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Plan to stay stress-free

Author: Steven Shaw Published: 7th September 2008 19:37
Wedding Planner - AboutMyArea - BH15This is both an exciting and stressful time but here are some ideas which we hope will make planning your special day stress-free and enjoyable.

1 year to go

  • Arrange a meeting with your minister, priest or rabbi, or book the registry office.
  • Set the budget.
  • Arrange visits with venues, suitable caterers, cars and the photographer.
    Register your Gift list.
  • Choose your own gown and bridesmaid outfits.
  • Order your stationery.
  • Choose your florist.
  • Organise wedding insurance.
  • Plan and book your honeymoon and the first-night hotel.
  • Send out 'Save the Date' cards.
  • Begin creating your wedding website and start entering guest data into online planning tools.

6 months to goChecklist - AboutMyArea - BH15

  • Confirm service arrangements, readings and music with your minister.
  • Groom to organise the suits for him and the groomsmen.
  • Choose and purchase your wedding rings.
  • Order your wedding cake.
  • Make first draft of the wedding invitation list.
  • Buy your wedding day lingerie.
  • Begin a beauty routine.

3 months to go

  • Complete your gift list. Church - AboutMyArea - BH15
  • Send out your invitations, including gift list information.
  • Confirm all bookings with your church/registry office.
  • Finalise honeymoon plans including passports, travel insurance, vaccinations (if necessary), visas and foreign currency.
  • Discuss hairstyle and make-up options with your hairdresser/make-up artist and book for the day.
  • Discuss any details of the menu with your caterer.
  • Buy accessories including veil, tiara, necklace and earrings.
  • Buy honeymoon luggage and wardrobe.
  • Enable the online RSVP on your personalised Wedding Website so that guests' responses can be easily recorded.

2 weeks to go

  • Try on wedding dress with chosen lingerie to check they fit.
  • Break in your shoes.
  • Confirm photographers, flowers, cars, bands/DJ.
  • Double check your wedding outfit is complete.
  • Have a final hair and make-up practice.
  • Ensure the groom, groomsmen and father-of-the-bride are preparing their speeches.
    Pack honeymoon luggage
  • Use the online planning tools to help make your seating assignments for the reception.
  • Don't forget to upload your wedding pictures to your personal wedding website.
  • Use the wedding planning tools to track all gifts received and manage your thank you notes.



For the bride:
  • If your dress is elaborate then go for a simple style tiara and vice versa
  • Exfoliate your skin once a week running up to the wedding for clear, smooth, flawless skin.
  • Try to drink 8 glasses of water a day to give your skin the best hydration and a healthy glow.
  • In order to prevent streaks and an uneven tan, prepare your skin in advance by exfoliating. Use an oil-free moisturiser on elbows, knees and ankles to prevent uneven application.
  • Make sure you shave your legs the day before to prevent irritation and uneven colour if you are tanning.
  • Top up your tan two days after application for a healthy sun-kissed look.
  • Curling the lashes before applying mascara will give them an extra boost.
  • Use a skin primer like Estée Lauder Spotlight to give an underglow and even tone.
  • If traditional lingerie doesn't work with your dress try stick on cups, nipple protectors, dress tape and breast enhancers for the perfect shape.

For the groom:
  • Making your speech can be daunting. Don't put it off until the last minute and let your nerves get the better of you. Start planning early. Try the internet and books for inspiration and ideas. Practise in-front of the mirror or your best man so that you feel well rehearsed when the time comes.
  • Start your skincare routine and put your best face forward. Cleans daily: Use natural and chemical free products for the best results. Some fragranced soaps can irritate the skin and block pores. Exfoliate: A good scrub removes dead skin and smoothes for flawless, glowing skin. Tone-up Toning helps to get rid of pollutants from the outside environment. Toners help to keep the face clear and firm. Nourish Treat the skin to a light moisturiser after shaving to help hydrate the skin. Moisturising will also help to hydrate sensitive areas especially under the eye. Experiment Try different aftershaves to find one that is perfect for your special day and will keep you smelling wonderful all day long.
  • Buying or hiring an outfit? The choice is yours but make the right decision depending on what best suits you. If you think that buying the right outfit for one day is going to be too expensive or that you may never wear it again then hiring may be your best solution. You may feel buying is better for you if you are going to wear your outfit more than once. This way you can always mix and match items with what you already have in your wardrobe.

