he already popped the question and you answered "Yes". after the euphoria, you are already engaged. and next would be...planning for your wedding day.
most brides opt to be a hand's-on bride when it comes to preparing their own wedding, even if their schedule is too busy. here are a few tips on how you can handle the hassle and bustle of wedding preparation:
12months before the wedding.
choose the date - first things first, this is where you will start. talk to your fiance about the date you want your wedding to be. if possible, plan when the time as well. this will help you in choosing your options when booking your preferred church.
list the wedding necessities - list down the things you need to prepare. below is a sample list (based on my order of priority - you are free to modify)
- church (requirements - CENOMAR, birth certificates, baptismal certificates, etc.)
- reception venue
- events stylist
- wedding rings
- hair and make up artist
- bridal suite
- special effects
book the first 5 suppliers listed above - why? because these suppliers are often booked as early as 12-24 months before the actual event. plus, when you book these suppliers early, the rate they gave you at the time of your booking will be your fixed rate. should their rates increase the following year, you will not be affected anymore. make sure though that you have thoroughly checked their offers, too! do not book just because you want to assure the rate. it is just an added factor and savings.
- church - check on the requirements needed by the church first so you can start working on them. i listed some above. check what they have to offer. do they have flower arrangement already? if they already have flower arrangement, it is most likely that you will save a portion of your budget for the florist since they will no longer handle the church arrangement. do they have their own musicians? if so, you can try watching their performance when there is a wedding - you will see how they do. if you liked them, get it. musicians are also expensive nowadays. what are their restrictions? of course you need to check on this so you'll know their do's and dont's.
- reception venue - scout on different venues and check on their offers. as much as possible, select a venue near the church. this is so that you won't need to provide additional transportation to your relatives, guests. venue should also have the generators - in case of power failure. if you want a garden venue, make sure to rent tents (be prepared that even on summer, rain could come anytime)
- photo/video - most photographers offer photo/video in one package. there are a lot of suppliers who are credible enough and offer photo/video in one contract. you can save more from this. plus, you can check their packages and you'll see, there are a lot of freebies like, sign frames, sign book, tarps, etc.
- caterer - do check on a couple of reputable caterers. don't just stick to one. try at least 3 food tastings and check which one fits your taste buds and your budget. catering can eat up most of your wedding budget, you know. make sure you've also decided on how many guests you would want to attend and witness your wedding. number of guests is the primary question a caterer would ask from you.
9 months before the wedding
choose your couturier - go to someone you trust. even if you have already bought all the bridal magazines to check on the wedding gown of your dreams...chances are, the gown doesn't fit your physique. it is better to consult your couturier about it. he should know what is better for you and i suggest you take his suggestions.
choose your entourage - it's now time to choose your entourage. you can either get a separate couturier for them or not. i'd go to the same couturier - you can get additional discount when you get all the gowns from him. and who says he can't concentrate on your wedding gown if you also get the entourage attire from him? do you ever think you're the only customer he'll get? even if you don't get all the attire from him, truth is he has other customers he might consider if you only get a gown from him.
choose your event stylist - this is just optional. you can check with your venue how they'd style the place and caterers also offer decorations for the wedding. if you have budget and can afford an event stylist, go for it.
wedding rings - get a jeweler to design your wedding rings or you can go directly to stores and order an existing design. it's up to you but you have to prepare this early so you'll still have time if there are concerns on your order. remember, rings play a vital part of the wedding ceremony.
6months before the wedding
choose your make up artist, musicians and calligrapher - do trial make-up so you'll know the possible outcome and flaws that could arise on the actual wedding day make-up. for your invites, make sure to proofread the invitation before having it printed to avoid print errors. for your musicians - you can ask them for a gig schedule so that you can watch their performance.
go to your fitting - this should be your first fitting. have the entourage's gown fitting as well
3 months before the wedding
check out the souvenirs you want - you can have a DIY souvenirs. just go stores and select the souvenirs you want. seek help from friends and family in designing them. this is fun =)
get a good host/emcee - emcees have profiles on their pages which you may want to review. otherwise, if you really don't know one, you can ask referrals from caterers and other suppliers. hint - some caterers have inhouse host but some of their inhouse hosts are also freelancers. you can check their performance on an actual wedding - just let them know you'll need to check how they do and they will let you.
go to your fitting - this should be the second fitting. have your entourage's attire fitting as well.
get your wedding rings - if you ordered, this is the time you should get it.
send your invitations - send your invitations early and have the guest RSVP.
1month before the wedding
book your bridal suite - you should have one for your preparation. it is common now to book the same hotel for the bride and groom (to save time and effort on the photo/videographers).
get your wedding attires - by this time, you, your groom, parents and the rest of the entourage should have their attires.
do your stuffs - get your facials, massage and everything for yourself. do not get a facial 1 week before the wedding. you wouldn't want to have a pimple on your big day!
1 week before the wedding
pack for the hotel and your honeymoon - start packing your stuffs for the hotel. separate your honeymoon luggage. bring in your emergency pack (extra hosiery, lipstick, oil remover, needles and thread, medicines, pins) - this could come in handy =)
1 day before the wedding
prepare and proceed to the hotel - eat dinner and go to your hotel. sleep early and relax
THE BIG DAY
Relax - this is your day. You've done everything to prepare for it so relax, take a deep breath and smile all the time.
if this post helped you in anyway, please let me know =)