Congratulations you’re engaged! You’re on glad nine, your fiancée has declared his love and asked you to become his wife, you excitedly talk about the future and your wedding day. You dream about the dress, partying with your friends and of course becoming husband and wife.
But, then the panic sets in. Just how do you plan a wedding, where should you begin? In our fortnightly series we will break down how to organise a wedding like a professional wedding planner. In our 8th instalment of our planning guide we continue with the final detailsIn the last two months you need to be cross checking all your supplier confirmations thus ensuring everyone involved with your wedding knows what they are doing.
- Finalise table plan & layout
- Give final numbers to the caterers
- Chase missing RSVP’s
- Organise dancing lessons for the important ‘first dance’
The easiest way to do this is on the computer enabling you to move guests around from table to table with relative ease. Otherwise put guests names on small pieces of paper and pin to a foam board (available from art shops) round each table, you can see what tables are near to each other and whether children have easy access to toilets or gardens.
Go for your final fitting and hopefully take your dress home. Speak with the designer regarding any special instructions on getting into the dress on your wedding day and how to store it after the wedding.
Keep track of these on a daily basis and never put off adding the confirmations to your master list. You don’t want a situation with guests turning up on the day who you have not allocated a seat; yes it does and has happened! Detail whether they are coming, dietary requirements and whether they have bought a present from your gift list.
Everything is organised but it is a matter of confirming details and ensuring everyone knows what to do on the wedding day.
- Attend wedding rehearsal
- Buy gifts for the wedding party
- Pack holiday clothes
- Produce a wedding schedule for key members & venue
- Remind key people about the wedding speeches
- Reproduce all supplier contracts for the venue
- Run through duties with ushers & best man
- Start to wear in your wedding shoes at home
Most religious ceremonies will include a rehearsal as standard whereas civil ceremonies do not. If you want to run through the plan for the day then ask your venue if you can use the ceremony room for 1 hour for you and the wedding party. But your venue will have final say on a civil rehearsal without any registrar in attendance. Think about who will walk down the aisle first and in which order, I always think bridesmaids going down first creates a more dramatic entrance for the bride.
Insider Tip – take deep breaths before walking down and remember to walk slowly, sounds obvious but when nervous people tend to walk fast.
Send confirmation letters to all suppliers reconfirming what you expect from them on the day. Give a copy to your wedding co-ordinator if you have one so they are fully aware of your plans. Include directions and a schedule for the day along with emergency numbers, i.e. your co-ordinator or maid of honour.Top Tip – check whether any suppliers need feeding on the day.
Have the order of service printed and write out the place cards. Put all table stationery in a separate envelope per table, this makes it easier for your co-ordinator or venue to lay out for you on the wedding day.
Insider Tip – have a few extra place cards in case some get damaged or you have guests drop out and subsequently fill their seats.
Check that the speeches have been written and practiced; also give key speakers an estimated time in which to complete it in order for the timetable to be kept. Who will announce them if you do not have a toastmaster or co-ordinator then perhaps a family member will provide this honour?
Your venue or caterers will need final numbers about 8 weeks before the wedding. Don’t forget to let them know about children, allergies and dietary requirements.
In our next and final instalment we cover the actual wedding day. If you think you would like help planning your wedding dont forget to visit our main site