The Wedding Planning Timeline
Congratulations, you’re engaged!
Now it’s time to start planning and you’re probably wondering where to start. We’ve compiled a wedding planning timeline to get you started.
18 – 12 Months
Set the budget – Always allow some wriggle room for any unexpected costs, including those gorgeous shoes that you “just had to have”!
Guest list – Having a rough number in mind is a good start, as it will help you to narrow down your venue search. At this point, it’s also a good idea to decide if you want all your guests to attend both the ceremony and the reception or if you would rather have a new wave of guests arrive only for the evening.
Bride and Groom parties – Choose the people who will support you, help you and love you right up to your “I dos”. Be sure to set realistic expectations and set up an easy way to communicate with them, whether it’s a Whatsapp group or an email group.
Find your venue and book the date – The real countdown starts now!
Make enquiries – Florist, photographer, band, hair and makeup and cake – the best suppliers tend to have the least availability so it’s a good idea to start enquiring now to secure your date.
The dress – Choose and order your dress, leaving plenty of time for design customisations, fittings and alterations. (If you are planning a wedding within six months or less, be sure to contact the bridal boutiques you’ve chosen to find out if they can fit in with your timeline.)
Send your save the dates – Not all couples send these, but if you’re getting married at a busy time of year then we would highly recommend it.
Book your suppliers – If you haven’t already then now is the time to make sure your suppliers for the day are confirmed.
Hair and makeup trial – Check in with your beauty team for a run-through of your desired wedding look. Remember to ask them how many hours they will be with you on the day (some will stay throughout and give you a touch up before the wedding breakfast for example).
Choose your wedding cake – Things to consider are design, flavour and size – not forgetting how and where your cake will be stored on the day.
Bride and groom party outfits – if you are looking for bespoke or made to order dresses/suits then it would be wise to start making enquiries even earlier. Don’t forget to cover off shoes, accessories and hair and makeup too!
Honeymoon – Book your newlywed escape! Leaving a few days between the wedding and honeymoon means you have time to unwind and unpack at home before jetting off. This avoids being faced with boxes of wedding decorations and leftover favours on your return.
Food and drink – Complete your choices for your wedding menu and choose your drinks’ supplier(s).
Wedding invites – Send out your invitations with a clear RSVP date on. Consider creating a wedding website with additional information such as travel, accommodation suggestions and directions to direct your guests too.
Music – Be sure to brief your wedding band, church organist, choir, orchestra or harpist on the type of music you want to be played at your wedding. Most bands/vocalists have a setlist (albeit extensive) which you can choose from, whilst your church should be open to your choice of music to accompany you up and down the aisle.
Final Details – Send your final supplier details across to your venue and inform them of any special requests they may have. Don’t forget to make sure they are fully informed of all the dietary requirements and allergies so that they can ensure a smooth service for your feast.
Table plan and place cards – Create your table plan. Make sure you know where and how this will be positioned. If you are planning on making a feature of your table plan at the Wedding Breakfast, you may need to check timings with your printers or production company to ensure delivery in time.
Final numbers – Submit your final guest numbers to your venue as they will be undertaking their Operations meetings for their upcoming events. If all details are in, you can effectively ‘handover’ all the final information to the venue. This will give them plenty of time for the different departments to liaise, ensuring that your wedding is beautifully run, so that you can just enjoy it and relax.
The week before your wedding
Outfits – Ensure all the wedding outfits are collected. The most commonly forgotten items in our experience are cufflinks, shirt studs (if you’re doing black tie) and dress socks so it’s best to triple check! Only once has someone forgotten the dress!
Rehearsal – Optional, but some like to rehearse the ceremony with the full wedding party the day before. Be sure to know which order your bridesmaids are walking in and practice walking in time to your chosen entrance song.
A good night’s rest – An essential! Get those Zzz’s in because you have a long day ahead and you really want to feel your best.
This is a good guide to a standard wedding planning length of time. However, I can’t pretend to talk from experience since my wedding (122 guests, church service, big Raj Tent Marquee, epic feast, 7 bridesmaids etc) had a planning time of… three and a half weeks! So, should you decide that 18 months is way too long for an engagement, rest assured that we are very well practised at delivering dream weddings in a very short amount of time, should there be availability!
Here at Dewsall our dedicated events team are on hand throughout the planning process and, of course, over the course of your wedding weekend to ensure everything runs seamlessly, just one of the many wonderful reasons why you should consider holding your big day with us! Contact our Events team today for more information, or to arrange a viewing.