There are some fabulous tips, and things we'd not even thought of so, have a read through, print it off and here's to a "stress free" wedding!
We're delighted to be featuring the guide below on "How to Plan a Wedding" - this comprehensive list of things to think about, timing on different aspects of your wedding and some, really, informative tips have been kindly supplied by Emily Tudor from White Lace Wedding & Event Co Ordination. White Lace Weddings are "Gay Friendly" wedding planners and would love to hear from you!
How to plan a wedding? By Emily of White Lace Weddings - Wedding Planner & Stylist
Congratulations, you’ve recently got engaged! If you are now past the initial excitement and now full of dread then keep reading. Planning a wedding should be one of the most amazing experiences of your life, because at the end you are married to not only your best friend but your soul mate. So many couples hate planning their wedding because naturally it is very stressful & you are spending a lot of money for guests to enjoy your day…. so why aren’t you going to enjoy the festivities?
Organisation is key, if you aren’t organised then maybe you should hand this over to a professional. Follow my simple 12 month time frame & you’ll definitely be able to pull this off.
12 months to go: Discuss the budget and set limits, fix a date & time, it is essential that you buy wedding insurance, book venue, draft guest list, register with your local registry office and book them to either come to your venue or you go to them.
10 months to go: Send save the dates, select your party (who do you really want stood next to you), finalise your theme so you know what look you want to create for your wedding, make sure this is personal to you & a reflection of you both, if you hate baby pink then why would you start ordering decorations in this colour? Don’t do anything to please any one else, you’ve got to think about yourselves, start choosing vendors i.e. photographer, videographer, caterer, DJ, make appointments for wedding dress trying on as most bridal boutiques have an appointment only policy.
9 months to go: Sort out what your wearing (ladies make sure you choose outfits that match in colour or are close there are 3839204 shades of white & ivory and you wouldn’t believe that some can not stand next to each other without clashing, it also takes up to 6 months for a made to measure dress to be delivered so there’s lots to think about here), accommodation for guests you can either block off rooms if your reception is in a hotel (10 is normally best) or block of a couple at a range of nearby hotels if you have guests travelling from a far, book in your cake tastings at your preferred baker, find a florist & decide on (bouquets, buttonhole, arrangements for church/reception & venue), arrange tasting with your caterer & confirm menu.
7 months to go: Book transport for wedding if you have two separate venues for your ceremony & reception & don’t forget the logistics for your bridal or grooms parties to get to the next venue, book car to take you to the airport for your honeymoon, book hotel for night of wedding if one isn’t provided at your wedding venue, choose & order wedding favours, finalise & order wedding cake.
6 months to go: Book honeymoon (make sure you think about the season you are travelling in, flights ect), order bridal/grooms party outfits, purchase wedding bands, confirm order of service with either the church or registrars.
4 months to go: Confirm vendors (send an email to all your suppliers and just check in with them keep yourself on their radar), choose hair,make up artist, barbers and make appointments, go honeymoon shopping (remember summer clothes are hard to find in winter & vice versa), if you are changing your name, renew your passport now or do it after honeymoon & the officiant will sign the form, find out if you need honeymoon visas, discuss & make stag or hen plans.
3 months to go: Pick a company to start a gift list with or decide what you want to do regarding gifting.
2 months to go: Mail invitations 6 weeks prior, keep a list of acceptance, write or decide on vows for ceremony, purchase any accessories ,confirm day transport, book in your trial for hair/make up, try on whole wedding outfit (headdress,shoes,underwear) make sure you’ve got it all you’ll soon realise if you’ve forgotten anything, book any pamper treatments for week prior.
6 weeks to go: Make sure everything else is printed, such as order of service, menus & place cards.
1 month to go: The fun part stags & hens, confirm numbers at this stage with caterer - discusses requests with entertainment/DJ, order honeymoon currency, have final cut & colours with hairdresser.
3 weeks to go: Final dress & suit fittings, send list of photographs you would like taking to photographer, make sure your wedding playlist is finished especially if you are providing the music for your ceremony, wedding breakfast & evening.
1 week to go: Final headcount this changes throughout the 12 months of planning and will continue to change up until the day but you will need to make sure you have told your caterers how many definite meals you need, if anyone drops out unfortunately it will be too late to change, finalise seating plan (any drop outs, add ins), make sure you pamper, drink lots of water, if its sunny avoid getting any dodgy strap marks!
48 hours to go: Nails & tan, wrap any gifts for bridesmaids, parent & groomsmen.
24 hours to go: Venue set up if you’ve got the luxury of having your venue the day prior to your wedding & rehearsal dinner if you’ve arranged one, this is a lovely idea if you’ve got guests travelling from a far & staying in the hotel together. It’s a great way of integrating guests before the wedding day.
Day of: LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER!
A couple of key bits of advice to get you thinking:
* Groomsmen & bridesmaid don’t have to be traditional, if someone is close to you have them in your bridal or grooms party, we aren’t in an age anymore where a woman is classed as a maid, so lets scrap that and make things real personal!
* Most weddings go over budget, if you can set a 20% emergency fund and try & forget about it, if you don’t need to dip into it then great use that money towards your honeymoon or save it for when you get back!
* Make sure your invites are weighed correctly & the stamp is the correct price, there’s nothing worse than guests paying for postage!
* If marrying abroad fly the majority of your items such as dress or even cake in hand luggage, buy it a seat if you have to, or drive there, last thing you want is items lost in the hold!
* Outdoor weddings need a wet wedding contingency plan, a wedding planner will always have a plan B & even C, never underestimate the British weather, if your wedding day is outdoors on a farm or in a field, make sure you hire enough porter loo’s 1 per 20 guests is a good place to start, there’s nothing worse than having to queue!
* You will acquire lots of little things over the months leading up to your wedding day, you will likely want them out in your ceremony & at your reception, make sure you have 2 large boxes that aren’t too heavy to carry with all the items labelled for either your planner or venue stylist, if you haven’t got one of these make sure you’ve got a good set of friends that you can rely on to place these items out. You don’t want to be at your venue the morning of your wedding worrying about these things!
* Timing is everything - make sure you have enough time to be able to enjoy the day & evening & you aren’t rushing from 1 wedding formality to another!
*Drinks budget, half a bottle of wine & fizz per person for the day is plenty. Some suppliers will do a buy & return policy for anything unopened and this will save you money . Also make sure children,non drinkers & designated drivers have something to toast with that’s a little bit more creative than the usual orange juice. There’s some amazing non alcoholic cocktails on Pinterest that look amazing in pictures.
Lastly, enjoy yourselves! The day itself will fly by so make sure you take a couple of minutes to soak in the moment, look around at your guests having a great time, look at your new husband or wife and fill your memory with these moments of joy.
The Pink Wedding Venues team would like to say a HUGE "Thank-you" to Emily for sharing all of the above, invaluable, information. We hope it helps you all in planning your big day!
If you would like to get in touch with Emily, at White Lace Weddings, her contact information can be found below and by clicking on the relevant links:-
Or...why not, simply, pick up the phone and have a chat with Emily?! - 07713 455422