We posted a couple of weeks ago about what happens now you’ve just said yes! This week we wanted to develop on that a little further with a timeline for contacting key suppliers throughout your wedding planning process.
When planning your wedding there are countless details you can choose to include or omit, but there are certain elements that you do not want to miss! Hopefully the outline we’ve detailed below will give you a great base from which to start your wedding planning. Enjoy!!
Set a Budget
This will no doubt be a flexible budget but it’s a good idea to have a figure in mind that you can work to. The scale for wedding costs is a huge one but with good research and a bit of shopping around, any budget is viable for a wedding. The budget you want to work towards will influence greatly, the next item on the agenda…
Secure Your Venue
The biggest and most important element to secure as soon as possible. Venues are the first things to get booked up and do so way in advance. The first thing you should do is research where you want to get married and secure your date with your chosen venue. If you are opting for a civil ceremony you will need to book the celebrant as well as the venue. Equally, if you’re opting for a church wedding, ensure that both the church and your chosen reception venue are available on the date you want.
Book Any Wedding Attending Suppliers
Think anyone who can’t be in two places at once – photographer, videographer, band etc. Suppliers such as florists, cake makers etc are a little more flexible and can potentially manage a couple of bookings per date. However, suppliers who need to be in attendance at your wedding will need to be booked up as far in advance as is possible. I.e. once you have your date secured!
Start making appointments with bridal boutiques and try on a range of styles of dresses. So often we have brides who come in to our bridal shop here near Birmingham with a clear idea of what they think they want. Only to find that they opt for something completely different having tried the wedding gowns on! Bridal consultants will never discourage you from trying any gown that catches your eye, but we are best placed to help and advice on what we think will work for your shape, size and colouring. Trust in our experience and give suggestions a go, you never know until you try!
First of all have a think about what style of wedding flowers you would like. For example neat and traditional or modern and rustic. Although you will find that most florists can deliver a range of styles, each florist will have a signature style and will be visible through their portfolio of work. Meet with any that you like the look of and have a chat through your wishes for your wedding flowers before deciding whether they are someone you would like to work with. As soon as you find someone you like, get them booked. Good suppliers will not be short of bookings so you want to get them secured before anyone else does!
Groomswear and Bridesmaids
Time to start thinking about the rest of the bridal party’s outfits too. The groom, ushers, best man, bridesmaids and anyone else you chose to involve in your ceremony. There are options for suit hire if you don’t wish, or have the budget to buy. The high street is also a great option for bridesmaids if budgets don’t allow for boutique gowns.
Hair and Makeup
If you are looking to book hair and makeup artists, you will need to start thinking about this now. You will need to allow enough time for trials and any patch tests etc for new cosmetics/hair colours. Equally this is the time to start any hair/skin regimes in preparation for your big day. You do not want to leave that facial to the week running up, you could end up with a breakout for W day!
Wedding Cake and Menu Options
Your chosen venue should offer food and wine tastings before asking you to confirm your chosen menu for the wedding day. This is a good time to start so you have a chance to try different options or source alternative suppliers if the venue don’t offer quite what you were after. You will also need to start researching wedding cake makers. Again, they should offer you a cake tasting before asking you to settle on your chosen wedding cake and it’s also a good chance to discuss decoration ideas and look at their portfolio of work before booking.
Finalise Guest List
You will need final numbers before you can start sending out invitations. It will also impact on your stationery and floristry requirements in terms of number of tables required etc. Don’t feel pressured into inviting your barely known second cousin 3 times removed for fear of upsetting great auntie Joan… this is your day. Family can sometimes be difficult but remember who this day is for – you and your fiancé, it should be and involve exactly how and who you want.
Wedding Jewellery and Accessories
Most importantly – wedding rings! But not forgetting all those other touches that will bring together the whole look. Bridal jewellery and any accessories for bridesmaids. And not forgetting shoes!! For the bride as well as the rest of the wedding party. If they’re to source their own, let them know if you have any stipulations on colour etc before they go any buy.
Print and send invitations out. To help aid in RSVP’s you could also include an RSVP postcard for ease of reply, or an email option for those with less time on their hands.
Start researching where you’d like to go and how long after the ceremony you would like to leave. There is something to be said for an early dart from the celebration and arriving at the airport in your wedding gown! However, it may be more practical (and less stressful) to leave a day or two free after the ceremony before jetting off. Just so you can concentrate on last minute honeymoon prep solely, instead of it getting mixed up with last minute wedding panic!
Time to confirm your menu options, cake order, any hair and make-up trials and fittings for wedding dress and bridesmaids. This is also time to confirm any rental bookings such as chair covers, postbox, sweet carts, love letters etc.
You might want to arrange gifts for the wedding party – mother of the bride and groom, best man and bridesmaids are all traditional recipients. Flowers are a favourite choice for many, although there are some stunning personalised gifts available nowadays from independent gift shops or online sellers via Not on the highstreet or Etsy for example.
It takes longer than you think! Whether you choose to mix tables up or seat people with those they know, you want to make sure that you’ve included everyone and allowed space for highchairs / wheelchairs if necessary. Using paper and pencil or cut out names on a large sheet of paper can be really useful when planning.
Outline the Day
Draw up a timeline for the day. Factoring in all of the key aspects – journey from ceremony venue to reception, welcome drinks with guests, couples photography, wedding breakfast, band set up etc. Allow youself a little breathing space between each element if possible. Timings can go by the wayside so if you don’t have a wedding coordinator for the day, think about enlisting the help of the best man or maid of honour to help keep things running along.
Choose your readings and readers, finalise the room layout and design and put together a playlist for the band / DJ or start uploading to the relevant device if you’re supplying the music through the venue’s sound system.
Chase up missing RSVPs
Get in touch with anyne who hasn’t yet confirmed if they can make the day / night as your venue will be asking you to finalise numbers etc.
Book your final fitting and try not to gain or lose any weight after it!!
Confirm and Print Seating Plan
Once everyone has replied to the RSVP you can finalise the seating plan. You will need this printed for the venue as well as place cards or escort cards so your guests can take their seats.
Contact all of your suppliers and make sure everyone is on track for the day, everyone knows arrival time / start time etc and iron out any last minute issues that may have cropped up.
Collect your wedding dress and any other outfits from the relevant places and store on hangers to avoid any wrinkles!
Make sure you have your something old, something new, borrowed and blue! And that your bridal party know their respective roles and responsibilites on the day.
Start packing for honeymoon … make sure you know where your tickets and passport are!