HOW TO PLAN YOUR WEDDING | P2 – 8 to 10 months to go
So you’ve booked the venue and decided what type of wedding you want, so now what?
Here’s the next instalment to my 5 part series on “How to plan a wedding in 12 months” – 8 to 10 months to go.
My mission is to take you on a journey to help you plan your wedding! There are a few versions out there, but this is my personal one.
Enjoy and don’t forget to come back for the next part! x
1. Start researching wedding suppliers
Researching your wedding suppliers is very important. Look at your pin boards, magazines and anything you have collected and get a real feel for what type of style you’re looking to have.
Start with one supplier at a time, don’t start researching everything altogether – it’ll become too overwhelming and you may miss something.
Research their work, check out their website, read any reviews they have, and have a gander at their social media feeds. All of these will give you an idea of who they are and what they can do for you.
Send out enquiries to those that you are interested in. Obtain quotes and availability and those that fit with you, start organising free consultations with them. It’s important that you find a connection and that you get on well.
2. Start look into catering options
If you’ve booked a venue that has its own catering (normally restaurants and hotels), then you would’ve looked at the menus before booking. Most venues will have at least a few different menus available, and a variety of different types – plated course, sharing, buffet etc.
Most venues will have menus that change slightly depending on seasonality, so ask the venue for the menus that will be available for the date of your wedding, so that you have the correct ones – there’s no point looking at menus that won’t be available around the time of your wedding.
I normally suggest to book your wedding tasting at least 4 months prior to your wedding. This way you have enough time to change anything and redo the tasting if needed, the ingredients used should be in season and it’ll ensure that you’ll still remember what you’ll be having.
If you’ve booked a dry hire venue, then it’s time to start looking into catering companies. It’s always a bonus if that catering company has worked previously in that venue, but it’s not a necessity. Ask if the venue has any recommended suppliers, have a look at those and research your own ones.
I would suggest choosing between 3-4 caterers that you like and are within budget and are of course available for your wedding date. Organise tastings with each of them, before booking. You’ll have to pay for these tastings, however, the one that you book will most probably remove this from your final bill. Just don’t forget to ask for these details when enquiring.
3. Consider booking a partial wedding planner
This service is perfect for couples that have booked the venue and have book a few suppliers already but are realising how much time they need to plan the rest and just need some additional help.
As previously advised, make sure you have an idea of what services you want, do your research and meet them before hiring. You’ll be spending a lot of time with them and it’s important that you connect.
4. Start booking wedding suppliers
Now you’ve finalised your research, select the ones that fit you both the best – style, affordability, availability and personality. It’s never too early to book your suppliers and the earlier you book them the more likely you will get your first choice! Most suppliers will then let you know what they need from you and when they need it. Remember they should prompt you and not the other way around!
5. Start looking into venue décor
Depending on the type of venue you have booked, will depend on how much extra décor you’ll need to hire or buy.
With dry hire venues, you’ll need to hire in everything! Chairs, tables, plates, cutlery as well as the usual flowers, candles and all the other little special bits.
When researching you may find that some companies may offer more than one service, for example, flowers and table décor, such as vases and candles.
Make sure you check what their deadlines are for finalising numbers, as well as finalising the order as you won’t be able to confirm these details with them until you have your finalised numbers. This may mean sending your invitation earlier and getting the RSVPs back sooner than you may have thought.
6. Research, try on, book and order your wedding dress
Wedding dresses can take up to 6 months to make, and anything under may incur additional fees, as most designers will consider this a rush order or more, unfortunately, may refuse your order as they do not have enough time to make it.
So again, the earlier the better.
Book a few appointments, which you’ll have to pay for, try on everything (the one you choose will probably be the one you thought you would never choose). If you are undecided, book another appointment.
Trust me when I say you’ll know when you know. If you are umming and arring, the likelihood is that it isn’t the right one. Starting early will give you that time to book more appointments and try more designers if necessary.
If you are umming and arring over your wedding dress, the likelihood is that it isn’t the right one. Starting early will give you more time to book more appointments and try more designers if necessary.
7. Research accommodation
If the venue you’ve booked already has accommodation, then you have probably already discussed the option of holding a few rooms at a discounted rate.
Most hotels will offer you the option to create a group booking, where you would hold a certain amount of rooms for a discounted price per room, with a release date. This option is great for wedding couples, as it means you are not held accountable for any rooms that are not booked.
You’ll most probably be advised a code, that you then advise to your guests who can then book directly with the hotel. Any rooms not booked by a certain date will then get released.
If the venue you have booked, doesn’t have any accommodation, research the area, send out a few enquiries and see what you get back. Try and make sure that the hotels you look at are closest to the venue and depending on how close the hotels are you will need to add transport research onto the list of things to do as well.
8. Start building your wedding website
There are a few different wedding websites out there, so do your research thoroughly and make sure that you are happy with what can be displayed, the price and the design.
This website needs to have all the relevant information for your guests to be able to access very easily so there’s no point selecting a website that doesn’t allow you to update it regularly or isn’t easy for your guests to use.
9. Book your honeymoon
If you’ve decided to book your honeymoon following your wedding then now would be the time to book it. Getting your flights booked and your hotel booked in advance is definitely one less thing to worry about!
10. Start looking into music
Start researching into the type of music you want for all the parts of your wedding – Arrival, ceremony, pre-drinks, breakfast and evening reception.
By now you would have booked musicians or a DJ and they would’ve advised what they need from you and when. Start collecting music that you both enjoy and make a decision together especially when choosing your first dance song.
Out of all the things you will need to arrange for your wedding, this one can be challenging. If you don’t already have a song, don’t give up, you’ll find one that works perfectly for what you are looking for, it just may take a little time, effort and patience (with each other).
11. Check passports
There’s nothing like booking a holiday, your destination wedding or your honeymoon and realising that your passport is either expired or due to expire. Just remember that there are a lot of countries out there that require you to have a certain amount of time left on your passport before it expires to even allow you into the country.
So double check the country you have booked and your passport and get it renewed if required.
12. Research and organise wedding transport
Depending on how you’ve planned your wedding, there could be 2 types of transport you’ll need to research into and organise.
The first being transport for yourself; the transport that you’ll use, with your entourage to get to the venue (or just for the photos); and the second for your guests, whether that be from their accommodation to the venue, from the ceremony venue to the reception venue, or for your guests at the end of the day to get back to their beds.
13. Start getting addresses for wedding invitations
If you’re anything like me, then you would’ve started collecting everyone’s addresses already for your wedding invitations – whether that be postal, email or both.
Getting everyone’s details before your invitations are finalised means as soon as your invitations are ready you can send them straight away without delay.
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Siobhan Zulch trading as By Siobhan Louise
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