15 months before the wedding
1. Organise the engagement party
2. You can organise an engagement party or a photo session – a wonderful token for the future
3. Fix an approximate wedding date (month)
4. Start looking for a wedding restaurant (the most popular places need to be booked even more than a year ahead)
5. Estimate the initial number of guests
12 months before the wedding
1. Decide about the kind of your wedding: concordat one, civil one, church one and civil one separately. Find out what documents you need to register your marriage.
2. Prepare the wedding budget and split the costs. The bride should think about her wedding gown and all the necessary things. It is never too early to do it.
3. Prepare a guest list.
4. Choose your best man(men) and bridesmaid(s) – they will help you in some preparations. Remember that the best man and the bridesmaid in the church ceremony need to meet certain requirements. They must be of legal age. Canon law does not say that they must be Catholic. However, it is usually required.
5. Start looking for a DJ or a group. Do not hire anyone on spec. You have to know what and how they play.
6. Start looking for a photographer – the best ones are hired even one year ahead
7. Book the restaurant – the most popular places need to be booked even more than a year ahead)
8. If you want to hire a wedding coordinator, start looking for them now. Look through their portfolio; ask the people you know for recommendations.
9. Find out where the marital education course takes place and how long it lasts. Fix the date.
10. Visit the wedding fairs to check what is trendy. You can see wedding dress shows, music groups live. You can also choose the invitations. The fairs are the good opportunity to compare the companies and to check what possibilities they offer.
11. A little bit of selfishness – start thinking about your present list. If you leave it until the last minute, you will forget about lots of the things you need.
10 months before the wedding
1. It is high time your families met. It is good to organise the dinner together.
2. If you are getting married in a church, choose the temple and check if you have all the necessary documents, e.i. the confirmation certificate.
3. Sign the contract with the music group.
4. Sign the contract with the photographer.
5. Think about you honeymoon (place, date, formalities) and check at your work place about possible leave dates.
8 months before the wedding
1. Meet your best man and your maid of honour and introduce them to each other if necessary. Tell them what help you need from them.
2. You wedding dress is waiting to be ordered; it is time to make a decision.
3. Honeymoon just after the wedding? Check, it may be a good moment to book the trip or the tickets. It can be cheaper now.
4. Think about your wedding hairstyle and your veil.
5. Choose the invitations or start preparing your handmade ones.
6. If your guests come from afar, think about the place they can stay. Book the hotel for them or organise the place where they can sleep – the earlier, the cheaper.
7. Buy/order the wedding rings.
6 months before the wedding
1. Visit the parish priest and fix the date of your wedding ceremony. You can also see a wedding in the church you have chosen in order to familiarise yourselves with the surrounding and the athmosphere of the ceremony.
2. Register for the premarital education course. They usually last from 4 to 10 weeks (it depends on the number of the meetings per week). If you work late, you can choose the courses, which take place at the weekend.
3. Choose the weeding gown (sometimes you have to wait for the dress even for 6 months plus the time needed for any corrections)
4 months before the wedding
1. Start gathering all the necessary documents (collect your Birth Certificates from the Register Office)
2. Visit one of your parish offices. Fix the date of signing the wedding report. You need to have the following documents: your ID cards or passports, you last religious education certificates, Baptism certificates (valid for 6 months), Confirmation certificates, premarital education course certificates.
3. You can collect your Baptism certificate from the parish where you were christened. Remember to inform the priest that you need it for the church wedding. The people, who have not been confirmed yet, should take this sacrament in their own parish. In some special situations you can ask the priest to prepare you individually.
4. Inform your employer about your wedding and ask for the leave. According to the Polish Labour Code, when you have the contract of employment, you are entitled to 2 days off. People usually take Friday before and Monday after the ceremony. The important thing is that it is you who decides, not your employer.
5. If you want to sign the marriage settlement, visit the Notary Public.
6. The groom also needs to look trendy. Decide what suit/tailcoat etc., haircut and shoes he will have.
7. Check whether you do not have to order any additional services for your wedding ceremony or the party: tents to the garden, a chocolate fountain, fireworks, candyfloss or care for the kids.
8. Choose the invitations and order to print them.
3 months before the wedding
1. Make a checklist and write who has already been invited and who still needs to be invited (personally or by post). Do it early enough. If your guests live abroad, you need to send the invitations by post.
