Countdown to the big day!
Planning a wedding needs all the skill of a military operation. With dozens of crucial appointments and people to remember, it can seem like a daunting task. This checklist will ensure you dont forget anything.
12 months to go
Propose to your wife
Do it in style, down on bended knee. Shes sure to shed a tear or two. Its quite normal nowadays to propose with a dress ring. You can then choose the real engagement ring together a few days later.
Tell the parents
Long gone are the days when you had to request a girls hand in marriage from her father. But you need to tell each set of parents in person of your decision.
Book the engagement party
This is your chance to officially announce the wedding to all your friends and family.
Buy the engagement ring
If youre both choosing this together, expect to spend a lot of time (and ultimately money) in jewellery shops. You don’t want to rush this very important purchase.
11 months to go
Appoint your best man
Its not quite as nerve-wracking as going on bended knee and asking for your girlfriends hand in marriage, but appointing your best man takes guts all the same. What if he rejects you? At least you dont have to buy him an engagement ring.
Introduce the parents
If the in-laws havent met yet, now is the time to introduce them. Lets hope this works better than it did for Ben Stiller in Meet The Parents.
Book time off work
Not only is there the honeymoon to think about, but the busy days leading up to the wedding as well. Its a good idea to book at least four days off before the big day.
Book the venue for the ceremony and the reception
Want to get married on a Saturday in June? Even 11 months notice may not be enough for this.
Book the caterers
The same goes for wedding caterers.
10 months to go
Make a guest list, send out invitations
Write down the names of everyone you know. Then cut it in half. What with random relatives and old school friends you havent seen in ages, youre going to have to be ruthless.
Choose the wedding list
Make it easier on yourselves and enlist the help of a department store or a specialist wedding list service.
9 months to go
Hold the engagement party
Everyone will be starting to get a little excited by now.
6 months to go
Meet the minister or organise the registrars certificate
Book the honeymoon
Whether its Barbados or Bournemouth, the honeymoon suites always get booked up early.
Check passports, visas, jabs
Malaria and honeymoons do not mix.
5 months to go
Appoint your ushers
Organise the stag party with your best man
You may not get much control over what happens on the actual night, but you should choose the destination.
Book the wedding transport
Bentley, Ferrari, horse and carriage?
Book the band and DJ
Book the photographer
3 months to go
Start writing your speech
Fortunately youre not expected to talk for long, nor to be particularly funny. But its the groom who normally makes the first speech.
Buy or get fitted for your hire suits
Tails, top hat, cravat whatever you choose, make sure you look the business. If youre hiring, its a good idea to bring all the ushers and the best man with you.
Buy the wedding ring
In all the excitement over the engagement ring, its easy to forget that you need a wedding band, too.
2 months to go
Finalise plans for the stag party
Keep practising your speech
Perhaps get a friend to film you so that you can improve your intonation, stance and style.
Choose your first song
That first dance with your wife is one of the key and most romantic moments of the whole day. How gutted would you be if the DJ didnt have your special song on his playlist so double check?
Buy a present for your wife
Buy presents for best man and ushers
Order your marriage licence
This can be ordered up to 12 months before the wedding day. If you arent getting married in the registry office where you gave notice, you will need to collect your certificate of authority, or have it posted to you.
1 month to go
Survive the stag party
One month means theres time for the wounds to heal and the hair to grow back.
Attend church for reading of banns.
Book the florist
2 weeks to go
Brief the best man and ushers on their duties.
Finalise the seating plan
So complicated are wedding seating plans that software companies have now designed computer programmes to alleviate the strain. Even with this help, it will take hours to work out ideal places for everyone so allow time.
Finalise your speech
Now is the time to put the finishing touches to your masterpiece.
Order currency for the honeymoon
1 week to go
Attend the wedding rehearsal
Ideally youll get the best man and chief bridesmaid along, too.
Final reading of the banns.
Finalise the wedding schedule
Then email it out to everyone in the wedding party
5 days to go
Pick up the Hire suits
Most hire shops will allow you to keep the suit for at least a week.
2 days to go
Pack for the honeymoon
Check the route to the wedding venue
1 day to go
Your last supper
Some grooms now invite the entire wedding party. But its considered unlucky to see your wife the day before you marry. So why not have a last supper with just your best man and the ushers?
Charge up your mobile
And while youre at it, fill the car up with petrol. Youll be busy enough the following morning.
Fill your wallet with emergency cash
Check you have the ring