SHE SAID “YES”? NICE WORK, SIR – BUT NOW THE REAL FUN STARTS. THE NEXT 18 MONTHS ARE GOING TO FLY PAST, SO TO HELP YOU ON YOUR WAY, HERE’S OUR ULTIMATE WEDDING PLANNING GUIDE.
18 MONTHS TO GO SWEAR IN YOUR BEST MAN
You’ve already locked in a bride, and this one’s the next-most-important role. The minute you’re engaged, all your mates/brothers/cousins will start wondering who gets the big gig. Just be sure to choose the one who really is the ‘best man’ for the job – and congratulate him right away. Runners-up can be groomsmen.
FIGURE OUT A BUDGET
Boring, yes, but if you’re hoping to spend $15,000 and your future wife is thinking closer to $150,000, there may be trouble ahead. Make sure you’re on the same page – of the spreadsheet, that is.
CHOOSE YOUR VENUES
The location of your ceremony and the subsequent celebration will play a big factor in deciding your wedding date. Popular places get booked up early, so you’ll need to visit a few before finding the one that’s right – and available.
12 MONTHS TO GO COMMISSION STATIONERY
That’s save-the-date cards, invitations, RSVP cards, and so on. Send save-the-dates pronto, so guests fix your big day in their calendars. It’s also a good time to set up a simple wedding website, so you aren’t inundated with daily calls from Auntie Kell and Uncle Doug, requesting hotel phone numbers and travel directions.
BOOK THE CELEBRANT
...and the band, DJ, caterer and florist. Ask friends for recommendations and, although scrutinising prospective suppliers’ websites is a must, nothing beats actually meeting them all in person. Make sure these are people you actually want at your wedding.
BOOK THE PHOTOGRAPHER
Welcome to the Instagram Age, where if it’s not documented in pictures, it simply didn’t happen – but choose someone whose style reflects your own personality.
SIX MONTHS TO GO SEND INVITATIONS
Now’s the time to get the official invites in the post, and start looking out for RSVPS.
CHOOSE YOUR WEDDING BANDS
Although simple was once best, brands like Tiffany & Co. are releasing more interesting, elaborate styles for your big day. Head online or book an in-store appointment to see what’s on offer.
BUY YOUR SUIT
A tenner says it’s not just your fair lady who ends up ‘shredding for the wedding’, so avoid buying your suit any earlier than this, or you could run into trouble. Get your shoes now, too, and gently start wearing them in.
PLAN YOUR HONEYMOON
You know how to book a holiday, right? Good.
ONE MONTH TO GO GET YOUR SUIT ALTERED
Your physique won’t change much in the final month, so it’s time to fine-tune that suit to perfection. Don’t forget to take your shoes along so the pants can be hemmed to the right length.
PLAN YOUR WEDDING SPEECH
Don’t put this off. Essentially, you’re responsible for thanking pretty well everyone: her parents, your parents, bridesmaids, ushers, guests... But if you don’t remember any of that, you’ll be forgiven. The one thing you mustn’t forget is to tell your new wife how lucky you are to have found her. Really. Do not forget.
ONE WEEK TO GO PUT TOGETHER YOUR WEDDING DAY TIME LINE
...and then hand it over to the best man. He’ll need details of every venue and person involved in the wedding, so he can run things on the day.