A QUICK GUIDE OF WHAT YOU NEED TO DO AND WHEN

A wedding is a special time in anyone’s life. While the idea of planning one might seem scary, it doesn’t have to be. Creating a checklist is a good way to stay on top of what has – or hasn’t – been done. One of the best ways to group your tasks is according to how far out you are from your big day.

PLANNING 12-18 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING

While it’s still a long way off, it’s advised to begin the planning of your wedding as far as 18 months out from the big day. That might seem a touch excessive, but it will help to make your event as special as you deserve.

SETTING YOUR WEDDING DATE

THE AVAILABILITY
As such, make a point of reaching out to those closest to you and asking what dates they can’t do.

SEASON AND POPULARITY
Certain times of year will be more expensive and book up more quickly.

WEATHER FOR OUTDOOR WEDDINGS
If an outdoor wedding is something you’re after, you’ll need to keep this in mind.

A PERSONAL MILESTONE
Setting a wedding around a personal milestone is also a good idea for those struggling to decide.

CHOOSING A GUEST LIST

SPLIT THINGS EVENLY
Assuming both parties want to, it’s important the bride and groom are given a 50-50 split.

PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE RULE
The idea is that all guests should tick off at least two of these categories. That is to say, they have been, or will be, a part of at least two of the past, present, or future of your life.

DON’T FEEL OBLIGATED
If you have a distant relative or old family friend you haven’t seen in years, you may not feel comfortable inviting them.

MAKE A DECISION ABOUT KIDS
Letting people know as soon as you can is a good way to avoid tricky conversations down the line.

CHOOSING A BRIDAL PARTY AND GROOMSMEN

DON’T FORGET YOUR SIBLINGS
As long as you’re close to them, it’s a good idea to include your siblings in your wedding parties.

TRY TO STRIKE AN EVEN BALANCE
Try to cap numbers at the upper limit of whoever has fewer.

PICK PEOPLE WHO ARE RELIABLE
If you have a distant relative or old family friend you haven’t seen in years, you may not feel comfortable inviting them.

DECIDING ON A BUDGET

WORK OUT A % OF CURRENT INCOME
A good way to make sure you’re not going to struggle is to set aside a certain percentage of your regular income. If that isn’t enough to cover the kind of wedding you want, reconsider your plan and try to cut costs where possible.

You can lower the overall price by:

• Refining the guest list
• Not using live music
• Use fewer additional vendors

BUDGET FOR SURPRISES
While nobody wants to think about it, having a contingency plan is always smart.

ONLY SPEND WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD
Only spend the money you have spare to do so.

FINDING A VENUE

Arguably one of the most important parts of any wedding, you’ll want to make sure you find a decent venue well ahead of time. If you’re finding it a challenge to decide on what you want, keep the following in mind:

CONSIDER YOUR TOTAL GUESTS
Always ask what the recommended and maximum capacity of a venue is ahead of time.

DOUBLING DOWN ON THE CEREMONY AND RECEPTION
Make sure any venues you’re visiting are capable of hosting both.
THE STYLE OF YOUR WEDDING
If you have a specific style in mind, your venue will need to accommodate it.

ASK QUESTIONS
The more clued-up you are to how they operate, the better your understanding of whether it’s a spot that’ll work or not.

DON’T RULE OUT SOMEWHERE ABROAD
Destination weddings are becoming more popular.

HIRING A WEDDING PLANNER

GET RECOMMENDATIONS
If you have close friends who’ve recently used a planner, reach out to them.

DECIDE ON PACKAGES
Some venues will offer you a planner as part of the full package.

HAVE THE BUDGET SORTED AHEAD OF TIME
Making sure your budget is already set will also help

SENDING YOUR SAVE-THE-DATES

KEEP INFORMATION BRIEF
Remember, this isn’t an invite. It’s just a note to guests to let them know where and when you’re hosting your event. You don’t need to go overboard with the details (especially as some of them won’t be finalized yet). Date, time, and location are generally enough at this point.

DON’T SEND THEM TOO CLOSE TO THE EVENT
The primary purpose of a save-the-date is to give people advanced notice of when they need to be free. That means sending them shortly before your actual invites makes them irrelevant. They should be sent no less than a year before the big day.

MAKE IT CLEAR WHO’S INVITED
Write the names of the people who are invited. This is not the time to add “plus one”. You can decide who gets those later down the line. This gives you a chance to see if newer relationships are going to work out in the long term.

WAIT UNTIL THE VENUE IS BOOKED
In order to give your guests the most clarity on where they need to be, you should ideally wait until your venue has been booked before sending them. This gives you a definitive location, which in turn makes it easier for them to plan how to get to you.

GETTING WEDDING INSURANCE

There are two core types of cover:

WEDDING LIABILITY INSURANCE
This will help you pay for any damage to property or injuries people experience during your wedding.

WEDDING CANCELLATION OR POSTPONEMENT
As the name suggests, this covers you in the event your wedding is canceled or the date changes.

The amount you pay for your insurance will depend on a bunch of factors. Some of the most common are:

• Where your wedding is being held
• The size of your wedding
• The insurer you use

Prices will always vary. That said, a basic policy is likely to cost somewhere between £100-500.

For more information on what to expect and nifty tips 9 months before up until your actual wedding day, read on here.

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