2. If you plan to invite some guests personally, prepare the visit plan. It is not possible to come, invite and go. Sometimes the people you want to invite prepare some food and drinks for you, so you need to spend some time with them. Do not plan to do a lot in one day.
3. Think about your present list and inform your guests about the details.
4. If you want to prepare some additional decorations (e.i. flowers, garlands), organise it now.
5. Check if you have the hen and the stag parties. Everything should be arranged.
6. Put all the necessary documents in one folder, so that you would not have to look for them.
7. Arrange with your best man and your bridesmaid how they are going to help you during the wedding ceremony and the party. The bridesmaid, for instance, can prepare a “first-aid” kid – a painkiller, a needle and thread, foundation etc.
8. Choose the wedding menu (alcohol, hot meals, table set, decorations). Order the wedding cake.
9. If the alcohol is not included in the catering price or if the restaurant does not provide it, order the alcohol.
2 months before the wedding
1. Suggest the date of the hen and the stag party to your friends.
2. Verify the guest list and think if you have not forgotten about anybody.
3. Arrange the details with the music group, the photographer and the cameraman.
4. Inform the Register Office about your addresses. Prepare you ID cards or valid Abridged Birth Certificates (if they are in a different Register Office). The people, who were married before, need to submit the document about the marriage dissolution. The widow or the widower should submit the Death Certificate of the spouse. The engaged couple signs the premarital document in which they state what surname they (and their children) will have after concluding marriage. They also assure that there are no circumstances precluding the conclusion of the marriage according to the Polish law. On the basis of that a proper certificate is prepared. This certificate needs to be submitted at the parish office. The certificate can loose its validity before the wedding date. Even one day after the validity date can make it useless.
5. Order the wedding cake and other cakes.
6. Enrol to the dance course.
1 month before the wedding
1. Ask your guests to confirm their presence at your wedding – this way you will avoid empty seats at the wedding tables.
2. Think about seating the guests at the tables.
3. Fix the wedding games with the Master of Ceremony. Choose some of them and discuss them in order to avoid surprises during the party. Plan the capping ceremony.
4. Fix the details of your wedding party: the tableware, setting the tables, the decorations and the menu.
5. Order the flowers: the wedding bunch for the bride and
the bridesmaid, the buttonhole for the groom and the best man.
6. Remember about your Confession before the wedding.
7. Choose the music for your first dance.
8. Book the hairdresser and the beautician.
2 weeks before the wedding
1. Visit the parish office in order to complete the formalities and to discuss the ceremony.
You have to bring:
- your ID cards
- the certificate of completing the premarital education
- the confirmation of completeing the premarital education course and meetings at the family counselling centre
- certificate of publishing the banns if it was done in another parish
- the Register Office certificate (valid for 3 months)
2. After completing the report, the banns will be pronounced in the church or published on the parish notice board in both parishes for the next two Suandays.
The fact of publishing the banns needs to be confirmed with a special certificate, which must be then submitted in the parish where the wedding is going to take place.
3. Try on your wedding dress and your suit again. Break in the shoes.
4. Collect your wedding rings from the jeweller.
1 week before the wedding
1. Check the weather forecast
2. Prepare your wedding attire and all the necessary things. Try your hairstyle and make-up. Then you will have time for any corrections.
3. Provide the wedding organiser with your suggestions on how to seat the guests (prepare the name cards to be placed on the table)
1 day before the wedding
1. Prepare the documents
2. Prepare the wedding rings
3. Collect the flowers
4. Make your second Confession before the wedding
5. Have a good night sleep.
1. Visit the hairdresser and the make-up artist
2. Collect the bride’s and the bridesmaid’s bunches or ask someone to do it.
3. Try to be alone for a moment, far from all the stuff connected with the wedding.
4. Remember that if something unexpected happens, do not worry. You can ask your friends to save the situation. It is your day and it is going to be your dream one.
5. Arrive at the church 15 minutes before the ceremony. The best man and the bridesmaid need to go to the sacristy with their ID cards and wedding rings. They also bring the engaged couple’s Confession certificates and the copy of the Marriage Certificate (if the civil marriage has been concluded in the Register Office)
After the wedding
1. Unpack your presents
2. Send the thank-you letters to your guests.
3. Develop some additional photos and give them to your closest family. Prepare a nice album, a photobook for your most important guests. It is an unforgettable token for all your life.
4. Inform the appropriate institutions about the name change: your work place, the tax office and the bank. Change your documents: your ID card, your driving licence and your passport.