Once you’ve calmed down from the excitement of getting engaged, it’s time to start planning the big day. Here are our 50 dos and don’ts of planning your wedding.
Do create a budget and stick with it.
This is probably the most important piece of advice on here! Don’t let your wedding bankrupt you, there are plenty of ways to save money. Your budget should be decided early and stuck to religiously!
Do decide what’s most important to you.
Decide what you really care about and spend your money on that. If you don’t care about the flowers, don’t spend thousands on them. There’s a lot of pressure on couples to spend money on things that they really don’t want.
Do think twice about doing everything yourself.
DIY weddings always look amazing on Pinterest, but the reality is a lot of hard work and stress. Instead, think of DIY ways to save you money before the big day, that won’t take up weeks of your time.
Do create a mood board.
Before you start thinking about your theme, you should find your favourite pictures of beautiful weddings and stick them on a big piece of cardboard. This will help you start to visualise your wedding.
Do book the venue before everything else.
Booking the venue is the first job. This will determine how much space you have, your theme, your catering options and just about everything else. Plus, your venue will be able to help with the planning process.
Do pick a theme and stick with it.
This is going to seem like a huge decision. The theme will influence just about every choice you make. But be strong! Pick a theme you love and own it. Weddings with a strong theme always stand out.
Do think about wedding insurance.
Even if you budget carefully, your wedding’s going to cost you a few quid. And, like everything that costs a lot of money, you should get it insured. This will protect you if anything goes wrong.
Do involve your family and friends.
Don’t think you have to go it alone! Your friends and family will jump at the chance to help plan your wedding. You could even make an occasion of it and get the prosecco out!
Do work as a team with your fiancé.
Wedding planning can get stressful. The last thing you need is an argument with your fiancé. Involve them in the process early on and work as a team to create the perfect wedding.
Do get organised.
Everyone has their own way of getting organised, whether it’s a spreadsheet, a folder, or a Google doc. Whatever you choose, make sure everything is in one place and easy to find.
Do spend time on Pinterest and Instagram.
Pinterest and Instagram are your best friends. Follow wedding planners, venues, and anyone else that will help you get inspired.
Do start with a guest list.
The guest list is probably the biggest source of arguments. Do you really have to invite that annoying uncle? Can you invite your ex, who’s still a friend? It’s a bit of a minefield. So, get it done early and avoid tension near the big day.
Do book your entertainment early.
All the best bands and DJs are booked up in advance. So, if you are serious about the entertainment at your wedding, get it sorted as soon as possible! You don’t want to be left putting on a playlist through your iPhone.
Do buy your booze in the Christmas sales.
If you haven’t noticed, there are some great deals on booze at Christmas time. So, get down to your supermarket and buy it all whilst it’s cheap. Just make sure you don’t drink it all before the day.
Do ask your married friends for advice.
Your married friends are a rich source of information when it comes to planning your wedding. They’ll be delighted to talk about their wedding again and you’ll find out all sorts of useful tips.
Do hire a professional photographer.
This is one thing we wouldn’t skimp out on. You’re going to remember your wedding day for the rest of your life, so don’t settle for low-quality images. A great wedding photographer is an essential investment!
Do delegate your hen party / stag do.
You’ve got a hundred and one things to consider for your wedding day, so don’t try and plan your hen party or stag do as well. As scary as it might be, you should trust your friends to do it for you.
Do memorise your wedding vows.
This is a big one! Saying your wedding vows is one of the most nerve-wracking parts of your wedding day. Learn them so well you could say them backwards.
Do wear your shoes in before your wedding day.
This one is for the brides. You know the pain of wearing shoes for the first time. Don’t let something so small ruin one of the most important days of your life.
Do have a dress rehearsal.
In the US, it’s tradition to have a rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. If that’s not possible, make sure you’ve tried on the dress or suit, practised the hair and make-up, and read through the vows. Anything that will help you feel more prepared.
Do download a wedding planning app.
Planning a wedding isn’t as difficult as it used to be. There are loads of apps out there that can help you get organised. They can help with your list of tasks, budget planning, payments, and much more.
Do create a huge to-do list.
If an app isn’t your style, you could create a huge list to keep organised. Invest in a large whiteboard and write down every task you need to do. Then, simply tick them off.
Do compare prices for your suppliers.
Don’t feel like you have to go with the first offer from your suppliers. If you give yourself plenty of time, you can get quotes from multiple suppliers and factor this into your decision-making process.
Do think about creating a wedding website.
Creating a website for your wedding is a great way of answering people’s questions. Instead of bombarding you, they can check out your site. Then, after the wedding, people can post their pictures.
Do make your wedding personal to you.
