Whether you’re the bride, the groom, the maid of honour or the mother of the bride, knowing what to do and when to do it is vital. It’s a bridal minefield out there, but we’ve got you covered with our essential wedding to-do list. Go, go, go!
1. Tell friends and family: Prepare for an onslaught of questions about venues, flowers and the invite list that you may not have even thought about yet. And don’t be surprised if your mum starts planning her outfit straight away!
2. Choose your bridesmaids: Sisters, cousins, best friends from uni – who will you ask? Fear not if they’re all ages and have their own styles, the trend for mismatched dresses is going strong. Phew.
3. Pick a date: Will you be a sleeveless, sunshine bride in sandals, or a winter beauty wrapped in a cosy faux-fur cover-up? Decisions, decisions…
4. Book the venue: Whether you choose an al fresco venue or a stately home, you’ll need to start bringing your bridal theme together (no need to go crazy but paying attention to small details makes a difference). Ensure your table settings are in line with your venue. Formal linen in a yurt? Maybe not.
5. Send save the dates: Your stationery suite sets the tone for your day; choose a design that is in keeping with your theme, be it traditional, laid-back or modern.
6. Plan your honeymoon: Your dream holiday is only a wedding away, particularly if you’re doing a honeymoon fund rather than a gift list. Time, then, to start thinking about treating yourself to a new wardrobe.
7. Buy your dress: Gather your bridesmaids and hit the shops. Keep an open mind; what you think you want might not be the dress you end up buying. Once you’ve found the gown, give some major consideration to your underwear. Whether you’re thinking sexy and silky or sensible and structured, now is the time to buy it.
8. Give your skin some love: The long lead-up to a wedding means you have time to see the benefits of a revamped skin-care regime. Experiment with some new make-up, but don’t move too far away from your everyday look – your wedding day is not the time to try out crazy new trends.
9. Start thinking about the flowers: Knowing which blooms are in season is important. Summer brides can look to pretty dahlias and sweet peas, while winter brides might favour hydrangeas, peonies and roses.
10. Send the invites: The sooner people RSVP, the sooner you can nail down those numbers so you know how many people to cater for (and how complicated the table plan will be).
11. Order the cake: There are so many options available now, from cupcakes to cake bars, as well as classic tiered cakes beautifully decorated with hand-piped icing and uber-trendy cheese celebration cakes. Good luck deciding…
12. And when your wedding day is finally here: Ease your nerves by lighting a relaxing candle and asking your maid of honour to pour you a (big) glass of bubbles. And remember: enjoy yourself!