Whether you’ve got 10 weeks or 10 years to plan your big day, there’s no getting away from the fact that at times, it can be stressful! Juggling the day job, running a family and keeping up with your social life, all whilst trying to plan a wonderful wedding, can get on top of you. Oh, and not forgetting the engagement party should you choose to have one!
When we welcome couples here to show them around our exclusive hire venue they’re usually just starting their planning process and the biggest piece of advice we like to pass on is to be organised!
Instead of surrounding yourselves with scribblings on post-its, invest in a notebook or journal. Rather than trying to remember appointments, set reminders on your phone. And to ensure you don’t have that moment of blind panic on the day when you’ve forgotten something, follow some sort of plan, checklist or timeline.
Not sure what this should include? Based on 12 months of planning, we’ve created this handy checklist detailing some of the things we think you should complete and when. Take a look and we hope it helps with planning your big day.
First thing’s first
It’s a good idea for the two of you to set some time aside to discuss and agree on a few details before you start researching. You will need to decide on a budget as well as make sure you’re both on the same page as to what sort of day you’re wanting.
Then we would strongly advise before you start any of the steps below that you book your dream venue! Once this is finalised, everything will fall in to place and the process will be so much easier for you. There are so many steps you can’t do until you have your venue, such as send the invites, work out seating plans, discuss ideas with suppliers, and so on. Plus, once your venue is chosen you can really start visualising how your wedding is going to look which is one of the most exciting parts!
12 months before
- Research which style of venue you both want and any ideas you have on how you would like to dress it. It’s no good seeing something you’ve fallen in love with on Instagram or Pinterest and then finding out the venue can’t accommodate your style or you don’t have enough time to get in and set it up!
- Start researching your suppliers such as florists, cake designers, prop hire
- Book a photographer (and videographer if you would like one)
- If you think you need some extra support, research and book a wedding planner
- Choose your wedding party (best man, maid of honour and so on…)
- Think about your guest list and send out save the date cards
- Start researching the dress! Did you know you need to order your dress at least 8 months before?
- Book your registrar at time of booking your venue, this is the most important part of your day, as without it you’re not legally married!
10 months before
- Decide on the entertainment you would like and book
- Get some style ideas – Pinterest is very inspirational, but some things aren’t always practical, so have a chat with your suppliers about if that stairway of candles you have seen is really practical with children running around
- Go dress shopping and find the one! Also buy shoes and accessories
- Order some invitations
- Reserve a block of hotel rooms / book self-catering house etc for guests should you need
- Meet with suppliers to see examples, try out sample menus, cakes etc and decide on your favourites
- Book hair and makeup artists- the good ones get booked up well in advance!
8 months before
- Buy/ hire the grooms suit and have the first fitting
- Book your honeymoon!
- Meet with your celebrant to plan your ceremony and discuss details
- Book your chosen suppliers (cake, caterers, props)
- Book wedding taxis
- Start working on the seating plan and running order for the day
6 months before
- Purchase the wedding party outfits (bridesmaids, groomsmen etc)
- Send out your invitations
- Finalise the menu
- Order your wedding favours
- Buy the rings
- Send running order to your venue and suppliers if needed, so any tweaks can be made.
4 months before
- Write your vows if you’re writing your own – check out this blog post to help you!
- Check in with your photographer and entertainment so you are happy with the plans
- Purchase thank you cards and gifts for wedding party
- Hold your hen and stag do’s!
- Get your marriage license
1 – 2 months before
- Touch base with all suppliers in case you have any final questions
- Confirm final numbers by checking your RSVP’s
- Confirm menus/ drinks numbers etc with suppliers
- Have a practice run of your makeup and hair
- Have your last dress and suit fitting
- Finalise payments to all suppliers
- Finalise the seating plan
- Get your hair cut and coloured
- Get your engagement ring cleaned
- Pamper yourself with a manicure and massage – essential of course
- Send the final guest count to your caterer
- Pick up your dress and suit
- Send the running order to the wedding party
- Confirm arrival and set up times with all suppliers
- Pack your suitcase – don’t forget your honeymoon items!
- Delegate small on the day tasks
Naturally your day might have some variations to this list, after all each wedding is beautifully unique! But we hope this gives you a good outline to ensure every detail is accounted for! If you’d like more information on holding your wedding at Launcells Barton, then please do give us a call on 01288 352352 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.