A handy checklist to help you plan your wedding

A handy checklist to help you plan your wedding

Finally! Your partner popped the question and you said 'Yes'! No doubt you've received many good wishes and enjoyed a glass of champagne. And now that you've celebrated your engagement, it's time to start planning a bigger party – your wedding! When it comes to getting married, the list seems endless, but KBC gives you a helping hand with this checklist.

6 to 12 months to go

1Set a date
planning a wedding checklist: date

During the summer months you'll have a better chance of good weather, but in other times of year, more locations, photographers and DJs are available. Or perhaps you simply want to choose a date that is close to your heart.

  • Ask your most important guests whether they can make the big day.
  • Be sure to check whether your favourite reception venue is free then.
2Town hall and ceremony

Book the town hall and the place where you would like your wedding ceremony to be held, for example the church.

3Choose your witnesses
  • It's always nice to ask the question in an original fashion.
  • Do you also want bridesmaids in the wedding procession? If so, run it by the parents first.
4Provisional guest list

Draw up an estimate of the number of guests to help you determine your budget and choose a reception venue.

5Save the date!

At this point, it's still too early to think about invitations, but you could send a save-the-date message. Why not send a card or a nice e-mail?

6Determine your budget
  • How much of your savings can you spare?
  • Perhaps your parents (or in-laws) can help out?
  • Not enough to finance your dream day? Consider a wedding loan.

Taking out a loan for your wedding can make things easier, but you should work out how much you can spend before you start planning, and stick to it.

On average, a wedding in Flanders costs between 15,000 and 20,000 euros. The final cost of your wedding partly depends on how many guests you invite as well as your personal taste.

7Wedding planner or Master of Ceremonies
  • An experienced wedding planner can take a great deal of weight off your shoulders.
  • A Master of Ceremonies makes sure everything runs smoothly on the day.
8A reception venue
choosing a venue wedding

At a cost of several thousand euros, hiring a reception venue will leave a big hole in your wedding budget, so it's essential you do your research.

  • Is the location big enough for all your guests to sit down as well as dance?
  • Do you want the wedding to take place on site, and if so, is that possible?
  • Is catering included? Can you choose the caterer yourself?
  • How long can the reception last? Do you pay extra from a certain time?
  • Is furniture included?
  • Is the venue easily accessible for everyone?
  • Are there extra facilities, such as music equipment, a cloakroom, a bridal suite to stay the night, etc.?
9Catering

If there's no caterer based at the reception venue, you'll have to find one yourself.

  • Check the caterer's reputation, as not only must the food be excellent, but the service must be too.
  • Does the offer match what you would want on the menu?
  • The price of food and drink is usually calculated per guest.
  • If you fancy something slightly different, think about ordering a few food trucks for the event. 
10Music
  • Having live music at the reception is always an option.
  • Book a DJ or a live band to get the party going in the evening. Be sure to check with the venue how late your DJ will be able to stay.
11Pre-nuptial agreement

Many couples decide upon a pre-nuptial agreement before they tie the knot. If you want to do this, you should make an appointment with a notary public. If you decide you don't want to sign a pre-nuptial agreement, you'll automatically be married with joint ownership of property. Read more about the legal marital system in Belgium. 

6 months to go

1Notice of marriage or marriage certificate
  • Before your big day, you need to enter a notice of marriage. This means that you need to inform the town hall of your intention to marry. You can do so between six months and two weeks in advance. You can even do this online with some town halls.
  • If you're getting married in a church, you should make an appointment for your marriage certificate there. 
2Wedding clothes
wedding dress
  • You've not got much longer to wait, and the time has come to go shopping for the perfect wedding dress.
  • Other wedding outfits and dresses for the bridesmaids can wait a few weeks yet.
  • Put the finishing touches to your dress with accessories and shoes. Don't forget some comfortable shoes so you can dance the night away with ease.

The clothing budget for a traditional wedding can easily reach 2,000 euros. 

3Photographer

For professional wedding photos or videos, you'd best put aside around 1,000 euros.

  • Check whether the wedding album is included in the price.
4Honeymoon

Book a trip to a destination of a lifetime.

Check whether you're well insured before you leave. As part of the KBC Holiday Insurance policy, you can take out extensive cancellation insurance or baggage insurance, for example. 

5Request leave

You are entitled to two days' holiday during the week of your wedding or the week after. 

Budget check

Is everything still within your budget? Check this before you continue planning your big day.

 

4 months to go

1Book transport

A classic car, carriage, limousine or rickshaw? There are many different ways in which to arrive at the church. How are you going to make an entrance?

