You're getting married! Some brides plan their weddings years in advance, with military precision - starting with the venue and drawing up an efficient game plan that may lack spontaneity but leaves no room for error. Others get married in a flurry, nipping to the register office and then on to the pub for festive gastrogrub with a bunch of friends. Whatever your style, it's a good idea to have a list of must-dos that will ensure your big day is just as you wanted it.
Clever you - 18 months to go. Time to choose what type of ceremony you'll go for - church or civil ceremony. If you want a Church of England wedding, you may have to attend a number of services on Sunday beforehand, and you'll be expected to make a donation. Jewish couples can marry on any day except the Sabbath, which runs from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday. If you're going for a civil ceremony, no more than 12 months and no less that 17 days in advance of your wedding date, you need to give notice. It costs between £30 and £94 to give notice, plus up to £47 for the registrar's fees.
Now is the time to announce your engagement. It's traditional to place an ad in the local newspaper, and you can send cards to friends and family. Once the happy news is spread, you and your groom need to sit down and discuss budgets. Alas, the happy days when the bride's father would be expected to pay for his daughter's foray into matrimony have largely gone (unless your dad is Lord Sainsbury!). The modern gal is expected to fund her own nuptials, with her groom's help of course.
There's a lot to think about and pay for. For starters, the engagement ring, the wedding rings, the dress, wedding shoes, lingerie, wedding accessories, wedding jewellery, plus the wedding day primping - manicure, hairdo, make-up and so on. Not to mention the fees for the ceremony, the groom's outfit and the bridesmaids' and page boy's outfits if you're having them. That's before we even get to the reception - hiring the venue, flowers, food, drink, wedding cake, photographs. Will you be having a band playing at your party? Are you staying in a hotel afterwards? What about transport? And as for the honeymoon... Don't panic!
Click to see Wedding Planning - A Year to Go
Click to see Wedding Planning - Six Months and Counting
Click to see Wedding Planning - One Month to Go
Click to see Wedding Planning - The Big Day!
To see all our other useful hints and tips that we have put together to help take some of the stress out of organising that perfect day, click here to see our wedding information pages.
For more inspiration, click here to view Henry Kaye's full collection of simply stunning bridal and bridesmaid's shoes, beautiful bridesmaid dresses, stylish boy's formal wear and exquisite wedding accessories.
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