How long should it take to plan a wedding?
If you were to ask someone in the industry how long you, realistically, should need to organise a wedding, then you will probably still be none the wiser. This is because there’s no exact wedding planning timeline, everyone’s idea of the perfect wedding is so different and it’s virtually impossible to put a timeframe on the planning process. Three years, three months… it can be done, but it just depends on the pace you prefer and how decisive you can be!
That said, the majority of people will book their venue around 18 months in advance, leaving them approximately a year to fit all the planning in.
Below is a rough guideline of some the most important steps when planning a wedding, see our monthly wedding checklist.
12+ months to go
Book your venue
One of the first exciting jobs for a newly engaged couple is to visit some wedding venues. If there is a particular date that is precious to you then now is your time to snap it up!
Send out save the dates
Now that you have your wedding deposit paid and your venue and caterers booked, you can send out your save the date cards to let others in on the excitement!
Obviously, if you are planning a wedding in the next few months then you may not have 12+ months’ notice to give, however informing your guests should be high on your priority list after booking the venue if you want them to be able to make the necessary arrangements to commit.
8-12 months to go
Pick your wedding gown
With probably several months to go, you can start looking out for your dream wedding dress!
So many brides have a particular style in mind even before getting engaged but then visit a few wedding dress boutiques and have their opinions changed entirely.
6+ months to go
Send those final invites and set a deadline for RSVPs
Don’t forget to reconfirm the date of your wedding and offer your guests more specific details like where it will be held, the time of the ceremony, your gift list and more.
Set a deadline for RSVPs so you can confirm food orders with your catering company.
Choose your bridesmaids and Maid of Honour
You’ve probably already decided who will be doing what at your wedding, which of course is absolutely fine. But for those who haven’t finalised these details just yet for one reason or another, rest assured that you don’t have to worry too much at this stage because most brides will opt for high street dresses for their maids which can be purchased much closer to the day and don’t require as many (if any) fittings as the bridal gown.
Stores like John Lewis, Debenhams, Phase Eight and more all stock large ranges of bridalwear, including tailored bridesmaid dresses.
Make decisions regarding flowers, photography and more
By this point, you should have been in contact with various suppliers and preferably booked them in provisionally.
Be sure to have a checklist of all the suppliers who need information or payment in the run up to the big day, as chances are you’ll have a lot on your plate!
3-4 months to go
Book in beauty appointments
As the wedding nears, it might be a good idea to give your beautician or hairdresser at least a couple of months’ notice in order to fit you in, especially if you wish to book your bridesmaids in for updos too.
Buy your rings
If you haven’t already, then you will need to buy your wedding bands which will be exchanged as you say your vows.
Less than one month to go (eek!)
Go for final fittings
Ideally, you’ll have been to at least one fitting already but it is a good idea to have final fitting relatively close to the wedding day so that you can be measured accurately in those final weeks or days and make sure that your dress fits to perfection.
Check, check and check again
No doubt you’ll be a bit anxious the week of the wedding, so put your mind at rest by going over all your lists and calling suppliers to check on the final plans if you so wish.
Enjoy your hen party and stag do and try to relax!
With just a few days to go, there’s not much more that you can do so sit back, go out, and enjoy your last days of single life. If possible, try to look forward to the big day!
And last but not least…
Book your honeymoon
It doesn’t matter whether you book your honeymoon before or after your wedding. Some couples prefer to take some time to pay off wedding bills before jetting off so this can be left as late as you want to.
Whether you book flights in your maiden name or your married name will depend on how soon after the event you will be travelling, as you need time to change your name over on all of your official documents, so that’s another thing to keep in mind.
Interested in having your wedding day at Warwick House? Download our brochure to find out more.