Click here to print off this checklist
Before working your way through our checklist it's advised that you, your partner and anybody else who may have a financial contribution, discuss a budget.
It is important to do this at the start before you set your heart on venues and dresses which you can’t afford.
With the budget all laid out you should then start to look at the following:
No matter when you choose to get married there will always be someone or some people who can’t attend. Try to ignore this when looking at possible wedding dates; after all it is your wedding. Before booking however it may be wise to consult key guests such as parents and grandparents to make sure they are able to attend, particularly if they are paying!
Take a look at a range of venues before booking. Some may be fully booked on your chosen date whereas others may be close to full. If this is the case then try not to waste time, if your perfect venue is available then book it. At the same time however try not to rush into things, it is your big day, make sure it is definitely the venue you want before booking.
Depending on the type of wedding you wish to have you may need to look into booking a church and a reception venue.
Not everyone will need one of these but those who have experience of planning a wedding will know they are very tricky people to get a hold of. If you want to get married in a church then don’t worry about this, you won’t need one. If you are looking to get married elsewhere however you will. Waste no time about booking a registrar, they can be fully booked very quickly.
Everyone wants to celebrate their big day with their close friends and family and the importance of bridesmaids and the best man is paramount to some. Think long and hard when selecting who you would like to accompany you down the aisle and be aware that some people may not agree with your choices.
For most brides to be this is the biggest part of the wedding. The sooner you start and look for that dream dress the sooner you can start and look forward to the big day. Remember to leave plenty of time for fittings in the months leading up to the wedding.
For men their attire isn’t such a major deal, still however it is important to look smart. This doesn’t just apply to the groom but other important male guests too; this includes the best man and the father of the bride. Similar to the bridal gown, leave plenty of time for future fitting sessions leading up to the big day.
Wedding photography has progressed rapidly since the turn of the digital age. There are lots of wedding photographers out there with many doing it on a part time basis. A good tip is to ask the venue if they can recommend anyone. If your photographer has worked at the venue before then he is likely to know how and where to take the best photos, using the surroundings and the lighting of the venue.
This is very much down to personal preference. Some venues may include a basic entertainment package in with the price of the booking, others may not. Traditionally a disco is the chosen source of entertainment for the evening reception with some adding extras such as a brass band.
The last thing the bride and groom will want to think about on the day is food, their guests however may have different ideas. Depending on your venue, catering options may be in or out of your hands. Some venues insist on providing their own catering throughout the day, if this is the case then they will give you a choice of menus to select from before the day.
If you are allowed to use your own catering company you will have a lot of options and freedom with menus, we offer a wide range of wedding catering choices take a look at our main wedding catering page
for all the options.
A wedding day isn’t complete without flowers and for some this is a very important factor. Again, be sure to shop around and find a florist which is recommended to you. The majority of florists will provide a wedding package with many in competition with each other. Don’t be afraid to haggle and find the best deal you can.
Depending on your venue and the format of your day this may or may not be an absolute necessity. Wedding cars are always good for photos and are one of the real trademarks of a wedding day. Discuss transport options with your photographer and florist, most know each other and will be able to recommend hire car companies which they have worked with in the past.
Not so much of an issue for the groom but an absolute necessity for the bride. Be sure to book your hair and makeup appointments well in advance, scheduling days for trial runs. Also, be careful not to forget other female guests such as bridesmaids who may want similar treatments.
Not as important as the brides dress but still an essential part of the day. Some choose to dress all their bridesmaids in the same colour whereas others decide to select an array of colours, this is down to personal preference.
Not everyone enjoys wedding cake but it is still an important part of the day. Some caterers offer a wedding cake service but your best bet is to look at private wedding cake providers. These offer the biggest choice and sometimes the best prices.
In contrast to other factors in this list, venue decorations and favours are quite inferior. Favours, table name tags and table decorations can be tailored to suit your wedding taking into account the wedding theme and colours.
Possibly lost amongst all the other parts of this checklist but all the same one of the most important parts. Check with your venue and caterers before finalising the list, there may be some restrictions in terms of numbers. Wedding theme/ colours- some concentrate on a theme more than others. It tends to be that the colours of the bridesmaid dresses, the grooms tie and the flowers dictates a theme. This doesn’t have to be strictly followed but does help in terms of appearance.