Countdown to your wedding

To help you to get everything ready for your wedding.

Once the date is set

  • Draw up a rough budget for your wedding plus the guest list
  • Book the registration office or approved venue and arrange a Notice of Marriage
  • Book the reception venue, caterers and entertainment
  • Choose your bridesmaid(s), attendants, best man and ushers, if applicable!
  • Book the photographer and/or videographer
  • Order your invitations, if you are having them made
  • Decide on what sorts of transport you will be using and book cars for the ceremony and going away
  • Plan the honeymoon and make the travel arrangements
  • Start shopping for the wedding outfits
  • Decide on, and speak to a hairdresser and/or your beauty salon for your big day.

Three months before

  • Order the wedding cake
  • Pay your wedding ceremony fees
  • Choose the rings
  • Send out the invitations, order menu cards and place cards
  • Book a florist and choose flowers for the bridal party and reception, including buttonholes and corsages
  • Decide on your wedding gift list
  • Have a first fitting of your wedding outfit (if it is being made to measure)
  • If you are travelling abroad, arrange any necessary visas and vaccinations
  • If you are changing your name, allow at least six weeks (preferably more in the peak holiday season) for a new passport and remember to change your driver's licence and bank details
  • Book a hotel for the wedding night.

Six weeks before

  • Finalise your guest list
  • Choose gifts for the bridesmaids, attendants, best man and mothers.
  • Order gift boxes if you plan to send out wedding cake to guests who cannot attend
  • Attend a second wedding outfit fitting (if appropriate)
  • If you live outside Oxfordshire and gave your Notice of Marriage at your local Register Office, you need to ensure your Certificate(s) of Marriage are handed over to your Registrar in advance of your wedding day.

Four weeks before

  • Have the final fittings for your wedding outfits
  • Take your headdress and veil to the hairdresser's for a practice run
  • Confirm numbers with the caterers and arrange the seating plan
  • Speak to your Registrar about the ceremony, discussing your readings, vows and music choices
  • Prepare thank you letters for the presents you will receive

Two weeks before

  • Work out a rough timetable for the reception and run through it with the best man, bridesmaids and attendants
  • Write out any place cards for the reception
  • Order foreign currency if you're travelling abroad
  • Wear in your wedding shoes around the home
  • Double check the travel timings to and from your ceremony/reception venue(s) - allow for heavy traffic

On the day

This is your day, remember, so ask friends and family to see that the following arrangements are made for you on the day:

  • The cases are sent on to your overnight hotel
  • The wedding outfits are packed and taken home and any hired items are returned as soon as possible
  • The wedding presents are carefully packed up and taken home
  • Wedding cake is sent to people unable to attend.