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Planning your London wedding – from start to finish

The whole experience of planning a wedding is pure excitement for some people, and nothing but stress for others. How do you know what to do first, and how far out should you set the date? The truth is that you should take as long as you think you need to plan the perfect wedding for you. But in case you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything you feel like you have to do, this is our ultimate wedding checklist – especially tailored for weddings in London!



When you get engaged, or you start to get serious about wedding planning, the first thing to do is to sit down with your fiancé and talk about what kind of wedding you want to have. Next, make a budget and potentially a savings plan – can you afford the kind of wedding you both dream of? Think about your guest list and how big it will be, because this will impact your next task: start looking for somewhere to celebrate and Googling “wedding reception venues London”. Begin thinking about a date, as well; check with your most important guests before setting it in stone. This is also the time to ask your potential bridesmaids and/or groomsmen to join you in the wedding ceremony.

Wedding Dress


About 12 months before your planned wedding date, it’s time to book your stylish wedding venue – and your reception venue, if you’re planning things that way. Visit it first and go over everything thoroughly to be sure that it’s what you want. Now that you have a date in mind, you can consider sending “save the date” cards. This is also the time to start looking at everything else that needs to be booked: florists, caterers, the cake, invitations, a hair and make-up stylist, music and decorations. No need to decide on anything yet – this is the fun part of planning, where you get to decide the look and feel of your wedding. It’s also time to start researching the best part – your dress! You do need to book your photographer around this time, however: good wedding photographers can be booked up extremely far in advance.

Wedding Cake


8-10 months before the wedding, get your musicians booked in – whether it’s a band or a DJ, and including any music you’d like during the ceremony. You can worry about the set-list later. If you’re having a destination wedding or many of your guests are travelling from out of town, start researching accommodation options and reserve them now if you can. If you’re planning to hire anything for the day – such as a pavilion, chairs or tables – now is the time to book your rental. It’s time for some of the fun stuff, too – like ordering the wedding cake, which is great fun because of the tasting sessions; and it’s also a good time to book your honeymoon. Finally, take this time to book the rental for the groomsmen’s suits, and book a pre-marriage course if you’re thinking of taking one.


Halfway there

6-8 months in, everything should be chugging along smoothly. If you plan on travelling for your wedding or honeymoon, it’s time to check that your passports are in date! It can take a long time to get a new passport, so get cracking now if one of your passports is close to expiring. You should be ordering your wedding dress around now to ensure plenty of time for the dress to arrive and any alterations to be completed. Now is also a good time for your best man and maid of honour to begin their duties by planning your stag and hen’s nights!

Brides' Shoes

Counting down

4-6 months from D-Day, get together with the girls and choose bridesmaid dresses; then take your soon-to-be husband out shopping for his own snappy wedding outfit. On a more sober note, this is a good time to give notice at your local registry office of your intent to be wed, so that the banns can be posted and you can get your marriage certificate in plenty of time. If you’re having a church wedding, this is the time to talk to the priest, attend pre-marriage counselling, and decide on the prayers, readings and music for your wedding ceremony. Lastly, start choosing the stationery you’d like to use for invitations, and gathering your guests’ addresses if you haven’t already. A spreadsheet will be very useful for keeping track of RSVPs.

Wedding Rings

Nearly there

2-3 months from the date, send out your invitations, and choose and order your wedding rings. It’s all getting pretty real now! It’s also time to rent the formal-wear for your groomsmen and make sure your dress fits you perfectly. Choose your stylists, book them and do a trial run of your hair and makeup. Lastly, organise any gifts you plan to give to your parents, wedding party, and each other.

1 month

Four weeks from the big day, have your final fitting of your dress. Finalise arrangements with your suppliers, caterers, venue and everyone else involved, including the order of ceremony; order booklets for your guests now as well.

2 weeks

If any of your guests have failed to respond, this is their last chance! Call anyone who has neglected to RSVP so you can tick them off the list and prevent surprise arrivals. Now is also the time to touch base with your photographer and/or videographer about the photos you want, when you want to take them and what you want them to capture during the ceremony.

1 week

Provide your venue and the caterers with a final head count. Finalise everything with your caterers and other suppliers and vendors, including how you will pay them. Get all your beauty preparation done – waxing, manicures and facials – but don’t make any major changes to your hair at the last minute! Make sure everyone has a contact number and a schedule of what is supposed to be delivered where and when. And of course – pack for your honeymoon!

The last few days will be a flurry of last-minute changes and confirmations. Lean on your support team and your bridesmaids – they aren’t just there to look pretty, but also to help you stay calm and organised! Good luck, and enjoy your big day!

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