It might seem a long time ahead to get the ball rolling but many of the best wedding suppliers get booked up years in advance, so the earlier you start the better. It also gives you time to think about saving, many suppliers will accept a deposit on booking and then payment nearer to the time of your wedding allowing you time to save up. One of the most important things to decide on is the type of wedding ceremony you wish to have.
Types of Ceremony
- Here at The Spread Eagle we are lucky enough to be licenced to hold civil ceremonies, meaning all of your perfect day can happen in one place. A civil ceremony must be booked a minimum of 29 days and a maximum of 12 months before you wish the ceremony to take place.
- There’s a lot of information on civil marriages and civil partnerships on the Lancashire County Council website.
- You need to contact the Registrars directly and they will guide you through the process and fees involved.
Church of England
- If you wish to be married in a Church of England Church you should first speak to the Vicar of the church in which you wish to marry. Assuming the ceremony can take place the Vicar would guide you through the process including things like the reading of the banns and the common license. Unless the Vicar specifically asks you to contact the registration services, a separate registrar would not expect to be involved in this process.
- Although the principle is often the same, different religious denominations tend to follow slightly different processes when it comes to marriages. If you wish to marry in a church or religious building of any other religious denomination the best thing to do is to speak to the person responsible for marriage at said place and they will be able to better guide you through the process.
The best suppliers can get booked years in advance, we can recommend lots of local people who we have worked with before and know the high standard of their work, if you’d like any pointers please just ask.
At this point we would recommend you focus on
- Cars/ Transport
Now your venue is confirmed and you know what type of ceremony you would like you can start thinking about all the other details. Things to consider at this time may be :
- Wedding Dress
- Local Suppliers
- A more detailed budget including who is contributing to what
- Discuss and agree on a theme or colour scheme
- Wedding insurance
Don’t forget the fun bits like choosing your bridesmaids, best man and ushers. Maybe you can think of a more personal way to invite them to be part of your special day?
Things will be really starting to take shape now. You’ll have a rough idea on how your day will run and hopefully you’ve booked in your main suppliers. Now its time to start thinking about the finer details. Things to consider around this point are:
- Final guest list, who will be invited to the whole day and who will you invite to the evening reception?
- Outfits for the wedding party, bridesmaids dresses and groomsman suits can be one of the hardest decisions, make sure you leave plenty of time for multiple trying on sessions and those all important alterations to ensure the perfect fit.
- Decide on and order Wedding invitations
- Don’t forget about other important stationery like the Order of Services, name cards and menus
- Gift List
- Wedding cake
- Any final honeymoon reservations
- Music for ceremony/ wedding breakfast
- We will happily act as Master of Ceremonies for you if you wish, but a Toast Master can add a real sense of occasion and help keep things running smoothly, it can be a fun added touch.
We recommend you book your wedding tasting with us around 9 months before the big day; this gives you plenty of time to choose before your invites are sent as you may wish to include menu choices with your invitations.
Come just the two of you, or invite family and friends if you wish, we just need to know which dishes you would like to try at least 2 weeks in advance.
We charge £5.00 per starter, £10.00 per main and £5.00 per dessert so choose as much as you like.
By now most of the big decisions will have been made, it will just be a case of confirming your final choices with suppliers. So hopefully you can relax a little and really enjoy the rest of the planning process.
- Start arranging fittings for both bride and bridesmaids dresses
- Choose and order wedding rings
- Consider thank you gifts for parents, the bridal party and anyone else who has helped along the way
- Check Passports are in order if you have decided to go abroad after the celebrations.
- Send out invitations
- Book hair and makeup artists
- Decide on arrangements for Stag and Hen Parties
This is a good time to come in and have a chat with us. You’ll be able to tell us all about which suppliers will be doing what for you, which final menu choices you have made and confirm the ceremony details if you haven’t already. We love to hear how all the plans are coming together.
Now is the time to focus on the little details as you are getting closer to the big day.
At this point we will want to confirm the bedrooms you have booked with us for you and your guests and organise the best time for you to come in for your final details meeting.
Other things to think about are…
- Trials of hair and makeup for the bride and bridesmaids
- Chase any outstanding invitations
- Organise for your wedding announcement in the newspaper if you wish
- Buy jewellery/tiara and any other accessories
- Choose favours
Hopefully now most things should have fallen ino place, it will be time for you to come in and meet with one of our Functions Team for your final details meeting. We will recap over everything to make sure there have been no changes, filling in any gaps along the way so by the time we are finished we should know exactly how your day is going to run. At this point we must know :
- Final Number of guests for ceremony, wedding breakfast and evening celebration or as applicable
- Final timings
- Full list of suppliers who we will be working along side to make your day happen
- Final pre-order for guests, please fill in our pre order sheets to help with this
At this point we will also contact your guests that will be staying with us to confirm their room reservations, and help with any special requirements. They will also have the opportunity to pay for their rooms if this is what you wish.
As soon as we have all the details needed we will issue you with the final invoice. It is very important that you check this and let us know about anything that needs to be changed as soon as possible.
It can feel like the last bit of the run up to your day is just paying bills unfortunately! Lots of suppliers require payment a month before the event so if you haven’t already there may be some accounts to take care of. This is also the point where we require full payment, this can be made in person by card or in cash, over the phone by card or electronically via BACS if you would prefer.
At this point there won’t be too much left to do (hopefully)! So take some time over yourself, it can be a great time to treat yourself to some beauty treatments, or maybe even some new clothes for the honeymoon! Chances are you will be celebrating with your Stags / Hens at this point too so make the most of that, let your hair down and enjoy!
A few last minute things that are good to be thinking about in the final run up to the big day may include…
- Record wedding gifts as your receive them, maybe even make a start on the thank you notes to save time later
- Ensure Speeches and Vows have been written
- Double check attire and accessories for the wedding party
- Confirm a date and time of the rehearsal (if your having one) to everyone involved
Everything should be in place now. Just the final bits to organise, mainly making sure everyone else is as organised as you!
- Pack for honeymoon and if necessary arrange foreign currency
- Start thinking about name changes on bank account, credit cards and so on
- Enjoy some you time, maybe hair and nail appointments to make sure you’re looking as wonderful as possible for the big day
- Make sure everything is packed ready to go to the The Spread Eagle
It may well be possible for you to drop things off the day before, whether the room is being set up for you then or not, it sure is a weight off your mind! So whatever you are bringing have it boxed up and labelled clearly ready for the staff at The Spread to sort out for you. You might also want to check
- Rings are with the right person and ready to go
- Emergency umbrellas / sunglasses are handy depending on what the wonderful British weather has decided to throw at you
It’s here, it’s here! All that planning has led to this, so enjoy every minute. Everything is done and at this point the tiny details won’t matter so soak up every moment, and remember the most important thing is that at the end of the day you’ll be married to the perfect person for you!