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I am not one to rush (except when I’m eating, which I’ve been told is virtually record-breaking). Our engagement, when the final wedding bell tolls, will be over 2 years in the making – and that seems to me just right to balance the stress with the planning. Of course, you may be eager to get it done for personal or time-based reasons – in which case, prepare for stress and pangs of worry for the few months of singledom you have left.
What people always told me was that things will creep up on you, which I dismissed as poor planning. But I’d missed a crucial factor – despite careful planning, there’s a big load of things that can’t be done until the few weeks before – and sometimes even the day before – the wedding. Normally, you can only meet with the vicar/registrar a couple of months before, at the earliest. You can’t finalise any food costs until guests have confirmed (and chosen their food, if you’re into the whole menu selection thing). So prepare for a whole month or two of panic. Do everything you *can* do earlier than you planned.
To help with the planning, I drew inspiration from my best man Jack. He is a Man of Spreadsheets. He has mastered pivot tables, column widths, equations and linked sheets. Behind every project of Jack’s, there is an organised and well-formatted tabular wonder.
So, behold: Wibbler’s Wedding Spreadsheet. (imagine BIG trumpets fanfaring about now). It’s made for UK bods, but I’m sure can be adapted easily. It’s also made for a fairly big screen. It’s generic enough for most couples having a more traditional wedding to use – but for those getting married on a whim in the rainforests of South America, not so much.
IN SUMMARY: Don’t stress, do everything before you think you need to do it. Use a spreadsheet.