2Dance lessons

Do you want to make an impression with your first dance? If so, book some dance lessons.

3Wedding list

Many guests give an envelope, but a wedding list remains a classic.

  • It's also useful as you can view the list online.
  • Ask in-store if you are obliged to buy any gifts not paid for yourself.
  • Other great alternatives are available, such as allowing guests to sponsor parts of your honeymoon. You can easily open a joint account to this end.
4Plan the day itself

Draw up a detailed plan for the big day.

  • Fill in any gaps (e.g., between the church and the reception) with a visit to a restaurant or lunch at home.
  • But make sure you allow some breathing space so you can put your feet up in between. 

3 months to go

1Wedding rings

Take a romantic trip out to the jeweller's.

  • Take the necessary time to make sure the ring fits perfectly, as you'll be wearing it every day.
  • Also think about whether you want the rings to be engraved.
2Invitations

Order your invitations and other printed material, such as name cards and thank-you letters, that you want in the same style.

  • You can already start collecting addresses.
3Put together your menu

Your first meal as a married couple should be exceptional, so sit down together with the caterer and draw up a delicious menu.

  • Do any of your guests have certain allergies or preferences (e.g., gluten-free, vegetarian or halal)?
  • Have you thought about a separate menu for the children?
  • Are you ordering your wedding cake through the caterer, or somewhere else?
4Plan the ceremony

Set out the order of the day together with the Master of Ceremonies and the wedding celebrant (such as the priest). 

5Hair and make-up
  • Discuss the bridal hairstyle you want with your hairdresser.
  • Make an appointment for both of you on your wedding day. And decide whether you're going to take your sister, mother or witness with you.
  • Who is doing the make-up? Consider making an appointment with a beautician, who can also give you some tips.
6Trip formalities
  • Are your passports or ID cards valid ahead of your honeymoon?
  • Do you need certain vaccinations for your destination?
  • Do you already have a credit card so you can pay easily during your travels? Don't forget to activate your card for use in the US if necessary. Read all about making payments abroad here.

2 months to go

1Send out invitations

You won't find volunteers to stick stamps and write addresses on envelopes hard to come by. 

2Gifts
  • Think about a gift for the witnesses, the bridesmaids and your parents.
  • Order small gifts for your guests.
  • Consider getting a surprise gift for each other. 
3Flowers
wedding checklist choosing flowers
  • Discuss with the florist which corsages and decorations you want for the room, the church, the car and so on.
  • Traditionally, the bridegroom chooses the bridal bouquet, which he then gives to his wife-to-be on the morning of the wedding. On the other hand, many brides choose their bouquets themselves, so that everything fits together perfectly. 
4Guest book
  • Find a beautiful guest book or a fun alternative, such as a photo booth.
  • Also think about a place to leave your gifts during the celebrations.

6 weeks to go

1Vows

Do you want to say something special during the ceremony? If so, put it down on paper first. 

2Wedding shoes

Break your wedding shoes in. 

 

Take a step back

If you're gradually turning into a complete control freak, put the wedding out of your mind completely before you enter the final month of planning. You can do this by going for a day out together, for example. 

 

 

4 weeks to go

1Double-check everything

Check your wedding clothes again. Does everything still fit perfectly? 

2Seating arrangements

Your guest list is gradually falling into place, so you can start allocating the guests to tables. 

3Run through the plan for the day
running through plan of wedding day

Together with the Master of Ceremonies, run through the plan for the day and give the photographer, witnesses and others a copy.

4Travel items

Still need a new swimsuit or hiking boots for the honeymoon? 

2 weeks to go

1Confirm appointments

Double-check your appointments with the hairdresser, beautician, florist, and so on.

2Confirm the number of guests

Provide your caterer with the exact number of guests. 

1 week to go

1Pack your suitcases

Pack your suitcases for your honeymoon a few days before your wedding day. This will allow you to relax the day before. 

2Weather report

Check what the weatherman says – do you need umbrellas?

Did you know that rain on your wedding day brings you luck? According to the Italian saying Sposa bagnata, sposa fortunata, a wet bride is a lucky bride! 

3Pick up the wedding rings

Your jeweller will keep your rings safe for as long as you want.

4Back-up bag

Make sure that you have spare tights, make-up, needle and thread, safety pins, hair spray, tissues and more at the ready.

Finally, the big day is here!!

Enjoy your wedding day!
wedding car just married

Trust your Master of Ceremonies and your family to keep the day running smoothly and enjoy your magical day to the full! 

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