Congratulations, you’re engaged! After the initial celebrations have settled down, it’s time to start planning your wedding; something you may have been thinking about for years – but where should you actually start? We know the thought of planning your big day can feel a little overwhelming, but we’re here to simplify what should be an exciting process. We’ve put together an 18 month wedding planning guide to point you in the right direction; from when to book your venue, to when to have your hair and make up trial – we’ve got you covered.
Your budget will undoubtedly be the determining factor for your wedding; whether big or small, this will affect almost all of your decisions, so making this the first thing you do, will set you up for an organised, well prepared wedding plan.
Number of guests
Creating a preliminary guest list, so you can estimate numbers, is essential. This will help you narrow down and choose venues, caterers, and extras like guest accommodation and transport.
Location & Venue
With most venues getting booked up anywhere from 1 to 2 years in advance, it’s important to narrow down where you want to get married. Do you want a church wedding, or a civil ceremony at one venue? Make sure you visit the venue (or at least see pictures) from the time of year your planning the date, this will help with you visualise what it will actually look like on your big day.
Create Inspiration Boards
Pinterest is the perfect place to create some wedding inspiration boards (we have an article here with some tips on how to set one up). Save and create dream ideas, for anything from your hair, to bridesmaids dresses and your overall theme – they are so useful for when you want to narrow things down, or to show to wedding suppliers.
Book As Many Wedding Vendors As You Can
We know it’s early, but people get booked up – especially the good ones. Start to research and get your photographer, florist, videographer, celebrant, caterer, hair and makeup artist etc. narrowed down and booked in as soon as you decide who you want. Social media can be a great help with this; find local, recommended companies and see their work.
Send Save the Dates
Get those save the dates sent out – it’s the best way to get an estimate of the attendees and gives you time to work out any issues.
It’s never to early to start looking for your gown. Even if you know exactly what you’re looking for, we always recommend working closely with your bridal stylist, who can give you valuable advice and help make your dream a reality. Discover our collections and you can book a consultation at one of our stores here, to experience the luxury of a personalised Sassi Holford wedding dress appointment.
Start to look at styles and themes for your wedding stationery, and think about final designs for the invites themselves.
If you’re planning on taking a honeymoon soon after your wedding, it’s best to get it all booked and prepared well before the excitement of the big day, when you’ll have lots of other things to think about.
Think about if you want to register for wedding gifts; where will it be and what would you like to include.
Around 8 months before the wedding is the ideal time to send the invites, this gives you enough time to get the RSVPs back and final numbers to your venue.
Start to research colours and styles of dresses for your bridesmaids. Consult them for ideas, and take some shopping trips together.
Groom & Groomsmen Attire
Start looking for styles, and book suits if hired.
Book Reception Decor
Does your venue provide chairs/linen/crockery/decorations if not, it’s time to start sourcing and getting those things organised.
Not only your wedding car, but think practically about how family and friends will be getting there. Organise mini buses/cabs to ensure it all runs smoothly.
A creative and fun task to tick off. Cake tasting, and designing. Most cake makers are booked at least 6 months in advance, so find your baker now.
Wedding Shoes and Accessories
Here at Sassi Holford, we know how important accessories are. Get them sourced with plenty of time, so you can get a feel for them and also wear them at your dress fittings. Read more on picking the perfect wedding shoes here.
Write Vows/Speeches and Choose Readings
Get the little details sorted; all the speeches, readings and vows.
If you’re going DIY, then it’s time to start crafting.
Make sure you have everything printed, such as the order of service, menus etc, and have them ready to go to the venue.
Not long to go – confirm guest numbers, travel and accommodation so there’s still time to change/edit any issues. Give the final numbers to venue.
Hair and Make Up Trial
Another nice job in the midst of the organising. We definitely recommend at least one hair and make up trial. You want to feel incredible on the big day, so get your look perfected well in advance.
One Month To Go
Break In Your Wedding Shoes
A trick we always tell our brides!
Final Dress Fitting
It’s here! The final dress fitting.
It’s time for relaxing. You’ve done all the hard work, so now it’s time to relax, and enjoy before the big day.
Yes, there is a lot to think about, and not everything will go to plan – but having our wedding planning guide to look at, to crosscheck, and ensure you’re not forgetting anything, will be invaluable when the excitement and stress levels are high.