The ultimate checklist of everything you need to remember for putting together a stress-free big day.
Every wedding plan starts with a guest list. Whether you’re inviting 20 or 200 of your friends and family to your big day start by trying to decide on a rough number of guests. Once you know how many people you are planning to invite, draft two lists; yours and your groom-to-be’s list. From there, create guest categories. Typical guest categories can include:
• Immediate family members
• Extended family members
• Mutual friends
• Close friends
• Work friends or colleagues
• Parents of close friends
Once you have your initial list you can start searching for venues and destinations that will hold your desired number of guests as well as sending out ‘Save the Dates’ to attendees.
Once you have decided on who your bridesmaids are you can start thinking about what they will be wearing. One thing to remember is that one style does not fit all. When shopping for bridesmaid dresses consider looking for different cuts or styles for each woman or even complimentary coloured gowns for your bridal party. Beading, florals, ruffles and sequins are all huge bridesmaid trends for fall 2018 so don’t be afraid to move away from the tradition of having one colour for all.
Wedding cakes are often underestimated. They are an integral part of any wedding day. As weddings have modernised, so have cake designs with many become works of art in themselves. So think outside the box when it comes to choosing your cake. And don’t forget an elegant knife for the cutting ceremony.
For many women the most stressful and important part of their wedding day is your choosing a wedding gown. For 2018 wedding styles are bohemian and ethereal (see our wedding trends feature for more on this). Take inspiration from Viktor and Rolf and Reem Acra who both captured this year’s style beautifully with whimsical gowns featuring layering and with lace floral accents.
DJ, band, singer, magician, whatever your planning to entertain your guests with during and after your wedding ceremony it’s important to book early. The average time for planning a wedding is between 13 and 18 months so make sure you leave enough time to get the entertainment of your choice. Don’t forget entertainment for children if you decide to have little ones present on your big day.
Whether you’re getting married in the Middle East or elsewhere, flowers are a crucial part of any wedding. As much as we are influenced by fashion trends, flower trends change season-on-season as well. Aside from the traditional bouquet and table settings, flowers have recently taken on new accents as chair dressings, walls, framings and dancefloor decorations, so try to be creative when it comes to your floral arrangements.
Don’t forget your gift list. There are hundreds of websites these days to help make compiling your wedding registry that bit easier. Or if you already have everything you need to set up home, many modern weddings ask their guests for money which is often used towards paying for a honeymoon.
Hair & make-up
Aside from your dress your hair and make-up is the second most important part to looking and feeling gorgeous on your big day. Choosing the right person or persons for you glam team is never going to be easy so it’s often best to go on the recommendation of others. Make sure you book in at least one hair and make-up trial before your wedding day so that your artist can experiment and perfect your look.
Invitations are a sample of what guests can expect to experience on the big day. This means deciding on your theme and wedding concept before sending out your invitations. Your invites should incorporate your wedding colour palette and give the invitees a taster of the overall wedding theme. Don’t forget to send out Save the Dates ahead of your official invitations.
No wedding day ensemble is complete without exquisite jewels. Choose your bridal jewellery very carefully once you know the neckline and style and shape of your dress. Remember a lot of jewellery can be too much with a bold gown so simple yet elegant pieces are often much more flattering.
Many couples choose to have children from close family as part of their bridal party. Whether it’s a niece as a flower girl or a young boy as a ring bearer. Their outfits are almost as important yours! If you’re looking for flower girl outfits Oscar de la Renta showed some gorgeous girls looks with layers of tulle, applique flowers and tutu style skirts.
On your big night with your new husband you will want to look your best. So invest some gorgeous lingerie to wear on wedding night. La Perla and Agent Provocateur both have elegant bridal lingerie collections.
Planning a long, luxurious honeymoon can be as time consuming as the wedding itself, so many couples are opting for a short minimoon straight after their wedding and then will have a longer honeymoon later in the year. This gives you the best of both worlds – a short relaxing break with your new hubby, and the holiday of your dreams to look forward to. Opt for somewhere that’s a maximum of 2-3 hours away so you’re not tiring yourselves out with the traveling so soon after the wedding.
