How to Start Planning your Wedding
So you’re engaged – what next? Whether you’ve enjoyed a candlelit proposal or a romantic getaway, once the big question’s been popped, it can be daunting to think about all the planning that lies ahead. With our simple 18-step wedding checklist, find inspiration and guidance that’ll make for a stress-free journey up the aisle.
That one perfect place to keep every little detail. The wedding bible. The all-inclusive guide to the nuptials of your dreams. From abstract ideas to bookings, calendars and budgeting, you’ll need one place to keep track of it all. This’ll be particularly crucial if you’re prepping for a handmade wedding.
For the creative crafters, you can keep your big plans in a chic kraft wedding scrapbook » – perfect as a lovely keepsake after the big day. If you’re all about the organisation, go for a tailor-made wedding planner ».
Knowing how much you have to spend makes it easier to plan every other detail of your wedding day. This part isn’t much fun but if it means you can put a pot aside for those extravagant table centrepieces later down the line, it’s all worth it.
From the black sheep of the family to your awkward cousins, it can be tricky to decide who gets a seat at the table. Your budget will determine the scale of your wedding, so, once you know whether it’s going to be a grand affair or an intimate gathering, write up the list of your nearest and dearest.
From a stately castle to the local town hall, the possibilities are vast. If you’re saving money on the venue, keep in mind all of the decorating possibilities that will help transform the space.
By collating images of the various venues that are your options, it can be easier to figure out the right one for you.
Photo above: Camera HannahSetting the date
Setting the date can feel like a big moment; it’s the moment it starts to feel real.
Once you pin down the date, you’ll know your timeline and how long you’ve got to get everything ready for the big day. This will also be important when considering theme. Are you opting for a festive celebration, or would you rather an outdoor reception?
Check in with all the key family members and friends to make sure all the important people in your life can be there, and then write it in your diary – or even your handy wedding planner ». The sooner you choose the date, the sooner you can get on with the fun stuff.
Choose your bridesmaids, best men, flower girls and more! This is the perfect way to make your loved ones feel special and ensure they’re a big part of your day. There are plenty of special ways to make your very own proposal too…
As you decide who is highest on your list of handy helpers, you can also keep in mind the friends who’ll help with crafting those little creative touches. If your bridal party is made up of crafting pros, transform those hours of prepping DIY invites and decorations into fun, sociable evenings together!
From rustic florals to a quirky, niche wedding, it’s your day and you can do anything. Even if that means your guests are waving wands and taking a bite out of a Golden Snitch.
The perfect way to start mapping out ideas for your theme is to create your own scrapbook, mood board or a Pinterest board, giving you a visual display of your theme as it comes together. It can be as simple as a colour scheme, or as extravagant as an elaborately constructed Disney-inspired fairytale of your very own. Details such as where you get married (indoors or outdoors), the date of the wedding, how many you invite and what your budget will be will all inform your theme.
Once you’ve decided your theme, explore all the possibilities…
Brides Magazine » has identified invitation innovation as a key theme for the upcoming wedding season, with many couples opting for more and more adventurous stationery. Add a unique twist to your invitations, save-the-dates and place cards to tie them all in to your chosen theme and ensure that every detail becomes a treasured keepsake for your guests.
There are many different styles of photographer out there, so you can choose the right one to suit your style and theme – from comic candids to perfect poses.
One way you can be sure to get the photos you want is to follow favourite wedding photographers on Instagram, or scour Pinterest for beautiful images that you wish to emulate. Even if the photographers you discover aren’t available, use your favourite wedding photography to help show exactly what you want from your wedding photography.
Photo above: Camera HannahSaying 'yes!' to the dress
Finding the dress of your dreams is a big moment for most brides. Some might fall in love with the first dress they put on, while others find themselves drowning in an ocean of white tulle. If you’re struggling to decide, capture photos of your favourites and cross-compare.
If you’re looking for something borrowed, blue, old and new, incorporating material from your mother or a close relative’s own wedding dress into your dress or veil might be a lovely way to do it.
As you decide your dress for the day, hair and makeup are the next details to tick off on your list. Up-do or soft curls? Cat-eye or au naturale?
Pick out the perfect flowers for your theme, from summery daisies to festive poinsettias – or even contemporary cacti. You can combine stunning real floral displays with always-blooming, deceptively real-looking artificial flowers » for creating bouquets, corsages, floral hair accessories and more.
For a more modern take on adding a touch of nature to your decorations, succulents are right on trend. Create terrarium » displays for your tables for a stunning, contemporary style.
Band or DJ? Set the mood for your post-nuptial partying. You could choose a local band, have a DJ to disco the night away, bring in a children’s entertainer for the kids, organise a fireworks display, provide a photo booth » and more – the possibilities are endless!
You’ve had a lifetime of honing your palate – now’s the time to design the perfect menu. If you’re having a sit-down meal, you’ll need to decide the different courses and veggie options. The best part, though? Choosing the cake.
Wedding cakes are getting more and more experimental over time, with the traditional fruitcake often being left behind in favour of bolder flavours and striking multi-tiered show-stoppers. The Knot » has identified a few of the big trends for 2018, including naked cakes, painted wedding cakes, woodland wedding cakes and geometrics.
If you’re looking to keep it simple, you or a talented loved one could even make your own. We have everything you need to get started…
For inspiration on how to create your own floral layered masterpiece, check out the following blog post- perfect for spring/summer celebrations!
Every decision you’ve made about your theme will become a reality with your venue decorations. Even if your budget made you compromise on the venue, you can transform the space with bunting », balloons », banners », chair covers, table centrepieces and more. There’s a huge range of details available that are perfect for personalising to suit your theme, and you’ll find decorative pieces for both indoor and outdoor receptions.
From chalkboard signage to tea lights and more, browse our range of wedding venue decorations » for inspiration, or check out some of our favourite blog posts…
Whether you organise this yourself or let your most trustworthy bridesmaid take the lead, the bachelor and bachelorette parties are a rite of passage. You can opt to stay on-theme for these celebrations or even go a little off-piste.
There’s a plenty of hen and stag party accessories and decorations » in our Team Bride range and beyond that’ll ensure everyone knows exactly what you’re celebrating. Make that last night as a single lady – or man – count!
Give everyone who’s a part of your special day something to remember it by. This is the perfect excuse to show off your personality; if you’ve gone for a quirky theme, let it show in your choice of favours ».
One great way to present your favours is with a handmade jar » – perfect for filling with sweets, jams, chutneys and more.
Give an extra special gift to those who’ve gone the extra mile.
A handmade touch will add a thoughtful edge to any little present, so make it personal when it comes to the maid of honour, bridesmaids, flower girls, ushers and best man. One way to create a particularly special surprise would be to create your own mini hampers ». The pamper hamper is a great place to start…
After your loved ones have celebrated with you and you’ve unwrapped your fancy new crockery and that dream coffee-maker, be sure to thank your nearest and dearest with lovely cards ». It’s the perfect way to send out a fun reminder of the day that shows your heartfelt gratitude.
You can use the same stationery style you’ve used for save-the-dates and invitations to keep things consistent, or even use your favourite wedding photo to give them a keepsake that they can frame.