Forms You Need Before You Marry
Before you get married, you need either:
- a marriage licence, or
- a banns form that you get from a church when you publicly announce your commitment during a divine service
Banns cannot be published if you or your spouse has been married before. You will need to get a marriage licence.
You and your spouse, witnesses and the person who performed the marriage will need to sign the licence or banns immediately after the ceremony.
Pick Up Your Marriage License
Ah, the fine print. When getting your marriage license, it’s important to know where to go, what to bring, how much itll cost, how long itll take, and how long itll last.
Every state has different laws and requirements, so Google yours. If youre having a destination wedding, whether domestic or international, youll need to research those paperwork requirements as well. Then, make sure you as a couple, your witness, and your officiant sign it.
How To Get A Marriage Licence
To get a marriage licence, you will need to:
- bring 2 pieces of government-issued identification for each person getting married. One piece of identification must include your photo.Examples of government-issued identification:
- government-issued birth certificate, including any change of name certificates
- valid passport
- valid Ontario Photo Card
Please check the municipalitys website to ensure you have all of the information required to purchase a marriage licence.
A marriage licence is valid for three months from the date it was issued.
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Send Out Your Save The Dates
This is where things get really exciting: its time to send your save the dates to your wedding guests! This can be done anytime from 12 to six months before the wedding, but if you’re marrying at a busy time – like a Saturday during the summer holidays – it’s best to send them out as soon as you can. Just remember, you only send these to guests who are invited to the whole day, and not to evening guests. Your save the dates should outline your wedding date and whether guests can expect a wedding invitation or wedding website to follow. Check out our favourite unique save the date ideas here, from magnets to bookmarks.
Start To Consider Your Wedding Outfit
Suits can be found much closer to the wedding date, so this is only relevant if you’re a bride. Think about the style of wedding dress you might want to wear on your big day. Look inside your wardrobe first and see what style you’re drawn too, then research styles and designers on wedding websites and on Pinterest, and finally look around to see which boutiques stock the styles or designer you’re after. You’ll find that the dress shopping experience is a fun and exciting one, but unfortunately it can be harder if you’re plus-size and going to high street boutiques. We’d recommend those brides find plus-size boutiques which will offer samples you can try on and a huge range of specialist designers, styles and sizes. You can find six essential rules for plus-size wedding dress shopping here.
If youre not sure what style of dress youd like and would rather go with an open mind, find a local boutique and book an appointment to see what suits you. Hitched has lists of the best bridalwear shops in Essex, Liverpool, London and Manchester among others.
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Plan Stag And Hen Dos
This is traditionally the job of the best man and maid of honour, but they might need a bit of a nudge to get things organised. Its not uncommon for stag and hens to take their parties abroad nowadays, so make sure that they firm up the plans and let everyone involved know, especially if theyll need them to book time off work. If youre staying in the UK and looking to book an activity or weekend break, its still a good idea to book this now as you dont want to be left searching for available hotel rooms at a peak time of the year.
The Complete Wedding Vendors List You Need For Your Big Day
A wedding requires a small army of vendors, from a caterer to an officiant. Weddings reflect the couple getting married, so each and every wedding is unique. Many weddings wont require every vendor on this list, but there are vendors that almost every bride and groom will need to hire.
After booking a vendor, note the companys name and the name of the person you booked through, a phone number , an email address and their website to your list of vendors. Keeping this information all in one place and sharing copies with your wedding party and venue can keep your wedding day running smoothly.
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Send Out Your Invitations
This is an exciting moment in the planning process. Once those invites are in the mail, or you pressed send on your digital invites, the big day starts to feel more real.
Pro tip: Artist and owner of Invitations by Dawn has this to say about wedding invitation etiquette on her blog:
Tip 1. Everyone invited should receive an invitation. Don’t overlook people you know will be attending .
Tip 2. Clearly print the names of all invited on the inner envelope. This is your chance to state each person by name .
Tip 3. Only one invitation per married couple.
Tip 4. Indicate a plus one is welcome by writing and guest after the recipients name on the inner envelope.
Tip 5. Invitations to unmarried couples should be sent to the closest friend but each persons name should appear on the inner envelope.
Ensure That Youre Insured
This is probably one of the most crucial, yet overlooked, items on your backyard wedding checklist, so pay attention. Nobody wants to think about something terrible happening at your wedding, but theres always a chance, so its best to be prepared. You can ask your insurance agent about coverage for your wedding day, or you can go to a specialized carrier, like WedSafe, WedSure, or Protect My Wedding .
The types of coverage youll want to consider are: Homeowners Insurance and Liability, Liquor Liability, Special Event Insurance, and possibly an Umbrella Policy. These types of coverage will cover you in case of anything from a slip and fall to damage to the property to a guest who drives drunk after attending your wedding.
Also, ask your vendors what insurance they carry, especially caterers and bar tenders, because their coverage may be sufficient enough.
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Decide On Your Ceremony Details
Your registrar should have sent a form to fill in with your ceremony details, so if you havent already, you should start to think about filling it in. Dont panic though you can send it off as close to up to six weeks before your wedding date!
Youll need to know everything from what song youre walking down the aisle to, to whos in your wedding party, whos giving you away, who your photographer is, what readings you want and whether youre writing your own vows or using the traditional ones. Weve got lots of inspiration for all of those things, so dont feel overwhelmed. Take a look at our favourite non-religious wedding readings and our guide to writing your wedding vows.
