Your partner has asked you to marry them and you are so excited to plan your special day but where do you start?

When it comes to wedding planning, there’s no right or wrong way to do it. We hope that our step by step guide can help to make each task manageable and ensure that you are not overwhelmed. Also remember that you have plenty of time to get organised and a partner to help you along the way. This is such an exciting time and you should make the most of every minute.

If you are a fan of stationary then this is the perfect opportunity to treat yourself to a wedding journal, to jot these steps down, scribble ideas and doodle dresses. Lets get started... 

Step 1: Set A Budget

One of the first things to think about is the wedding budget, how much can you afford to spend? 

Do your parents want to help? It’s helpful to talk to them early in your planning stages so you know exactly what they might be able to contribute.

Not planning a wedding budget can lead to a lot of financial stress and disappointment later on in the process.

Step 2: Inspiration

Before you start booking anything it's important to explore what you want. Start collecting wedding inspiration and try to narrow down what you want for your special day! There are so many sources of inspiration out there which can make everything a bit overwhelming, so choose one medium and stick with it.

Pinterest is a favourite with brides - it’s a great way to gather ideas and create boards for each aspect of your wedding. You can collect all of the table décor ideas you like and cakes that take your fancy and you’ll be able to share your mood boards with your suppliers when the time comes!

Step 3: Theme

Once you have started exploring Pinterest and collecting wedding inspiration, it’ll become clear what style of wedding is for you.

Whether you choose a few key colours or an actual wedding theme (like a festival theme or a vintage theme, for example), it’s important to choose something to base your wedding around.

Step 4: Venue

Once you’ve set a budget and decided on a theme, you can start to think about choosing a wedding venue which fits in with it all.

Your wedding venue will determine your wedding date, location and your maximum guest numbers, so make choosing your venue a priority.

Make time to sit down together and talk about what you both want from your wedding and what type of venue will fit with the theme you’ve chosen.

Step 5: Wedding Insurance

Weddings are generally very expensive and while it’s not very romantic to think about what might go wrong with your wedding, it’s always best to be prepared. Purchasing wedding insurance from the moment you start spending money on your wedding, could really help with peace of mind for both your wedding and honeymoon spend.

Step 6: Make It Legal

Again, not a very exciting wedding planning step but a necessary one, all the same.

Research what you need and start to gather the necessary marriage documents from early on in your wedding planning process. Also think about if you would like to get married abroad as the paperwork is likely to be different and could be more complicated. 

Just remember, marriage licenses are typically only valid for a couple of months so you’ll need to plan accordingly!

Step 7: The Wedding party

You may instantly know who your maid of honour, bridesmaids, ushers, best man, flower girls and page boys will be, or you might need a little bit of time to think about it.

If you’re not sure then don’t feel rushed into your decision. Think carefully about who will be the best people to support you and your partner on this special day and in the run up to it.

Don't forget to think about the cost involved too, as your wedding party will need outfits, bouquets, buttonholes and thank you gifts, so the more people you have, the more this could impact your budget.

Step 8: The guest list

The guest list can be a complicated task, especially if you have limited space. Who gets invited to the whole day and who is just invited to the evening? What about plus ones and colleagues?

You may have a rough idea of the key people you want to be there but it's important to take sometime to sort out the trickier areas. Also don't forget to think about your budget for catering, your guest list may need to be determined by how much you want to spend per head.

Step 9: Save the date

Once you've chosen the date and secured the venue, you can send out your 'save the date' cards. This is a great way to ensure guests keep the date free and you can build up the excitement before the official invitation is sent out.

Step 10: Choose your suppliers

This is probably the biggest step of our wedding planning guide, since it covers everything from photographers to caterers and florists. 

Start by making a list of all the suppliers you’re going to need to hire. Your wedding venue may already have a list of recommended suppliers which is a great place to start but make sure you widen your search if you want something a little different, before you book and pay deposits.

Step 11: Buy your wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses and groomswear 

Choosing your wedding dress will be one of the most exciting and emotional parts of your wedding planning and we can help you find the perfect dress!

A lot of designer wedding gowns can take up to six months to make, so give yourself plenty of time to find the dress of your dreams.

Once you have chosen your dress, you will want to start thinking about your bridesmaids' dresses. If you have a particular colour palette you may want them to be in one of your chosen colours or in a mix of colours. Also think about whether you would like them to compliment your style, maybe the same neckline or a draped detail.

For groomswear, you will need to think which colour suit would compliment the wedding colour palette and whether you want a tie and handkerchief to match your bridesmaids. Also think about where you are getting married, will it be hot or cold? If you are getting married abroad and it is expected to be hot, a lightweight linen suit may be a good choice to consider.

Step 12: Order of the day

At this point it can be helpful to think about a schedule for the day's events. It will also be helpful for suppliers and it may remind you if you have forgotten anything important.

What’s more, writing everything down will help you to create your ‘Order of the Day’ cards or signs, which you may want to match with your wedding invitations.

Try to include: what time the ceremony will take place, what time you’ll take photos and what time you’ll sit down to eat. You can also include what time the first dance will happen and what time you’ll cut the cake.

Be sure to give a copy of your run of events to your photographer, venue, maid of honour, DJ, ushers and anyone else who should be in the know!

Step 13: Gift list

Before you send your wedding invitations out, you might want to think about a wedding gift list as you can include details of this in the invitation.

Although it may feel strange telling guests what you want as a gift, it will actually make the whole process easier for them. Your guests are going to want to buy you a wedding gift, so save them the stress of trying to decide what to buy and create a wedding gift list.

Have a think about whether you would prefer to set up a honeymoon fund, an online gift list or a traditional department store list.

Step 14: Send your invitations

While you’ve probably already told everyone you know about your upcoming wedding, now is the time to make it official.

Your wedding invitations should be sent out approximately three to six months in advance of your big day but it’s never too early to choose a design, style or stationery supplier that you love.

Step 15: Book your honeymoon

Booking your honeymoon will be one of the best parts of your wedding planning, you are basically planning your dream holiday!

If you have planned / budgeted your honeymoon costs then you can book something straight away or if you have set up a honeymoon fund as your gift list, then you may want to wait until after the wedding to book.

If you are still feeling budget conscious, then you could always plan a mini moon for straight after the wedding, giving you a few days to escape, relax and enjoy your newlywed status. 

Step 16: Table Plan

Once you have your final numbers, you will be able to start working on your table plan.

The table plan is a daunting prospect but if you take your time, you will find the perfect set up for you and your guests. Start by putting family and friend groups together and then play around with your tables to see who will fit where.

It may also be worth considering whether you have any guests that will need easier access in and out of the room, such as those with young children or the elderly, as you might want to seat those guests nearer the doors.

Once your table plan is complete then it’s time for the fun bit… you can get creative and think about what table names you are going to use and how you are going to display your table plan.

Step 17: Hen / Stag Nights

Hopefully your awesome maid of honour and amazing best man will have this covered but make sure you know if there’s anything you need to prepare for, pack or pay for so you can factor this into your planning and your budget.

You may also want to think about dates that work for you and your partner.

Step 18: Finishing Touches

Now you have all the big things done, it's time to think about the all important finishing touches. What will be your first dance song? Do you want any readings at the ceremony? Who will be doing a speech? Also think about table decorations, gifts for the wedding party and any other special details you would like.

The joy really is in these little details, so enjoy piecing together all the finishing touches!


Rose & Taylor – Making fantasy a reality.



January 01, 2022 — James Waddington