Legal Issues

  • In order to marry legally, both bride and groom must be at least sixteen.
  • Those under the age of eighteen also need to have the written consent of their parent or guardian.
  • Weddings can take place between 8am and 6pm on any day, but restriction may apply in specific locations.
  • Unless you are getting married in a Church of England or Church in Wales both the bride and groom must give formal Notice of Marriage at the register office where they live.
  • You must have been living in the registration district for at least the 7 days before giving Notice of Marriage.
    After fifteen days the Marriage Authority is given, which must then be given to the registrar or minister conducting the marriage.
  • Notice of Marriage is only valid for 12 months and currently costs £30 per person.
  • When you give Notice of Marriage you will need to provide the following documentation
  1. Proof of identity - birth certificate , passport or driving licence
  2. Proof of residence - driving licence or utility bill
  3. Proof of nationality - for non-British subjects, a passport or identity document
  4. If you have been married before, you will need either your Decree Absolute or a death certificate
  5. If either of you is under 18 you need to produce written consent from your parent or guardian
  6. If you have changed your name documentation will be required

Different Types of Marriage

Church of England & Church in Wales

You can get married in either the bride or the groom's parish church. Clergy are authorised registrars so it is not necessary for you to have a civil ceremony elsewhere, the church service is sufficient. As such, it is not necessary to give Notice of Marriage, instead the banns are read for three Sundays within the three month period prior to you planned wedding date. If you and your partner live in different parishes, the banns must be read in both churches, and a certificate produced and given to the church where the ceremony is actually taking place.

For further information please visit Church of England Weddings  or phone 020 7898 1000

Roman Catholic

Whilst priests are able to solemnise a marriage it is also necessary to give Notice of Marriage to your local registrar. At least one of you needs to have been baptised as a Catholic. A dispensation must be obtained if a Catholic wishes to marry in another Christian church or to marry someone who has not been baptised.

For further information please visit the Catholic Church or phone 020 7371 1341

Baptist, Methodist & United Reformed

You need to give Notice of Marriage at your local register office, and if your minister is not authorised to solemnise your wedding the registrar will also need to attend.

For further information please visit -
The Baptist Union or phone 01235 517700
The Methodist Church or phone 020 7486 5502
The United Reformed Church or phone 020 7916 2020


You need to give Notice of Marriage at your local register office, and you should also apply to the chief rabbi for authorisation at least 3 weeks before the wedding. You will need to provide your parents' marriage certificate and your birth certificate. Apart from in synagogues, the wedding can be solemnised anywhere, as long as the service is held beneath a Chuppah.
For further information please phone the Marriage Council on 0208 203 6311

Asian Weddings

You need to give Notice of Marriage at your local register office. Whilst the mosque or temple may be recognised to conduct weddings, there is normally a civil wedding at a register office or other approved premises followed by the religious ceremony.
For further information please phone -
The Muslim Council on 020 8903 9024
The Islamic Cultural Centre on 020 7724 3363
The Hindu Cultural Association on 01384 243244
The Sikh Cultural Society on 0181 952 1215


You need to give Notice of Marriage at your local register office. The ceremony needs to take place either in a register office or other licensed place.

For further information please visit the British Humanist Association or phone 020 7079 3580


A civil wedding can sometimes be followed by a church blessing, but this is at the discretion of each individual minister.

Second Marriages

It is generally at the discretion of individual ministers whether they are willing to marry divorced people.


Many travel agents will advise on what is required for an overseas wedding, but it is advisable to contact the consulate of the country where you want to marry or The Foreign & Commonwealth Office. They will also be able to advise you whether an overseas marriage will be legally recognised in the UK. It may also be advisable to double check any advice with your solicitor. Marriages solemnised abroad cannot be registered in the UK, but it may be possible to record the marriage with The ONS General Register Office.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office or phone 0207 270 1500
ONS General Register Office or phone 0151 471 4200

Civil Weddings

Civil weddings can take place at register offices or in other buildings which have been approved by the local authority.

You are able to choose your own music, readings, vows, poetry etc but there must be no religious content and the registrar will need to approve everything before the day. Where your civil marriage is taking place at Approved Premises, you will need the registrar to be in attendance to officiate, so make sure they are available before booking the venue.

The advantage of holding your wedding at Approved Premises is that you may be able to have the ceremony and the reception at the same place, which can often simplify arrangements.

Civil Partnerships

Civil partnerships are very similar to civil weddings, but are exclusively for same-sex couples. To be eligible for a civil partnership the couple must be of the same sex, not already be married or already in a civil partnership, be 16 or over and legally be able to have a same-sex relationship. As with weddings, those aged under 18 will need the written consent of their parent or guardian.

Both partners need to give notice at the register office in the area where they live, and when doing so need to supply details of the date and place of where the civil partnership registration is going to take place. For this reason, you need to have already arranged your venue and made arrangements with the register office responsible for that venue.

You will need to provide the same documentation as for a civil wedding (see above). Once each person has given notice there is a 15 day waiting period before the civil partnership can be registered.

As with civil weddings, the civil partnership registration is an entirely secular process and no religious content is allowed during the statutory steps. If you would like a ceremony, this should be arranged separately.

For more on wedding or civil partnership registrations, see Poole Borough Council website


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