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Our Ultimate Wedding Planning Timeline

So, you’ve just got engaged – congratulations! Firstly, we hope you and your partner take some time to enjoy newly engaged life as it is possibly one of the most exciting stages of any couple’s relationship. Once the initial buzz dies down a bit following your engagement, it’s time to get down to the reality of planning a wedding.

For many couples, planning a wedding can seem like a daunting task but if you feel overwhelmed, that’s where we come in. To make this task a little easier for you, we have compiled a complete wedding planning checklist to guide you through every stage of the wedding planning process. From big decisions such as the wedding venue to little ones such as your wedding stationary, we are about to delve into all the major components and nitty gritty details needed to plan a wedding.

Each couple’s wedding planning journey will be different, but every couple can benefit from getting a head start with our ultimate wedding planning timeline. You can refer to this timeline as a general guide and make personalised adjustments to fit your specific needs. So, let’s get into it.

12 Months Before the Wedding

Finalise Your Guest List

You can’t determine a wedding budget or book a wedding venue without knowing how many people you’d like to invite to your wedding and how much you’re willing to spend per head. Referring to our guide on questions to ask your wedding venue, you’ll need to make sure your venue capacity aligns with the number of guests you want to invite. It’s worth noting that some venues may hold a smaller capacity for the wedding ceremony itself and a larger capacity for the evening wedding reception.

Book Your Wedding Venue

Choosing your wedding venue is one of the first, and arguably one of the most important decisions you will make when planning a wedding. When visiting potential wedding venue sites, you should consider the number of guests you want to invite, your wedding budget and vision for how you want the venue to look on the day. Once you make a final decision on your wedding venue, you can start planning all the finer details that will come together to turn your dream wedding into a reality.

Register Your Intention to Marry

Next on our wedding checklist is making an appointment to give notice at your local register office. The process of ‘giving notice’ involves signing a legal statement at your local register office to say you intend to get married or form a civil partnership and you must do this at least 29 days before your ceremony. You must hold your ceremony within 12 months of ‘giving notice’. At this stage, you’ll also pay for your marriage certificate and be given a form which asks for all your ceremony details.

Buy Wedding Insurance

Wedding insurance is a really important element of wedding planning and it’s a good idea to protect yourself from damage and liabilities on your big day. You can apply for coverage as soon as you start planning your wedding or once you have a venue secured. As with home and contents insurance, wedding insurance prices will vary depending on the level of cover you choose.

Decide Overall Theme

It’s a good idea to sit down with your partner and decide on an overall theme for your wedding in the early stages of planning. Consider what’s important for you and your partner, what you value and what style reflects you both as a couple. Getting this decision out the way early on will help you further down the line with decisions like booking a wedding photographer and wedding videographer, choosing your wedding flowers, wedding décor and wedding stationary.

Book a Wedding Planner

Depending on your budget, you may want to consider hiring a wedding planner to relieve you of stressful wedding planning tasks. Wedding planners are experts and know exactly how to plan a wedding from start to finish. They will be your right-hand person and guide you in all your decision making. In terms of your wedding planning timeline, we would advise that you hire a wedding planner at least 12 months before your wedding.

10 – 11 Months Before the Wedding

Book Your Wedding Photographer and Wedding Videographer

Wedding photographers and wedding videographers are two of the wedding suppliers you should book as far in advance as possible. Each wedding photographer and videographer will have their own style and making sure it matches your wedding theme is vital to ensuring that your wedding photos look exactly how you want. Often a good wedding photographer or wedding videographer will take bookings years in advance so if you’ve got a particular photographer or videographer in mind, you’ll want to book them early on in your wedding planning to avoid disappointment.

Book Your Wedding Entertainment

Another wedding supplier you’ll want to book early is your wedding band, wedding musician or wedding DJ. Hiring musical wedding entertainment will enhance the atmosphere of your wedding and make it a day to remember for all. No two weddings are the same and finding the right band, musician or DJ is a completely unique decision to you and your partner so it’s worth looking around some of the area’s amazing local talent before making a final decision.

8 – 9 Months Before the Wedding

Book Your Wedding Florist

When it comes to booking your wedding florist, it’s best to do it around 8-9 months before your big day. Start by researching different florists in your local area or the area of your venue and check out their online portfolios to get a sense of their style. You should then schedule a consultation with your favourite wedding florist to discuss your vision and enquire about pricing, delivery and setting up on the day. A good wedding florist will be super accommodating, make recommendations and work closely with you to create your dream wedding bouquet and wedding floral arrangements.

Book Your Wedding Cake Supplier

If you want a traditional wedding cake for your big day, you should aim to book your wedding cake supplier around the same time as your wedding florist, between 8-9 months before the wedding. You should begin by researching local cake suppliers and checking out their previous work and designs. Then you can schedule consultations with a few of your top choices to discuss cake flavours and any dietary requirements. This is definitely the most delicious step in our wedding planning list!

Order Wedding Stationary

Ordering wedding stationary is one of the smaller details on our wedding planning checklist, but it can be a fun and creative way to set the tone for your special day. Begin by exploring different designs and styles that match your wedding theme. Once you have an idea of what style you’re looking for, reach out to professional wedding stationary suppliers to discuss your vision and get quotes. Don’t forget to ask about customisation options, printing techniques and delivery times.

