When and how to plan a wedding

When and how to plan a wedding

It’s time to celebrate because you’re about to embark on one of the most exciting experiences of your life! In this blog, we’re telling you when and how to plan a wedding.

We know how you’re feeling, and we bet you can’t wait to start planning your special day! Your wedding is such an important day and is your chance to have everybody you love celebrating together in one place. We know that you want it to be perfect, and with our help, it can be. We’re here to support you with the wedding planning journey.

As a newly engaged couple, it’s hard to know where to start when it comes to the wedding planning process. When do you need to book the venue? When do you need to buy the wedding dress? Don’t worry; you’ve probably got time.

How to start planning a wedding

If you haven’t chosen your wedding date yet, you might be wondering how long it takes to plan a wedding. On average, most couples find that it takes around 18 months to plan a wedding in the UK. You might want to use that as a guide, or you might have other ideas already. Either way, it’s your special day, and the choice is yours as long as you can get everything planned on time.

Searching for wedding inspiration

Many people dream about their wedding day for their whole life, while others might have no idea what they’d like to include. We’d always recommend looking around for wedding inspiration. You could use Instagram and Pinterest or head to some local wedding fairs to find out what’s trending.

Visiting a wedding fair will allow you to meet various vendors and suppliers that can help to bring everything together for your wedding day. It may also provide you with opportunities that you hadn’t previously thought of.

Top tip: If you’re planning an element that is similar to something you’ve seen at someone else’s wedding – ask them about it! They’ll be able to give you honest feedback on their experience.

Planning a wedding budget

Every couple will have different ideas of how much money to spend on their wedding. If you’re unsure, you should consider how much you can afford to pay and note down all of the elements you want on your wedding day. After you’ve completed this step, you should be realistic about the prices of each item.

We know you probably want to keep many things a surprise from your wedding guests, but sometimes sharing some aspects is a good idea. Your guests may know of others who can help you and provide you with a service for a reduced price. This can help to save money.

Your wedding is likely to cost between £20,000 and £30,000 – unless you plan for it to cost more or less. Generally, the bigger the wedding, the more money you will have to spend. Check out our blog on small wedding ideas.

Planning a wedding budget can be tough, but if you sit down with your partner and discuss each element carefully, you will be able to come to an agreement. You may find that upon reflection, some elements are not essential to your special day. Find out more about planning your wedding budget. Your wedding budget should be one of the first things you think about when planning a wedding.

Wedding planning support

You only get one shot at your wedding day, so making sure it’s perfect and meets your requirements is imperative. Our wedding planners in Lancashire can help to make your dreams a reality. Whether you need some help with logistics or our full support, we’re here to help you.

Our wedding planners near Manchester have years of experience supporting couples from all over the country. This means we’ve built connections with high-quality suppliers and wedding vendors to support your plans. So forget about finding the best wedding planners; we’ve got you covered.

Not sure what to ask? Check out our blog on wedding questions to ask your planner.

Planning a wedding UK main requirements

Date and venue

Two of the most important factors on your wedding day are the date and the venue, and the two go hand in hand. Maybe you’ve always dreamed of a summer wedding with an outdoor party, or perhaps you’d prefer a winter wedding with a more cosy vibe. These are all things you’ll need to factor into your plans.

It’s a good idea to have a few wedding venues in mind, just in case one isn’t available on your desired date. Generally, the further in advance you book, the more choice you will have for the wedding venue.

Top tip: Struggling to pick your perfect wedding venue? Create a list of all the features available at each venue and pick a favourite this way. Maybe one will allow something another won’t, or perhaps the price is more appropriate for one than another.

There are lots of venue ideas to consider, such as:

  • Church
  • Hotels
  • Castles
  • Barns
  • Outdoors
  • Home


Each venue choice will have advantages and disadvantages that you’ll need to consider based on your requirements. Venues tend to get booked up very far in advance, so you should book your venue as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.


Most weddings have some VIPs – your wedding party members! You’ll definitely need their support throughout the planning process, so you should select them early. Traditionally, there would be a best man, maid of honour, bridesmaid(s) and ushers.

It’s entirely up to you whether you follow traditions and how many of each you’ll have.

Once you’ve decided who to ask, it’s time to think about how you’ll ask them. Will you organise a meal out? Send them a special package with some small gifts or even lead them on a trail to work it out themselves. Whatever you plan on doing, let’s make it extra special.

