedding? Ask Katie at the Lake Manor in Morgantown… She knows!
Katie Robinette Maranto
The Lake Manor, Morgantown
475 Fairchance Rd
Morgantown, WV 26508