Congratulations! If you’re newly engaged, then now is a super exciting time because you’re getting married and what could be better than that? This feature is your step-by-step guide to the wedding planning tasks that should be at the top of your to-do list right now. If you’re wondering where to start or what you should do first, relax – we’re here to help you at every stage of your wedding planning journey. So, let’s start to plan your big day…
Image courtesy of Natalie J Weddings
First things first
Now, the first things that you really need to do might not be the most exciting part of planning a wedding but they’re absolutely crucial because until you’ve set yourself a budget and decided on rough numbers and an overall style for your day, you can’t begin to find a venue and book suppliers. So, now’s the time for some honest and frank conversations with your partner.
Start by discussing finances and be really clear about how much you can afford. You might need to work out how much you’re able to save each month or you might be lucky enough to have parents contributing to your big day. However, you absolutely need a total figure in mind before you move on.
It’s also a good idea at this point to write a rough guest list. Of course, this could well change before you send out your invitations but it will quickly become clear whether you need to look for a venue that can accommodate lots of guests or if a more intimate style of wedding appeals. Keep this figure in mind as you’ll need it when we come to the venue search itself.
Also, talk about the style of wedding that you want and your priorities for the day. Do you both dream of a country wedding or does a city celebration appeal? Is it important to your that your venue offers accommodation for guests or is great food top of your list of must-haves? Again, keep these notes with you because things are about to get exciting!
Image courtesy of Fairclough Studios
Find your wedding venue
OK, this is where your wedding REALLY starts to come to life because your wedding venue is an absolutely integral part of the success of your day. Here’s how to find your wedding venue:
- Search for venues – Use our fab search facility to shortlist venues by county, region or type of venue and then give yourself plenty of time to look through all the suggestions, referring to your list of priorities to see what venues tick most of your boxes. Don’t forget to check the capacities work with your potential guest numbers too. If you’re really stuck, why not take our venue quiz to see what style of venue might suit you best?
- Find out more – Request the venue’s brochures and, if you’re got a rough date in mind, check their availability too.
- Look out for events – Lots of venues hold open days and these give you the chance to see the venue dressed for a wedding and you might get to meet suppliers too. Find out about upcoming events here.
- Arrange a visit – Once you know that a venue has made your shortlist, arrange a time to visit because nothing is quite like seeing a venue for yourself.
- The showround – When you visit potential venues, you’ll be given a full tour or showround by one of the venue’s wedding experts. This is the perfect opportunity to ask any questions and get a real feel for the venue. Can you imagine yourself here? Does it work with the style of day you had in mind? What dates do they have available and, if you love the venue, what are the next steps?
- Booking – This really is the exciting moment because this is when you confirm the date and the venue for your big day. Carefully read through all the paperwork that your venue sends you and don’t be afraid to ask if there’s anything you don’t understand – your venue team wants you to be happy from the first moment until the last!
Image courtesy of Your Perfect Day
With your wedding venue and date confirmed, you can move on and begin to plan your day in more detail. Here are the jobs that should be next on your wedding planning list:
- Look for inspiration – Now’s the time to start thinking about the look of your wedding. Creating a Pinterest board can be a BIG help and you’ll find lots of wedding ideas here, in our wedding guide or on your venue’s blog.
- Start to look for suppliers – Photographers, videographers, florists and entertainers can only work on one wedding per day so securing these wedding pros is super important. Ask your venue for a details of their recommended suppliers or look through real weddings on your venue’s blog to see who other couples have used.
Image courtesy of James Rouse Photography
- Think about your wedding party – Bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, ring bearers and even readers are crucial to the success of your day. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at our guide to choosing your bridesmaids.
Image courtesy of Lee Daniels Photography
- Plan your DIY – If you’re going to make anything for your wedding, give yourself plenty of time and plan everything well in advance. For some great DIY decorations that will really stand out, click here.
- Think about your wedding menu – Great food and drink really makes a wedding memorable so start to think about your menu well in advance. Lots of venues offer tasting events so you can try lots of options and lots of couples say that this was their favourite part of wedding planning!
Image courtesy of Paul Rodgers Photography
- Dresses and suits – Again, give yourself plenty of time to find your wedding dress or suit. Remember that most gowns take at least six months to arrive at your boutique after you’ve ordered and then you’ll need time for fittings and alterations too. It’s never too early to start shopping!
As you can see, there’s lots to do but once you’ve found your wedding venue, everything else begins to come together. So, why not start planning your wedding now by finding your perfect wedding venue with our help? Just click here to browse the finest wedding venues in the country.
Finally, don’t miss a thing as you plan your big day – our complete wedding planning timeline has everything you need as you countdown!