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Everything you need for organising the perfect day

It’s an incredible feeling when you get engaged. You’ve found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with and you can finally have that wedding you’ve always dreamed of. The only problem is that there’s so much to get done, how do you know where to start?

Luckily, we’ve put together this handy little checklist, so you know exactly what you need to do and when. Follow this and you’ll have everything under control.

First steps when you get engaged

  • Sit down with your fiancé/e to discuss your vision so you know you both want the same thing from your wedding day.
  • Agree on a budget.
  • Put together a provisional guest list. It’s important to get an idea of roughly how many guests you want because this will affect your venue choice.
  • Agree possible wedding dates and check with your must-have guests to ensure they can make it.
  • Start looking into wedding venues. You may want to book somewhere which can host both the ceremony and reception, like Kippure Estate, but if you want to hold them in separate locations, you’ll also need to consider transportation between the two.
  • Now’s the time to go to wedding events and open days to get a feel for your options.
  • Break the news to everyone with an engagement party!

12 months before your wedding day

  • Find your ideal venue for your wedding and book it.
  • Start talking to possible wedding suppliers and services (florists, bakers, hair and makeup, etc.).
  • Consider taking out wedding insurance.
  • Decide on the entertainment for the ceremony and reception and contact bands/musicians.
  • Book the photographer/videographer.
  • Choose a theme and start thinking about décor.
  • Start looking into dresses.
  • Send out Save the Date cards (not essential, but very useful if you’re planning a destination wedding or are marrying at a busy time of the year.)
  • Choose your best man, maid of honour, bridesmaids, etc. and make sure they’re available and want to be part of your wedding party.
  • Speak to talented friends and family you’d like to help out with any part of the wedding, e.g., cake, flowers, and make sure they’re happy to be on board.

8-10 months before the big event

  • Finalise your choices of musicians/DJ and book them.
  • Research accommodation options and make bookings for essential guests. Send out information for everyone else so they have the chance to reserve a room for themselves.
  • If your theme needs specific items to decorate the venue, contact hire companies now to make sure they’re available. Also consider the more practical items you might need, such as chairs, tables, or even a marquee. Kippure Estate offers very competitive packages, including marquee hire, for a fraction of the cost of renting one on its own, so you might opt for that.
  • Book your honeymoon.
  • Check your passports will be valid for your honeymoon and order replacements if need be. Remember – you usually need at least six months left on your passport before expiry to be able to use it.
  • Decide upon your wedding cake and order it.
  • If your church or celebrant has a requirement for you to attend a pre-marriage course, you should book it now. You might want to consider doing this even if it isn’t essential.

6-8 months before your wedding

  • Choose and order your wedding dress.
  • Plan any specific activities or trips you’d like to take during your honeymoon.
  • Get the best man and maid of honour started on planning your hen and stag parties.

4-6 months before you get married

  • Select your bridesmaids’ dresses and outfits for any flower girls or page boys.
  • Order the groom’s suit.
  • Rent formal wear for the male members of the bridal party.
  • Arrange your wedding transport.
  • Order your wedding invitations and stationery.
  • If it’s a requirement, participate in pre-marriage counselling.
  • Discuss options with your florist.
  • Since you need to give at least three months’ notice you need to marry, now’s the time to book an appointment with the registrar. You’ll need to do this regardless of whether you’re having a secular or religious ceremony. The only exception is if you’re already in a civil partnership which has been registered in Ireland and you now want to marry, in which case you only require five days’ notice.
  • Choose the prayers/reading/music you’d like to include in your ceremony. You might want to consult your priest/registrar/celebrant for this.
  • Put together a list of addresses for your guests and a spreadsheet to track RSVPs.
  • Arrange a hair/makeup trial and book your hairdresser/makeup artist.

2-3 months before the ceremony

  • Send out your invitations.
  • Organise and attend dress fittings for the bride and bridesmaids.
  • Choose gifts for the bridal party.
  • Buy all the accessories you’ll need, including shoes, hairpieces, bow ties, etc.
  • Attend a menu tasting with your caterer/venue.

4 weeks and counting…

  • Attend a final dress fitting.
  • Contact all your suppliers to reconfirm and make any last-minute changes.
  • Finalise details and arrange printing of your wedding stationery, including order of ceremony.
  • Do any wedding DIY/craft projects you have planned.
  • Review your RSVPs and chase up any non-respondents.

2 weeks and counting…

  • Give your photographer or videographer a list of your must-have shots, such as who you want in formal portraits and when/where these will be taken.
  • Confirm your final head count with the venue/caterer.
  • Decide upon your seating plan.

1 week and counting…

  • Give your venue wedding coordinator any requests your suppliers may have, e.g., table/chairs or musicians/DJ.
  • Get place cards printed.
  • Create a timetable for your day and let the wedding suppliers know when they’ll be needed.
  • Supply the venue wedding coordinators with your timetable, including vendor delivery and set up times, as well as their contact numbers.
  • Have a pamper day for the bride and bridesmaids! Book a manicure, massage, wax, etc.
  • Try on the wedding dress, including underwear and veil.
  • Get all your packing done, including an overnight bag for the night of the reception and suitcases for the honeymoon.

2-3 days before the wedding

  • The groom and groomsmen need to have a final fitting and collect their formal wear.
  • Confirm collection time with your wedding car company.
  • Contact all vendors to discuss any last-minute changes and confirm final details.
  • Give your best man and maid of honour a copy of the timetable and suppliers’ contact details.

The day before…

  • Deliver all required stationery and favours to the venue wedding coordinator.
  • Give all your suppliers details of your nominated emergency contact in case of any issues.
  • Write cheques or arrange envelopes with cash for payments required at the end of the ceremony/reception.
  • Nominate someone to oversee the delivery of the cake and make sure it’s going to arrive when it’s due.
  • Hold a ceremony rehearsal with all members of the bridal party and the officiant.

This is it! Your wedding!

  • Put the best man/bridesmaid in charge of looking after the bridal party gifts.
  • Have the flowers delivered to the bride and ensure the buttonholes are taken to the men.
  • Give the rings to the best man.
  • Also give the best man the envelope containing the fee for your officiant, to be handed over after the ceremony.
  • Introduce your wedding planner (if you have one), maid of honour and best man to the venue wedding coordinator so they can handle any problems which may arise.

After the big event

  • Make sure you’ve appointed someone to return any rentals, as well as take the wedding outfits for cleaning if you bought them.
  • Write thank you notes for all your gifts, as well as for vendors who gave a particularly good service.

And that’s it! The way to have a smooth, well-organised, stress-free wedding.

Kippure Estate is an all-on-one wedding venue, offering ceremony locations, receptions, accommodation and parties. When you book your wedding at Kippure Estate, our experienced wedding team is on hand to help you with your wedding planning. Contact us now to discuss how we can help you have a perfect day.

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