Planning is one of the most important parts of any wedding day, so keep calm and organised with this simple A-Z checklist.
A is for Alcohol
If you can afford it, use genuine champagne for the toasts and have a choice of red and white wines. Remember, there may be people who don’t drink alcohol, and those who are driving, so have an option for them.
B is for Breakfast
A nutritious breakfast is the best start for any bride and groom before their wedding. It’ll help calm your stomach and nerves. Go for cereal, toast and fruit.
C is for Cosmetics
Brides should wear make-up they feel comfortable in and shades that bring out the best in their outfit. Don’t be pushed into using too much by beauty consultants wanting to get some commission from selling you lots of make-up.
D is for Dress
This is what all the guests have been waiting to see, but don’t be tempted to go over the top, especially to impress or please relatives.
E is for Entertainment
Most receptions are followed by a party. Think about your guests before you book a band or DJ, so Great Aunt Edna isn’t forced to dance to techno.
F is for Family
You love them dearly, but you haven’t seen some of them for years. Take time to talk to everyone on the big day.
G is for Gifts
Make sure you give all your guests a list of wedding presents and double-check there’s a wide price range to choose from to save any embarrassment.
H is for Honeymoon
Not the most important part of a wedding or a marriage, but getting away from it all with your new spouse will be a relief after a busy day. Book early and look out for special honeymoon offers at travel agents.
I is for Invites
These should be sent out at least six weeks before the wedding day, so people have time to reply. Don’t forget to include the basic details of when and where the ceremony is!
J is for Jewellery
Brides should either wear their everyday items or simple matching pieces which compliment their dress. Remember the ring is the most important item, so other pieces of jewellery should not dominate.
K is for Kind Advice
Family members excel in this department. Listen to what they have to say, but take everything with a pinch of salt. Remember, it’s your day.
L is for Laughter
Remember to enjoy the ceremony. A little laughter goes a long way to helping everyone relax.
M is for Money
Budget your wedding carefully and make sure you can afford it. Don’t start married life in a financial mess.
N is for Nails
Make sure they’re at least manicured, preferably with a clear or opaque polish, for showing off that all-important ring — everyone will want to see it.
O is for Organisation
Careful organisation of every aspect of a wedding is the key to success.
P is for Photographer
Make sure you’ve seen previous examples of their work before you book them. And get a written quote.
Q is for Qualms
Most people suffer from a few qualms before the big day. It’s perfectly normal and if there are really big questions then maybe you should discuss them with a friend or even a professional counsellor.
R is for Reception
This is an enjoyable part of the day. Keep it traditional, simple, but not too long. Don’t settle for the first place that is available and make sure you visit the reception room and see examples of the menu before making any commitment. Get a written statement of what the venue intends to provide.
S is for Speech
The main men usually make them, but these days the bride often has a go too. Do it if you feel comfortable and use notes if you need to.
T is for Transport
Everyone needs to get to the church on time, so make sure arrangements for this are spot on. Again, get several written quotes before choosing.
U is for Underwear
Wedding lingerie is traditionally a firm favourite with brides, so why not splash out — it’ll make your wedding night even more special!
V is for Vows
Most people still follow tradition when it comes to wedding vows, but adding something of your own can add a personal touch to the ceremony.
W is for Wedding Rings
These days you can choose from more than just the traditional band of gold. If you want something more personalised, forget the High Street windows and find a local jeweller or goldsmith who can design and make a ring.
X is for Kisses
Keep a stick of lip balm handy — both bride and groom will get plenty of kisses throughout the day!
Y is for Why?
The bride and groom should find some time to be alone during the day in order to remember that a wedding is about a long term commitment and not just a big celebration. Give yourselves a few moments of contemplation.
Z is for Zzzz
According to recent reports, one third of newly-weds fall straight to sleep on their wedding nights. Ah well, you’ve got the rest of your lives…