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What Are The Steps To Planning A Wedding

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  • 11-07-2022
What Are The Steps To Planning A Wedding

Planning a Wedding

Wedding planning is tough. Whether you are gearing up for a small wedding, have a rough idea or know the final guest list - you can always use some support. While many soon-to-be-married couples choose to hire wedding planners, there is no shame in planning your wedding yourself.

Our expert advice is to accept that it's a bit overwhelming, and that's okay. This is your dream day, and it can be fun to plan a wedding when done well. Remember to stay organised and bring in family and friends to help ease the wedding planning checklist.

For your complete guide to the little details of the wedding planning process, keep reading this article. Take a deep breath, and let's get organising your own wedding. 

Daydream about your day

Big or small wedding? Where will the ceremony and reception be held? Both you and your partner have probably had some time to find inspiration and start researching on the type of wedding you would like.

If you haven't, it's a good idea to start now. Daydreaming about the wedding party as bride and groom is one of the fun parts, and is one of the most important parts.

This isn't your moment to stress about the caterers and wedding invitations; this is a chance to let your imagination go wild and plan your future together.

It all starts with this first step. Work hand-in-hand with your partner to choose your dream first dance, wedding venue, food, bridesmaids' dresses and even the honeymoon. Planning a wedding is about compromise and finding a theme and wedding style you and your partner agree on. 

What Are The Steps To Planning A Wedding?

Bring in backup

There is absolutely nothing wrong with bringing in backup to help decide on the important details for your wedding day.

While you and your soon-to-be husband or wife may be on the same page, using family members or a full-service wedding planner to guide you can be incredibly helpful.

Many couples opt for professional assistance for wedding events, with these options being the most popular: 

Online Resources

There are countless wedding planning apps and third-party products designed to help plan your wedding and enjoy life's biggest moments with as little stress as possible.

While some won't help you as much as others, having a dedicated platform to manage your wedding budget and store ideas can be enough, so all the information isn't stored in your head.

Google Docs is another helpful tool many use to jot notes on the go, managing various aspects of their special day from their mobile device. If you don't want to spend more money on planning and management, this avenue accommodates many couples, helping you narrow down your options in advance.

Many wedding websites take away the time-consuming aspects of planning and keep an open line of communication with professionals without swamping you. 

Use Friends & Family

The chances are your family or close friends have either gotten married themselves or have visited their fair share of weddings.

Although your wedding ceremony is your big day, it's a good idea to enlist the help of relatives in the months leading up to your wedding. If they are contributing financially toward the bridal party or wedding dress, they may want to be included in the planning and help you.

The wedding planning journey is not one to be tackled solo, and unexpected expenses may arise, meaning you will need support from those key people in your life. 

Hire A Wedding Planner

Of course, many couples choose to hire a wedding planner for their own wedding day. They are professionals who can help with the various wedding details and help ensure you remain organised, not missing anything.

A planner can help find wedding vendors, wedding bands, plan your rehearsal dinner and find the perfect wedding photographer for the event. Event planning will take both you and your partner's time unless you use someone familiar with all the wedding essentials.

You don't want your celebration to suffer because you forgot one of the most important tasks, which can easily happen when you're swept up in the process. 

Steps to Planning Your Dream Day

The perfect wedding is not thrown together at the last minute. If you are completely unsure of where to begin, we recommend starting with this list. 

The first thing you should focus on is your wedding budget. Talk to your partner and discuss how much you can spend or are prepared to spend. While this isn't exactly romantic to plan out, the money allocated for the wedding is essential, and you must ensure you have the funds for it.

On average, a UK wedding costs £17,500. This doesn't necessarily mean you have to spend that much on your wedding reception, as more people are beginning to realise. Spending your joint finances should be a mutual decision, as you don't want to get an angry letter from the venue or caterer at the end of the ordeal.

While you may want to get swept away with wedding inspirations, some perspective is crucial in ensuring you don't go bankrupt getting married. Look at your outgoing finances and see what isn't likely to change in the coming months.