It’s easy to get lost in the wedding planning process. But, never lose sight of the fact that this is your big day. Inject your personality into the wedding. If you love music, have a great band. If you’re big into travelling, include that in your theme. You get the picture.
Whatever happens, it’s not the end of the world. Planning a wedding can be stressful, but it doesn’t matter if something goes wrong. Try and be chilled about the process.
Don’t hire your friends to work at the wedding.
There’re two reasons for this. First, if something goes wrong, it’s harder to have a go at them. Secondly, they won’t be able to enjoy the wedding themselves. Even if your friend is a great musician or photographer, think twice about hiring them.
Don’t organise your own flowers.
It sounds like a great idea to do the flower arrangements yourself. In reality, it’s a big job and will take up a lot of time on your wedding morning. Leave it to a professional florist or ask some close friends to take care of it.
Don’t do any of the catering yourself.
For the same reason as the flowers! Catering is stressful and there’s going to be a lot of people to feed. This isn’t a good place to cut corners.
Don’t worry about being traditional.
There used to be a huge pressure on following wedding tradition. Sure, your grandparents might be a bit miffed if you don’t get married in a church, but this is your wedding. It should be a personal expression of the love you and your partner have for each other.
Don’t worry too much about tiny details.
No one is going to care if the napkins don’t match the tablecloth. Sure, you’ll notice it on the day, but there are more important things. If something small goes wrong, just let it go.
Don’t have lots of separate rooms.
Some weddings multiple rooms including a room for the men, a games room, a dancing room, you name it. This never works well. Try and keep everyone in one room so they’re forced to mingle and have fun.
Don’t have the bar too far from the dancefloor
For some people, the dancefloor is the scariest part of a wedding. For others, they don’t want to leave it all night. So, having the bar close to the dancefloor is a canny way of keeping everyone in one place.
Don’t forget to organise the legal side.
It’s easy to get caught up in flower displays and seating arrangements, but don’t forget to actually organise the legal part of getting married. It’s kind of important.
Don’t forget to take time off.
Planning your wedding shouldn’t be a full-time job. Take some time off when you and your partner are not allowed to talk about anything wedding-related. Otherwise, you could both start resenting it.
Don’t forget to thank people.
There are a lot of people who are working hard in the background to make your wedding happen. Thank your friends, family, suppliers, and wedding planner. They’ll appreciate it.
Don’t be a bridezilla.
“Me? I’ll never be like that!” It’s easier than you think to turn into a bridezilla and it will stop people from enjoying themselves. Relax and enjoy it. Not everything has to be perfect.
Don’t make decisions without your partner.
We sort of touched on this in the first half. You should run everything by each other so there are no disagreements in the run up to your wedding day.
Don’t let the planning take over your life.
If your wedding planning is the only thing you talk about, then you’re doing too much. What happens when the big day has passed, and you’ve got nothing to do?
Don’t lick hundreds of envelopes.
Inviting one hundred guests means licking one hundred envelopes. Licking that many is going to hurt. Buy a stick of glue instead.
Don’t have the stag do/hen night just before the wedding.
This is probably the worst idea possible, but it’s been done before. Leave plenty of time to recover. You don’t want to be throwing up on the morning of your wedding.
Don’t rush up the aisle.
This is everyone’s chance to take a good look at you, especially your parents and grandparents. Walk slowly and carefully and take in every moment.
Don’t worry about people mingling.
For your guests, the wedding is a time for meeting new people, having awkward conversations, and even finding a new partner. Just let this happen naturally and don’t worry about introducing people. It’s not your job.
Don’t forget to pack a spare set of clothes.
Don’t let a spillage ruin your special day. Have a spare dress/shirt just in case. You probably won’t need it, but it’s better than having a red-wine stained wedding dress.
Don’t have a large bar area.
If your bar area is too big, people will hang around there all night. A small bar encourages people to move around the room and enjoy themselves.
Don’t feel self-conscious about the first dance.
Even if you look silly dancing, people will think it’s cute. Stare into each other’s eyes, laugh and enjoy the moment. Oh, and make sure you tell people to join the dancefloor after about twenty seconds.
Don’t make your guests wait around for too long.
Plan your day so there isn’t too much standing around time. Your guest’s feet will start hurting and they’ll drink too much to fill the time. If there is a big gap between the ceremony and reception, make sure there’s some entertainment.
Don’t just have one copy of your speeches and vows.
Don’t scribble on the back of a napkin. Make sure you have them on a clean piece of paper and take a backup copy just in case.
Don’t forget to look after your suppliers.
Working at a wedding is a long day. Make sure your caterers cook something that your suppliers can eat and find them somewhere to relax when they’re not working.
Don’t forget to enjoy the process.
Wedding planning should be fun. This is your special day. Enjoy it.
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