Are you getting married next year? Have you recently got engaged and don’t even know where to begin? If so, it’s time to get a checklist sorted and start the planning the best day of your life! If you’re struggling for inspiration, or you’re not sure what to book first, check out this failsafe guide.
If you’re getting married soon, the first things you need to think about are venues and dates. Do you want a church wedding or would you rather a civil service? Are you looking for separate ceremony and reception venues? Or would you prefer one location for the entire wedding?
Once you have some ideas about the kinds of venues you like, search online and ask around for recommendations. Draw up a list, and call and book some viewings. You’ll probably find that you dismiss some straightaway and fall in love with others. If there are a few contenders, make a shortlist and arrange to go and visit again. You may want to take your parents or your bridesmaids with you for a second viewing. It’s always a good idea to take a list of questions with you so that you get all the information you need before you make a decision.
When you’re looking around venues, make sure you ask about availability. If you have a set date in mind, you may find that you have to rule some options out before you even see them. If you’re more flexible with dates, it’s more likely that you’ll get the venue you want.
Planning your guest list
The guest list is one of the first things most couples think about when they get engaged. Write down a list of people you want to invite and have a look at numbers. If your venue has restricted space or you’re working on a tight budget, you may need to make adjustments to your initial list. One way to save money and make sure you can invite everyone is to split day and evening guests. Prioritize the people who you are desperate to be there for the whole day, and send others evening invitations.
Informing your guests
As soon as you have booked venues, you can start providing your guests with information about your wedding. The best thing to do is send a ‘save the date’ card or email so that people can put it in their diaries. You don’t need to send wedding invitations until around 4-6 months before the big day. It may also be helpful to include the location of the wedding on your save the date card. This will help people to plan time off work, travel, and accommodation. If you’re on a budget, e-cards are an easy way to save money on postage and printing. When you send your wedding invitations, provide an information sheet. Include directions, hotel recommendations, and timings. It’s also a good idea to tell people about the dress code and gift list.