How to plan a wedding in 12 months

How to plan a wedding in 12 months

Having recently become engaged to be married myself, I’ve been researching the official way on how to plan a wedding in 12 months. Although we aren’t having a traditional wedding, I think the same sort of guide would apply. It’s very common to plan a wedding in 18-24 months, as things get booked up so quickly. At the moment though, having just bought a house, having just raised a puppy and wanting to do things like eat, sleep and be warm – we’re not planning just yet!

So until the savings start building up again – it’s all about planning before actually booking. It might sound a bit strange to be researching and planning before actually being prepared to book anything – but being in the wedding industry I know how quickly my favourites will book up, so I’m wanting to be prepared. We’re thinking somewhere along the lines of 2017 for our wedding, giving us over 12months to plan our budget, get a shortlist of suppliers, and start securing things. Here’s a rough guide as to how to plan it in 12 months. If you’re like me, and want to try get ahead as much as possible – the top things to get secured early on are:

The Venue  | The photographer | The videographer | The Band | The Caterer

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12 months to go…

  • Set aside a budget. Make sure it’s a realistic one, and try sticking to it throughout the booking process.
  • Purchase a wedding planning book if you feel this would help you. Even a notebook, get creative. Just somewhere to make notes as to who you’re using for suppliers, what your budget is, and continue to calculate to make sure you aren’t going off target. It’s very easy to get carried away when you aren’t keeping track. The odd £50 eBay or Etsy spend can really add up.
  • Look into following blogs like Rock N Roll Bride, Love my Dress, Rock my Wedding for inspiration
  • Pick approximately 3 dates you’d be happy to get married on and that you know your most important attendees will be able to attend, so that when you find out availability for your venue – you can secure it.
  • Take out wedding insurance
  • Decide on the number of guests you’d like at your wedding
  • Book your wedding and reception venues (They book up fast!)
  • Give notice at your local register office (You need to give notice, to marry)
  • Book your Photographer & Videographer!

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11 months to go…

  • Decide on the style and theme of your wedding, to help you select your attire/decor later on
  • Choose your wedding party: bridesmaids, pageboys and maids of honour
  • Send out save the dates
  • Book caterers
  • Book toastmaster
  • Book transport
  • Book entertainment – Bands book up fast!

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10 months to go…

  • Decide on a wedding dress
  • Start organising a honeymoon
  • Check passport and vaccinations
  • Locate accommodation for wedding guests
  • Book time off work for wedding prep, wedding and honeymoon

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9 months to go…

  • Book your florist
  • Order bridesmaids dresses
  • Arrange suit hire
  • Shop for wedding lingerie

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8 months to go…

  • Make time for food and wine tastings
  • Decide on readings and music for the ceremony
  • Order wedding stationary
  • Start assigning tasks to friends and family

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7 months to go…

  • Order wedding cake
  • Choose table decorations and favours
  • Shop for wedding shoes and accessories
  • Compile a wedding gift list

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6 months to go…

  • Book a hairdresser
  • Find a makeup artist
  • Arrange an engagement shoot (Get good use out of your hair and makeup trial!)
  • Choose gifts for the wedding party

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5 months to go…

  • Go shopping for honeymoon clothes
  • Get vaccinations if needed
  • Start regular facials
  • Choose or write wedding vows

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4 months to go…

  • Make stag and hen plans
  • Send wedding invitations
  • Finalise venue decor
  • Buy wedding rings

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3 months to go…

  • Book a hair cut and colour
  • Have a rehearsal
  • Arrange for a dress fitting
  • Create a song list and choose 1st dance song
  • Buy your veil or tiara

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2 months to go…

  • Try out your wedding hair and makeup
  • Confirm ceremony details
  • Buy a guest book
  • Book a suit fitting
  • Arrange seating plan
  • Check that speeches are done
  • Order holiday currency 

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1 month to go…

  • Chase up any guests that haven’t RSVP’d
  • Arrange final fittings for everyone
  • Confirm all bookings with all suppliers 
  • Confirm numbers with caterers
  • Both have a final cut and colour
  • Arrange a manicure
  • Arrange a facial
  • Arrange a pedicure
  • Wear in your wedding shoes
  • Liaise with your photographer about group photos you’d like, and confirm timing and venues with them.
  • Enjoy your hen do!

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I'm a natural & artistic wedding photographer based in Bedfordshire. I work primarily with couples who love laughter and quality time spent with loved ones. I travel all over the UK capturing memories from the Scottish highlands to English countryside, so whereever your wedding do get in touch.