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The Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist
  • Tim Reynolds

The Ultimate Wedding Planning Checklist


​WEDDING CHECKLIST

THIS CHECKLIST IS COMPILED BY WEDDING INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS, WHO HAVE WORKED AT HUNDREDS OF WEDDINGS DURING THEIR CAREER AND SEEN ALL THE PITFALLS IN THE PROCESS. BUT IT DOESN'T STOP THERE... WE'VE ALSO HAD TO PLAN OUR OWN WEDDING - SO WE HAVE YOU COVERED FROM ALL ANGLES, TO GIVE YOU THE BEST ADVICE FOR PUTTING YOUR DAY TOGETHER. PLEASE ENJOY OUR ULTIMATE WEDDING PLANNING CHECKLIST.

THE BUDGET

HOW MUCH DO YOU HAVE TO SPEND? IT'S A TOUGH QUESTION, BUT IT'S GOOD TO NAIL DOWN YOUR MAXIMUM WEDDING BUDGET FROM THE GET-GO. IN THE UK, THE AVERAGE WEDDING COSTS £27,000 - GULP! ONCE YOU KNOW YOUR TOTAL IT'S IMPORTANT TO GET SOME QUOTES FROM A RANGE OF SUPPLIERS SO YOU CAN PUT TOGETHER THE PERFECT DAY FOR YOU, WITHIN YOUR PRICE RANGE.

ONE PIECE OF ADVICE... IF SOMETHING IS SLIGHTLY TOO EXPENSIVE, DO STRETCH... YOU WON'T MISS THE MONEY IN YEARS TO COME, BUT YOU MIGHT REGRET NOT GOING THE EXTRA MILE FOR YOUR ONE SPECIAL DAY.

ALL OF THE FOLLOWING POINTS WILL NEED TO BE CONSIDERED WITHIN YOUR BUDGET, SO IT'S IMPORTANT TO GET A GOOD IDEA OF WHICH ELEMENTS ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU, IF YOU HAVE A LIMIT ON YOUR WEDDING FUNDS.

VENUE OR GUEST LIST FIRST?

IT'S IMPORTANT TO HAVE SOME IDEA OF HOW MANY GUESTS YOU'D LIKE TO ATTEND YOUR WEDDING - THAT WILL HELP YOU NARROW DOWN THE TYPE OF VENUE YOU'LL BE GOING FOR... WE'VE SEEN AND ATTENDED SOME INCREDIBLE WEDDINGS IN "LOW END" VENUES, AND SOME VERY AVERAGE ONES IN "HIGH END" VENUES. THE DIFFERENCE, IN OUR OPINION, IS THAT WHEN YOU'RE ABLE TO INVITE ALL OF YOUR BEST FRIENDS IT DOESN'T MATTER SO MUCH WHAT THE VENUE LOOKS LIKE. BUT, IF YOU CAN AFFORD TO HAVE ALL YOUR FRIENDS IN A STUNNING VENUE, THAT'S EVEN BETTER!

CATERER - DRY HIRE OR VENUE?

DO YOU WANT SPECIFIC FOOD AT YOUR WEDDING? CHECK OUT WHAT THE VENUE OFFERS... A LOT OF VENUES WON'T LET YOU BRING IN YOUR OWN CATERER, SO YOU MAY BE STUCK WITH THE MENU THEY OFFER. IF YOU'D LIKE TO HAVE SPECIFIC FOODS, YOU MAY NEED A VENUE THAT ALLOWS CLIENTS TO "DRY HIRE" A CATERER - WHICH MEANS THAT THE VENUE HAS A SPACE AVAILABLE FOR A CATERING COMPANY TO BRING IN ALL THE KITCHEN EQUIPMENT AND PREPARE EVERYTHING ON-SITE.

