Don’t let wedding planning turn you into a bridezilla. We’ve got 6 essential wedding tips to help you plan your day without a hitch. From guest lists to dates, we’ve got it covered.
We’re following the planning of Hayley and Michael’s wedding, tying the knot on 24th May 2020 at Lancaster House, to give you real tips from a bride-to-be.
Here’s our top tips on…
1. Guests Lists
Our bride-to-be, Hayley, says the guest list is the hardest part of planning. How do you decide who comes, and to which part?
With guest lists there’s so much to consider, do you invite co-workers and parents friends? Are there some people who only need to be invited to the evening celebrations? Do you allow any single friends to invite plus ones?
We recommend writing a list which is split into three columns, the first column is anyone who is essential to the big day - this is your bridal party and immediate family. The second column is your extended family and friends, people who are important to you and your partner and who you’d expect to come to celebrations. The third column is anyone else you feel you should invite, distant family or friends and co-workers.
By splitting your list in this way it’s easier to cut numbers if necessary or make decisions on who attends the reception and who attends the evening party.
2.Setting a Date
Picking a time of year and date can be harder than expected. There are a lot of considerations - weather for photos, travel conditions, prices of hotel rooms for guests, when might people already have holidays booked.
We suggest giving yourself at least 10 months to plan your wedding day, after this consider:
- What season you’d like to have your wedding
- Are there school holidays in this time
- Are there local events which may impact your price, availability of rooms and travel conditions
After taking all these considerations into account you should have around 3 dates in mind, make sure these dates work for you and then check with immediate family whether any of these dates aren’t suitable. Hopefully you should have the flexibility of 2 potential dates when approaching venues.
Before you start picking a dress, venue, flowers and dinner menus, set a budget. The last thing you need is to be stressed that you can’t pay for your special day. By deciding what you can afford first, you can segment the costs and budget accordingly. Here’s what you need to include: venue hire, catering, registrar fees, flowers, decorations, photography, favours, wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses, groom and ushers outfits, entertainment, wedding cake, wedding hair and make-up and transport.
Everyone splits their budget differently, this depends on what is most important to individuals. Be prepared for this to take a couple of attempts before you set a budget for each item. There’s a great budget setting tool on Bridebook.
With so much to do, it’s important to create a priorities list, trying to organise everything at once is a recipe for stress, confusion and inevitably forgetting something crucial, like your marriage licence! Create a list of everything you need to organise and then designate tasks into months leading up to the wedding. We suggest setting a budget and choosing your guest list first of all.
Our rough guide is:
- 12 months prior: Set a budget, choose your guest list, book venue show arounds
- 11 months prior: Wedding dress shopping, research suppliers, wedding insurance, send save the dates
- 10 months prior: choose your wedding menu, pick a theme and research decorations, approach photographers, approach wedding cake suppliers
- 6 months: book wedding entertainment, plan your honeymoon, plan stag and hen parties
- 5 months: Choose bridesmaid dresses and ushers outfits, grooms suit, registrar fees, decide on readings and ceremony music, organise wedding transport
- 4 months: Organise wedding hair and make-up, choose wedding flowers
- 3 months: have dress fitted, purchase wedding rings, buy shoes and accessories, have a menu tasting
- 1 month: final wedding dress fitting, finalise numbers, confirm all details with suppliers, sort wedding favours and gifts for bridal party, create a table plan and name cards, pay final balances
5. Asking for Help
This is an exciting time for you and your partner, it’s easy to forget it’s not just a celebration of two people, it’s a celebration of two families. Within your family and friends there will undoubtedly be people willing to, and excited to, help you plan your day. If there are tasks you feel comfortable allowing someone else to organise this will be a massive help, delegation will be a saviour.
6. Finding Inspiration
Our final top tip is creating an inspiration board for those overwhelming moments. With so many elements to plan its inevitable you’ll have moments when you feel completely bogged down in emails, spreadsheets, lists of things to do and people to call. This can begin to feel consuming, and having an inspiration board can really help you get back on track. We recommend putting together your own Pinterest board to inspire you and help motivate you through the planning process.
Here to Help...
Throughout the planning of your wedding, the venue you choose, and the wedding coordinator who controls the running of the day, are crucial elements. At Lancaster House Hotel we pride ourselves on catering for all wedding sizes and styles, whether you’re hosting an intimate ceremony or inviting up to 140 people, we’re here to help things run smoothly.
Book a venue show-round by calling our wedding coordinator, Lisa, on 01524 585 175. If you’re not ready to look at venues, you can attend one of our free wedding showcases; our hand-picked and trusted suppliers will be on-hand to give advice and tips. See our events page for upcoming wedding showcase dates.