HOW TO PLAN YOUR WEDDING | P3 – 4 to 6 months to go

May 3, 2019 | Planning Timeline (12 months)

So you’ve researched and booked all your suppliers (or most of them), you’ve looked into catering options and have finally managed to get all those pesky addresses so that you can send out your invitations when you are ready too, so now what?

Here’s is the next instalment to my 5-part series on “How to plan a wedding” – 4 to 6 months to go.

My mission is to take you on a journey to help you plan your wedding!

There are a few versions out there, but here’s mine. Enjoy and don’t forget to come back for the next part! x


1. Start looking into bridal party styling

Looking for the perfect bridesmaid dress, that matches the theme, style and colour scheme you’ve already selected as well as matching it to what your partner wants to wear isn’t always the easiest, so start planning early!

Whip out those pinboards and start pinning!

Once you have an idea in mind for the bridesmaid dresses, speak to your bridal party, as it’s important that they feel comfortable and happy in what they’ll be wearing on the day. They’ll let you know what cuts and styles work best for their bodies and then work from there.

Hair, accessories and shoes will follow once you have the dresses. The guys are a lot easier to work with in terms of style and colour, however, if you are hiring anything, make sure you book this in as soon as possible, to ensure that you get what you want when you want.


2. Hair and makeup – book in trials

Your hair and makeup trials are important for both you and the artist. Having a trial beforehand will mean that you won’t get any surprises on the day (you’ll know exactly what you’ll be having); the artist can be completely prepared for what you need on the day; and because they’ll know exactly what you want and how to do it. So, the time they will take will be more efficient and smoother.

Have an idea of the styles you want for both your hair and makeup and have these ready for when you arrive.

If you haven’t booked your bridesmaids in for a trial, make sure you bring photos of what you want them to have too, so that the artist can be prepared for them too, before the big day.

Just remember that the trial is a trial, so if there’s anything that you are unhappy with, don’t be shy and not say anything, tell them and ask them to change it.

It is a trial after all.

If you aren’t happy with the makeup, if it’s too heavy or not heavy enough etc. tell them. If you want more curls or aren’t happy with the volume etc. tell them.

Now is the time to get it right.

On the day of your wedding, you’ll have a scheduled and limited amount of time to get ready in, and the artist needs to know exactly what you want and how to do it within the timeframe they have. There won’t be time on the day to make any drastic changes.


3. Go wedding ring shopping

First research the types of rings you both want and then start looking. You can either spend a couple of days going around the jewellery shops or book an appointment with a ring specialist and get your rings designed and made to your preference.

Make sure you keep in mind, your lifestyle (if you work with your hands you may not want something too chunky); long term (you’ll be wearing this ring for a very long time, so you need to be happy with it); size (you need to make sure it is comfortable as there will be occasions when your hands will swell and shrink at times); maintenance (if you aren’t one for cleaning and polishing the diamonds in your ring to keep it sparkly, then it’s probably best not to get a ring with loads of stones in).


4. Choose your wedding stationery

Wedding stationery could be as simple as your invitations and RSVP cards, but nowadays it entails so much more.

Researching the type of stationery, you want will help you decide on the type of designer you want to book. Most designers will have a variety of different options, some more varied than others.

So, if you are looking to have your table plan handwritten on a mirror or name cards hand-painted on slate, then you may want to find one artist that can offer everything, rather than finding different ones. This will ensure that you will keep the same style and technique throughout your wedding.

However, if you want to mix it up and have 2 different styles then 2 designers could work for you too.

Make sure you ask them for their deadlines as well, so you know when they need the final names and numbers by.

Remember some of their work, depending on what you want, may be created by hand, so they will need enough time to get everything finished in good time and delivered in time for your special day.


5. Meet with the florist and organise flowers for the wedding

Florists are artists at what they do, so if you have no idea what type of flowers you want or the style then that’s okay. They will guide you through everything and will create something perfect for what you are looking for even if you don’t know what that is!

I once had a couple that had no idea what they wanted, so they arranged an appointment with a florist I had worked with before, and he guided them so perfectly that they couldn’t fault the service they received and were so happy with the result that they recommended him onto other friends and continued to book him for other occasions.

Remember to keep your budget in mind though and if there is a particular flower you want, to check your seasons and make sure that the flowers you want are in season during the time of your wedding.

Please note that the floral displays you see on Pinterest are a lot more expensive than you may think and depending on where your supplier is based will change how much you can get for your money.


