How to plan the perfect wedding

Make sure you’re all set for the day of your dreams with our all important checklist of priorities that will help you avoid the planning pitfalls and make it down the aisle without a hitch.

Give yourself plenty of time…
Getting married is such an exciting event, it’s tempting to want everything to happen tomorrow, but planning a wedding is as much hard work as it is fun. While it is possible to cram everything into a few months, giving yourself a year or more to get everything ready will definitely reduce stress levels. You’re also more likely to secure your perfect venue, which might be booked up for some time.

Make a clear budget…
From your dream dress to that horse and carriage you’ve always secretly fancied arriving at the church in, there are going to be lots of demands on your purse strings over the next few months. The first thing to do is work out how much you can afford (including any contributions being made by others), separate out ‘wants’ and ‘needs’, then work out what the ‘needs’ will cost and how much is therefore left over for the ‘wants’.

Create a plan…
Like the budget, this will help you keep everything under control so that it all gets done in plenty of time. Some things need to be organised early, such as booking the venue and ordering your dress, while writing your vows and buying bridal party gifts can wait a little while.

Get everyone involved…
The last thing you want is to burn out before you walk down the aisle. Get a few friends and family members involved in the planning and organising process and don’t be afraid to delegate. A girly craft evening is perfect for making table favours and be sure to utilise your ushers on the big day itself.

Pre-empt family politics…
Whether it’s the friend who always drinks too much or a couple of relatives who can’t bear the sight of each other, there are few weddings that are completely drama free. Try and broach difficult subjects in advance and work out solutions – an usher to subtly fetch your old roommate a coffee, for example.

Don’t forget the legalities…
No matter how beautiful your vows they won’t be legally binding unless you get the paperwork right, so check what you need to do in advance and on the day. This includes making sure your chosen venue is licensed, that there’s a registrar available on the day and, with a church ceremony, arranging for your banns to be read in advance of your wedding day.

Stop and enjoy…
Having taken care of all the important things, all that’s left to do is enjoy this beautiful, once-in-a-lifetime occasion. Try not to get too caught up in getting everything planned to perfection and take time to stop along the way and really enjoy this exciting time, creating memories that will last a lifetime.