TOP TIP - DRY HIRE CAN BE MUCH LESS PRICEY

PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEOGRAPHY PHOTOGRAPHER? VIDEOGRAPHER? BOTH? TOUGH CALL! BOTH OFFER VARIOUS PACKAGES, TO GIVE YOU ONE OR MULTIPLE CAMERAS ON YOU AT VARIOUS POINTS DURING THE DAY. DO YOU WANT A VIDEO OF YOUR ENTIRE DAY? OR WOULD A HIGHLIGHTS REEL BE BETTER FOR YOU? WHICH PARTS OF THE DAY ARE MOST IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO HAVE PHOTOGRAPHS OF? THE CEREMONY? THE PARTY? DO YOU REALISITICALLY WANT PHOTOS TAKEN OF YOU AT 11:45PM, WHEN PERHAPS YOU'VE HAD ONE TOO MANY GLASSES OF YOUR FAVOURITE DRINK? MAYBE NOT. TOP TIP - HIGHLIGHTS REELS ARE MUCH CHEAPER THAN ENTIRE DAY VIDEOS

MUSIC

WE MAY BE BIASED, AS A MUSIC COMPANY, BUT IN OUR OPINION MUSIC PLAYS A BIG PART IN THE PERFECT WEDDING. AT NEXT LEVEL MUSIC, WE OFFER A WONDERFUL RANGE OF PERFORMERS FOR YOUR CEREMONY, DRINKS RECEPTION, DURING DINNER AND FOR YOUR EVENING DANCING. HERE'S A VIDEO OF OUR FLAGSHIP ACT, THE NEXT LEVEL SHOW BAND. ENJOY!

CEREMONY

RELIGIOUS? CIVIL? IF YOU'RE A RELIGIOUS COUPLE, THIS IS AN EASY CHOICE FOR YOU.

IN CIVIL CEREMONIES IN THE UK, THERE IS LEGALLY NO MENTION OF ANYTHING RELIGIOUS DURING THE PROCEEDINGS, INCLUDING ANY MUSIC TO BE PLAYED. SOMETHING TO CONSIDER. YOU'LL BE ABLE TO CHOOSE THE WORDING OF YOUR CEREMONY, SOME ARE VERY FORMAL SOUNDING BUT SOME ARE VERY WARM AND LOVING.

CARS

HOW MANY CARS DO YOU NEED? WHO FOR? HOW MANY DESTINATIONS DO YOU HAVE ON YOUR BIG DAY?

BUS HIRE IS A GREAT OPTION TO SAVE MONEY, AND IN THE UK THERE ARE SOME FANTASTIC TRADITIONAL OR VINTAGE BUSES AVAILABLE TO YOU. FOR YOUR WEDDING CAR... CLASSIC? SPORTS? TAXI? HORSE & CART? ALL THINGS TO CONSIDER FOR THE LOOK & FEEL OF YOUR BIG DAY...

HOTELS EASY QUESTIONS TO ANSWER: WHO DO YOU WANT TO STAY WITH YOU AT THE HOTEL ONTHE NIGHT BEFORE THE WEDDING? WHO DO YOU WANT TO STAY AT THE HOTEL ON THE WEDDING NIGHT? MORE TAXING QUESTIONS TO ANSWER: WHOSE ROOM DO YOU WANT TO PAY FOR? WHOSE ROOM DO YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR? DO YOU NEED A LUXURY HOTEL FOR EVERYONE? OR WOULD THE ENTERTAINMENT BUDGET BENEFIT FROM A CASH BOOST MORE?

INVITATIONS TRICKY, TRICKY, TRICKY! DEPENDING ON YOUR BUDGET & PREFERENCES YOU MAY WANT TO INVITE ALL YOUR GUESTS FOR THE WHOLE DAY, OR SOME FOR THE EVENING AND SOME FOR THE WHOLE DAY. IF YOU CHOOSE THE LATTER, THINGS CAN GET VERY POLITICAL VERY QUICKLY. IT CAN FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO RANK YOUR FRIENDS AND RELATIVES (BECAUSE, ESSENTIALLY, YOU DO) THEN YOU HAVE INVITATION DESIGNS (AND COSTS) TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION. THESE CAN GET OUT OF HAND VERY QUICKLY. PAPERLESS POST CAN BE A GREAT OPTION BECAUSE NOT ONLY ARE THEY PAPERLESS, BUT THEY KEEP TRACK OF YOUR RSVP LIST - VERY HANDY!

