However excited you are about marrying the love of your life, the prospect of organising your wedding day can feel very daunting, and even overwhelming. We have broken this process down into ten key steps, to make the process less daunting for you. Have a read through our guide and feel that wedding stress melt away!
Decide on a budget, date & size
Before you think about anything else, you and your partner need to sit down and do some sums! You might have been putting money away for a wedding, or it may have been an unexpected proposal – either way, you need to work out between you what you can afford to spend on your special day, and then stick to it.
Once you have set your budget, you need to find a date (or a selection of dates) that you can then put to potential venues. Before you approach venues though, you need to decide if you want a small or big wedding, as the answer to this will narrow down your venue options to those suitable for your wedding party. Don’t worry about who to invite yet – you can deal with that later.
Choose a venue
Once you have decided on the size of your wedding, you can go ahead and view potential venues. Give them a call first though, and check they aren’t already booked on your dates. Remember to consider factors such as location, how much accommodation is on site, and if they provide catering. Also, if you are considering a theme for your wedding, the venue will play a big part in that, so make sure it fits in with your plan. Once you find the one, secure your booking, and it’s time to get excited! If you are marrying in a church or registry office, you will also need to book this.
Create a wedding gift list
This may seem premature, but before you do anything else, you need to decide on what you’d like to do in terms of gifts. If you don’t mention gifts in your invite, you’ll be bombarded with questions from well-meaning loved ones afterwards, so it’s good to include it – whether that’s a website link to a wedding gift list, or a request for guests to donate to a charity or your honeymoon fund.
Draw up a guest list & send invites
This can be one of the hardest steps in planning a wedding: deciding who to invite for the whole day or just the evening can be very difficult indeed. However, after lots of discussion with your fiancé/fiancée, you will get there. Once you have finalised your list, order or make your wedding stationery and send out your invites (or ‘save the date’ cards, followed by invites, depending on how far in the future your wedding is).
Decide on the services you need to book
Your chosen venue may offer you a wedding package, which could include food, décor and more. However, whatever hasn’t been included by the venue will now need to be booked and ordered. Remember to consider the following: food and drink, venue décor, floristry, transport to and from the venue, wedding cake, photographer, videographer, entertainment, hair and makeup.
Order the dress and buy the wedding rings
The part every bride-to-be loves! It’s time to choose your wedding gown. Remember that if you’re having a dress made for you, this will take several months – possibly six, depending on how busy the dressmaker is at the time – so ensure you get booked in in plenty of time. Browse online, and try lots of dresses on in bridal shops. Often, brides have a specific style in mind, but that’s usually not the style they choose in the end! So make sure you try on dresses you might not have considered before.
Once you have selected the dress of your dreams, you can decide on what you’d like your bridesmaids to wear, and also the groomsmen.
You’d be wise to order your wedding rings at this stage too, as this alone can need quite a bit of consideration. After all has finished and you’ve created plenty of wonderful, lasting memories, the rings will be in your life every single day. Wedding rings are usually made to order, especially for you. With this in mind, an ideal time to be making your choice would be 9-12 months before your wedding day. The rings can sometimes be made more quickly, but how lovely to have the peace of mind of knowing that another important choice has been made!
You can browse our beautiful range of wedding rings, both online and in-store.
Buy wedding insurance
While you might not want to consider this right now, it is a fact that weddings are expensive events, and things can and do go wrong. Protect yourselves with wedding insurance, and have peace of mind should you need to change your plans.
Add the finishing touches & create a seating plan
Now most of the hard work is done, you can create a seating plan for your wedding reception. The best way to do this is to physically draw out the tables on a big sheet of paper, then write names on small pieces of paper, so you can arrange them and rearrange them until you have it just right.
You’ll need to consider table decorations, favours and thank you gifts at this stage. Now is also the time to consider the ceremony itself and what songs and readings you might like, as well as who will be giving speeches.
Organise the stag & hen do
If you’re lucky, others will offer to organise the stag do and hen do for you! But if not, just choose one or two activities you love, and collect together your favourite people to share the fun with. Just make sure you budget for this from the outset, so it’s not an unexpected cost.
Book your honeymoon
After all the hard work, you deserve a break! If you can afford to book your honeymoon now, go for it. If you’re asking for contributions towards your honeymoon as wedding gifts, you could wait and book it later in the year. Perhaps you could book a few days away straight after the wedding to spend some special time together as newlyweds.
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