Some consideration about your joint income and the essentials you must have at your wedding is where you should start. Remember, you can always save money on transportation or the wedding guest list if costs are getting tight. 

When it comes to planning your wedding, you can rest assured knowing there are many places to find inspiration for wedding themes and designs. Obviously, you can still host an event with your personality sprinkled throughout while looking at other examples to get ideas

There are countless Instagram and Pinterest pages on the web to help you get inspired - taking bits from different aesthetics and merging them to create your dream day.

This part of the wedding timeline should be fun, taking different parts and brainstorming. If you work with a wedding planner, the more details, photos, inspirations and options you can provide, the better. 

You and your partner cannot decide on a theme until you have done your research. After browsing the internet, hopefully, you have found whether you want a traditional, simple wedding or a big, grand wedding.

You don't need to have everything agreed upon, but if you have a good idea of the theme and the party products and accessories you'll need to bring it to life, then you are doing just fine. As with the previous steps, this starts with your imagination and finding inspiration.

No amount of expert advice can help you secure a theme for your wedding, nor is there a right one to pick. This is your special day around loved ones, and the theme must represent you and your future spouse. 

No wedding plans are complete without the perfect ceremony and reception venue. You and your partner may not have the same venue in mind, which can cause conflict between the two of you.

This is one of the most important factors to organise as many popular venues will require booking months in advance. Hopefully, by this point, you have determined a budget for your big day, meaning you should factor this into your venue research.

There may be other venues that work to your budget that you hadn't yet thought of - the wedding industry is full of surprises

 The venue you select will also inform your wedding dates (as you have to work on the availability of the location) and the number of wedding guests you can invite, so have a rough idea of the ideal date and guest list you are looking for. 

While it may not be the most romantic aspect of your engagement and wedding planning, seeking wedding insurance is definitely something you should not forget.

With the average UK wedding costing £17,000 and upward (with some couples spending easily double that), you should invest in insurance for circumstances out of your control. Wedding insurance will protect you if the venue unexpectedly closes, the wedding falls through due to illness, or something else catastrophic happens.

The last thing you want is your day of joy to be ruined, and you lose on your money. Small weddings will not necessarily require insurance when it's a less formal gathering of family and friends, but larger weddings will require insurance to protect themselves financially. 

All marriage and civil partnerships must be registered and legalised, which involves signing marriage licenses. This must be done as soon as possible after your ceremony, so don't forget.

Some denominations such as Jewish, Quaker and Anglican may have a Vicar, Priest or Minister with the correct authorisation to make it legal during the ceremony, killing two birds with one stone

 If you are not religious or are from another religion not mentioned, you will require the person performing the ceremony to be licensed to register marriages or have a civil registrar on-site. 

You may already have an idea of your desired wedding party size and members, but if you don't, you should start planning as soon as possible.

Typical weddings will have a maid of honours, bridesmaids, ushers, flower girls, page boys and a best man. Many couples choose their close friends or family members to fill these roles, but you can ask whoever you desire.

Remember that they are typically asked to help plan important pre-wedding events like bachelor and bachelorette parties, so choose wisely. 

Ensuring you have the ideal guest list for your dream day is a bit overwhelming, especially when considering the bride and groom's joint family. If you have decided on your venue, your guest count may be limited by that.

Most of the time, you have to prioritise parents and close family, but you don't want to offend anyone by not inviting them.

While the key people in your life, your loved ones, may attend your wedding without a doubt, you have to ask yourself what happens with your colleagues and other people in your life. 

Your wedding suppliers will take the most of your time and budget to organise, so many people outsource a wedding planner to help with this factor. Suppliers will cover everything from photographers, videographers, florists and caterers.

If you would like any flowers, music, entertainment or more at your wedding, you need to get started immediately with planning suppliers as they will book out fast.

Hair and makeup, wedding cake makers, photo booths, food trucks and decoration vendors will be included on this list. 

Finding and buying wedding dresses is one of the most exciting parts for many people. 

Wearing the gown of your dreams while walking down the aisle is a minimum requirement for most people, and with waiting lists sometimes six months and longer, get planning as soon as possible.

