A Day For You, Made By Us
Planning Your Dream Wedding: A Stress-Free Guide
Organising your wedding? Already feeling overwhelmed? Well, there's no need to panic. With a little careful organisation and the right support from a few choice professionals, you can create the perfect wedding day with ease.
To help you on the way to your Big Day, we've curated this comprehensive checklist to help you navigate your nuptials smoothly - and in as little as six months. Plus, we'll introduce you to the splendidly celebratory services offered by Macdonald Hotels and our expert wedding designers. So whether you're hosting a lavish reception or considering a much more intimate affair, here's how to get hitched without a hitch.
Six Months In Advance
Set Your Budget:
Do this before everything but the proposal! Be realistic about how much you (or your contributors) are willing to spend, and allocate amounts for each aspect, such as venue, catering, attire, and decor.
Choose Your Venue:
Time to fall in love again! Options at Macdonald Hotels range from an intimate room for your inner circle or exclusive use of a whole hotel. It's your day, so don't be afraid to ask people to travel - we can accommodate everyone (and can offer your guests discounted room rates too). Speaking of guests...
Fix a Date:
Now you'll truly have something to work towards. Just make sure your A-list guests will be available when you make your final decision - don't make Grandma cancel her non-refundable round-the-world cruise.
Decide on Numbers:
How many people to invite? Whether a colossal crowd or your closest circle, skip Save-the-Date notes and send proper invitations straight away. If you have your own wedding website, now's the time to share it. Gently give people a deadline for RSVPs too.
Five Months Before
Select Your Style
Maybe you're into elegant, crisp whites and classic formal dining, or bursts of colour and the dancefloor of your dreams. Picking a theme, vibe or even just a palette at an early stage will inform your other choices, and ensure that your day truly reflects the couple you are.
Request Your Bridesmaids / Groomsmen
You're not the only one making a commitment! You've known who your closest friends are for years - but now's the time to make it formal, and get them to say yes to being an extra special part of your day.
Say Yes to the Dress
At the bridal shop, be up front about your wedding date so they can guide you towards designers that can deliver your dream dress in time. There's no need to spend a fortune - there are excellent wedding dresses available on the high street - but remember you may still need a little time for tailoring.
Four Months Before
Book Your Suppliers
Hair, make-up, cake, cars, flowers, DJ... oh, and the celebrant of course. Every Macdonald Hotel keeps a meticulously-curated list of preferred suppliers to help you select the vendors that are right for you.
Buy The Rings
Take some time to find the ideal cut, style and fit - and make sure you both love them. After all, they're something you're never going to take off.
Organise Hen and Stag Dos
Happily, you can hand this task to your maid of honour or best man. If you're keen to make more of it than just a local night out, Macdonald Resorts offer self-catering stays with access to spas, fun group activities and more.
You don't have to spoil your first full day of wedded bliss with all the stress of the airport. Instead, perhaps spoil yourselves with a mini-moon weekend in a suite at one of our luxury hotels, and start to think about the big trip a few months down the line.
Three Months Before
Plan a Timeline of the Day
Your party and your suppliers will need a plan on how they'll navigate from that first glass of fizz to the DJ's last dance. Depending on your partner, they might need it too!
Hair and Make-Up
Want to try a new do, or new beauty products? Even if not, you'll want your hair and make-up to look their best. Be sure to book a hair and make-up trial so you can make any tweaks ahead of your wedding day.
Finalise your menu (yum). If you're having a formal sit-down wedding breakfast, ask your guests to choose their options in advance. Naturally, Macdonald Hotels offers scrumptious catering options from gourmet multiple-course meals to delicate finger buffets and child-friendly choices.
Two Months Before
We don't just mean your own gift registry, but there'll be important members of the groom or bridal party you will want to thank personally with presents. If you're having favours on tables, now's the time to get these ready - and don't forget to get in some fun colouring-in kits to keep the little guests occupied during the speeches.
Have Your Hen or Stag Do
Let loose with your loved ones well in advance of the wedding - you may need the recovery time! If you're keeping things close to home, about some delectable fine dining to set you up for your night on the town?
Set Table Plans
This can take a bit of time to get right, but it'll soon come together. Don't be afraid to mix big personalities in with quieter crowds - it'll keep conversation flowing, and make sure the room is full of joy and laughter.
A Month Before
Lock in the Guest List
Give those last few missing people (sigh...) one final chance to RSVP, then set your numbers in stone.
Check in With Suppliers
Confirm all dates, times and details - including your final numbers and final prices. Make sure any outstanding bills are paid. If you don't have a dedicated wedding planner, allocate some members of your party to be the contact of one vendor each on the day.
Write Your Speech
It doesn't have to last all afternoon! And don't worry about getting everyone rolling in the aisles (leave that duty to your dad). Just tell a heartfelt tale of your romance, and offer your thanks to everyone who has supported you on your journey. Five minutes is fine - always leave them wanting more.
A Week Before
Usually it's best to organise these nice and close to the day itself, but do take your tailor or seamstress's advice on when to book in your last appointment.
Throw a Rehearsal Dinner
Enjoy an intimate occasion with your closest family and friends. Take time to relax together in some smart surroundings, as the two of you gear up for the day that will change your lives forever.
Take Time Out
By this stage, you'll be ready to take a break. Unwind with a soothing spa day or spa treatment, either with a bestie or two, or as a super-relaxing couples' experience with your significant other.
On The Day
Enjoy your special day surrounded by loved ones. And congratulations!
Trust Your Suppliers
They're professionals! Trust them and us to execute your plans flawlessly. You've already told them which of your party to contact on the day if they absolutely have to, so you can focus on enjoying your day together.
Take it All In
It really is all for you. All these gorgeous people are here to see you, and celebrate your love. You'll probably feel a bit overwhelmed at times, but embrace it - it's all part of the experience of such a special day.
One Month Afterwards
Send Thank You CardsHave Your Wedding Dress Cleaned
One to complete as quickly as you can - the longer you leave it, the more onerous a task it will become, and the less genuine your thanks will feel to your recipients. No pressure...
If you want to keep your dress spotless forever, make sure it's in pristine condition before it's carefully packed away.
Admire the Photos
It's never too early for some nostalgia. Did we mention that all our hotels have high-quality, friendly photographers on our suppliers' lists?
Enjoy Wedded Bliss
Cherish the beginning of your lifelong journey together. Need we say more?