As soon as we get engaged (and I did this myself) you end up buying a wedding magazine and falling in love with a wedding dress, a particular style of wedding table decoration, wedding favour or colour scheme and then wonder why planning your wedding becomes confusing and stressful…
Over the last ten years at The Last Detail I have worked with thousands of brides who have planned their wedding in anything from 2 weeks to 4 years and this is my quick step by step guide to help you understand what order you should do things in to make things as stress free as possible, regardless of how much time you have.
Step 1 – Sort out and book your venue(s)
I think B2B’s forget just how much a venue can dictate the look and feel of a day and this is why for me it has to be priority number 1. Get this right and everything else will follow. I promise.
The wedding dress, bridesmaid’s dresses, wedding table decorations and cake you would choose for a grand castle or church setting are likely to be totally different from those you would choose for a contemporary boutique hotel. In addition the colour scheme of the rooms where your wedding will be held will have a big impact on your colour scheme for your day. For example, we held our reception at The Devonshire Arms in Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire, complete with 200 year old silk wallpaper in deep orange on the walls. If I’d chosen a lilac colour scheme, purchased all the bridesmaids dresses and table decorations in advance of sorting out the venue I think it could have made for an interesting look and feel for the day! (We ended up going for pure white interspersed with green ivy by the way). We usually find that once a venue is booked this then sets the colour scheme for most B2B’s – or at least narrows it down!
When you add in the fact that this is usually the thing that will be booked furthest in advance by most people, check availability fast to ensure you get the date and location you want and let everything fall into place around that.
Step 2 – Book the suppliers you want
Once the venue(s) are sorted then get cracking with booking your florist, photographer, videographer, caterer, DJ, band, entertainment etc. Again these are the people who are going to be driven by availability so get them ticked off your list ASAP. Don’t worry about the nitty gritty of what you want to eat / what you want the band to play etc at this stage, just get everything booked and agreed in writing and then think about….
Step 3 – The dress
Now you know where you are getting married and have the majority of your suppliers booked in think about your dress. Let your choice of venue influence your dress choice e.g. a full length cathedral veil will look a little out of place in a civil ceremony in a boutique hotel. Remember that buying a dress to order can mean a wait of 12 – 16 weeks for it to arrive and then you should allow approximately 2 weeks for fittings / tweaks to be made where necessary. Of course there are many off the peg designs available if you simply don’t have time to wait.
Step 4 – The bridesmaid’s dresses and the menswear
This step sees a firming up of your colour scheme and will be influenced heavily by your venue choice. The decisions you make on colour here should be reflected in your wedding table decorations and invitations for consistency and maximum wow factor.
Step 5 – Invitations
As you now know your colour scheme and venue, choosing the invitations will be far easier.
Step 6 – Flowers and wedding table decorations
We always advise that you sort out what you are having in the middle of your tables before you think about other wedding table decorations. The colour of your bridesmaids dresses should form a key focus in your choice of centrepiece (flowers or otherwise) and once you have this firmed up then plan the rest of your wedding table decorations remembering the old adage of ‘less is more’. Strong colours in particular should be introduced carefully and subtly.
Step 7 – The ‘nitty gritty’
Now is the time to firm all the finer details; menu choices, wine, what you want your first dance to be as everything else
One final thing. Above all else remember that the day is supposed to be about you standing next to the person you want to spend the rest of your life with and saying ‘I do’ so keep things in perspective and break the planning down into manageable logical chunks to ensure you enjoy it!
Cover Image: iStock