Groomswear, suits and ties can be organised a little easier, but tailored fits and finding matching suits for the groomsmen will require time and effort.

Most couples choose to do this separately, but you can do this together if you would like to organise it all in one day. 

At this point, you will have organised most of the wedding, but you still need to outline the entire schedule. This should be written, re-written and finalised between all essential parties.

The reason why you need a schedule is to relay to all the suppliers, as the catering team, DJ, and of course, the guest list needs to know when they should arrive! As the wedding day rolls on, it may become harder to stay on track.

Having scheduled dinner time and moment for your first dance will help keep everything moving smoothly. 

Before sending your invitations to your guests, you should decide on the wedding gifts you would like to receive

 Everyone attending your wedding will want to buy you a gift but will find it challenging, meaning you can make it a stress-free environment if you provide everyone with a list of what you're looking for.

Depending on the wedding size, you can get a lot more personal with guests and inform each one individually what gifts you are your partner would like. 

Now it's time to make your wedding dates official by sending out formal invitations and save the date cards to your guests.

Save The Dates allow your guests to know about the wedding well in advance and book the time off, ensuring they can come. This is also your chance to inform your guests of all nearby accommodation, travel routes and the final details of the day.

If you have budgeted correctly, you can choose to book your honeymoon before your wedding date.

As with all the other details about your special day, you must plan ahead and book before the location and hotel disappears. Your honeymoon should be one of the best events of the wedding period, so you can always hire a professional team to plan it for you.

Although you may have invited all the people you want, not all of them will be able to attend. Once you start getting RSVPs back from your invitations, you need to start working on a table plan.

Seating together people, so no arguments or disagreements occur, is challenging, especially when two families come into one room together.

Engagement parties are a great way to find out who works well together, so you could even start planning it as early as that. The sooner you have a general idea of the table arrangements, the better. 

Your maid of honour and best man should have planned your stag night and hen night (bachelor party and bachelorette party) on your behalf, but you should always check the budget and time requirements covers the nights.

While making a to-do list for such a night may seem boring, taking away some of the fun, you want to ensure that it all runs smoothly. 

Once you have organised the bigger details, you still have time to make the final touches before you are legally married. If you have been using a wedding planning book, taking note of all planned events and factors, your event will be a roaring success, and you don't need to worry.

You can take the time to ensure the process of transporting the wedding rings is finalised, your thank you letters have been picked, and you are ready for your day. It's meant to be fun, after all. 

How much time do you need to plan a wedding?

Hopefully, this step by step guide has given you more understanding of how to plan your wedding, but one we haven't covered is how much time it'll all take. We haven't addressed that because there's no one answer for that question.

From asking the question, wearing your engagement ring and taking engagement photos to the moment the wedding registry officiates, you can be anywhere between two weeks and thirteen months.

It all depends on the couple, the wedding size and how they choose to create a wedding because each one is unique. 

Obviously, the less time you spend planning, the last-minute details will seem more daunting, but you can make a simple wedding happen in a matter of weeks if you so choose. 

How Much Time Do You Need To Plan A Wedding?

What do you need to know before planning a wedding?

Before your wedding, you must have several conversations with yourself and your partner. You both need to be happy and compromise on what your wedding means to you.

When and where do you want to get married? How much can you afford to spend on your wedding day?

If you can estimate a budget, a season and time of year, a guest list number and a rough theme, you are well on your way. Leave enough time to have those conversations and work your way through the step by step guide we have gone through above. 

What if you have a smaller budget?

Weddings are expensive by nature. They can be made cheaper by making cutbacks, perhaps not inviting as many people or minimising your decor, but you are still going to spend a lot of money.

If you can find family or friends willing to help you pay, you may want to take them up on that. Remember, there's always a cheaper way to get married, and you can make your day special for cheap. Other married couples manage to celebrate their love without spending loads of money.

If you are planning a wedding in Essex or the surrounding areas, we provide horse drawn carriages for just such occasions. 

We offer wedding carriages London. Visit our site to book your wedding transport hire.