The experts’ handbook to planning your wedding
An inspirational step-by-step plan to help you
We asked everyone from wedding planners to cake makers about this year’s trends and how you can make organising your big day as easy as saying ‘I do’.
Buying the engagement ring is just the first step towards married life and while the journey is exciting, there’s a lot to organise. With all the latest trends and some insider tips from the experts themselves, we’re helping remove the stress from wedding planning.
Taking the first few steps can be overwhelming for a newly engaged couple and knowing where to start can make all difference. So, alongside our wedding guide, we’ve also created a checklist so you can see just how close you are to completing your big day.
by Helen Eriksen –
National Wedding Planner of the Year 2018
Money is the number one source of stress during the wedding planning stages. Before you start looking at anything, set a clear budget and stick to it.
As well as your budget, make sure you get clear on your guest numbers from the very start as this will have an impact on all your other choices including that all-important venue! Remember it is your day!
If you are struggling with numbers then give each set of your parents a specific number of invitations they may send. Once you’ve made your decision about something, stop looking for further inspiration. You will only start second-guessing yourself and become overwhelmed with conflicting styles and colour choices. Trust your initial instincts they are usually always right. Your bridesmaids, groomsmen, friends and parents all want you to have a perfect day, so get them involved by asking them to help with small but time-consuming tasks, such as addressing invitations.
by Whimsical Wonderland Weddings –
A friendly & inclusive wedding ideas blog
In 2018 we’re going to see the increasing trend for Autumn weddings continue to rise; with golden light and fair weather it’s fast becoming a firm favourite for couples.
We aren’t expecting too many couples to take up the Pantone colour of the year Ultra Violet for their colour palette, and expect more natural tones/looks to continue to be popular, including the ever popular trend for lots of greenery or a mismatched colour schemes.
We think more couples than ever will include a backdrop of flowers for their ceremony, with the statement circle wreath shape and pampas grass being key elements of this fashionable look. Plus there will be even more weddings with food truck style catering, and bespoke cool menus complete with gin/prosecco/whisky bar (or the couple’s favourite tipple) to ensure their personalities permeates their whole celebration.
Choosing a venue
by Dorfold Hall – Grade 1 listed 400 year-old Jacobean House
An extraordinary marriage should begin in an extraordinary location – your venue has to have a soul and you should follow your heart. What you see as you walk around and the people you meet should leave you coming away feeling that you can entrust them with helping you create an unforgettable day.
Be flexible with your dates as venues can be fully booked as much as a year in advance, but don’t just pick the first venue you see. Some venues only work with specific suppliers such as caterers, so if you have specific suppliers in mind you need to check if they can work with your venue – wedding fairs are great for finding lots of suppliers and the venues they work with. Ask about any restrictions and choose the one that made you feel most special and at home.
Finally, think about exclusivity. At Dorfold we only have one event on at any one time but at other venues exclusive use comes at an additional cost, so it is something to consider when you make your final decision.
For a comprehensive overview of questions to ask your venue, read this list from Confetti.
The Dresses & Suits
by Maria Modes -
Award winning Bridal Shop
2018 sees the wedding industry continue to break away from the traditional and give Brides more opportunity to make their day personal and unique.
Wedding Capes are big news and Pronovias’ new collection features some gorgeous designs that are a great alternative to the classic veil, giving you two looks in one ensuring you really make an entrance!
We’re also seeing a lot of 3D embellishments; perfect for romantic and whimsical themes. For inspiration look to Ian Stuart’s Le Jardin collection, which weaves together beautiful butterflies, multi-coloured flowers, Japanese cherry blossom lace, scattered petals and cascading roses.
When you go to your first bridal appointment, have an open mind! Our aim is to get you in as many different styles as possible, not to get you down to ‘the one’ right away. It’s just as important to know what you don’t like as what you do, we certainly don’t want cold feet weeks before the wedding because you’ve seen a dress you love but never tried anything on like it! Once that’s out of the way we can then really start to narrow down on embellishments and all the little details. Make sure you choose somewhere with plenty of choice & variety, that way you can be sure you’ve tried all the options which gives you peace of mind when you do say yes to the dress!
by Adam Riley –
Good wedding photography ensures that the real moments and emotion experienced during the best day of your life are captured forever. This should never be undervalued as it is one of the few things (along with jewellery) that will last beyond the wedding day itself.
It is important to find a photographer that suits your style and personality. For me, documenting the day naturally provides the most effective and emotive pictures. The happy couple and their guests enjoying the day and each others company with minimal interruption. Capturing the small exchanges, the large gestures of love and unseen moments to provide a complete recollection of the day as it happened. Each photo stirring the memory and emotions of the day so that they can be re-lived again and again and shared for generations to come.
Flowers & table dressings
by Bels Flowers –
The essentials for weddings are bouquets and buttonholes, but the sky can be the limit really! Archways, hanging installations, along with more typical table and ceremony decor. Use your budget to the max and do things well, rather than doing everything without impact.
Foliage is huge this year, the growing trend is having lots of green, whether that be deep fresh greens against white or soft olive and eucalyptus tones against nudes and blushes.
