Wedding Planning Made Easy
Keep this handy wedding checklist for simple but effective planning
Planning a wedding without a wedding coordinator can be a daunting prospect. Luckily, we have a lot of experience within our team and can help you on certain points.
There is no hard and fast rule to how far in advance you need to decide and book things but, with wedding planning it’s all about being ahead of the game. Get it all done as far ahead as possible so you can enjoy the process without panicking about things. Stress comes when you create complexity so keep things simple and plan ahead so you can actually enjoy your engagement.
It’s worth remembering that people get married within weeks of proposing and weddings can be turned around really quickly. So, even if you want something beautiful and fast, there’s no reason it can’t be done with some compromise. This list is not exhaustive but it was put together by an ex wedding planner
- Get engaged – YAY ❤
- Decide your budget as this determines everything.
- Decide on what the most important elements are to you. Is it the photographer? Is it the honeymoon? Are you a foodie and want a lavish wedding breakfast? This is where you put the majority of your budget.
Top tip: Whatever your budget is, plan to spend 90% of it so you either have a 10% contingency or 10% left for drinks on your honeymoon. Thank us later.
- Pick your venue as this determines your theme and your overall look & feel.
- If your wedding venue is just a space, be sure to get their recommendations on table hire and book this at the same time as booking your venue. That way, you know you’ll have tables, chairs, linens, cutlery, and glassware.
Likewise with caterers, if your space does not have caterers be sure to get the venue’s recommendations and be clear on what is and isn’t included in the package because you could save yourself a bundle on table hire and rentals.
Check the bar license – what time is last orders and what time will guests need to depart?
Is the venue exclusive use? If not, be sure to get your rooms booked. Remember, you are not responsible for booking rooms for your guests in general so don’t run the risk of foregoing deposit on behalf of friends and family who don’t show.
- Picking a church? Book it and decide if you want the bells rung, this can sometimes come at an extra cost and will need to be organised additionally to the ceremony.
- Put together a lookbook as a style guide to what you want your wedding to look like.
- Create a wedding website if you want one.
- Set up a gift list
- Pick your bridesmaids and ushers and if you can, set out the expectations for them. These roles have changed somewhat over time, and it is now fairly customary to expect them to pay for themselves in terms of outfits, makeup and hair. Let them know way ahead of time if you have special requests or if you’re going to expect them to pay a lot of money to attend your wedding.
- Decide on your guest list.
- Book a florist if you want flowers and agree on a time for drop off on the morning of the wedding.
- Book a photographer for the wedding day and an engagement shoot if you want one.
- Book transport including buses if you need to transport guests to and from the venue.
- Book accommodation if it isn’t at your venue:
Top Tip: If your venue is a hotel where exclusive use is mandatory, they can charge guests the going rate for rooms on checkout so you can offset this cost against the exclusive use hire of the place. Just make sure you have the people you want staying at the hotel and that they know how much this will be.
- Book makeup, hair and Mehndi wedding design artists.
- Book entertainment.
- Check if the entertainment needs a meal as this will need to be factored in.
- If you are booking fireworks, please check with your venue whether these are allowed and let anyone with livestock in neighbouring fields know the plans. Please don’t use sky lanterns they cause so much damage to the landscape and animals.
- Book a cake maker.
Top Tip: Check whether you need a cake stand and knife and whether the baker can provide these. Often, wedding venues have these at no additional cost otherwise it’s another thing to buy.
- Get a wedding topper if you want one.
- Book a prop hire company to dress your venue should you want to create a strong look & feel. This can work out to be a great investment and cost less in money, time, and effort when you consider all the other jobs you will have to do pre and post-wedding day. Do you really want to be creating balloon arches, putting up bell tents, fiddling with elaborate table settings, making doughnut walls, building photo booths, or polishing glassware? You have more important things to do.
Diarise important wedding planning dates going forward such as:
- Booking time off from work for the wedding and honeymoon – get all major work projects off your desk at last a week before your wedding so you don’t get random work calls that stress you out the week before. Delegate and de-stress.
- Booking your registrar or officiant or church.
- Going to church to have your banns read (not necessary for non-church ceremonies)
- Hen do.
- Stag do.
- Make up, hair and Mehndi wedding design trial runs.
- Rehearsal and rehearsal dinner (very American but is a lovely thing to do to make the wedding more of an event)
Top tip: just go to your favourite pub for dinner and invite everyone for a drink and a mingle. Thank us later.
- Dress appointments for trying on different styles. Remember that it can take a long time to order a dress, but you might also be able to buy off the rack at certain times of the year if you are pressed for time. If you aren’t buying “off the rack” then find your seamstress and get your dates booked in.
- Follow up fittings
- Bridesmaids’ dress shopping.
- Follow up fittings.
- Several evenings and days off to write Invitations.
- Several evenings and days off to collate RSVPs, collate menu choices and work on a seating plan (we can print all of these for you)
Several evenings and days off making decorations and/or favours unless you hire one of the fabulous wedding prop companies to make your space beautiful on your behalf.
- Several evenings and days off writing and addressing thank you cards
Top Tip: this can be done in advance when you send your save-the-dates and you write your invitations, order of service, seating plans, and wedding menus. Have an envelope addressed for each of the Save the Date Cards, the invitations and the thank you cards. Keep them in a filing system or just a shoebox. Thank us later.
- Local wedding fairs, these are a goldmine for local wedding suppliers like cake makers, dress shops, prop hire and bands.
- Menu tastings.
- Cake tasting.
- Go gift shopping to create your list.
- Ring shopping.
- Wedding coordinator meetings if you choose to have one.
- Venue meetings to organise the flow of the day. Top Tip: people get both really bored and really drunk during the photos and post-ceremony mingling, keep things flowing.
- Go on a date night “out-out” and listen to the band or disco you picked.
- Meet with the photographer.
- Meet with the videographer.
- Meet with prop hire supplier.
- We cannot stress this one enough – plan dates with your fiancé that are nothing to do with the wedding.