You are getting married and of course you should be enjoying that day, so plan ahead to be sure that your wedding is as stress-free as possible. In the months running up to your big day the key words are "planning", "delegation" and above all, "enjoy". As you plan this wonderful time, both of you will feel great joy, but may also experience a little confusion: in that moment remember that the meaning of that day is a celebration of love! Here are some steps and tips to help you organise your wedding, avoiding unnecessary stress and last minute surprises.
Nine to 12 Months Before
- Think about the type of wedding you want - formal or informal, big or small;
- Set an approximate budget;
- Compile your guest list;
- Choose and book the Church or Town Hall and the official performing the ceremony;
- Hire a wedding planner, if desired;
- Contact and book the location for the reception and the catering supplier;
- Contact and book the photographer and the video service.
Six Months Before
- Start to prepare the necessary documents (some have a validity of only three months);
- Contact the entertainment for the reception and the musicians for the ceremony;
- Start to think about the design of the bride's dress (looking at magazines, the internet and making appointment in bridal shops).
Five Months Before
- Choose the witnesses and ask for their consent to participate;
- If you have bridesmaids or page-boys, start to plan their outfits;
- Start getting quotations for your honeymoon.
Three Months Before
- Contact and make arrangements with the flower designer for the bouquet, the decorations for the ceremony and also for the reception;
- Compile the wedding presents list;
- Choose and order the stationery, including invitations and thank-you notes, if you desire also the calligrapher;
- Book the honeymoon;
- Verify that both your passports are still valid. If honeymooning abroad, check if a visa is required to enter a foreign country or if you will need any immunisation shots. Your travel agent should know.
- Choose and book the wedding car;
- Choose the hairdresser and make-up stylist for the bride and bridesmaids;
- Register for your wedding gifts at the store of your choice. Make a list of what you would like to receive - from linens to tableware (china, crystal) to a honeymoon package.
Two Months Before
- Choose the wedding rings;
- Discuss service with official and choose readings for ceremony;
- Send out the invitations;
- Decide the menu, the wines and the wedding cake for the reception;
- When trying the wedding dress, choose all the other accessories including make-up and hair style.
One Month Before
- Define the precise musical programme;
- Collect the wedding rings and check that there are no problems or mistakes;
- Re-try the dress again, together with all the accessories chosen previously, including make-up and so on;
- Finalise arrangements with your flower designer, specifying the time and place of delivery. - Ensure that the best man will receive the boutonnieres for the groom and ushers, and that the bride will receive her bouquet as well those for her bridesmaids.
Two Weeks Before
- Verify the replies from the invited guests and chase the undecided ones;
- Purchase the cushion for the rings if it hasn't already been chosen together with the bride's dress;
- Purchase the suit for the bridegroom and any necessary accessories.
One Week Before
- Spend some time with the bridesmaids and page-boys instructing them how to behave during the ceremony;
- Re-contact all the suppliers to verify that everything is ready;
- Communicate the exact number of guests to the restaurant and caterers;
- Collect the tickets for the honeymoon from the travel agency and organize your honeymoon wardrobe and luggage (medicines, sun protection, camera, etc);
- Visit the beauty therapist for eyebrows, a pedicure and a relaxing massage!
Two Days Before
- The bridegroom should check that his shirt is now perfectly ironed;
- Prepare the suitcase for the honeymoon;
- Have your last appointment with the beauty therapist for manicure and depilation.
The Day Before
- Confirm the appointments for the following day with hairdresser, cosmetician, photographer, flower designer and driver;
- Give to a trusted person a pair of back-up stockings, spare make-up and a pair of comfortable shoes (better a friend or your wedding planner than your own mother, since she should also enjoy the day);
- Finally, indulge in a relaxing massage to alleviate the tension. Relax, tomorrow is Your Big Day.
The Wedding Day
- Your perfect day starts from the moment that you wake up and you have your breakfast;
- Have the bouquet delivered (and all the other flowers, button-holes and so on);
- Time for the bride and bridesmaids hair styling and make up;
- Now, the photographer arrives and you are ready for your wedding;
Relax and enjoy it!
As you already know, every wedding is different, above all if you celebrate it in Italy. So, whilst this list should be helpful just remember that every special day has its own notebook.