If you were to ask someone in the industry how long you, realistically, should need to organise a wedding, then you might be left feeling disgruntled that you are still none the wiser. This is because everyone’s idea of the perfect wedding is so different and it’s virtually impossible to put a timeframe on the planning process. That said, the majority of people will book their venue around 12-18 months in advance, leaving them around a year to fit everything in. However last minute weddings are available and our trusted and experienced team will be there to help you every step of the way.

Below is a rough guideline of some the most important steps when planning a traditional wedding in the 21st century.

Years To Go…

Set your budget

First and foremost, have a serious and frank conversation with your loved one about how much you can afford to spend on your wedding and roughly how you wish to allocate the money.

If you have no idea how much things cost, then do some research on the Internet or talk to friends who have just got married. Now is a good time to start a master pin in your Pinterest account and to start pinning ideas. This will give you an idea of how your wedding will take shape so you can begin to look up prices.

Book your venue and caterers

One of the first exciting jobs for a newly engaged couple is to visit some of their favourite venues. If there is a particular date that is precious to you then now is your time to reserve it!

If booking a package, your catering costs will likely be included. Otherwise, you will need to contact caterers sharpish to get them booked in on the same day.

Choose your bridesmaids, Maid of Honour & Best Man

There is no better time than now to surprise your friends with a request to join your wedding party – when the planning stage is just about to really get going and you need all the help you can get!!

The same goes for the Best Man – he’ll need as long as possible to organise the momentous stag do too!

Send out save the dates

Now that you have your wedding deposit paid, you can send out your save the date cards to let others in on the excitement whilst you tackle the next stage of planning behind the scenes!

Months To Go

Pick your wedding gown and choose suits and bridesmaid’s dresses

With probably several months to go, you can start finalising details such as your colour theme. Take the girls out for a fun shopping trip where they can help you to pick out your perfect gown and then try on some dresses themselves. Will you buy or hire your men’s suits?

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.

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. Wedding florists will usually offer you an initial consultation and then meet with you nearer the time of the wedding to discuss your choices in more detail and to provide you with more accurate costings. Take a look at some of our Recommended Suppliers if you still haven’t decided.

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!

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 month’s notice in order to fit you in, especially if you wish to book your bridesmaids in for updos.

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.

Book your honeymoon

Jetting off somewhere after the wedding? If so then you will need to find the time to book this. 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.

Days To Go

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.

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.

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!