6. Wedding food tasting

As previously advised, booking your wedding food tasting in good time will allow you enough time to rebook another one if necessary.

Select your menu, making sure that you select all the items that you want to try and do not eat anything beforehand. Whilst you will be “tasting” the food, there will be several dishes and courses to try, so it will still feel like you are eating a 3-course meal.

I always take photos and notes during the tastings, so that I have something to go back to as well. I also use these photos as a guide for the caterer, so that the food presented to you at the tasting is the same as on the day.

Most caterers and venues will have a variety of chefs and whilst the dishes are the same, a different chef could lay the food out different from another.


7. Finalise your wedding cake

By now you would have an idea on the type of cake you want, so after some research and a few cake tastings, book your wedding cake designer and start finalising your wedding cake, taking into consideration your budget, style and theme.

Obviously, the earlier you book means the more likely you will get your preferred supplier. So, if your wedding cake is a top priority for you, start looking earlier than 6 months, especially if you have a selected a wedding date in peak season!

Please note that the floral displays you see on Pinterest are a lot more expensive than you may think and depending on where your supplier is based will change how much you can get for your money.

8. Plan your honeymoon

Now that you’ve booked your honeymoon, it’s now time to plan your honeymoon! Depending on what type of honeymoon you’ve decided to have, will all depend on how much planning you need to do.

If you’ve booked an adventure honeymoon, then this may require slightly more planning than a beach honeymoon.

Decide what you want to do together and get planning and booking.


9. Give notice

If you have decided on a civil ceremony, then you’ll need to give notice at your local register office. You need to give notice for a minimum of 28 full days and it is recommended that you should give notice at least 8 weeks prior if you haven’t been married before or at least 10 weeks prior if you have been married before. All you need to do is make an appointment, that you both can attend and bring along all the relevant documents they need (marriage forms, declarations, etc) and any fees.

When you make the appointment, just check with the registrar office and they will advise what they need from you. You’ll not be able to give notice if you do not have all the relevant information with you and it may mean booking another appointment incurring another fee, so make sure you have everything you need before your appointment.


10. Wedding shoes

I always suggest buying 3 types of shoes. Remember you’ll be in these shoes for the entire day and there’s a lot of standing during the ceremony where you won’t move and a lot of photos will require you to be on feet a lot.

One pair of realistic shoes for standing in during the ceremony, another pair of gorgeous shoes for the photos and then another swap to more comfy ones for during the reception.

Don’t forget to get any insoles or gel pads and make sure that they fit you properly and aren’t too big or too small.


11. Start dance lessons

If you’re both great at dancing with each other then dance lessons may not be necessary, however, if you want to feel more confident up there with your partner for your first dance or just wish someone to help with the moves, then now would be time to book those dance lessons.

Make sure that you do your research and check the location and times work for both of you.

Most lessons will take place in the evening during the week, so you need to make sure that you are both available and are able to get there in time.


12. Decide on prayers, readings and music

Start deciding and planning on how you want your ceremony to go. Check with your priest or your registrar or celebrant on what they need from you and their parts of the ceremony and plan what you want around that.

Some couples may want singing and readings, others may just want a prayer, it is completely up to you.

If you want to have readings, don’t forget to ask the people you want to read them in advance; most of your guests will say yes, but you never know, so leave yourself enough time to ask someone else if that person is unable to attend the wedding or aren’t happy to take part.


13. Arrange travel vaccinations if necessary

Now that your honeymoon is booked, you have checked your passports, have planned what you want to do, now you need to ensure that you have all the right vaccinations for the country that you are visiting.

Not all countries will require any vaccinations (lucky you) but if they do, check what you need, when you can get them and when the best time to get them is, and get it booked in.


14. Start putting together your timings for the day

You’ll have an idea of when you want this to start and you have a finish time (most venues will have a must be out by time), so now you need to fill the rest in. Most photographers and videographers will give you a list of their ideal timings – how long they need to do the venue shots, getting ready shots, couple shots etc and all during when the sun is still out.

Make sure that you ask the hair and makeup artist/s for their timings too and allow for enough time for everything to run smoothly and get set up and ready in time.

Hello and welcome to my blog!

A collection of tips, tricks and advice, perfect for those planning their wedding or party.

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+44 (0) 7496 702178

contact me

+44 (0) 7496 702178

© By Siobhan Louise

Siobhan Zulch trading as By Siobhan Louise

Photography Credits: Lightburst Photography, Brand Studio Co, Anneli Marinovich Branding

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