How to plan a wedding 101

Everyone needs a helpful guide when your starting to plan a wedding. It’s a massive task that can seem daunting as there is a lot to do. And a lot of responsibilities to hand out or take on.

To combat this organisation is a key factor in the day’s success and to get all the wishes and priorities you want. Or you could organise to have a wedding planner. This is a great way to relieve some of the stresses.

So, how do we start the wedding planning process? We’ve got your back. Just remember to keep one thing in mind: try to have a good time! After all, this is your wedding. Don’t get caught up in the minor details; instead, concentrate on what matters most: celebrating your love for each other and getting married in front of your friends and family.

Table of Contents

Set Your Wedding Budget

Many of your decisions will be influenced by your wedding budget, so it should be one of your top priorities.

If any family members are helping, talk to them about how much they are willing to pay. But if you’re paying for everything yourself, it’s time to take a close look at your money.

When it comes to budgeting for your wedding day, be prepared for a reality check, as many couples are unaware of the entire spectrum of costs involved.

The Most Important Piece of Advice I can give you is to stick to that magic number once you’ve found it!

A list of Wedding Day Priorities

planning a wedding

Set aside some time with your fiancé to discuss the three most crucial parts of your wedding. E.g.:

  • Is it the location or the wedding date?
  • Do you want to book a particular wedding photographer?
  • Do you desperately want a live band?

 

Make those things a top priority, and be willing to compromise on the rest. This will allow you to stay within your budget and concentrate your attention on the most important things.

Think about your style

Using Pinterest and Instagram is a great way to start looking for wedding inspiration for free. Bridal magazines are also suitable for when you invite your hens and mother over to browse through to get some inspiration for your ideal wedding.

When visiting with possible vendors, having a solid idea of the type of wedding style you want helps a lot. Don’t get too carried away with all the wedding plans and ideas available.

Examples of thinking about:

  • Wedding Favors
  • Wedding flowers
  • Wedding cake
  • Church Wedding
  • Black Tie Wedding/Formal Wedding
  • City Wedding
  • Winter Wedding
  • Summer Wedding

Understand What You Don't Want

The focus of your wedding should be on the two of you as a couple. If certain standard elements make you uncomfortable, feel dated, or are simply not your taste, leave them out of your wedding day. Traditions are lovely, but only if they mean anything to you.

This is your dream wedding! You get to decide on floral arrangements, dress code and all the aspects of wedding planning. Don’t let anyone tell say that you should do things a certain way.

checklist for wedding

Dates & Seasons

Choose a few preferred wedding dates and try to be as flexible as possible, so you aren’t restricted when booking the wedding venue and providers.

Consider other influences, such as how particular popular dates are for other soon-to-be-weds, as they could mean that you will be paying more for the more sought after slots.

Also, think about if the dates are challenging for your guests and the price changes between seasons for venues and providers.

Consider a Theme

It can be good to choose an idea to plan your wedding around, whether it’s specific wedding colours, seasonal or style inspiration, or an actual theme like the 1920s Gatsby or Festival Chic. It’s easier to make design decisions once you’ve decided on a style, and everything looks more coherent.

Wedding Attire

wedding attire

Choosing the perfect wedding gown is a journey by itself. We recommend starting your search once you’ve chosen your location and finishing your purchase nine months before the big day to allow for fittings and modifications.

Wedding party apparel should be purchased seven to eight months before the wedding day, while groom and groomsmen attire should be purchased around the five-month mark.

Remember you will need clothing for any pre-wedding gatherings such as brunches, showers, and rehearsal dinners.

Purchase Wedding Bands

Take a break from planning the wedding and enjoy what’s left of your engagement and fiancé status by spending the day together looking for your wedding bands. Grab some lunch, a cheeky drink and relax. Take a breather from all the stress.

Once purchased, insure your engagement ring and add the wedding rings to your home policy.

planning a wedding

Build a Playlist

You must define all of the significant songs that must be played during the day, regardless of whether you have a live band, DJ, or are handling the turntables yourself.

Also, don’t forget to make a list of the songs that you really do not want to hear.

Attempt Organisation

You can use checklists, spreadsheets, Word, Excel, Google Docs, or anything else as long as you can collect all of your ideas, budgets, numbers, and other information in one spot.

There are also some excellent internet tools and apps available to help you stay organised.

Get feedback from your Fiance.

Don’t feel like you’re on your own when it comes to wedding preparations. Consult with your partner along the way; their input is sure to be essential, and making decisions together makes wedding planning that much more enjoyable.

