Organize everything in advance and everything should go smoothly and seek help from family, close friends and professionals.
One year before your wedding
First things first, set the special date and arrange a time with the priest, minister or registrar.
Discuss in full detail your plans with the person who will be performing the ceremony.
Decide on a budget and stick to it.
Remember to suit the ceremony to your budget, and to both your personal tastes and wishes.
Talk it all out now!
Decide on the type of ceremony, type of reception and how many guests will attend.
Choose your venue and arrange a meeting with the people in charge.
This goes for hotels, caterers, musicians , dis (for the ceremony, the reception) etc.
Plan your wedding cake, cars, photographer and florist.
Think about wedding clothes and costumes, particularly your bridal dress, colours, fabrics and accessories.
Remember you will probably want a colour scheme and a style that carries throughout the day so talk your plans through with the your dressmaker, florist and caterer.
Both of you should book in for a pre-marriage course. Start thinking about your honeymoon.
Six months before the wedding
Order wedding stationery, cake boxes, and favours.
Discuss the order of the service with the person performing the ceremony and decide on service sheets for guests.
Discuss your wedding menu with your caterers/hotelier.
Decide on a wedding present list.
Choose the rings.
A doctor and dentist check up is a good idea.
Plan inoculations for your honeymoon if necessary.
Organise visas, passports etc.
Think about your going away attire and clothes for your honeymoon
Three months before the wedding
Make sure you have all the appropriate pre-marriage documents and certificates.
Finalize details of your colour scheme, bouquets, buttonholes with the florist.
Finalize the wedding guest list and have the invitations sent.
Remember to keep a careful track of replies.
Choose gifts for the best man, bridesmaids and attendants.
Arrange accommodation for attendants and advise travelling guests of the rates for your hotel.
A month before the wedding
Organize the final fittings for suits , dresses and for the bridesmaids and groomsmen.
On the day of your final fittings make sure the wedding party are wearing the same shoes that they intend to wear on the big day.( Trust me on this one)
Have a hair and make-up rehearsal.
On the day of the hair and make-up rehearsal remember to bring the head-dress with you for the experts opinion.
Finalize seating arrangements for the church and wedding reception.
Plan the wedding rehearsal with the priest, minister or registrar.
Eat properly for the next few weeks, you will need all your energy with all the running around you will be doing.
Two weeks to go
Arrange your honeymoon and going away clothes, including passports, tickets and visas.
Now is the time to arrange traveller’s cheques, insurance, transportation and all other documentation.
Give advice to the hotelier of the approximate number of quests for the reception.
Plan the table setting, place cards and linen etc.
Finalize details with the florist, photographer and caterers.
Try all your wedding clothes on and make sure all fits correctly and all is comfortable.
A week to go
Have the wedding rehearsal.
Nominate someone to look after the wedding dress and the groom’s outfit after the wedding.
Wrap all the gifts for the bridesmaids, best man and attendants.
Arrange all fees for the church or registrar, musicians (traditionally the best man should do these).
Do one last check on all documentation required including passports for the honeymoon.
Give all documentation to the best man for safe keeping.
Two days before the wedding
Confirm your final guest list to your hotelier.
Make sure the wedding cake is fine and arrange all transport to and from your reception.
The day before
Have a manicure and pedicure, a long hot bath and an early night
The Big Day
Have a good breakfast.
Get your hair and make up done.
Give yourself plenty of time to reach the church or registrar and always allow for the last minute hiccup.
Have a fantastic day to remember
We would love to hear your thoughts.
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Neal McFarlane is a full-time Toronto Wedding DJ ,VJ and MC who enjoys sharing his decades of knowledge to elevate every single event he can.