Wedding planning - Where to start? Expert Advice from The Wedding Shop

wedding day flowers

Wondering where to start with wedding planning? We have you covered. Read our expert advice on how to kick-start your wedding plans. Making the count-down to your big day a breeze. 

Enjoy being engaged

First things first, take it easy on the wedding planning. Don’t feel like you have to rush into things right away. Celebrate your engagement, take lots of pictures. And enjoy the buzz with your friends and family. You could even take a break together to enjoy the moment.

Set a Budget 

An important thing to think about before you start wedding planning is the budget. So, do the maths and consider how much you can and want to realistically spend. Think about the must-haves to make your big day what you want it to be. Then do your research, there are always things that you may not have thought about that will need to be factored into the budget. Having an estimated guest count will be needed for this stage of wedding planning too. 

wedding budget

Get Wedding Inspiration

This is the exciting part of wedding planning. Pinterest is going to become your new best friend. There are some amazing planning resources that will leave you bursting with excitement. A favourite of ours is Rock My Wedding. Featuring real weddings, inspiration and useful wedding planning advice. Explore inspiration from previous Wedding Shop couples.

wedding planning where to start

Get organised 

Start by getting all your wedding planning details in one place. Use checklists, spreadsheets, wedding planning stationery, or online tools. You may also want to consider a trusted wedding planner. Prioritise getting organised, then all your wedding planning will fall seamlessly into place. 

Top tip: We partner with Papier to offer all our couples a 15% discount off any wedding stationery ordered through, making your wedding planning a breeze. 

wedding plan
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Make Key Decisions

Once you have all your wedding planning in one place and have gathered all the inspiration. Now is the time to make key decisions. So, think about your wedding day priorities, themes, date, season and wedding day schedule.  

beautiful wedding tablescape

Find a Venue 

Go back to your wedding planning inspiration and check that the venues you look at align with your vision. It will be helpful to have an estimated guest list size at this stage to be mindful of your budget. Also, think about if the venue will allow you to create the experience that you want for both you and your guests. 

When you are searching for the perfect place to celebrate your wedding, it may be helpful to talk to someone experienced in wedding planning. Many wedding venues have wedding coordinators or work with trusted planners who know the venue. Ask lots of questions about what is included in the venue package. Most importantly, be true to yourselves, the wedding venue will be a key part of your wedding.

Insurance & Legalities

Before you commit to any wedding plans, we would advise that you invest in wedding insurance. You will  need to organise your marriage license too. When you are ready to book any suppliers make sure that you understand any contracts fully. Insuring your wedding and engagement rings is always a good idea. You will also need to think about the officiant. A marriage officiant is a person who officiates at a wedding ceremony.

wedding planning officiant and couple

Choose your suppliers 

This is the part of wedding planning where you can really make your day unique with the wedding suppliers you choose. Think about: photographers, flowers, entertainment, catering, celebrants and decor, as well as, cake, accessories, hair and beauty, stylists, stationery, gifts and transport. A good place we recommend to start the search is the list.

wedding day table

Decide on your Wedding Party and Guest List 

There is no right or wrong way to decide on who to include in your wedding party. But, when you are wedding planning, try and think of yourself when you do make a decision. Choose with purpose. So, think of those that are close to you but who will also help play a part in bringing your wedding planning together and make it special for you. If you have doubts about asking someone, then why not keep things simple.

To help you decide on your guest list, start by writing a list of those who you could never imagine getting married without. They are an absolute must invite. Then start to think about who you would love to be there. And then from there, you can then think about those who you would like to be there, if the venue and budget size allows. You may also have a list of those that you feel obliged to invite. Remember this is your wedding, so the most important thing is to stay true to yourselves.

wedding planning - who to invite

Create your gift list

A fun part of wedding planning, building your gift list. This is the part where The Wedding Shop comes in. It is good to start thinking about your wedding gift list before you send out your invitations. But, find out why you need a wedding gift list from other Wedding Shop couples here.


Save the dates and invites 

If you are planning on sending save the dates, these are usually sent up to 12 months before the big day. Usually, your wedding invites should be sent at least 6-8 weeks before the celebration but anything up to six months ahead is generally the norm. Key details that you should add are the date, time, venue, gift list, RSVP details, who and how.


Wedding Outfit Shopping

Your wedding planning research has been done. The budget has been set. So, now is the time in your wedding planning process to think about your wedding day outfits. Start by thinking about the details of your day, the venue, the theme and the time of year. This will help you when you are researching where to shop and what style of outfit you want. Ten months before the big day is usually a good time to start the search. Some outfits can take up to six months to deliver. You will also need to consider time for fittings too.

wedding outfit shopping

Make your Day Unique 

An enjoyable part of wedding planning is making your wedding unique to you. So, think about your vows, speeches, DIY accessories and your wedding playlist. These are all the important details that will make your day yours.

bride diy tablescape

Final Admin

By this point you will feel like the majority of your wedding planning is in action. Some last-minute things to consider include: chasing those final RSVP’s, creating your table plan, organising rehearsal dinners and booking hotel rooms. You might even want to enjoy a minimoon to rest before the big day?

Wedding rehersal dinner

Need more wedding planning inspiration? Let our real couples inspire you and follow us on Instagram. Be sure to check out Rock My Wedding and Hitched too.