Cotswold Life

First things first

12+ months to go

- Wedding Ideas · Lifestyle · Bridal Style · Insurance · Social Security · Society · United Kingdom

Set a date: think about school and bank hol­i­days Choose a wed­ding style: DIY, glam, boho, vin­tage, fairy­tale...

Draft your guest list. Bear in mind plus-ones and de­cide whether to in­vite guests’ chil­dren

Send out save-the-date cards with es­sen­tial in­for­ma­tion in­clud­ing date, lo­ca­tion, time and RSVP in­for­ma­tion. Use Bride’s In­vite Tracker and Guest Man­ager to keep on top of replies: bridemagaz­ine.co.uk/tools/wed­ding-in­vite­m­an­ager

Or­gan­ise wed­ding in­sur­ance; you never know what can go wrong at the last minute. A wed­ding in­sur­ance pol­icy will help pro­tect you from un­ex­pected losses

Set up your to-do list on bridemagaz­ine.co.uk: bridemagaz­ine.co.uk/tools/wed­ding-to-do-list

Book your reg­is­trar or cleric and choose wit­nesses

If it’s a church wed­ding a pub­lic an­nounce­ment – the banns – must be read out on three Sun­days dur­ing the three months be­fore the wed­ding. Check if you are el­i­gi­ble to marry in the lo­cal parish – the cleric will be able to ad­vise you on this and what you may need to do If you are hav­ing a civil cer­e­mony, give 28 days’ no­tice of your in­ten­tion to marry in the reg­is­tra­tion dis­trict where you live (the equiv­a­lent of the church read­ing of the banns)

If you’re mar­ry­ing abroad, or live abroad, and are plan­ning to marry in the UK, check nec­es­sary doc­u­men­ta­tion at gov.uk/mar­riages-civil-part­ner­ships

Con­firm cer­e­mony de­tails such as read­ings and mu­sic at least three months be­fore the wed­ding

Speak to par­ents and in-laws to see if they are able to help with costs

Do pre­lim­i­nary re­search into av­er­age sup­plier costs Be re­al­is­tic and pri­ori­tise your bud­get al­lo­ca­tion based on which as­pects of the day are most im­por­tant to you Keep a re­serve fund for un­ex­pected changes or charges

“Spend as much time to­gether on the day as pos­si­ble. We did and have such spe­cial mem­o­ries of cel­e­brat­ing to­gether.”

Jenna Bloom, mar­ried at Col­shaw Hall, Over Peover

Con­sider your party size. Is ac­com­mo­da­tion needed? Ask about pack­ages and rec­om­mended sup­pli­ers Is there a wed­ding co-or­di­na­tor? Ar­range a meet­ing Con­sider trans­port lo­gis­tics for guests

For mar­quees/out­door venues, ask about toi­lets

De­cide how big a bridal party you want and choose brides­maids and grooms­men from friends and fam­ily, mak­ing sure they are free for the wed­ding date De­cide if you will pay for their out­fits. Choose out­fits in ad­vance and ar­range fit­tings in the month be­fore the wed­ding

De­cide if the brides­maids or grooms­men will make speeches

Start plan­ning hen and stag par­ties. Ar­range th­ese a few weeks ahead of the wed­ding it­self, in case of any last­minute in­ci­dents such as flight de­lays, or in­juries Or­gan­ise thank you gifts for the bridal party

Re­search styles and costs on­line and look up lo­cal stock­ists

Be aware most bou­tiques will ask you to book an ap­point­ment, par­tic­u­larly on the week­end

Go shop­ping with peo­ple whose opin­ions you trust Take heels, nude un­der­wear and a strap­less bra to the fit­ting

Ask what hap­pens if last-minute al­ter­ations are needed Find out about post-wed­ding care in­struc­tions for the gown

Re­search dif­fer­ent styles, such as doc­u­men­tary or re­portage

De­cide if you want a video of the day and re­search lo­cal videog­ra­phers

Ask to see port­fo­lios and check what’s in­cluded in the price

Dis­cuss op­por­tu­ni­ties: smoke bombs, group shots, lo­ca­tions, etc

Ar­range how you will re­ceive your images: al­bums, dig­i­tal, etc

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