Saturday, 17 November 2018

The ultimate wedding checklist

People say that wedding planning is stressful but in my opinion, it's only stressful if you let it get on top of you. Yes, there are certain elements of the process which are hard and take a lot of work to get right. But it's really all down to your approach, the right planning, and budgeting.

So how easy is it to plan a wedding? 

Honestly, I wouldn't say it's easy but if you know the steps you need to take and ensure you're keeping to time, it can be a much better experience then you're anticipating. I personally loved the planning process, it made everything more exciting and allowed us to succeed in achieving our perfect day. 

However, not everything is smooth sailing, things can be tough and well, they don't say it's one of the most stressful experiences of your life for nothing. 

I thought as a new bride I could impart my wife wisdom. Gary and I planned our wedding ourselves, we couldn't afford a wedding planner so it took a lot of effort to get this done. 

So for any couples looking for some wedding tips, here's the breakdown of the steps we took and hopefully it will help you. 

12-18 months before you say 'I do'
  • Set your budget: Be realistic and speak with your partner about this. I can guarantee that the main disagreements you're going to have will be about money.
  • Set a date: Figure out what time of year you want to get married and find a location that's suitable.
  • Book your venue: We viewed a variety of venues before we made a decision. When we found Wasing Park, it just felt right. 
  • Put together your guest list: We started off with a large guest list then revisited it and cut it down by 30%. We only wanted people there that have made an effort to be in our lives. 
  • Decide on a church or civil ceremony
  • Book your church or registrar: This cost us £500 for the registrar, I'm not sure of the process with a church or religious wedding.
  • Arrange a marquee if you need one
  • Take out wedding insurance: There are a variety of websites you can look at for this.
  • Choose your maid of honour, bridesmaids, best man and groomsmen: You can do this later on, but we did this quite early.
  • Create a Pinterest board and fill it with all your wedding inspiration. Here's mine -
9-12 months
  • Send out your Save the Dates: We did this 18 months before but I've been told that you're meant to send these out around 12 months before.
  • Book your photographer and videographer - Many venues have a preferred supplier list, but you can always ask around on social media and see who is recommended.
  • Get your transport sorted - cars etc.
  • Book your DJ and/or band: We chose The Sparks, they were pretty awesome. 
  • Book your caterers and decide on your menu: Our venue had a preferred suppliers list and a set caterer 
  • Start looking at wedding dresses and work out what you like: I found mine 14 months before which was completely unexpected. You need at least 6 months for alternations so keep that in mind. 
  • Start writing your vows: We didn't write our own vows but if you are planning on writing yours, I would give yourself enough time to get this done.
  • Book your Honeymoon: Honeymoons are expensive, so give yourself enough time to pay it off. Trust me, you don't need this added stress. Alternatively, you can save a separate fund and book this after your wedding.
  • Pick a colour scheme - ours was clean and elegant. We went with white, dusky pink and navy. 
  • Choose your bridesmaid dresses
  • Book hair and makeup
6-9 months
  • Book your florist - Again do your research, speak to a few and get options based on what you want and budget
  • Book your cake maker - My wedding cake was three tiers and was made exactly how I wanted it. I went to a few cake tasting places before I made a decision.
  • Get any alterations made to your wedding dress
  • Buy your shoes, underwear and accessories
  • Order or start making your wedding favours
  • Send out your wedding invitations: We included our RSVP in this and also our menu
  • Get a hair trial: I found a few options on Pinterest and had my hair stylist to try them out
  • Trial run your bridal makeup 
3-6 months
  • Get your grooms wear sorted
  • Buy your wedding rings: We bought ours just after we got engaged
  • Book your wedding night accommodation: We didn't need to do this either as there was accommodation at our venue but it's definitely something you need to consider. We found a list of surrounding hotels for our guests.
  • Choose readings, poems and hymns
  • Agree your order of service with your priest or registrar
  • Set up your gift list if you're asking for gifts
0-3 months
  • Have your final dress fitting
  • Buy gifts for your bridal party/groomsmen 
  • Trim your hair (nothing drastic) and have another hair trial if you need it
One Week to go
  • Confirm final numbers with venue and caterers
  • Confirm all your timings with suppliers
  • Pay final balances
  • Have a manicure and pedicure

And that's it! Of course there may be more things you wish to include in your wedding, these are just some of the basics. My best advice would be to do your research, find the best suppliers that cater to your needs/wants and ask as many questions as you can. 


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