Assign Your Wedding Roles

Next on our wedding planning checklist is assigning your wedding roles. You and your partner should begin by discussing and deciding on key roles such as maid of honour, best man, bridesmaids, groomsmen and any other roles you want to include. Consider the people who are closest to you and who you trust to fulfil these responsibilities as it is important to choose people who will support and assist you throughout the wedding planning process. Next you should have a conversation with the individuals you have chosen and see if they are happy to take on the role.

Wedding Dress or Wedding Suit Shopping

Onto the next task on our timeline for planning a wedding; finding the perfect wedding dress or wedding suit. When it comes to choosing the perfect wedding dress or wedding suit, it’s important to consider your personal style, body type and the overall theme of your wedding. When attending appointments at bridal boutiques or tailors, it’s important to keep your budget in mind and you should bring a trusted friend or family member for support. Remember, the most important thing is to choose a dress or suit that you feel comfortable and confident in.

Menu Tasting and Plan Your Wedding Menu

Another exciting and important step in your wedding planning journey is menu tasting and planning your wedding menu. Firstly, you should check if your wedding venue provides in-house catering or if they allow outside caterers. You should then be able to book a menu tasting to design a bespoke wedding menu for your wedding day. It is at this stage that you should check your venue’s options for anyone with food intolerances or special dietary requirements.

6 – 7 Months Before the Wedding

Book Your Wedding Transport

Next on our wedding checklist is wedding cars and transport. How will you get to the wedding venue? How will you travel from the ceremony to the reception? Maybe you want to look at wedding bus hire for your wedding party? Hiring wedding transport will provide comfort and style on your big day but it will also ensure all the events of the day run smoothly. When it comes to choosing your wedding car and wedding transport there are many options to consider including vintage wedding cars, modern wedding cars and classic campervans. You should get in touch with wedding car hire companies 6-7 months before the wedding as their popular cars will get booked up early. Above all, you should ensure that the style of car you go for compliments your wedding theme as they will create great photo opportunities on the day.

Book Wedding Hair Stylists and Wedding Makeup Artists

There are many benefits to booking a professional wedding hair stylist and wedding makeup artist for your big day. They have the skills and expertise to create beautiful, long-lasting bridal looks that will photograph well and they will also take a load off your shoulders on the morning of your big day. You’ll need to aim to book your chosen wedding hair stylist and makeup artist well in advance to allow time for consultations and trial runs on the lead up to your wedding day.

Book Your Honeymoon

After the long preparation process during the build up to your wedding and your wedding day itself, it’s time for a well-deserved break. Your honeymoon is a chance to unwind and celebrate life as a newly wed couple. It is also a chance to visit a bucket list destination and have the holiday of a lifetime. Booking your honeymoon in advance will give you something to look forward to and will ensure you have time to find the best holiday deals available to you.

4 – 5 Months Before the Wedding

Create a Wedding Website

Creating a wedding website is a great idea and it will make planning a wedding a lot easier. Wedding websites are a central hub where guests can find information about your wedding day, helping to simplify the wedding planning process. They might include details on the wedding venue, accommodation recommendations for guests and taxi numbers near the venue. They also offer an easy way for guests to RSVP, allowing couples to keep track of numbers attending the wedding.

Send Your Wedding Invitations

Once you’ve set the date for your wedding day and finalised your guest list, you can send out your save the date wedding cards and wedding invitations. Wedding stationary is an important part of any wedding as it helps communicate important information to guests and sets the tone of the entire event. Not only this, but it also adds a touch of personalisation to your big day, making it that extra bit more special. Often, details of your wedding website can be included in your wedding invitations to provide further information for guests.

Buy Your Wedding Rings

With 4-5 months to go before your wedding day, you should look at purchasing your wedding rings. You’ll be wearing it everyday so take time to make this decision. You should also make sure you choose something that compliments your engagement ring and set a budget!

2 – 3 Months Before the Wedding

Host Your Hen, Stag or Sten Parties

The perfect time to host your Hen, Stag or Sten party is around 2-3 months before the wedding and it is guaranteed to get everyone excited for your big day. Traditionally the maid of honour and best man are in charge of sorting everything out, so all you have to do is show up and have a fantastic time. Before you throw this pre-wedding celebration, however, it’s best to speak to your chief wedding attendants to go over your do’s and don’ts to ensure you fully enjoy yourself.

Finalise Décor

At this stage of the wedding planning timeline, you will want to buy any finishing touches and extra decorations to style your wedding venue with. This should include the rest of your personalised wedding stationary such as your orders of service, wedding place cards, wedding menus, wedding signs and any other wedding favours. Essentially, this step will ensure all the finer details come together on the day to set the overall tone for the wedding.

1 Month Before the Wedding

Do Your Seating Plan

Once you’ve chased any RSVP stragglers, you can write up and order your seating plan. When this is complete, you should give a copy to your venue or caterer as well as the details of any dietary requirements.

Write Your Vows

With a matter of weeks to go before your big day, it’s time to write your wedding vows. Although you may prefer to write these close to the time, writing your vows 1 month before the wedding allows you time to make sure you have included everything you want to say and gives you plenty of time to revisit them.

So, there you have it, you’ve made it to your wedding day and have successfully completed all the elements involved in planning a wedding. It’s important to prioritise relaxation the night before and morning of your wedding to ease the nerves so you should aim to get a good night’s sleep and eat a substantial meal. It will be a lot easier to do this knowing that everything on your wedding timeline is completed and all that preparation has paid off, so all that is left to do is to enjoy your day!


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