Working for a common objective strengthens your relationship and helps you grow as a couple with each difficulty you face together.

planning a wedding

Buy a notebook

You are going to want to find a lined notebook to write everything down. If it has a diary/calendar embedded, too that is a massive bonus! You’ll need that for when you are organising visits to venues or your cake tasting!

You will have so much to write down, and remember that you will be carrying this little book everywhere.

It’s also great for organising your seating chart and any backup plans that you may occur.

It is also great for storing all the numbers of contacts that you need.

Wedding Planning Checklist

In your Notebook, write down your master checklist of everything you want and need to happen on your big day on the first page.

This is the ultimate way to get organised and to make sure that nothing gets forgotten.

You will feel this wave of satisfaction when you start to tick off the tasks that you’ll become more excited about the wedding day.

Organise Transportation

There are three different types of wedding transportation to consider. Depending on the venue, you and your wedding party may require transport to the ceremony.

Then you’ll need a getaway automobile to get yourself and your new husband to the reception while the wedding party rides in the wedding party’s car.

If your wedding is in a rural area or you have out-of-town guests, it’s a nice touch to arrange for group transportation to carry them between the ceremony, reception, and lodgings.

Get inventive with modes of transportation that genuinely speak to the environment for a personalised touch. Such as a Double-decker bus!

The Venue

wedding venue

Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure to compare costs, packages, and any restrictions (such as a minimum budget or guest count) at a few different wedding and reception locations.

If you find a venue and a package price that you like, keep exploring for more information. Before agreeing on pricing, shop around and check what other places are charging.

Research

You must research all aspects before committing to anything, whether the venue, location or dates.

Let us take, for example, booking hotel rooms.

This particular hotel is in the perfect location for your guests to stay, it’s not too far from the venue, and the prices look pretty good. The pictures don’t look too bad either.

Delve into reviews of this hotel, as you do not want your guest feeling miserable or tired due to the lack of a comfortable, clean bed or parties going on in the hotel. Angry due to rude staff or if there are not breakfast options available.

Book Hotel Rooms

Whether you’re having a destination wedding or a local event, some of your guests will most likely require somewhere to stay the night of the wedding.

Taking this into account and reserving a hotel block for them at one or more desirable locations is a kind gesture.

This will ensure that most of your wedding guests are all in one hotel, which is great if you have to organise transport!

Did you know that many hotels will even give you a discount based on the number of rooms booked?

Off Site

An “off-ante” wedding is one where the location does not have a commercial kitchen, and you must bring everything in yourself. So think parks, public beaches, and even open fields.

Having a “on-site” wedding (at a hotel or restaurant, for example) will significantly simplify the planning process because they’ll likely have a variety of catering options as well as access to the essentials, such as designated space, chairs and tables, and possibly even an on-site coordinator to assist you.

Hire an Officiant

Finding the perfect officiant to officiate your wedding is a very personal experience for couples. Regardless of who you choose, they will not only direct the ceremony but will also usher you into your marriage, setting the tone for the rest of your life together.

If you’re having a clergy member or justice of the peace officiate your wedding instead of a friend or family member, do your research, get reviews or recommendations, and ask the right questions, such as if personalisations are allowed, how disruptions would be handled, and if they’re involved in obtaining a marriage licence.

Wedding Invitations and Save the Dates

As soon as you’ve decided on a wedding style and a venue, start preparing your wedding stationery.

Save-the-date cards are sent out nine months before the wedding day for destination weddings and four to six months before the wedding date for local weddings.

Six to eight weeks before the big day, invitation packages are sent out. To avoid last-minute difficulties, suggest that RSVPs be sent no later than one month before the event. This gives you a good idea of who can make the wedding if there are any plus ones and any dietary requirements that need to be thought of.

wedding invitations

Guestlist

Making guest list decisions can be a complex process that is heavily influenced by your venue and budget. Make a wedding guest wish list with your partner and any essential family members.

You’ll almost certainly have to make some cuts. You’ll also have to pick whether or not to invite youngsters, as well as who will be assigned a plus one.

Wedding Party

Consult with your partner to choose the perfect size wedding party for the two of you, considering the costs that come with this unique responsibility.

Throughout the preparation process, consider who you want standing next to you at the alter and whether they can complete the duties expected of their role.

Allocate Toasts and Readings

Wedding toasts are usually kept for a few select guests. They are customarily split between the rehearsal dinner and celebration, though some couples prefer to have everything happen simultaneously.

You’re in charge of informing toast-makers of their duties, accepting requests to speak, and coordinating the speaking order.

Including readings in the ceremony, whether traditional, cultural, or literary, is a wonderful opportunity to recognise folks who aren’t in your wedding party.

