If you got engaged over Christmas, congratulations!
Now to start planning… If that feels like a daunting task and you’re not sure where to start, here are a few ideas to get you started. The main thing to bear in mind when planning your day is that it is just that – your day. Weddings now are moving away from the traditional formal gatherings of the past and becoming more relaxed and a reflection of a couples personalities and interests. Your wedding is supposed to be one of the best days of your life, this is your wedding, so do it your way and don’t be afraid to be adventurous – most of us only get to do it once!
A couple of important things before we start:
- Sign contracts with all of your suppliers. Ensure that you make yourself familiar with their full T&C’s before signing (including cancellation and any hidden charges)
- Take out wedding insurance. Once you start booking things and paying deposits, it is worth taking out a wedding insurance policy
- Keep a wedding file. This will keep all of your information together and organized
- 8 – 12 Months before the wedding. Booking early will give you more choice. Start thinking about your vision of your wedding, look at your budget, research and book your venue, caterer, DJ/band, photographer, book your officiant. Select bridesmaids and best men/ushers, think about numbers (depending on budget and capacities at your venue). Go dress shopping (your dress could take up to a year to arrive) and think about bridesmaid dresses.
- 4 Months before the wedding. Book a florist (unless you’re doing your own flowers), shop for your wedding rings (handmade ones can take a while to be finalised).
- 3 Months before the wedding. Organize wedding gift list, send out your invitations (hold off sending evening guest invites because you can replace them with any regrets if you wish). Select the men’s outfits and get measured, finalise timings and numbers with your venue and caterer (at Lillibrooke, we like to have an idea of timings and numbers by now, but don’t need things absolutely finalised until a month before the wedding), arrange wedding transportation, think about favours – make your own, or research and order personalised favours and shop for bridal party gifts.
- 1 Month before the wedding. Confirm with all suppliers, design your Order of Service/of the Day, apply for a marriage license if you need one (this is usually only needed for a civil ceremony, usually 28 days min in advance of your big day), have hair and make-up trials and have your hen and stag do’s!
- 1 – 2 Weeks before the wedding. Have final fittings, finalise numbers with venue and caterers and confirm all times and access details, confirm rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, finalise floor and seating plans and send to your venue, and pack for your honeymoon – ensure you have any documents for travel and confirm reservations. Collect formalwear and dresses!
- Day before the wedding! Go through your list of things to do and make sure everything is covered, set up for your wedding if possible. At Lillibrooke, if there is no booking the day before your wedding, we will plan to set up your wedding the day before, then you can go home and relax!
Most Importantly… Get married and live happily ever after!!
Blogger & Events Manager
Having worked in London for most of her career, Alys discovered & fell in love with Lillibrooke Manor in 2012 and has never looked back, delivering hundreds of events and ensuring that each one is special and perfect in every way