12+ months before the wedding checklist
You are now about to embark on the excitement of planning your wedding day, so let’s make this an enjoyable experience. We have created this definitive checklist to help you throughout the entire process of planning your wedding.
We have highlighted all of the key steps along the way as you countdown to your big day. Hopefully this will help reassure your that you are on track with your plans and know what will be required at each stage.
Whilst some weddings are planned years ahead of time, we have assumed a timeframe starting from one year before the big day, all the way down to the days before. Each month you can refer back to the checklist and check what needs to be done, and who needs to contacted next. Careful and organised planning can help ensure your wedding day is stress-free, enjoyable and memorable for all the right reasons for everyone involved.
1 -Viewing wedding venues
Your initial viewing is where you arrange tours of your shortlisted venues and discuss how your wedding day could work in the spaces available. You will likely be asked questions about what you have in mind for guest numbers, your ceremony and what food you would like.
All venues are different, some have wedding packages for set guest numbers and others work on a bespoke basis, tailoring the day to suit your needs. By the end of your visit you should have a very good idea of how events can work and an understanding of their pricing structure.
2 - Booking the wedding
Booking your wedding venue should be very simple.
Nearly all venues will allow you to provisionally hold your selected wedding day for a specified period, allowing you to organize your ceremony with either the church of your choice or the local registrations services. Once the ceremony is finalized, you pay a reservation fee to the venue, for many exclusive use venues they require a percentage of the overall cost. The booking will then be finalised and an updated quote should be created which is more specific to you. This then gives you the chance to work on planning your budgets and saving up for the little extras that you may want.
3 - Creating a wedding theme
Choose your theme: Romantic, Whimsical, Modern, Rustic, Vintage, Garden Party, Casual, Bohemian, Southern-Inspired, Formal, Traditional, Nautical, Tropical, Natural, Christmas and Travel. Your options are truly endless!
Theme and design is something to look at after booking. This will ensure all your clothing, decorations and chosen suppliers fit your ideas, budget and timings, allowing your wedding day to unfold exactly as you’d like it.
Pinterest is a great place to start putting pin boards together and creating the style you want your wedding day to represent, for inspiration why not check out the Manor Hill House Weddings Pinterest page, as we have already put lots of themes together on boards.
4 – Guest list
Sit down together to sort your guest list and decide on who will be in your bridal and groomsmen parties. Together note who you want present for the ceremony and wedding breakfast and who you would like to invite to celebrate on the evening reception only, or you may decide you want the same guests to be present all day.
It is a great idea to create a spreadsheet with columns that include guest contact information, RSVP, dietary requirements, relationship to you and a notes section.
One of the most challenging parts of planning couples face is the table plan, having a detailed spreadsheet in place will aid you in grouping tables together with family or friends. Make sure you check with your venue how many guests they can seat on each table so you have a figure to work to.
5 – Save the date
It is an ideal time to send out ‘Save the Date’ cards to ensure the people you care about are available to join you for your special day.
What should you include on these?
- Both your names
- The date
- Wedding location (If already booked)
If you have a wedding website or are planning to create one, attach the link on these also.
There are numerous ways of ensuring your guests have the date saved, traditionally couples send these via mail, however we are in the 21st century and everyone has gone digital! Why not send them an email invite or a group newsletter invitation on a platform such as Mailchimp, or utilize social media – it’s what it’s there for! Create a Facebook group you can invite everyone into and share updates quickly with them.
6 – Create a wedding email address
Set up an email address just for your wedding, that you can both access, so that sending invites and guest information to everyone is easier.
Having a unique email address ensures that everything wedding related is kept in once place and you won’t need to worry about unsubscribing from websites after the wedding as you can just delete the email address.
A great tip is at the footer of your emails include your key wedding information, such as wedding date and contact number. This helps your suppliers and your venue keep track of your details as they will be handling a large volume of excited couples to be!