24 Aug Wedding Planning Checklist- what to do when!
Wedding Planning Checklist- what to do when!
Did you know that on average, couples getting married in 2019 only gave themselves between 7 to 12 months to plan their wedding? This may sound like a lot of time. However, when you take in to account that venues and photographers often get booked up a year or two in advance, it is not in the wedding world!
We have comprised a wedding planning checklist with tips to help all newly engaged couples plan their weddings with ease!
Congratulations, you’re engaged! But where do you start with your planning?
Firstly, you need to have a discussion with your partner (and parents/ in laws if they are contributing to cost) about the following;
– Decide on the guestlist. Are you going to invite everyone you know plus the neighbours cat or have a small intimate day?
– What is your budget? What can you afford and what do you feel comfortable spending? Once you have a total figure in mind, do your best to stick to it by breaking down what you will need to spend on each part.
– Do you want a theme? How do you and your partner envisage your big day looking/ coming together?
– Is there a preferred date/ time of your you would like to marry? The time of year and day f the week can significantly alter cost, so if you are looking to be sensible with money, use this to your advantage.
After you have determined these points, try and visit a wedding fair (or several) to get ideas of suppliers/ venues you like. This will help you focus your internet searching once you have a good idea of what is local to you.
We always recommend the Wedding Experience wedding fairs at the Detling Showground, every January, April and October as they are larger than normal ones so you will have a really good idea of what is available.
18 months before your wedding day/ when you start actively planning;
- View and book your venue.
- Book your church or registrar.
- Invest in wedding insurance before any money is paid.
- Book your photographer. Ask your venue for recommendations as they will know the best ones for their location.
- Hire your videographer.
- START your bridal shopping/ research. We always advise ordering 12 months in advance so now is a good time to start considering what type of gown you want. This could be done through internet research or going in to shops to see what is on the rails (we don’t bite, but some shops would prefer you book to look!)
- Order your save the dates.
12 months before your wedding day
- Choose your wedding party- bridesmaids, best man, ushers and flower girls/ page boys. Don’t forget, the wedding party will come at a cost. For a bridesmaids for example, you will buy her a dress (which may need alterations), possibly shoes and hair an make up for the big day. It can add up.
- Order your wedding dress! It is ok if you order with slightly less time to your wedding day, but ordering a year in advance will mean the boutique will take delivery of your gown in good time and not rush the alterations.
- Send out your save the dates.
- Hire the entertainment. This can be vast-DJ’s, Band’s, Casinos, Caricaturists, Magicians, Musicians etc!
- Book your transport (if needed)
- Hire caterers (if needed)
- Book your hair and make-up artists.
9 months before your wedding;
- Book your florist (or if you are looking for something different to flowers, book the alternative now too)
- Book your cake maker
- Consider giving notice to your local registrar (this will be valid for a year)
- Order your bridesmaid dresses (if buying from a bridal shop)
- Book your honeymoon
6 months before your wedding;
- Shop and order your grooms wear
- Decide and order your wedding favours
- Buy your wedding rings
- Register for your guestlist
- Set up a personalised wedding website (there are lots you can do for free) so guests can find out information
- Order your bridal accessories- Veil, headpiece, lingerie and shoes
- Book your night before/ night of the wedding accommodation
- Choose your reading/ hymns/ songs/poems/ performances you want for the ceremony
- If you are writing vows, begin to plan them now so they are perfect!
- Plan your order of service and arrange for them to be printed
- Have your best man and maid of honour arrange your hen/ stag do’s
3 months before your wedding day;
- Send out your invitations with a strict RSVP date and clear instructions on how to accept the invite. You will be so grateful to those who RSVP quickly.
- Have your hair and make-up trial
- Go and enjoy your hen/stag do!
- Start your bridal gown/ bridesmaids and suit fittings.
- Have your menu tasting at your venue
- Have your engagement shoot- if your photographer included it as part of the package
- Start wearing in your shoes (both bride and groom)
- Choose your first dance song and send over any song requests to your band/ DJ
1 month before your wedding day;
- Confirm your guestlist. Report any dietary requirements to your venue
- Start your table plan- expect to have to revisit this multiple times!
- Buy your thank you cards and gifts for you wedding party. Pre wrap these now to avoid a last-minute rush
- Contact your wedding suppliers to confirm when final balances are due/ collection dates (if applicable)
- If honeymooning immediately after the wedding, buy all of your holiday essentials now!
- Practice your first dance if either of you are nervous.
1 week before your wedding day….Eeeeekkkkk!;
- Collect your bridal gown, making sure you have somewhere appropriate to hang it at home
- Confirm with your wedding timings for the day.
- Go through the plan of your wedding with your wedding party. Make sure everyone knows of their duties and additional jobs you may have tasked them
- Print off a copy of speeches/ readings etc, plus spares…just in case!
- Collect any other hired items
- Settle any balances before your wedding and withdraw cash for those to pay on the day
- Pack your suitcase for honeymoon/ overnight stay
- Check the dreaded weather forecast. If rain is forecast and you have an outdoor venue, call them to discuss.
- Go back through this wedding planning checklist to make sure you have covered everything!
We hope you find this wedding planning checklist helpful! If there was one piece of wedding advice I can give, it would be to enjoy your day. It’s sod’s law something will go wrong on the big day…the cake could be dry, the flowers aren’t quite what you envisaged or the British weather doesn’t do what the forecaster said. When you reflect on your wedding, you will remember happiness and the commitment you and your partner made, not necessarily the negatives. Try to enjoy the planning process and look forward to all the happy memories you are about to make.
For more top tips or insider info on the bridal industry, read our blogs!