IF YOU'RE GOING FOR PAPER INVITATIONS AND WANT TO SAVE MONEY, CHECK OUT ETSY - THERE ARE SOME VERY STYLISH OPTIONS ON THERE AT INCREDIBLE REASONABLE PRICES.

DECOR WHAT'S YOUR THEME? WHAT'S HOT RIGHT NOW? PINTEREST AND INSTAGRAM ARE YOUR FRIENDS IN THIS...

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT: FLOWERS, CHANDELIERS, LIGHTING, TABLE CLOTHS, CHAIRS, CANDLES, DRAPES, MORE FLOWERS, THE TOP TABLE...

THE DRESS MOST BRIDES HAVE DREAMT ABOUT THIS FOR THEIR WHOLE LIVES - YES, IT'S REALLY HAPPENING! BUT HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH FOR YOUR PERFECT DRESS? CAN YOU STRETCH JUST A LITTLE BIT? THOUGHT SO!

THE SUIT UNLESS THE GROOM IS A PARTICULARLY FASHION CONSCIOUS, THIS MAY BE A NEW THING TO THINK ABOUT, AND QUITE A BIG ONE! WILL YOU WEAR BLACK, BLUE, GREY OR TWEED? SOMETHING MODERN? SOMETHING TRADITIONAL, WITH TAILS? CHECK INSTAGRAM & PINTEREST FOR SOME INSPIRATION.

BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES & GROOMSMEN’S SUITS

THIS CAN BE QUITE A POLITICAL DECISION... WILL YOU BUY OR HIRE THESE FOR YOUR BRIDESMAIDS & GROOMSMEN? OR WILL YOU ASK THEM TO CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS THE COSTS?

OR WILL YOU LET THEM ALL KNOW THE COLOUR SCHEME AND LET THEM SOURCE THEIR OWN ATTIRE?

CAKE

TRADITIONAL UK WEDDINGS FEATURE CAKE IN A BIG WAY. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO YOU? A LOT OF MODERN COUPLES ARE DITCHING THE TRADITIONAL SKY SCRAPER CAKE IN FAVOUR OF SOMETHING MUCH MORE REASONABLY PRICED (AND FUN) TO SAVE MONEY FOR THEIR HONEYMOON AND ENTERTAINMENT.

HAIR & MAKEUP

DO YOU HAVE THE SKILLS TO PULL OFF YOUR PERFECT HAIR & MAKEUP ON THE BIGGEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE? DO YOU WANT TO? A PROFESSIONAL HAIR & MAKEUP ARTIST IS VERY AFFORDABLE - JUST MAKE SURE YOU GO FOR A TRIAL, FOR 2 REASONS: 1. TO MAKE SURE YOU LIKE THE MAKEUP

2. TO MAKE SURE YOUR PARTNER LIKES IT TOO!

RINGS

BY NOW THE MOST EXPENSIVE RING HAS MOST LIKELY BEEN TAKEN CARE OF, SO BUYING WEDDING RINGS CAN BE A PAIN FREE EXPERIENCE.

FIND A NICE INDEPENDENT JEWELLER WHO'S HIGHLY RECOMMENDED AND SPEAK TO THEM ABOUT DIFFERENT STYLES, FITS AND PRECIOUS METALS - YOU'LL HAVE THE PERFECT RINGS IN NO TIME.

