How to start planning your wedding now you’re engaged…

Just engaged image by Joana Senkute

Planning your wedding now you are engaged

Well, congratulations on your engagement!  It is such an exciting time for you and you will be experiencing lots of emotions right now thinking about the day.  And as such, your thoughts will naturally turn to planning your wedding day. 

Usually, when I get to speak to my brides, they are at the final planning stages of their wedding.  However, for those at the beginning of this journey, it is good to know where to start. So, I thought I would write a checklist of the important things you need to know to when planning your wedding.

Obviously, the first place to begin is with your engagement and this is where the excitement begins.  But how do you avoid the initial excitement and euphoria turning in to stress and worry about your big day? Well, I hope my checklist below will help you to feel more organised, and less overwhelmed. There are a few things that you can start with that will make a big difference to your stress levels.

planning your wedding day

Wedding invitations and Marguerite earrings – image by Sophie May Photography

  1. Now you are engaged, Start with that wedding plan.

The best way to avoid the worry and overwhelm and get to enjoy your engagement, is to plan.  Have one in place as early as possible. You want to find the right suppliers, and the perfect venue, and be able to have the date you want. Don’t we all right? So, the earlier you start, the less compromises you’ll need to make. 

Planning your wedding

Image of wedding garden venue Parish’s house by Iris and Ivy Photography

 2. Start with the big wedding planning things.

About 12 to 18 months before (ideally) you want to decide what type of wedding you want, where and when you want to get married, and, importantly, what your budget will be.  All of these have a direct impact on what is possible and how far ahead you will need to book. Many venues will be booked up for months in advance (sometimes longer); and churches are just as busy in the summer months.  Friday and Saturday dates are the most popular days but many couples are now choosing to book weekdays. So it’s worth checking if a weekday would suit you. 

One thing to note if you are having your wedding ceremony at a different venue to your reception – make sure you do not confirm your venue booking until you have checked your registrar or church is available on the same date.

planning your wedding

 3. Create your wedding planning checklist.

Now is the time to create that checklist and perhaps break it down into a monthly to do list to make it more manageable. Breaking it down into smaller tasks also means you can share out the jobs between you, your partner and your wedding party. 

With at least 12 months to go, it is a good idea to start thinking about all the details.  What suppliers will you need? Are you considering a wedding planner? What photographer will you use? Do you need caterers, florists, a cake? What sort of entertainment will you want? What about transport, and accommodation? All these will need to be booked well in advance. 

Your wedding dress will also need to be ordered if you aren’t buying off the peg, and most bridal shops have a minimum 9 months lead time (some designers are longer).

Planning your wedding

Wedding venue Laptstone Barn – Image by Iris & Ivy Photography

 4. plan Your wedding guest list.

Begin thinking about your wedding guest list. Your choice of wedding venue will have been influenced by how many people you want at your wedding and your budget. And getting your list started now means less stress later. It is also helpful to send out your ‘save the date’ notifications. 

planning your wedding

5. book your Wedding Insurance.

Insurance really is a must have now.  Try and organise your wedding insurance as soon as you start booking and buying. You are then be covered the moment it starts. It is not just for the big day, but everything between now and the wedding day. 

planning your wedding

6. The last 6 months of your engagement.

By now you will be a bit closer to your wedding date. In the last 6 months lead up to your wedding day, this is the time to start considering the finer details of your wedding plannning.

Start to plan your ceremony, invites, bridesmaids, ushers and groom, maids of honour and all their outfits. Think about your wedding colours, makeup and hair styling.  Table plans and decorations will need some thinking about and make sure whatever you decide, you can alter them if you need to. Often table plans will change. This is the point where you can make this wedding personal to you.

It should be a fun and enjoyable time  of planning, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself, and make sure you share the work. That way you get to enjoy this wedding journey with your friends and loved ones. 

planning your wedding

Sylvie earrings – Image Sophie May Photography

 7. The last 3 months of wedding planning. So exciting!

With the last 12 weeks to go, start confirming and finalising details like your accessories (this is where I come in), get your hair and makeup trial booked in; order your wedding rings, arrange your final dress fittings. Firm up details with the florist, cake maker and photographer.

Do you intend to have a wedding gift list? Now is the time to get it set up, because you’ll need to finalise with your wedding stationer if you have one and you will want this ready to send out with your final invitations.

planning your wedding

8. The last few weeks before your wedding day. 

In the last few weeks, get in touch with all your suppliers and confirm all the details, timings and go through any contingency plans if there are any hiccups. You want to know your suppliers have got you covered if something should happen.  Register your intention to marry and pay for your marriage certificate. You must give notice of your marriage at a registry office before your wedding if you intend to get married here in the UK (check the local countries requirements if it is abroad). So make sure you check how far in advance you need to do this before your wedding day.

Make all the final payments you need to, create your schedule for the day and make sure everyone that needs it has a copy. Then it is really all down to those last little details to finish off your perfect day. x

planning your wedding

The Primrose hair vine

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“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X