This month, our focus is on vendors and helping you find the perfect people for the job! Here, we kick things off by taking a look at exactly who you’ll need for your wedding day and when you should book them.

How quickly you plan a wedding is entirely up to you. Some couples allow themselves a few years in order to save for their dream budget, while others will pull off a perfect day in just a few months. The key really is to get the ball rolling as soon as possible or risk your ideal vendors being snapped up by someone else. So which suppliers do you actually need and when should you book them? Here, we’ve taken a timeline of 12 months as a guide.

Derry Wedding Photographer

When you get engaged

  • Kick things off with some #wedmin
  • Discuss what you both want for your wedding day
  • Talk budget and guest list numbers
  • Choose potential dates & research venues and ceremony locations (if different)

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12 months before

  • Visit shortlisted venues & book
  • Consider wedding insurance options
  • Book your photographer & videographer (even better if you can get a package for both)
  • Consider a wedding planner or decor hire company
  • Begin your wedding dress research
  • If getting married abroad, or during peak season, send save the dates
  • Ask your bridesmaids and groomsmen to stand by your side

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8 – 10 months before

  • Book your music: Instrumentalists, band or DJ
  • Book or hire any decor pieces, such as centrepieces or finishing touches
  • Research and book flights and accommodation for honeymoon
  • Participate in cake tastings and order it

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6 – 8 months before

  • If you’re going down the traditional boutique route, order your wedding dress. Any less than 6 months before your wedding is considered as a ‘rush’ order and an additional fee may be applied
  • Organise hen and stag dos (A task best assigned to bridesmaids and best man)
  • Confirm ceremony music
  • Book your wedding cars

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4 – 6 months before

  • Order bridesmaid dresses
  • Organise invitations and any other stationery (table plan, ceremony booklets etc)
  • Meet with florist to discuss bouquets and centrepieces
  • Shop/hire menswear
  • Ensure the legalities are in place
  • Decide on readings and music for ceremony
  • Organise any additional wedding transport
  • Start sourcing addresses for invites
  • Organise hair and make-up trials
  • Book any added extras such as photo booth or entertainment

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2 – 3 months before

  • Send your invitations
  • Have any fittings or alterations carried out
  • Shop for accessories such as jewellery and shoes
  • Order wedding rings
  • Shop for gifts for bridesmaids, groomsmen and mother of bride and groom
  • Attend menu tasting at your venue
  • Organise your wedding favours

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4 weeks before

  • Attend your final dress fitting
  • Collect all your printables
  • Give your venue your final numbers

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2 weeks before

  • Provide your photographer with any group shot requirements
  • Put together the dreaded table plan

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1 week before

  • Liaise with venue, wedding planner or decorator regarding set up
  • Ensure place cards are ready and table plan is printed
  • Confirm any final details with suppliers
  • Attend to any pre-wedding beauty needs such as nails, tanning etc
  • Pack your bags for your venue and honeymoon

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2 – 3 days before

  • If hiring, pick up menswear
  • Put together timings for day, list of vendors and their numbers

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The day before

  • Ensure everything is delivered to the venue
  • Sort out any final payments
  • Have your dresses, accessories etc laid out

Voilà! And that’s how to plan a wedding in a year!

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