You are engaged and will therefore get married in the future. How do you plan your day? How far in advance do you have to record certain things? Many things need to be carefully planned so that you have no stress on the day itself and can fully enjoy yourself. Don’t want a wedding planner? Then this is the to-do list. Before you commit anything, it is advisable to spend a few weeks getting used to the idea that you will get married. Make sure that you and your partner can spend some time alone together every now and then. Enjoying each other is a common thread in what follows the engagement.
Here’s a chronological overview of what and how to plan.
date first . But that is only possible if you know where the party or reception will take place. Brainstorm with your partner about what you actually expect from your wedding day. What atmosphere do you want to achieve? Or does a theme suit you better? It is important to involve your parents and parents-in-law if they will provide (part of) financial support.
This phase also includes a rough estimate of the guest list . How many family, friends, colleagues do you want to invite, but also your parents and parents-in-law have a wish list. Try to divide the guest list into different categories that fit your theme or choice. An example: dinner, evening party, reception, dessert buffet. If necessary, work with color codes to divide the guests into family, friends and colleagues.
Create a folder with intermediate pages so that everything is nicely bundled. Visit a wedding fair to get ideas. Let people know you are getting married. Make a ‘ Save-the-date ‘ card that you can send by email or post to the people you want to attend, so that everyone can put this in their diary early.
Place of party and date
Once you know approximately what style you want to go with, you can start looking for a party room . You should definitely start doing this a year in advance. Halls are often fully booked a year in advance. Search around the internet, but keep your ear to the ground everywhere you go, so people can recommend places. Make many appointments for different visits and do this with your partner until you have a real wow feeling when you enter .
Try to have a date in mind when looking for a venue. The date is important depending on the theme and other matters. Do you want to get married in the summer, or rather in the winter? Would you like to get married abroad, or on the beach, at a lake, in a forest, in the snow? One depends on the other. Once you have found a location, the date you had in mind should still be available. Ask the venue if they provide music . If not, you better start looking for a DJ or disco bar of your choice early enough.
After the location has been determined, you can start with an initial layout of the day. Think about whether you would like a reception at the same location of your evening party or elsewhere. For example, in a park or a special building where only receptions are allowed to take place. When drawing up the daily schedule, take travel and rest breaks into account. You need time in between to go to the toilet or just take a breather. Plan the evening if you have several guests. If guests only arrive after dessert, you can try to plan back from there. When do you want to eat, when is the reception? Take into account people who come from far away. For them, such a day is better a series of events. Always keep the daily schedule and the guest list nearby. This way you can tinker with it until it is perfect and something everyone can agree with.
Church, town hall and/or ceremony
Do you want to get married in church ? Then ask the parish what the options are. This can be important for your daily schedule. Inquire about possible times and possible churches in the area. There is a big difference between morning and afternoon for your planning. Will it be a ceremony? Find a place, a person to lead the ceremony, possibly chairs and other objects. Call the town hall at least nine months in advance to see if they can marry you there. If you want to get married on Saturday, in most municipalities this is only possible in the morning. Six months before your wedding day, you both have to go to the population counter to request your marriage certificate.
The wedding dress is the masterpiece of the day and is very important. This must be ordered about nine months in advance, so start searching on the internet, browsing through magazines and visiting stores. Do this quietly and bring someone with you for a second vision. It’s good that you already know approximately what you want when you enter a bridal shop. With thin straps, halter, strapless, wide skirt, narrow fitting, train, veil, white or cream or a brighter color, lace or not. There are so many options that you can’t just walk into a store. So be sure to make an appointment . The same things apply to the groom’s suit. Your suite will also need clothing. Discuss this with your parents/parents-in-law whether the men rent a suit and all look the same. You also have to think about the bride’s children : a traditional white dress or something modern?
Try to keep your guest list up to date. There are various events that precede your wedding, so you put more and more people on your guest list. Ultimately, the guest list must remain permanently untouched.
thinking about the invitations at least six months in advance . Make sure you and your partner reach a consensus regarding style and format. There are a thousand and one possibilities, so search on the internet or at greeting cards. Don’t forget your theme. Invitations must be sent at least six weeks in advance. Because the printing process takes at least a week, it is advisable to contact the printer at least two months in advance with the design of the invitations. Make sure you know how to submit the document. If you do it online, take into account a printing and delivery time of fourteen days. Ask the banquet hall or catering staff when you need to provide the number of place settings. People will always notify you after the date, but in order to have a reasonably accurate number, it is advisable to set the RSVP deadline (the date on which you expect an answer) to be three weeks before your wedding day.
Photographer, transport and others
photographer well in advance . Depending on what you want to achieve with them later, there are different ways to obtain your photos. Every photographer has their style, preference and price range. Consult and talk to different photographers. Would you rather be able to fully enjoy everything? Then find a videographer who can film the whole thing.
