G:Work out if you’re going to be all traditional and ask for her father’s permission. Seal that deal, work out what engagement ring to buy (or pick a nice placeholder ring) and then book the engagement weekend.
G: Get the all-important “yes”. Without that you’re on the wrong website.
G:Work out who’s going to be paying for the wedding and how much you’ve got to spend. If the pot’s looking a little empty, work out how you can boost the fund. If you need to save up, work out how long it will take as this might impact on the wedding date. And if you’re going cap-in-hand to parents and future parents-in-law, do spend some time buttering them up first.
G:Work out a realistic wedding budget incorporating all the necessary purchases, from venue to dress and everything in between. Research prices online, but the bottom line is that everything’s going to cost more than you think – welcome to the Wedding Industry.
G:Think about attending a wedding fair. It’s not going to be as much fun as a day at Alton Towers, but you might pick up some ideas.
G:Feign interest in the wedding magazines you’re being shown. If you’re being flash get a subscription for your Mrs-to-be. Wedding Ideas is the best one and every time a copy drops through the door – you get Brownie Points.
G:If you’re thinking of hiring a wedding planner (and you should because the good ones will save you hassle and money), now’s the time to get them involved in order to take maximum advantage of their services. Staggered can even get you one for free if you’re quick.
G:Start a wedding file to keep all wedding-related documents and contracts in. It might just help you stay sane further down the line.
G, FOTB:Decide how many guests you’d like and work out a rough guestlist. Ask the families if there are any people they’d like you to invite.
G:If you’re planning a church wedding, book your chosen church as early as possible. If you aren’t regular churchgoers, you may need to become considerably more religious – so cancel your Sunday morning footie engagements for the foreseeable. If you’re going for a non-churchy wedding, start looking into possible venues, and consider doing the service and reception in the same place.
G:Book reception venue and caterers. Check the cancellation/refund policies before stumping up the cash, and make sure you have the policies in writing. If you’re spending a lot on the day then think about getting wedding insurance in place that will cover you if anyone’s ill or jilted…
G:When you’ve decided on the where, work out the when. More than likely it’s the availability of your venue that will decide the wedding date, but do remember that some dates are better than others, so check with our wedding dates to avoid list to miss football finals, etc.
Be realistic and give yourself enough time to plan the wedding properly – a glance down this list should remind you just how much work you have to do. When you’re sure of the details, send out ‘save the date’ cards (or a Save The Date video if you’re being all new media about things) to the guests you definitely want to see at the ceremony.
G:Book entertainment for the reception if you’re having any. If you’re going for a DJ, go by personal recommendation where possible.
G:Name the best man and ushers and enjoy a guilt-free celebratory booze-up. Do NOT throw this opportunity away lightly, make your wife-to-be understand that this is emotional man stuff and you want to do this right and make a weekend of it. You’ve proposed, now it’s time to bropose.
G, BM, FOTD:…But don’t hit the sauce too hard – you need to start getting in shape now unless you want to look like the Pilsbury Dough Boy in a suit.