The Ultimate Wedding Planner: What to do and when to do it

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Take the stress out of your big day and sort your wedding diary now...

engagement ring proposal

© Flickr/tarale

Let's face it, planning a wedding can feel a bit like strategising for a military operation. There are so many things to consider and so many people to pay that it's easy to get overwhelmed - not great when it's supposed to be the happiest day of your life!

If you've recently got engaged and feel desperate for a starting point, now is the time to read our ultimate guide to wedding planning...

What to do: As soon as possible

Once you've told everyone that there is actually going to be a wedding, it's crucial to set your budget with a contingency budget. So if your budget is £5,000, keep £500 spare just in case you go over. Discuss what you both want for the wedding and ideally get your families together for a pre-wedding meet-and-greet so everyone knows each other.

Set a date next, book the registrar or church and find the perfect venue because these get booked up months in advance. Invest in wedding insurance just in case of a fire/cancellation/natural disaster and look into registering for a wedding licence.

Finally, book a photographer, draft your guest list, send out save the date cards and get researching caterers, cake makers and entertainers.

What to do: 9 - 6 months before

Here comes the fun bit - it's time to pick and order your wedding dress and the bridesmaid dresses. Choose and book your make-up artist, florist and caterer and visit the travel agent to book your amazing romance-filled honeymoon! Ask your man to pick his suit and ushers' outfits, order the wedding stationary, select your readings and book your cake.

What to do: 3 months before

Woooo, you're soon going to be a Mrs! Now's the time to send out invitations, choose your table decorations, draft a seating plan so your argumentative uncles are very far apart and write a wedding timetable so you know what happens when. If you've got some cash to spare you can also buy a cheeky 'going away' honeymoon outfit.

What to do: 2-1 month before

Get your bridesmaids to organise the most awe-inspiring hen-do ever and then decide how amazing their wedding favours should be. Check your passports in date, ask your key guests to prepare their speeches, confirm the menu and reconfirm all your bookings (never trust the initial 'yes you're all booked in'!).

Next, make sure you have a final dress fitting, finalise your place cards, have a make-up and hair trial and run through the ushers' duties so they don't go wild with power on the big day. It's also worth letting your photographer know what photos you really want (first dance, first kiss as Mr and Mrs, family shots) on the big day.

What to do: 2 weeks before

Pick up your wedding rings, prepare for your honeymoon, check the best man's not too nervous and try everything on just in case there's anything not quite right.

Aaahhh 1 week to go...

Arrange the cake delivery, triple confirm the time and place with any suppliers you're dealing with, confirm final numbers with the venue, pick up your wedding dress and have a wedding rehearsal so everyone know's what's going on.

OMG I'm getting married tomorrow

You're feeling pretty nervous right about now, so grab some friends and go decorate the venue before chilling out, pampering yourself and having your nails done. Tonight is all about you!

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