You can also provide a separate sheet with your guest list for the people you want in the suite . That sounds very chic, but nowadays that is the name for all the people who follow along all day long from the morning on. If you wish, the suite can also take care of entering the church. This can be very traditional, but it can also be interpreted very modern and hip.
It is often appreciated by the suite that they do not have to drive that day. Provide transportation so that your suite can easily get to the different locations. A van or vintage cars for example?
If you want your day to run smoothly, perhaps consider hiring a master of ceremonies . This man ensures that you don’t have to worry about the timetable on the day itself. You can also take a less strict approach to this and ask around among your friends. Two friends who want to be your masters of ceremonies could be humorous and less stiff. If you want to work with gifts, create a wedding list . This can be done in any form, such as in a store, but this can also be done via a website. You can adjust these until you have sent or ordered your invitations or delivered them to the printer.
The last two/three months before your wedding
- Once your invitations have been sent, you will have to wait for a response. Here too, make sure that your guest list is not far away, so that you can indicate who is coming and who is not. Keep track of this. You can only make a table arrangement after the RSVP date. Previously that makes little sense. Now you can start thinking about the booklet for the church, how your wedding celebration or ceremony will proceed. Ask the dean or deacon for some sample books so you can get started.
- If you get married in church, it is customary to give a small gift in return to children who drop off a gift after the service. This can be anything and so you can be quite creative in this.
- Think about a gift for your parents and witnesses to give during the evening as a thank you. Check with the photographer if there is anything he can do on the day itself, such as a large frame with one of the photos already taken.
- Once your daily schedule has been finalized, let everyone know: the suite, so they can make their appointments, the photographer, the transport and the master of ceremonies if you choose.
- You have already decided on the menu , now it is time to see how you can explain this to the guests. A menu on the table in the same style as the invitations or in the theme is always more pleasant and special for your guests. If you have not yet finally chosen your menu, now is the time to do so. It is important that this item is also done in consultation with the financial support.
- A hairstyle and make-up complete your wedding dress. Look for someone who has already done this a lot. Do you choose a quiet morning that day? Then find a hairdresser or hairstylist who can come to your home. The same goes for the make-up. It is strongly recommended to organize a trial haircut and trial make-up, so that everything goes more smoothly on the day itself and you are not pressed for time.
- Find the right jewelry . Call the bridal shop for the first fitting. Don’t forget the shoes and lingerie!
- It is important to schedule rest periods . Working every night for your wedding no longer gives you peace of mind. Put in a little work here and there. Ask friends and parents if they would like to help, read or clean up on the day itself. Many will be happy to do this and then your work will be a lot easier. You can possibly book a massage or manicure/pedicure.
- To avoid any misunderstandings, it is important to call the church and town hall again for confirmation . Arrange your days off at work. Announce in time that you are getting married, after all, you are entitled to a few days.
- During this period it is also recommended to look for decoration , if the venue does not provide it. Visit the flower shop, they often have books full of ideas. A reception album or guestbook can be a beautiful memory. There are many traditional books in stationery stores, but perhaps you want something different, something unique?
- Then there are some things that you may not have thought about yet, but that you should think about for a moment. Do you want to honeymoon immediately after the wedding ? Prepare your suitcase so you don’t have to think about it the next day. Make sure that all paperwork is ready and in order. Do you have very distant guests? Then offer them a hotel room nearby and possibly a taxi. How about a salsa opening dance ? Discuss with your partner how you see it and book a dance lesson. Do you want a special ring or do you find something you like at the jeweler in the village? Find a jeweler in time, sometimes the ordering time is several weeks or even months.
- Make a start on the table layout when you know the number of guests and have it viewed by your partner, parents and in-laws, so that no conflicts arise.
The last two weeks before your wedding
Normally you shouldn’t have to do much in the last two weeks before your wedding day. Everything that is very important should be taken care of. This week, however, it is time for visits. You visit the florist at the beginning of the week so that they can order the flowers. You will gradually have to let the venue know how many guests are coming and when and you will also have to visit to bring the decorations and the like and/or arrange them on site. Take your table layout one last time and finalize it so that you can deliver it to the room. Pick up the wedding rings, clothes, jewelry and others. Also check the weather forecast in time and look for sufficient umbrellas if necessary. Take enough rest so that your body can start the day untired.
The day before, make sure everything is ready. Make a bag that your mother/witness or someone else can keep with your ID card and other items. Wash your hair, because if you wash it the morning itself, it will be too slippery and difficult to work with. Set more than one alarm clock so that you are sure to wake up on time. Oversleeping is not really desirable on such a day.
After that wonderful day
View the gifts, cards, etc. Write down who gave what, so that you can send a personal thank you to the guests. Enjoy your honeymoon and above all: enjoy each other!