What’s your wedding planning approach? Part 2.
Last month we wrote about brides (and grooms!) that don’t hang about after getting engaged and can end up planning most of their wedding without stopping to relax and enjoy their engagement. This post is about the other type of couple…
So, you’ve recently got engaged – congratulations! Or maybe you’ve been engaged for a while and have been meaning to get round to making arrangements for the big day but haven’t quite managed it. Whether you wanted a long engagement and now don’t know where to start, you’re super busy with work/family/other commitments so aren’t sure what to tackle as a priority, have no idea what kind of wedding you actually want or are a bit of a procrastinator, it can feel like a huge mountain to climb to actually get your wedding day sorted.
To help you right from the get-go, we’ve created a set of expert tips for wedding planning success exclusively for our online subscribers, so sign up to download these as your first port of call.
Then to help you further, we’ve created a breakdown of the priority elements that you should look at first when planning your wedding, to save you from being overwhelmed by looking at each and every aspect at once!
12 – 18 months before.
Venue and Save The Dates!
The first thing we’d recommend you’d do is to start looking at venues. Online is a good place to start with websites such as Coco Wedding Venues being one of our favourites. We even have a dedicated blog post here all about deciding on the perfect wedding venue. Fingers crossed that your first choice venue has a date that suits you but some can get booked up for the next year or two quite quickly! We completely understand you might feel like now that you’ve got around to planning it, you don’t want to wait another 18 months or more for your wedding day because the venue you want doesn’t have any available dates. Try speaking to the Wedding Coordinator and ask them to let you know if there are any cancellations that come up. In the meantime, keep searching and remember as great wedding planners, we have access to newly launched venues that are likely to have availability. The right one for you will be out there and if it’s meant to be, it’ll have a date that works for you! Once booked, try and get a ‘Save The Date’ out to the guests you definitely want to come (guest list writing and spread sheets full of names can come later on when you do your invitations but make sure you let your family and close friends know to keep the date or weekend free!). It can be posted to them or even just a quick email with the date, place and a photo of you both!
Then if the venue will be catering your wedding, you won’t need to worry about sourcing a caterer. Some venues will only allow you to use certain caterers so ask about this before you book. You may be able to choose whichever caterer you like and if you and your other half are big ‘foodies’ this is a great opportunity to bring in a caterer that will reflect your love of good food. Have a read of our blog post we wrote with Caper & Berry; it will help you with all things food and drink! (Caper & Berry Wedding Tips)
6 – 12 months before.
Certain types of wedding suppliers such as photographers & videographers, florists, hair stylists & make-up artists can get booked up early on so start researching these 9 – 12 months before the day and try to get them booked no later than 6 months before. Try and schedule your cake tasting for around this time too – once booked, the design can be confirmed later on.
3 – 6 months before.
We’d recommend booking your entertainment no later than 4 or 5 months before but if you have a specific band or DJ in mind, approach them a good while before this to ensure they aren’t booked up.
Now is a good time to get your invitations sent out – a majority of your guests will have set the day or weekend aside because of your Save The Dates but this is a good time to invite additional guests and to start to confirm numbers (which will affect various costs such as food & drink). If you are organising accommodation for your guests as well as yourselves, this would be a good time to get these rooms reserved (and under a special rate for your wedding if you can!).
0 – 3 months before.
You shouldn’t be too busy at this point as most of the work is done! There will be things to do such as confirming numbers, paying balance invoices and confirming timings etc. Other things you may like to sort out during this time could be wedding favours, on-the-day stationery (table plan, name places, order of service etc) and confirming food & drink choices with your caterer.
Like all things, planning a wedding can be much more manageable if it’s broken down into smaller chunks and you start with the priority elements first. And if it all feels quite overwhelming and you’d like to be guided through the process, we can help with all aspects of planning your wedding (we especially love the complicated logistical things which can be tricky). Get in touch with us to find out what we can do to help you make your wedding planning stress-free and easy!