Why Do You Need Help Planning Your Wedding?
You've got it covered, you know what to do. Maybe you've been planning it since you were a kid and you know every nuance of the day. With all that said, I'm pretty sure there is something you forgot, or you would have never clicked on this link in the first place!
There are so many things to think about it can be tough to even know where to start. That's why I created this blog post, to help people who need to know where to begin with this whole wedding planning thing. I've been to enough weddings to know what works and what doesn't.
I am going to run you through my ‘Wedding Planning 101’ or ‘Jack’s Incredible Wedding Checklist’.
I recommend downloading the Checklist, printing it off and sticking it on the fridge/on the wall/on the dog/somewhere you won’t forget it. Best part is, it's completely free! The link is at the bottom of this article.
First thing’s first, congratulations on your engagement!
Now you’ve posted about it on Facebook and told all your friends and family it’s time to make some decisions.
I realise this looks like a daunting checklist, I've tried to think of everything that could happen and anticipate for most weddings however, I feel it is impossible to cover everything for every type of wedding in one checklist. The download is a simplified version of this. I recommend downloading that. It's totally free and the link is at the bottom on this post.
Also, this is not in a particular order as it is almost impossible to advise someone on the order as each wedding is different.
- Settle on a budget – You can’t really get anything sorted until you know what your budget is. This will allow you to know the types of venues you can afford, how many guests you can have, the photographer you can get etc so this really is a key part of organising, from here everything becomes a lot easier.
- Guest List – Maybe not a full guest list at this point but you want to know roughly how many people will be at the wedding. There is little point looking at venues that seat 30 people if your wedding is going to have 200 people there.
- Pick a Date – Or at least narrow your date down to a few. If you’re really struggling, pick a year and a season, that’ll be enough to get you started. Be aware that if you pick a Saturday in August it will be more expensive than a Tuesday in March, for example.
- Find a Venue – Once you know roughly when you want to get married you can begin to think about where you want to get married. There are so many things to think about when it comes to choosing a venue. Local or destination, outside or inside, church or venue, hotel or exclusive venue etc. A quick Google search will bring up all the venues in the area that fit the criteria you’re after. Be sure to visit each one and meet the wedding organisers at the venue too. You want to make sure you get on with them because they will be playing a massive role in the most important day of your life so you want to make sure they have the same vision of your day as you.
- Wedding Planner – This is 100% optional and depends on the venue. Some venues provide a planner, others don’t. Find someone who understands your day and what you want to do.
- Find a Photographer – Trust me when I say good photographers are very busy people. Their diaries fill up 2, sometimes even 3 years in advance for peak times so you want to make sure you get in there fast. As soon as you have a date and venue sorted I recommend asking the venue if they have a recommended supplier evening, or even a wedding fair. A photographer plays such a crucial role in your wedding day and will be with you all day, you want to make sure you can meet them and get to know them a little to ensure they get what your wedding is all about. There are many different styles of photography and you want to make sure your photographer captures your day the way you want them to. Meeting them is a great way to do that. It’s always a bonus when the photographer knows the venue too because they then know all the best spots for photos to be taken.
- Registrar – Without this guy (or gal) you’re not getting married! Best sort that one out.
- Choose your wedding party – Who’s going to be your Maid of Honour, your Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, Bestman etc.
- Wedding Dress Shopping – One of the best bits about getting married for many brides. Enjoy it! Shop around but you will know when you’ve found ‘the one’. This can take up to 7 months, so don't leave it too long!
- Suits – She gets to splash out on a nice new dress, you should get a nice new suit for the occasion. Just remember if you get a practical suit you can wear it again, she can’t wear her dress again, you can remind her of that!
- Bridesmaid’s Dresses – Make sure they fit in with the theming of the day and compliment you and what you are wearing.
- Décor and Florists – Start mapping out how you want your day to look, what décor do you want? Is it a lavish, luxurious wedding or a more rustic look? Make sure your décor fits in with the style.
- Cake – Make sure to try lots of cake. Everyone loves cake!
- Day Entertainment – People often neglect this part of the day but it is very important as there are many parts throughout the day where entertainment can help to lift the spirits and keep the day running smoothly.
- Evening Entertainment - Band or DJ? Anything else? If you've got kids there you'll probably need something to keep them entertained too.
- Honeymoon – This is easy, it’s like booking holiday, just make sure you book the honeymoon suite!
- Invitations – No one will know to come if you don’t let them know! Make sure they tie in with your theming.
- Hair and Make-Up – Make sure you test both of these out well in advance of your wedding day, the last thing you want is to realise something’s not right a week before the day and there’s nothing you can do about it!
- Table Plan – Make sure there is a good mix of people who know each other and others who don’t to keep the conversations flowing during the breakfast.
- Register Wedding – This is VERY important!
- Stag/Hen Night – I realise you shouldn’t be the one organising it but I thought I’d put it in here.
- Wedding Rings – As important as registering the wedding!
- Create a Schedule – If you know what’s going on and you give this schedule to others who need to know it will help keep the day running smoothly.
- Transport – If your ceremony is not in the same place as your reception this is important. So many options become available to you but you need to make sure it ties in with you day. If you are going very classical, perhaps a horse drawn carriage. If modern is your thing, a nippy sports car could compliment it nicely.
- Speeches – Please plan and rehearse these! I’ve heard so many that haven’t been rehearsed and it can get awkward as you scramble to get the words out. If you struggle with public speaking then keep the speech short and sweet!
- Gifts for Wedding Party – More of a tradition than anything else.
- Caterer – If your venue doesn’t provide one you’ll need to source your own.
If you want a list of my recommended suppliers then please do not hesitate to ask me, I’ll be more than happy to help you find a photographer, band, DJ, I may even know a magician!
You can download the easy to use version of this Checklist to ensure that you have a great wedding day. It’s completely free and could prove useful!
Simply click on the image to our right and the PDF download will open in a new window. That's it. No email, no sign-up, just a free gift!
Like I said, the aim of this checklist is not to be all encompassing but rather to impart my wisdom from many years working at weddings. There are certainly pitfalls that people fall into and I want to help you avoid them.
I always say that after the venue, the dress and the cake the entertainment is vitally important because it is one of the things everyone will remember, however that's a topic of discussion for another day and another blog post.
I have done my best to categorise the Checklist but it is hard to do as each wedding is so unique, each wedding tends to prioritise different things, however I hope this helps simplify the rather daunting task of planning a wedding!
All the best,
Did you find this interesting? Was it useful? Let us know in the comments section below!