FAVOURS & GIFTS

PLEASE PUT THIS TOWARDS THE VERY BOTTOM OF THE PILE IN TERMS OF YOUR BUDGET - YOUR GUESTS WILL BE FINE WITHOUT FAVOURS & GIFTS. IF YOU CAN AFFORD THEM, FANTASTIC, BUT OTHER ELEMENTS WILL BE FAR MORE MEMORABLE FOR YOU AND YOUR GUESTS FOR YEARS TO COME. UNUSUAL FAVOUR SUGGESTIONS: LOTTERY TICKETS PERSONALISED BREATH MINTS PERSONALISED DINNER PLATES

REGISTRAR

AN ESSENTIAL PART TO BOOK, OBVIOUSLY! YOU MAY OR MAY NOT KNOW YET, BUT YOU HAVE TO GIVE NOTICE OF YOUR INTENT TO MARRY SEVERAL MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING - THIS IS SEPARATE TO BOOKING THE REGISTRAR. YOU CAN USUALLY DO WITH WITH YOUR LOCAL COUNCIL, EVEN IF YOUR WEDDING IS ELSEWHERE.

FUN STUFF & PERSONAL TOUCHES

THERE'S DEFINITELY A CLEAR TEMPLATE FOR A COOKIE CUTTER WEDDING... WHY NOT ADD SOME PERSONAL TOUCHES? SUGGESTIONS: PINATA

PHOTO BOOTH LAWN GAMES

SINGING WAITERS/WAITRESSES MAGICIANS

COMEDIANS

MUSICIANS THROUGHOUT THE DAY

SPEECHES A WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO HEAR ENDEARING AND HILARIOUS STORIES ABOUT THE PAIR OF YOU...

OUR TOP TIPS:

CHOOSE WISELY WHO WILL GIVE SPEECHES

LIMIT THEIR TIME TO 5 MINS OR LESS

LIMIT SPEECHES TO 5 PEOPLE OR LESS SENTIMENTAL SPEECHES (EVEN FUNNY SPEECHES TO BE HONEST) ARE FANTASTIC, BUT PEOPLE GET BORED VERY EASILY. PRIVATE JOKES ARE A DEFINITE NO NO TOO.

NUMBER 1 TIP, WHAT EVER YOU DO... DON'T WING IT!!!

CHOOSING A FIRST DANCE

WHETHER YOUR DJ OR BAND WILL PLAY THE FIRST DANCE FOR YOU, IT'S IMPORTANT TO CHOOSE SOMETHING PERSONAL TO THE TWO OF YOU. ARE YOU GOOD DANCERS? NO, REALLY? ARE YOU GOOD DANCERS? IT'S IMPORTANT TO CHOOSE A SONG YOU'LL BE CONFIDENT DANCING TO IN FRONT OF ALL YOUR NEAREST AND DEAREST, THAT ALSO MEANS A LOT TO YOU. KEEP IT SIMPLE.

MC

SO OFTEN OVERLOOKED, BUT SO IMPORTANT!!! PLEASE, DO YOURSELVES A FAVOUR AND BOOK A GREAT MC TODAY, OR AT LEAST HAVE SOMEONE EMPLOYED TO ENSURE THAT YOU WILL BE FREE TO ENJOY YOUR BIG DAY... THE LAST THING ANY COUPLE WANTS TO DO IS HERD FAMILY & FRIENDS AROUND ALL DAY!

STAG & HEN THIS IS PRETTY EASY AND A LOT OF FUN... APPOINT YOUR MAIDS OF HONOUR AND YOUR BEST MEN AND LET THEM SORT IT OUT FOR YOU! THEN ENJOY A VERY FUN NIGHT OR NIGHTS OF MAYHEM!

HONEYMOON & MINIMOON SO THAT'S IT! YOU'RE MARRIED! WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO?

ALSO, DO YOU HAVE ANY MONEY LEFT??? A POPULAR OPTION NOWADAYS IS TO GO ON A MINIMOON STRAIGHT AFTER THE WEDDING TO TAKE IN WHAT JUST HAPPENED AT THIS CRAZY EVENT YOU JUST HOSTED. THEN, ONCE YOU AND YOUR BANK BALANCE HAVE RECOVERED, GO ON YOUR DREAM HONEYMOON AND CELEBRATE YOUR MARRIAGE TOGETHER.

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