What To Do and When; You and Your Planner
So you're engaged (congratulations!) but you're not quite sure what to do and when to do it? Then there's the question of what your planner should be doing and what you need to do. The answer to these questions will very much depend on the timeframe between your engagement and your proposed wedding date, but as always I've tried to make things as simple as possible by listing a few of the key milestones...
1) 18 months to go....
If he's just popped the question and you're thinking you'd like an 18 month(ish) engagement then now is the time to celebrate and enjoy using the word fiancée instead of boyfriend - I bet the novelty still hasn't worn off?!
As for your wedding planning, you have plenty of time so don't rush. Begin by creating your vision (for real this time instead of the day dreams you've had for years!) Consider some of the fundamentals; Where do you want to get married - home or abroad? What season would you like your wedding in? And as every newly engaged bride-to-be knows, this is the time that it's okay to get a little bit lost in wedding magazines/blogs/Pinterest....
2) 12 months to go....
Now that the newly engaged excitement has worn off (only slightly of course) it's time to start your wedding planning (welcome a whole new stage of excitement!) Begin by hiring a wedding planner who is able to share your vision for the day.
Once your planner is booked there are 3 very important factors to get sorted; 1 - The venue 2 - The date and 3 - The numbers; without these elements you really can't make much progress with anything else; this is something that your planner can take care of organising once you've discussed your requirements.
Meanwhile, you can focus on a couple of things which are equally as important; 1 - Send your 'Save the date'. There's little point in going all out on the planning if none of your guests can make the date, so send this out early to avoid any disappointment. 2 - THE dress. I'm sure you don't need any encouragement for this one, but around a year out is a good time to start booking appointments to begin searching for your dream wedding dress.
3) 9-6 months to go....
Around this point you should have done sufficient research and, more importantly, received recommendations from your wedding planner about potential suppliers that can meet your requirements; so now is the time to make your choices on a few of the key suppliers you would like to use - starting with your photographer, florist and caterers. Again, your planner will manage this from a bookings and budget perspective once you've made your decisions.
You will probably find this period in your wedding planning a little bit calmer, all the big bookings are already made but it's too soon to start getting into more of the nitty gritty - a good time for you to start planning your honeymoon!
4) 6-3 months to go....
With less than 6 months to go it's a good idea for your wedding planner to get the remainder of your suppliers booked, such as hair/make up (including trials!) and transport, as well as organising some additional tastings with your chosen caterer to start deciding your menu for the day.
Whilst your wedding planner is taking care of all your bookings there are also plenty of things for you to be getting on with now that the big day is getting nearer; such as ring shopping, bridesmaid dresses and, of course, sending out your invitations.
5) 3 months to go...
Finally, the day you've both been waiting for is in sight. Your planner will begin reviewing/confirming/finalising the details of the contracts that you have with all your suppliers...check, check and double checking, as well as creating a schedule of timings for the day.
For you, there will be several things to do which have been left until later, either because they're a nightmare (the table plan) or because you just can't do them any sooner (your dress fittings).
Try to enjoy this phase in the planning process as before you know it, months worth of planning will all be over. Rest assured that your planner has everything covered so just make the most of being the bride-to-be.
6) 0 months to go...
It's finally here so relax, have fun and enjoy your special day with all your friends and family!