According to the wisdom of ages, it's 'all in the timing'. It's a useful little phrase, but one that is entirely useless, unless you know what 'the timing' is.
Luckily, when you get engaged, there are plenty of people willing to tell you the right time to do everything. But you know where this is going. Most of them tell you to chill out, as if booking a hairdresser with more than a year to go makes you an obsessed Bridezilla.
When we decided on a time to get married, there were plenty of people in shock that we'd got just over a year and a half to wait. Therefore the refrain of 'you've got AAAGES' was heard time and again. And I came to believe it myself. Friends had got married nine months after getting engaged. It could be done.
Forgive me if you know all this, or if you just don't care. I wanted to seem laid back, unflustered. So I waited.
It was something of a shock, therefore, when I tried to start booking people at what I'd been told was a reasonable length of time from the wedding (around a year to go) that many people were booked up (especially the cheap ones) and had been for months. Damn. And when I mentioned to people that I was having trouble finding a hairdresser who didn't want to charge me £250 to do something to my hair, they expressed the same sentiment: " Really? But you've got AGES to go!"
Similarly, when I had to change the registry office location, I had to literally beg the registrar to squeeze us in. Genuinely beg. There was nothing for us, and this was with 14 months to go. That's what happens when you get married in a rural location. Not many registry offices in the vicinity.
That was when I decided to stop listening to most people, unless they'd done this themselves. You are planning a big party - probably the biggest you'll ever throw. This is no time for creating stress. This is no time to be procrastinating over whether you're bothering a hairdresser 'too soon'. They don't care - they like to get bookings. It's good for business. Ditto everyone else you will deal with. Save it up because everyone tells you to and you will generate yourself a whole heap of stress.
Oh, and halfway through writing this post and as if to prove my point, the hairdresser I had triumphantly booked before I went on hols called to say she's decided to take a longer maternity leave and so had to cancel. Damn.