Once the whirlwind of the surprise and romance of the proposal has begun to settle, venturing off into the world of ‘wedding planning’ can often be, well, just a tad overwhelming (to say the least). However, you’ve come to the right place!
Whilst there is no right or wrong, or prescribed fool-proof timeline for planning the big day (wouldn’t that be nice!?), we’re here to give you a little wedding planning 101 rundown to help you keep on track, and a small snapshot overview of when to focus on what, whether you’ve got 6 months or 2 years.
We could talk for hours about the specific timelines and all the little details of when to do what, but so as not to overwhelm you, let’s just keep things simple and think about when to book what…
No, not necessarily the size of your guest list or wedding, but we mean the big picture. It’s not the easiest task, but it will help you on the journey ahead.
Start by thinking of your dream wedding – how many people (draw up a guest list), location, style – and from here you need to draw up a wedding budget.
It doesn’t need to be exact, but you will want to know how much you are willing to spend and what your priorities are before getting too stuck in. This will help you with the next steps.
Most likely, the first thing that will dictate your day, will be either the venue itself or the date. If you have a specific date in mind that you’re not willing to budge on, then the venue chosen will need to suit that date.
If you’re flexible, then venue might come first. We’d recommend hunting down that dream location as your first step out in the field – It’s the BIG decision, often the hardest, but once it’s locked in it’s all smooth sailing (ish) and (hopefully!) great fun!
Whilst some newly engaged couples may have had their finger on the buzzer for a while now (we understand, we’re wedding daydreamers too!) and may have already narrowed down their must-have wedding suppliers, for most couples this will be a whole new adventure together.
We’d recommend starting with the ‘bigger’ ones (which is hard to decipher, as all can be so important).
Start with your photographer, celebrant and hair and makeup artists, or even a wedding planner if you choose to have a little help.
These are the ones most likely to get booked out far in advance, and have such a huge impact on the day itself and your memories of it. They are also the people you will be spending time with on the day, so it’s important to feel comfortable with them.
Now is the time to put your daydreams and research into practice – Go crazy and start looking into the dress (which should come quite high up the list as it can often dictate the whole style of the day), decorations, catering, cake, and flowers.
These things can take a while to fine-tune so it’s worth starting the process a little bit earlier, to give yourself time to find out what you like and how it works within your budget.
This stage will give you the best overview of how much a wedding can vary in price, and may affect other aspects like your guest list and the following steps.
From here, feel free to send out those invitations and let the countdown officially commence!
As the day draws a bit closer, this is when you can look to fine-tuning everything you have tackled already and tick those remaining boxes (entertainment, food menu, transport, stationary).
Now, timelines for these really do depend on how far out you booked your wedding date, so for now just take these tips as our suggestion for what order to book what (however as a general rule of thumb you’d be wanting these booked a good few months out from the wedding day itself).
This is when you are able to see your day as a full picture and where you will see the little gaps that may have been missed before.
Don’t panic if you do!
There’s still time and with the main big-bucket items ticked off the list, that final 3 months will just be buzzing with excitement.
With the big day fast approaching, you can breath a sigh of relief and just focus on you and your partner and the adventure that awaits…