Ok, so you've decided you're going to get married, where do you start? You have decided on a date and it's now time to start planning. We have created this guide to assist you in every stage of planning your wedding. You can see what you should be doing and when. You can use our checklist tool to keep track of these steps. Register your details with Seating Planner, create your event and start on your checklist.
Start planning well in advance. You will need to make sure that you book the venues of your choice and choose all the necessary suppliers.
You need to make sure everyone knows about your wedding. Your family members may be willing to help financially, so it would be a good idea to do this as soon as possible.
Not always required but you may want to do this as part of your announcement.
You may decide you don't want all the expence of a lavish wedding but want to go for something quite simple. Now is the time to decide on what sort of wedding you would like.
Decide on your budget from the early stages, be realistic about this and make sure to include both families. It's also a good time to decide who is paying for each aspect, to avoid any disagreements further down the line.
Your venue may limit the number of guests you can invite. Start creating your list of possible guests as soon as possible. Seating Planner this can help manage your list and keep track of who is coming and who isn't.
Booking your venue may reflect on the date of your wedding so it's a good idea to have a look around as many venues as you can. It may be you have somewhere in mind when booking the venue, however your wedding date may be dependent on the available dates that your desired venue has available.
Similar to your reception venue, the venue you have chosen may not be available for the date of your wedding. Try to get a few dates together before announcing your dates and make sure you can book the venues for your desired wedding date.
Asking someone to be your bridesmaid can be a special moment. Make sure you let them know as soon as possible so they can start helping you plan your big day.
Choose you best man carefully it should really be someone who you both know and trust. The best man has a lot of responsibility at the wedding, making sure the rings are available and they might want to give a speech, they may want to plan ahead.
There are a few other people to choose including the ushers and flower girl. Again give plenty of notice so they can start planning.
When having a church ceremony the officiant is usually the reverend, or another official of that church so you may not have a choice in this. For a civil ceremony you may be given a choice, so again make sure you book the person well in advance.
Probabably one of the brides biggest decisions is finding the right dress for the big day. Start looking at ideas as soon as possible. Look around a few shops, once you decide upon your dress, book a fitting and make a deposit.
Find the accessories you would like to go with your dress such as the veil, shoes and jewellery.
Once you have confirmed your brides and decided upon the colour theme, start getting ideas for your bridesmaids dresses, book fittings and make a deposit.
In most cases, your catering will be provided as part of your arrangement with the venue. However, if you are having a marquee wedding or providing your own catering, then it's a good idea to have a few taste tests and see what menus are available.
Your venue may have some available rooms and may often include a room for the bride and groom as part of the package. You may need to book accommodation for other guests so get some local hotels and prices so you can pass these on to your guests.
Think about your favours. It may be you require something bespoke which may have a lengthy wait so make sure you decide what you would like and book or purchase them well in advance..
Finalise your guest list at this stage. People are going to need plenty of time and would appreciate as much notice as possible. You can use our guest list manager at Seating Planner To ensure you can keep track of your guests and any RSVP's that your guests may send.
If you are sending out save the date cards, now is the time to organise these and send them out.
Think about what gifts you would like from your guests. Why not register to an online gift list service. It will ensure that you get what you want and also that you dont get two of everything. We have partnered with top gift list service Prezola register your details and set up your gift list. You can even have a donate to honeymoon if you require which allows your guests to give as little as £10 if required.
Now you know your guest list, it's time to choose your stationery. Order some samples or go to wedding fayres and collect a few freebies. Once you have decided on the stationery you like, make sure you get invites for both daytime and evening events if applicable.
Choose your wedding rings make sure they are correct sizes. You may also want to get them engraved too.
Traditional wedding etiquette states the groom should book the honeymoon as a suprise for the bride. This may not be the case but either way ensure you choose a nice, romantic destination to enjoy your start to married life.
If you require passports for your honeymoon make sure these are still valid otherwise renew as soon as possible.
Now is the time to send out the invites. You may be sending out seperate invites to people who are invited to the evening reception only, if so you could send these as a seperate batch. The invites for the main event should include details of the ceremony and evening reception. Include details of overnight accommodation too. Seating Planner Lets you keep track of all your guests and invites so you can see which invites have been sent and when.