You are in charge of selecting the speakers and determining their speaking order, just as you are with toasts.

Make a Wedding Website

Put up a simple wedding website where guests may check out all of the Wedding Details to avoid getting endless emails and text messages.

Include crucial details, including dates, hours, places, dress codes, registries, transportation and housing, and a day-of itinerary.

Everything that appears on the invitations should also appear on the website’s welcome page.

Build a Registry

Early on, you and your partner should start making a wish list of possible gifts you’d like to receive from guests.

If traditional presents aren’t your thing, you can use your registry to purchase things like your honeymoon or a downpayment on a new home, or you can make a charitable donation instead.

what to register for wedding

Word of Mouth

An essential piece of guidance when you are starting to look for venues or vendors, etc., a necessary piece of advice is to talk to your community, friends, and family.

A word of Mouth Recommendation is much more solidifying than a Trustpilot Review, as they are first-hand experiences with people that you can ultimately believe and trust.

So get onto Facebook and Instagram and start asking all your friends for recommendations!

Wedding Vendor

It’s critical not to hurry into any decisions when it comes to booking wedding vendors. Consider at least a couple of alternative possibilities to ensure that these crucial wedding day partners understand and operate within your budget.

Wedding vendors are the backbone of ensuring that your special day is unforgettable and works well, so choose a group of people with whom you get along. They should be able to understand your vision, and you should be able to trust them to carry it out effectively.

Married couples

Have you recently been to a wedding where you had a great time? You should 100% seek guidance and insight from that couple.

They’re likely to have gained some professional tips and tactics along the way that they’d be pleased to share with you. Plus, they can recommend suppliers they used and perhaps even get you a discount!

Friends and family are sometimes the most valuable resources.

The Contracts

contracts

Before you sign anything, double-check every detail of any contracts you make with your wedding vendors—including the date, location, times, deposits, additional fees, colours, and quantities—everything must be in the contract because if it isn’t, or is miswritten, you won’t be protected if it isn’t carried out correctly.

Be aware of terms that prevent you from evaluating the vendor after they’ve completed their work, as well as severe cancellation rules and one-sided agreements.

\A contract, for example, should spell out what happens if either party, not simply the client, cancels. Read any policies governing changes in the scope of service carefully because rates may be altered if significant changes are made.

Make It Legal

Don’t forget to schedule a time to get your marriage licence in the thick of all the hectic planning and endless tiny details.

Start looking into and acquiring the appropriate documentation as soon as possible, but bear in mind that marriage licences are often only valid for a few months and that destination weddings often have additional requirements. So prepare ahead!

Wedding Insurance

It is absolutely vital that you get wedding insurance.

Anything could happen, meaning that your day can’t go ahead, that you have no control of.

nstead of £1000s going down the drain, you may be able to recoup some of it. Ensure you look into all the terms and conditions to see if what you and aren’t covered for.

Write Vows

Allow yourself a few moments of isolation to collect your thoughts and put pen to paper as you imagine the confessions of love and marriage commitments you will make to your future spouse. Instead of simply writing a love letter to your spouse, make sure to include some concrete promises in your notes. After all, they’re called vows for a reason.

Finalising

This is the part where you confirm ceremony details, ring up all vendors to secure contracts and arrival times, and tie up any loose ends with the guests that haven’t RSVP’d.

Make sure that nearly everything on your checklist does have a tick or a note.

We don’t want anything forgotten about!

Setup Details

Check-in with your venue as your wedding day approaches to determine when your providers can arrive for setup. The earlier you arrive, the better. However, venues may host other activities on the same day.

Ensure that your vendors have received the information so that everyone is on the same page.

Rehearsal Dinner Details

Exciting times are about to start! You are about to have a taster of what your day will feel like and taste like.

You must get everything organised so that it runs to plan. This way, you can see what may need to be adapted to work better on the wedding day.

Your rehearsal dinner needn’t be tied into the wedding party; it can be completely separate.

Rehearsal Dinner

Produce a Schedule of Events

Creating a detailed wedding day itinerary ensures that everyone is on the same page about scheduling and location and ensuring that the day’s events go off without a hitch.

Include details like hair and makeup appointments, vendor arrival times, transportation to and from the ceremony site, the couple’s arrival at the reception, speeches and the first dance, and when the cake will be cut.

5 Top Tips to Planning your wedding

  • Set a budget and Stick to it!
  • Weigh all options with a second opinion
  • Thoroughly read every contract before signing
  • Prioritise your wishes and wants
  • Demand help from Family and Bridal Party
READ MORE

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