Start Thinking About Wedding Dresses
This is one of the really exciting parts. Its never too soon to start looking around and getting an idea of what suits you etc. It might take a while to find the perfect dress, so its never too early to start looking. The earlier you start to look, the less stressful its going to be and the more fun you can have playing dress-up!
Image Credit: Betulbird Photography
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Establish Your Priorities And Expectations As A Couple
Before you begin hiring vendors, purchasing decor and shopping for attire, experts say that establishing your priorities is an essential step to planning a wedding. “This is one of the starting conversations I have with my clients,” says Cathleen Holloway, founder of Texas-based design and event company Holloway Events. “Everyone has different priorities when planning a wedding. For example, a client who’s a self-proclaimed foodie is going to want to have the best food at their wedding, while a client who’s obsessed with flowers will prefer lush displays. We categorize our must-haves and our wish list items and work from there.”
Establishing your priorities and expectations is a key part of the wedding planning process for two reasons. Not only will this guide budget allocation, it’ll also help you and your partner remain aligned on what’s most important to both of you while allowing you to compromiseand this is key for minimizing disagreements and conflict along the way. “It’s essential to discuss upfront what each person’s role will be and the related expectations,” Peterman explains.
Call Or Meet With Your Photographer
A month before the wedding you should call or meet with your photographer to inform them of any particular shots youd like capturing. If you want group shots, you should let them know which ones, where and who will be involved. If youre after inspiration before making this call, check out our round-up of the 24 photographs we think you must capture on your wedding day.
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Book Your Wedding Entertainment
We speak to no end of couples that are disappointed because they have left it until 6 months before their day to book their dream band, inevitably finding out they have already been snapped up. Please ignore publications that tell you otherwise, if you have something specific in mind, book your entertainment as soon as youve booked your venue to avoid having to compromise. We have many options available and guarantee that well find you an alternative band that you love if push comes to shove but your first choice can be yours if you book well in advance! You can browse through our range of wedding bands here.
What Songs Do I Need For A Wedding
When it comes to wedding songs, there are a few key moments that youll need to pick tunes for.
For the wedding ceremony, youll need prelude music three to five songs, a processional songs for when the bridal party walks, one songs for when the bride walks down the aisle, one to two songs for during the unity candle or signing of the register, and one songs as a recessional song for when you walk back down the aisle as a married couple.
The brides walk down the aisle is one of the most important and emotional moments of a wedding. As the bride makes her way to the altar, all eyes are on her. T
his is a moment that will be remembered forever, so its important to choose a wedding song that perfectly captures the mood. There are many traditional wedding songs to choose from, but some modern brides are opting for more unique selections.
Whether you choose a classic ballad or a contemporary pop song, make sure it reflects your personal tastes and style and sets the tone for your special day.
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Gifts For Bridal Party
A fun photo I see from featured real weddings all the time is the bride and her bridesmaids each wearing matching robes while they get ready.
If youre not the type who enjoys silk robes, there are lots of different gifts you can buy for your ladies.
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Go Bridesmaid Dress Shopping
If you’re having bridesmaids, its a good idea to go shopping for bridesmaid dresses after the wedding dress. One year in advance might sound like a lot, but with a large group of friends to organise, finding something which everyone loves can be a little tricky. Even if you dont actually purchase anything until six months before the wedding, an initial shopping trip well in advance can do no harm. This goes for finding suits for male bridesmaids too. At the same time as purchasing bridesmaid dresses, consider your flower girl outfits if you’re having them.
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Plan The Before And After Events
Theres often much more to a wedding than the big day itself, though you wont necessarily do them all. As usual, the particulars depend on the size of your wedding, the logistics, and the complexity of the ceremony. These are the events you may prepare or need time for beyond the wedding:
Pro tip: You should also plan breaks for yourself and your partner into your schedule. This includes ten-minute breaks to catch your breath between activities to entire weekends off between events to recenter and relax. Do whatever makes you feel rested. It can be anything from booking a luxury massage to deep cleaning your storage closet to taking your dog on a hike. Just add in these non-negotiable breaks to your schedule to keep your sanity in check. Which brings us to our next tip
What Is The Difference Between A Wedding Planner And A Wedding Coordinator
Although the terms are often used interchangeably, and do overlap to a degree, wedding planner” and wedding coordinator” mean different things to industry professionals.
A wedding planner helps design and orchestrate a wedding from the beginning. As such, they help couples draw up a budget, find and hire vendors, structure and set a timetable for the ceremony and reception, and oversee everything on the wedding day. A wedding planner is often a full-service provider.
Wedding coordinator is the preferred term for a month-of or day-of professional wedding consultant, whose services are more limited. Coming later into the process, these individuals play little part in the wedding design, budget, and choice of vendors. They do become the contact person for the vendors and the venue. They also prepare a schedule for the wedding day events and are on site to manage them, making sure all goes smoothly.
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Use Your Negotiation Skills
You dont always have to take the first offer or price you get. If youre looking to cut back, it could be worth talking to the venue or hotel manager. “Many hotel chains will offer incentives such as shuttle depending on rooms which are booked,” says Goldberg. “Use your fabulous negotiation skill set to allow you to provide a stress-free day. Trust me, your guests will appreciate this more than you know.”