Try to get a manicure and pedicure the day before your wedding so it has time to fully dry and settle. Traditionally women have often chosen to go for a French manicure but the latest trend is to choose a nude or blush pink tone for your nails. This is slightly more modern than the classic French style, but will still be very subtle against your dress.
Organising your wedding day will probably be one of the most difficult and stressful things you have to do in your life so it’s important to stay completely organised. Buy yourself and organiser or diary after your engagement so you can keep track of everything. Remember, no wedding is ever perfect.
While your wedding will last one day, the photos will last a lifetime, so a great wedding photographer is essential. Think very carefully when choosing, often the best way to choose a photographer is on recommendation so consult with married friends and family before making a decision. Don’t forget to be very clear on the photos you want from your day and even have a dedicated friend or family member to be in control of reminding your photographer if there’s something they think he is missing throughout your wedding.
Invest in a notebook or diary where you can write down all your questions, because you’re going to have a lot of them! Questions for the venue, the florist, the tailor. This is the first (and hopefully only) time you’ll be doing this in your life and it will all be new to you, so don’t be afraid to ask no matter how trivial your questions may seem. Thousands of women before you would have had the same or similar questions.
Regime (beauty and fitness)
Every woman wants to look and feel good on their big day. So in the lead up to your wedding you’ll probably want to adopt a strict beauty and fitness regime. Clearly plan out your goals and give yourself plenty of time to reach your targets, whether it’s losing weight, gaining muscle or clearing up your skin.
If it’s purchased ready-made, no dress will ever be the perfect fit of the hanger. So that’s why you will need to ensure you have someone on hand for adjustments and last minute changes to your wedding gown. Most boutiques will have an in-house tailor or seamstress but you can also look at hiring an independent one on the recommendation of others. Don’t worry if your dress doesn’t fit perfectly weeks before your wedding – that’s what your seamstress is there for and they can work miracles!
The Groom’s Ensemble
Chances are your groom may need some guidance with his wedding day attire. Once you have a colour theme for your wedding day this will help with the choice of suit or tuxedo for your groom and his party. Black tie weddings are having a real moment this year, as seen on the runway at Dior Homme. Or alternatively, especially for destination weddings, opt for something lighter in beige or cream much like Tom Ford’s latest fall collection. Royal blue is also set to be a huge trend for summer and autumn weddings as it’s a flattering colour that goes perfectly with white.
Second to the groom comes the ushers who must all be suited and boots for the big event. The usher’s suits will be closely tied into what your groom is wearing but it’s essential much like the bridesmaids, that each outfit is perfectly tailored to fit and suit each individual. Don’t forget to arrange gifts for the ushers. Popular trending gifts include engraved tie pins or cuff links.
No big day is complete without an incredible wedding venue. This is by far the hardest decision you’ll have to make when planning your nuptials. Some couples will already have an idea of the sort of venue they are looking for, whereas others may not even know the destination of their wedding to begin with. When it comes to choosing a venue start by listing everything you do and don’t want from it and then start to search for locations that fit as much of this criteria as possible. Don’t worry when you find the right place, you’ll just know.
Some brides prefer to do everything themselves, whereas others choose to hire a planner. There are a number of different types of planner, from someone who organises everything from start to finish, to an on-event planner that will focus on making sure your day runs smoothly so you can focus on getting married. Whatever you prefer there will be an option that’s right for you, but remember; planners are experts in dealing the stress and worry that comes with a wedding so a little bit of help will take some of the pressure off of you.
Make sure your lips are totally kissable for your big day with a long-lasting lipstick. Ask your make-up artist to recommend a product that you can use and keep on you all day for essential touch ups. A moisturising matte colour would be perfect to last all day without making your lips dry, try Charlotte Tilbury’s Matte Revolution range or Chanel’s Rouge Allure Velvet Lip Colour.
Wedding days can be very overwhelming, so it’s really important to take a step back and enjoy it. Make sure you plan to take a step out with your new husband to just be to together even if it’s just for five minutes during the day – you’ll need it!
You can use every beauty product under the sun but there is nothing better for your wellbeing than sleep. So make sure you get plenty of it in the lead up to your wedding day. The night before your wedding be sure to get at least eight hours sleep so you feel fresh and revitalised in the morning. And once the wedding is over, you’ll need all the sleep you can get!