There's so much to do and so little time to do it in!

Don’t panic – all you need is our handy guide of what to do when to ensure your preparations run smoothly.

Brides Dorset: Concept Photography

Image: Concept Photographic

12 months to go:

• Set the date and book the ceremony and reception venues. Register office weddings can also be booked well in advance.

• Book your caterers/band/disco as well as other key suppliers such as florist, photographers, transport and stationer.

• Compile your guest list and choose your best man, ushers, bridesmaids and page boys.

• Start thinking about what you’re going to wear and plan well ahead if your dress, shoes, bridesmaid dresses etc are being made. You can also choose and reserve suits now.

• Decide upon and book your honeymoon to avoid disappointment.

• Consider taking out an insurance policy against possible disasters such as your dress being damaged or the photos not turning out.

6 months to go:

• Send out “save the date” cards and accommodation details for those guests who are travelling to the wedding.

• Start thinking about your wedding breakfast and arrange for a tasting at the venue.

• Choose the cake, readings and music.

• Buy your wedding rings.

• Register for a gift list.

3 months to go:

• Finalise your honeymoon plans and arrange a hotel for your wedding night if needed.

• Shop for your going away outfit (if you need one), lingerie, jewellery etc.

• Confirm the menu.

• Send out invitations 12 to 8 weeks before the big day.

• Confirm the order of service with your officiant.

6 weeks to go:

• Buy presents for the attendants, best man, bridesmaids etc.

• Chase up outstanding RSVPs and work out the final seating plan.

• As gifts arrive, send out thank you letters.

• Check that all the wedding clothes are near completion.

• Visit your hairdresser for a trail and book your final appointment.

• Check all the transport is organised.

• Sort out stag and hen nights.

1 week to go:

• Confirm final guest numbers with venue and caterer.

• Collect orders of service, menu and place cards.

• Prepare wedding day schedule and distribute as required.

• Confirm shot list with photographer.

• Have final checks on your clothing and wear your shoes in at home.

• Final checks on honeymoon arrangements.

• Rehearsals.


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