First Ten Steps Wedding Planning Checklist

Congratulations, you have fallen in love, got to know each other’s quirks, and now decided to GET MARRIED -eeeek!  This is the stage when panic sets in.  Fear not!  The First Ten Steps Wedding Planning Checklist is here to help.  I am not going to say it’s easy and there will be dramas along the way, but if you stick to the first ten steps wedding planning checklist you should keep on track.

Big ideas of romantic wedding venues, designer bridal gowns, live music, and big dreams, until you realise that, actually, your budget just isn’t going to stretch that far and what is it exactly that you can afford? Knowing where to start is the most difficult step to take.  Once the foundations are in place, the next months of wedding planning will start to flow.

Step One 

List your top three priorities.  What will you absolutely NOT compromise on.  The easiest way to get to your top three is to make a list:

  • what you absolutely will not compromise on,
  • what you absolutely would not like,
  • and what you would be prepared to compromise on.

It will help, really, to get to a top three ‘must-haves’.

Step Two

Set a date – be careful not to set a date that clashes with important family events that may be taking place, or sporting events that may upset your plans – big time.   eg.  Football final day, Wimbledon, Big birthdays or anniversaries.

Step Three 

Set a budget – of what you can reasonably afford, and then work out what you want to spend, and then add 10-15% for contingency.  To give you a rough idea of what you will spend on what, here is a checklist.

Wedding Reception – 50%

Photographer/ Videographer – 10%

Flowers, Decorations, Stationery, Favours and extras – 20%

Bridal & attendants wear- 15%

Entertainment – 5%

It’s really just a guideline, and we have a really handy Wedding Budget Calculator to download, which will keep your spending on track.

Step Four 

Make a rough guest list, to get an idea of how large or small your wedding is going to be.  Split the list into three – absolutely must have (A list) – nice to have (B) – and everyone else (C).  Is it going to be an all-day invitation, or day and evening?

Step Five 

Start your venue search – take your top three priorities into account when making your choice.  It’s a good idea to shortlist 3 or 4 venues and visit each one to get a real feel of the different venues available.  This handy Questions to Ask sheet will help you during your visits.

Step Six 

Now the most important bit – The Dress!  Some designers require at least 6 months lead time to create your dress, so start the search early.

Step Seven

Hire a wedding planner.  Mention the word wedding planner and £ signs flash before your eyes, but actually a wedding planner can save you money.  They have very good relationships with wedding suppliers and are able to negotiate a good price on their services, which is then passed on to you.  It takes the stress out of your busy life and keeps your wedding budget on track.

Step Eight

Wedding photographers, particularly the most popular ones, are really busy.  Begin your research for a photographer.  Wedding Fairs are a good resource for photographers where you can see their work first-hand.

Step Nine

Finalise your choice of Venue, Dress, and Photographer and pay deposits to secure.

Step Ten 

The fun bit of planning your wedding theme can begin. Start a scrapbook and buy a wedding planner folder where you can gather all your material swatches, samples and ideas. These ten steps are the building blocks of planning your wedding.  Always keep your top three priorities in mind when making any decisions (does it agree with those?), and mindful of your wedding budget.