Set the menu with the caterers. You may need to provide them with special dietery needs, such as vegetarian or childrens menus. Maybe provide them with the guest list at this point.
Plan how you would like your photos with the photographer. Maybe even go to the venue and see the best locations for your wedding photos.
Same as with the photographer. Go through the video. It may be you want something that is not too intrusive. Talk about this with the videographer.
Go through the wedding service with the officiant. They will go through the ceremony and timings. You may want to show them your order of service.
The officiant may be able to help with this. They may have some predefined vows or you can arrange your own.
Planning the bridal shower traditionally is left up to the maid of honor and bridesmaids, but today really anyone can host.
If you're having a wedding rehearsal, it's time to arrange a date and venue.
If your having a dinner rehearsal it's time to arrange a date.
The last thing you want to be doing during wedding planning is paperwork, but without a marriage license you cannot legally be married. You can use the British Government’s online tool to find out exactly what paperwork is required in each country or on the embassy’s website.
If you decide to keep your maiden name then this won't matter. However, if you are changing your name, you will need to legally do this. The documents for this are available here Change Name
Book groomsmens attire. This will require all your groomsmen, including the best man, ushers and gather of the bride getting measured up for tux's or whatever else they will be wearing and making sure the attire is available for collection before the wedding.
Decide which music you would like played at your wedding. The first dance can be discussed and what genres of music you would like to be played. Also select the music you don't want to be played.
Try on your wedding dress and make sure it is exactly as you wanted it. You may need some alterations, so now is the time to get this sorted.
Buy any gifts for your wedding party. You don't need to spend a fortune, just get something to say thanks for making your day special.
Get in touch with all your vendors to ensure they are ok with the times and details of your wedding.
If you haven't already done, make an appointment with your hairstylist for the big day.
Create the order of service covering all aspects of the ceremony. Include the specifics of times and the choice of hymns is applicable.
Check all your RSVP's make sure that you know exactly who's attending and confirm any details of guests who you are not sure of. Seating Planner lets you manage all the guest details including addresses, guests and RSVP statuses.
Ensure you are still within your budget. Check actual costs against what you originally budgeted for it may be you are underspending in some other areas that can be used for things which have exceeded the budget.
You should be now have confirmed all the guests. If you have managed your guests with our guest list manager you can now start looking at the seating plan. Seating Planner lets you place your tables with your required shape and number of seats on the floor. You can then simply click the guests from your guest list and move them to the table where you would like them to be seated. You can print out a full list of tables showing which guest is seated on which table.
Now you know your seating plan. You can use this to create your place cards. It may be that you are creating your own place cards or sending them off to a supplier. Either way Seating Planner provides a print out of all the guests for you to use or send to the supplier.
Make sure you haven't exceeded you guest count. If you have more guests than you initially planned for you need to get in touch with the venue to see if they can accomodate them. It may be you have less guests than originally planned. You should also know the number of guests for the evening reception at this stage.
Pass the guest details to the caterer. You have probably done this for the daytime reception. Make sure that the number of guests for evening reception is passed on to the caterers.
Give yourself time to think about toasting those that have helped with the wedding and maybe say a few words for loved ones who have passed away.
Collect your wedding dress and any accessories.
Collect the groomsmen attire.
Spend as much time as you can walking in your wedding shoes. The last thing you want on your wedding day are sore feet. You will be doing a lot of walking and standing so get used to your shoes.
If you are having a sign in book, get it ordered in good time.
Pack all your honeymoon clothes. Pack all the essentials as you will now have much time on the day.
Go through all the wedding party and confirm who will be doing what and when.
Make sure you have one last run through the whole day and make sure everyone knows what needs to be done.
Make sure the transportation is still arriving at the expected time.
Have a final manicure and pedicure, it will help you relax.
Get a list of the guests to pass to the ushers. Seating Planner will allow you to print out a list of guests.
Have your hair done. Your hairdresser may come to you or you may need to go to their salon.
Give thankyou cards to parents for helping you with the wedding.
Get a change of clothes for the day after the wedding. You may be going straight on your honeymoon so take something that is comfortable for travelling in.
Make sure your honeymoon luggage is all packed and your name tags are attached if possible.