Wedding prep checklist (3/6): Six months to go
Somewhere between the words “Will you marry me?” and “I do!” you’ve got to fit a whole lot of extra-curricular activity. And no, that wasn’t a euphemism.
Planning an entire wedding is a bit like temporarily becoming an event organiser, only you have no training, no contacts and you probably don’t have the budget to get Maroon 5 to spontaneously appear for your first dance. On the other hand, you’ve got a passion for the event and a handful of knowledgable writers ready and willing to hold your hand every step of the way.
In the first episode of our six-part blog we learnt that you should probably have met each other’s family by now and that dates are meant for setting, so that’s just what you should do.
Our second episode focussed on getting a lot of the big details sorted, with plenty of time to spare – the venue, the vendors and the vicar (or your certified officiant of choice).
Today we’ll mainly discuss mass panic and giving your wedding some extra umph.
Six months before the big day
“Where have the first six months gone?”
By this point the groom is likely suffering an early and most sudden onset of male pattern baldness and the bride can either be found scoffing down ice cream in front of a TV in bed or trying on her umpteenth wedding dress, still not entirely sure whether she wants appliqué or alençon detailing.
Okay, so it really isn’t that bad, but you might be having some momentary panics as you realise certain objectives and tasks have fallen by the wayside. It’s not a problem, by this point most of the hard work has been done, you just have to finalise some details and you’re on the home stretch, dealing with little problems and solutions as and when they crop up.
You’ve already contacted your florist, your caterers and a photographer, who else could you possibly need? Well, most brides will have a hairstylist and some even a make-up artist on the morning of their wedding and very few weddings come without cake. Of course, if you’re trying to keep costs down, you might have some talented friends who are willing to bake for you, but you still need to have that chat with them.
In addition to services you need, you might also want to begin thinking about your wedding rings, if you haven’t already. Many people buy pre-made rings, but many opt for bespoke rings these days and that can take a bit longer, especially if you want to get the sizes just right.
Another service you’ll need to consider is wedding day transport for the wedding party – these services usually need to be booked quite far in advance, so make sure that you have found a reliable company and we advise going to check out their vehicles before settling on a deal.
Dresses and manly stuff
You should have already fallen in love with a wedding dress. Whether that wedding dress fits you or not is another matter entirely – most wedding dresses don’t come in the size that works for you, everybody has different bodies so to have the best effect it is important to get the dress tailored to your shape, this means two or three dress fittings just to make sure everything is just right.
Of course some men go through a similar process – tailor-made suits are all the rage these days. Make sure your clothes all fit and then make sure that you don’t lose or gain any weight over the next six months (this is very, very important).
Lastly, you’re going to need to go on a shopping trip with the bridesmaids. I’m almost certain that they will not make any complaints about this.
After all the money you’ve spent on the perfect wedding, you can probably afford to spend a minute or two thinking about gifts. Gifts are tricky, especially if you have a preference for monetary hand outs, but you can make the entire thing a lot easier if you broadcast your preferences, either in an invitation (which we’ll talk about in a moment) or on that nifty wedding website that you made.
You may even want to write a list of gifts you need to get for other important members of the wedding party and talk about whether favours are still in favour.
Three months to go…
If your wedding was booked for a busy weekend or a holiday period, you should have already sent out save the date cards. If not, you’ll need to let people know that your wedding is now on the horizon and that they need to take some action.
Invites can be as simple or as luxurious as you like, much like the rest of your wedding, and how whether you decide to get them made by a vendor, a talented friend or even have a crack at them yourself, is mostly irrelevant as long as you actually get it done. Make sure to include all the important details – who you are, obviously, where the wedding is, of course, and what time they should be there, standard. You might also want to mention gift preferences, dress conduct and whether children are welcome (just be careful how you go about it). You could even briefly mention the address of a nearby hotel for out-of-town guests.
The last pieces of the puzzle
You’ve sent your invites, been in contact with your vendors, you’ve booked pretty much everything you can think of. Now you need to solidify your order of service. You’ll know your ceremony inside out before the day comes and you’ll have a detailed plan of how the day should work before you even get to it.
Try not to get too hung up on this, because life likes to throw you a curveball from time to time. Maybe the DJ you wanted is sick, maybe the reverend loses his mind and is committed to the local insane asylum. Who knows? All you can do is make your plans, discuss the service with the minister and perhaps a friend can get ordained online as a back-up (yes, you can really do that).
If you’re having a religious service, maybe you want hymns. If you’re having a civil ceremony, perhaps you want to walk down the aisle to the musical delights of Defying Gravity from the Wicked soundtrack (true story). This is where you personalise your ceremony to the nth degree. Take some time to discuss what you want together and then talk it through with the people in charge.
Don’t sit back and relax just yet though, you’ve got a busy three months ahead…
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