In charge from the start

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 December, 2011, 12:00am


Planning a wedding is no easy task and to stage the perfect occasion takes organisation, forethought and a good checklist.

Without one, couples are bound to forget an essential component. Coco Wong, founder and director of Coco Weddings (, highlights the top items on an all-important to-do list.

'It's important to have a checklist because it gives a couple a guideline to follow,' she says. 'And they will feel safer having something to base their plans on, and not forget anything.'

At the top of the list should be the venue. 'Everything is based around the venue,' Wong says.

Booking in advance depends on the particular location and whether the big day is set on an auspicious date.

For the most sought-after venues and dates, Wong advises couples to book about 18 months in advance, but a year will often suffice.

Some hotels only accept bookings a year ahead, so if there is a specific spot in mind, it is recommended to call the hotel at 9am, exactly 365 days before the big day.

If you must have a certain photographer or make-up artist (and not a team), Wong suggests booking him or her as soon as you know your date and venue.

'Once that particular person is booked by someone else, you can't do anything,' she says.

Another essential component, says Wong, is booking a wedding planner. 'Once you have a wedding planner, everything is much easier for the couple. The planner will propose and lay out the whole plan for the day,' she says.

While most brides won't forget the dress, Wong says top designer creations, such as a Vera Wang, will require anything from six months to a year for ordering and delivery.

Brides choosing a rental wedding gown, however, will only need to reserve three to four months in advance.

Two items often overlooked are wedding favours and transport.

Depending on the level of complexity, Wong says, three months' notice is usually enough for anything from handmade chocolates to small potted plants. But if you want a tailor-made item, such as personalised necklaces and matching key chains, checking a factory prototype and finishing production can take up to nine months.

Also, don't assume guests or the wedding party can easily hail a taxi.