Don’t forget you’ll need to organise an exciting shopping trip for their wedding day outfits. It’s a good idea to go with an idea in mind of colours and style. If you have more than one bridesmaid, you’ll need to decide whether you’d like them to match or have different styles.

Invite planning

Once you’ve selected a venue, you can start planning your invites based on how many guests you can invite. If your wedding ceremony and reception are in different places, these amounts may differ. They may also vary if you’re planning everything in the same venue.

Catering is usually the reason why prices rise with the number of guests invited. Some venues may provide catering, while others may rely on you choosing an external vendor.

Depending on whether you plan on having a big or small wedding, you’ll have to filter through your guest list to meet the requirements of your venue. This can be hard, but it’s your wedding day, so you should only invite the people that you truly want there.

When you’ve planned your guest list, you can send save the dates. These should incorporate elements of your wedding style, whether that be through the colours or font style. You should send save-the-date cards around 12 months before your wedding day. This gives your guests time to make travel arrangements and sort accommodation if necessary.

Your wedding invitations should be sent between 3 and 6 months before your wedding date. Be sure to include all important wedding details such as dates, locations and dress codes. By the time you create your formal invitations, you’ll know every detail of your wedding decor, so you can incorporate this into your designs. After establishing a guest list, you’ll also need to consider your table plans.

Bring your inspiration to life

As the planning process goes on, you’ll probably find lots of new ideas that you want to add to your wedding day. Have you thought about entertainment? There are lots of options to consider.

  • Live wedding bands or DJ
  • Entertainment for children – magician, face painter, games
  • Food & drinks – pizza vans, drinks stalls


Any entertainment will need booking around 12 months before your wedding day. This means that if your selected entertainer is not available, you have time to make other plans.

Making you feel special

You’ll want to choose wedding outfits that you feel truly incredible in, whether that’s a beautiful dress or a suave suit. But, it doesn’t just stop there; maybe you’re planning some beauty treatments before the big day. Or, you might want to book hair and makeup for the bridal party. These are all things you’ll need to consider when planning a wedding.

Make sure you research the hairdresser and artist to ensure that their styles suit you. You should aim to book them around 9 to 12 months before your wedding date.

Top tip: Organise a practice run for your hair and makeup to ensure that it meets your needs on the day and you know how long everything will take. This can help you when planning your wedding timeline.

Another huge part of your wedding look is the flowers you select, and as well as you holding them, they’ll likely be used throughout your venue too. The flowers you choose should match the time of year that you’re getting married. The colour of your flowers also has an important message. You should inquire with a florist at least nine months before your wedding day. This allows them to book your wedding into the diary.

Capturing the moment

Some couples choose to have only photography at their wedding, while others may opt for videography too. Whichever you choose, take a good look at their portfolios to ensure their photography style is right for you.

You will want to meet with them in person to ensure that they’re on the same page as you. After all, they’ll be spending all day with you at your wedding, so you’ll need to get along with them. You should aim to book your wedding photographer between 12-18 months before the date. Photographers get booked up fast.

Wedding rings

There are many wedding ring options to choose from, so it might be a good idea to look around first and decide which ones appeal to you and your partner. If you can’t decide which one you like best, you don’t actually have to match. You should aim to complete this step within three months of your wedding day.

How to plan a wedding cake

There are so many options for a wedding cake. The decoration that you choose should fit the decor of the rest of your day. When choosing a cake maker, be sure to ask for examples of other wedding cakes they’ve supplied. This can give you some inspiration and help you to assess their skill set.

Once you’re happy with a baker, you can select the cake flavours. Professional bakers tend to get booked up early, so we’d recommend enquiring early once you know what you’d like.

Wedding transport

Don’t forget that you’ve got to arrive on your special day. We’re sure you want to arrive in style, but don’t forget you might have bridesmaids or family members to look after too. First, you should establish how many people will need to travel with you. Once you know the numbers, you can look for the perfect transport option!

Stag and hen parties

Time to celebrate! Are you planning a night out or an activity-filled day? Either way, having fun with your friends and family is the most important thing. Don’t forget to factor these into your wedding budget when you start planning the wedding.


Wedding planning is no easy task, so you must take some time to relax during the planning process.

You’re pretty much ready to go, you’ll have other final details, such as gifts and extra decorations to think about, as well as your honeymoon, but we’ve given you some of the main aspects of how to plan a wedding.

If you’re looking for a wedding planner in the North West, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team. We’re always happy to help and can provide you with as much support as you require for your wedding day. So let’s get started on your dream wedding.


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