Friday 26 January 2018

The Essential Wedding Planning Checklist

Last Updated: 01 June 2024

Everyone knows that planning a wedding is a difficult job, but until you've gone through it yourself, many people don't realise just how hard it can be. Of course, I'm not married, but having heard people talk about everything they've done and still have left to do, I know that I'm going to be in for a shock should it ever be my turn!

So, if this sounds familiar and you're a bride (or groom) struggling to keep your head above the waters of wedding planning, I've put together a handy guide featuring the main points you need to consider. Think of it as a checklist of everything you need for your dream wedding!

  • Date - When do you want to get married? It's essential to have a date in mind because you won't be able to finalise much else without having already outlined a concrete date
  • Venue - Exciting times! Don't forget you might need to book separate venues for the ceremony and the reception and remember to stick to your budget and your desired number of guests
  • Theme - Before you go much further, you need to decide on a theme for your big day. If you're struggling for inspiration, try looking at colour schemes and the seasons
  • Guest list - How many people do you want to invite? It's good practice to find out your chosen venue's capacity and then simply split the available amount fairly down the middle, with one half for the groom's guests and the other for the bride's
  • Best Man and Bridesmaids - Your best man and bridesmaids will undoubtedly be thrilled to hear you've picked them, so don't leave it too long before letting them know!
  • Invites - Some couples choose to send out 'save the date' cards before the formal invites are ready, but if you are sticking solely to the invitations make sure to send them out in plenty of time to allow everyone to RSVP
  • Dress - The most important dress of a girl's life, for many, this is also the most exciting part of the entire process. Why not take your bridesmaids along with you for a girly day of wedding dress shopping together?
  • Rings - You're going to be wearing them for the rest of your life, so it's important to pick wedding rings that you both like and are happy to commit to wearing
  • Hair and Make-up - Make sure to book your hair and make-up in advance if you want to get it done professionally. It can also be a good idea to get a few trials done before the big day to enable any tweaks to be made before the occasion arrives
  • Photography - Your wedding photos will be a lasting reminder of your special day, so don't scrimp on your photographer. If you're wary, ask to see some examples of their work before booking to ensure their style is a good fit for yours
  • Decoration - From table centrepieces to venue decorations, it's important to make sure that your venue looks the part for all those photos!
  • Transport - If the wedding dress is the bride's dream, then the transport is the groom's equivalent. Most couples choose to go for vintage cars, but if you're feeling creative, the options really are endless...
  • Catering - What food and drink will you serve your guests? From a formal sit-down meal to a more relaxed buffet-style approach, there are plenty of different catering ideas to choose from
  • Cake - Every couple needs a wedding cake! Whether it's a traditional tiered white cake or something a little more quirky, don't forget the obligatory cake-cutting photograph!
  • Flowers - From the bride's bouquet to the groomsmen's buttonholes, flowers are an integral part of most weddings. Going for seasonal, locally-grown flowers can also add an extra special touch to your day
  • Stag and Hen Do - Don't forget to factor in time and money for your hen and stag dos
  • Honeymoon - Whether you want a traditional honeymoon or just a short break, who doesn't love an excuse to travel? It will also be your first holiday together as a married couple - so choose wisely!

Of course, at the end of the day, your wedding is an incredibly personal occasion, one which celebrates the love between you and your partner. While every wedding is different, these are just a few of the things essential to make sure your big day goes as smoothly as possible!

Are you in the process of planning your wedding? Do you have any tips? Share them in the comments below!

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