You’ll need to book your florist around a year in advance, depending on your requirements, so make it a priority once you have secured your venue. Take pictures, Pinterest boards, dress styles & colours along with your venue details to your florist appointment – they are all part of any good florist’s thought process and can really help with flower choices and style.
by Steven Stone –
The engagement ring is a pinnacle piece of jewellery, a timeless symbol to treasure throughout your life. So how do you choose the right wedding ring to complement it perfectly? The main thing consider is the shape of your engagement ring and how you want your wedding ring to look sitting next to it.
If you have opted for an unusual diamond shape such as a twist or compass set engagement ring, you will want your wedding ring to frame the stone. A twisted wedding ring is the perfect match for these settings.You may also want to add some extra sparkle with a diamond set wedding ring.
It’s also essential to consider your lifestyle when choosing a wedding band – most people wear their band every single day, so it needs to fit how you live. If you or your partner works with their hands in a manual role, choose durable platinum. If you do not have a manual job, you can choose softer metals like rose gold. Sporty couples may want a comfort fit style, which is a slightly slimmer ring.
Hair & Makeup
by Jenni Hughes -
This year’s main makeup trends for brides are understated, flawless elegance and looks with a touch of glamour. The ethos of what we do at Make Up By Jenni is to enhance your natural beauty to help you become a perfectly polished version of you.
Makeup is so much more than how it looks. It’s about how it makes us feel too – and confidence is everything on your wedding day!
This year I’m loving golds and bronzes subtly smoked out with darker espresso tones. I love textured lashes and dewy highlights on cheekbones and under the eyebrow arch. Soft peach or blush lips with a defined but brushed out brow.
If you’ve never had your makeup applied you won’t know what to expect, but at Make Up By Jenni before any makeup is applied we have an in depth chat about the details of your wedding from the dress and the flowers, to your hair ideas.
Skin is prepped and the makeup is applied, and our artists will talk every step through with a bride. One woman’s idea of natural makeup is another woman’s heavy look, so communication is key. We’re all individual in our makeup likes and dislikes so it’s important for us to get it right.
Official Invites & Wedding Stationery
by Knots & Kisses -
Wedding Stationer & Stylist
As a stylist and stationer my key piece of advice to any couple getting married would be to leave Pinterest alone, at least to start off with.
Your wedding and your stationery should be first and foremost all about you! So take those first few weeks of wedding planning to sit down and write a list of what makes you special as a couple. What are your likes and dislikes? How do you decorate your house? What colours are you drawn towards? What colours do you hate!
Do you want a relaxed informal day or something more grand and opulent? Having all this down on paper from the beginning before you even start to look at inspiration images on Pinterest, get in touch with venues, contact a wedding planner or stylist, will mean your day will be a true reflection of you as a couple!
by Global Grasshopper -
Anyone looking to book a honeymoon should consider Sabah, Borneo. It’s often overlooked as a destination but it’s easily one of the most romantic places in the world.
Filled with gorgeous luxury hotels run by friendly and attentive staff, delicious cuisine, friendly locals, impossibly beautiful sunsets and wide – and largely empty – beaches. If you tire of just relaxing and being pampered, then head into the Borneo rainforest to spot wildlife on a river safari and a stay in a eco-lodge or just gaze in wonderment at the antics of the super cute orangutans in the Sepilok orangutan sanctuary. Bliss!
We've made your life and planning easier than ever
Stay on track with your goals
- Start your wedding mood board
- Work out a budget
- Pick a date & book your venue
- Pick your bridesmaids & groomsmen and consider who will be making speeches
- Create an initial guest list
- Book your officiant
- Send your ‘Save the Dates’
- Hire your photographer, videographer & any entertainment
- Meet with caterers
- Find your dress
- Buy the wedding rings
- Meet with florists to look for options
- Start planning the honeymoon
- Choose your bridesmaids’ dresses
- Find the groom’s suit
- Sort the groomsmen’s suits
- Organise wedding transport
- Trial the hairdresser & makeup artist
- Send out your invitations
- Book a rehearsal ceremony and dinner
- Follow up on RSVPs
- Order the wedding cake
- Purchase wedding shoes, bowties and any other accessories
- Start dress fitting
- Book hair and make-up artists
- Choose music (Add a select a song line onto your RSVPs to help create a playlist)
- Finalise menu and flowers
- Order any guest favours
- Decide who will be giving speeches
- Organise outfits for flower girls/page boys
- Have one last dress fitting
- Confirm final head count & create the final table plan
- Create the final table plan
- Give your wedding coordinator with a list of supplier requests and delivery times
- Create a timetable for the day
- Book yourself a relaxing pamper day
- Pack your overnight bag for the reception
The final days
- Get the Groom a final fitting and pick up formalwear
- Confirm pickup time with wedding transport
- Reconfirm final details with all vendors and give them an emergency contact number
- Give copies of the big day’s running order to the best man and maid of honour
The day before
- Deliver all place cards, table cards, favours and table plan to the reception coordinator.
- Rehearse the ceremony with the full wedding party
- Get a good night’s rest.
The Big Day!
You've organised well - now you get to relax and enjoy! Savour every moment.
Now you're ready to say "I do!"