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When you first say ‘yes’ to that all-important question, if feels like you have all the time in the world to get everything ready for your dream wedding. But you’ll be surprised just how quickly your big day will creep up on you and the last thing you want is to be stressing out, trying to get things organised at the last minute. Use our essential step-by-step guide below to ensure that you don’t forget anything that you need to do, or more importantly, when you need to do it.
Many of our popular dates and wedding venues get booked up very quickly, so it’s important that you book as early as you possibly can to avoid disappointment. Most wedding holidays can be booked up to 18 months in advance, but if it is not yet possible to book your desired destination or wedding package, you can register your interest with our weddings team and they'll then be able to let you know once it goes on sale
If you’re not already super organised, now is the perfect time to sort out the invitations and any other information that you would like to provide for your guests. You should begin to organise all the relevant documentation requirements for your chosen destination and select any specialists that you may wish to use for such things as translations or legal services. It’s also vital that you remember to sort out travel insurance and make sure that it covers everything relevant to your wedding, such as expensive jewellery and, crucially, your wedding dress.
Now is the time to finalise your guest list and chase up those who have not yet confirmed their attendance. You may need to organise day passes for any guests who are not staying in the same hotel as you, but the weddings team will be able to advise you if this is the case.
You should by now have a good idea of how you want your hair and make-up to look on the day, so head to your local salon to practise some styles and looks so that you are comfortable reproducing it on the day. Alternatively, take some photos so that the stylist in the resort can replicate the style if you choose to book that option.
It’s also time to double check and submit all your relevant documentation to the weddings team. It’s vital that you check and re-check every little detail, because even the tiniest discrepancy, such as a misspelled name, could result in your ceremony not being able to take place.
Create a wedding day packing list and also a honeymoon packing list to ensure that you don’t leave anything to the last minute and forget something that is vital to your time away. It’s also a good idea to weigh your wedding dress and groom’s suit, as well as both pairs of shoes in order to make sure that you don’t pack too much and end up with luggage that is too heavy for your airline baggage restrictions.
Check that you have all of the paperwork you need to take with you on your wedding holiday. Make sure that you have all the original documents as well as photocopies and keep them in a safe place along with your passport and tickets, which you should have received by this point. Get all your wedding essentials together now so that you’re confident you know where everything is before your departure day. And don’t forget to collect the rings from the jewellers!
Once you’ve arrived at your chosen destination, you'll hopefully have a few days to find your feet and get to know the resort and the surrounding area. In this time you can meet the minimum residency requirements as well as finishing off any last minute necessities such as any leftover paperwork, visiting any local authorities if required and adding any finishing touches to your overall plans. In the days leading up to your wedding day, you will be contacted by either a local Thomas Cook rep, a Thomas Cook wedding coordinator or the hotel’s own wedding coordinator. They'll arrange to meet up with you in order to discuss the next steps and finalise any arrangements with things such as your flowers, photographer and reception.
Finally, it’s time to watch everything fall into place! This is your special day, so sit back, relax and enjoy every minute of it. Your wedding coordinator will be at hand to make any finishing touches and ensure that everything runs smoothly, so you don’t have to worry about. Most ceremonies tend to last between 15 and 20 minutes and include your vows, the exchanging of rings and the registering of your marriage certificate. After that, it’s outside for the all-important photos and then on to the reception and the start of your happy ever after.