First and foremost, congratulations from everyone at The Nottinghamshire.
Secondly, and now that the excitement of the proposal is over, the excitement of planning the wedding gets underway – and believe us, it’s never too early to start planning.
There are a lot of elements all intertwining to make your special day magical.
To help keep everything in order and your stress levels at a reasonable level, as an experienced wedding venue in Nottingham, we’ve provided a list of our wedding plan essentials below.
Wedding plan essentials
Planning a wedding can feel overwhelming, stressful, and downright frightening when you dive headfirst into all the elements.
That’s why we advise breaking your planning down into bitesize timelines. Whether you want to jump straight in and get married asap or you want to relish in the engagement bliss for a little bit longer, the timeline below can help provide you with prompts, reminders, and ideas to get started.
It’s worth noting that most venues, even small wedding venues, book out 18-24 months in advance, so we’ll aim to work from this timeline. However, you can shrink and expand these timelines to suit your requirements.
18 months out – now’s the time to start thinking about what you would like your wedding to look like. For example, do you have an ideal time of year? What type of cake would be your favourite? Do you have a preference for a band or a DJ?
At this stage, as part of your wedding checklist, think about the following:
- Guest list – you need a rough idea of how many guests will attend to narrow your search for suitable venues and costs.
- Booking a venue – choosing a venue is one of the most difficult decisions to make and also the biggest investment; that’s why it’s essential that you carry out a lot of research and visits. Make sure you see everything and find a venue that suits your needs perfectly. There is a lot to think about when choosing the right venue for your wedding; check out our post on “Choosing a Wedding Venue,” providing you with hints and tips to help.
- Setting a budget – a budget is essential for wedding planning. Now is the time to list your must-haves vs. your nice-to-haves and know your exact budget so you know where compromises can be made further down the planning line. Creating a detailed spreadsheet can help you to keep track of your spending.
12 months out – you’ve booked your venue, you have the date, budget, and an idea of style and theme; now what?
Now is the exciting part…booking appointments.
Now is the right time to start booking appointments for wedding dresses. Finding the right dress is a long process; take your time and check with vendors on timescales and future booking appointments.
Also, start looking at florists, DJs, cake makers, companies who can dress a room, photographers, etc. Your chosen venue may also have vendor recommendations, so ask for help. We advise speaking to several vendors and finding a team that can deliver on your requirements and a team that you click with and would like to be part of your wedding day.
6-9 months – it’s getting exciting now.
6-9 months before the big day is a good opportunity and time to send out `Save the Date cards. Providing information to your guests about the date, timings, and wedding party venue.
Our wedding plan checklist from this point includes:
- Booking your honeymoon – think about where you would like to go and for how long.
- Registering for gifts – make it easy for your guests by including a range of pricing options and things you really need as well as want.
- Lock down all remaining vendors – ensure you have your florist, band, photographer, etc, booked in and secure at this stage.
- Organise wedding outfits for your wedding party – think about colours linked to your theme, is everyone to wear the same, slightly different styles?
- Reserve rooms at venues for guests – if your venue has rooms available, could you reserve a block booking, setting aside some rooms for your guests at potentially a discount rate? Are there alternative hotels nearby for different prices? Think about how you will manage this.
- Book hair appointments and makeup trials – test out different styles, make changes, and, most importantly, ensure you’re 100% happy with your trial before booking for your big day.
4-5 months – it’s time to work on the finer details.
- Finalising your floral arrangements – centrepieces, bouquets, etc
- Buy all wedding accessories – shoes, jewellery, etc.
- Book those all-important dance lessons – your first dance as husband and wife can be nerve-wracking, but it doesn’t have to be. Dance lessons can help to keep you calm under pressure and fill you with confidence.
- Order your invitations – whether custom designed or off the shelf, now is the time to get these ordered.
- Purchase your wedding bands – this will provide you with time if the bands need to be resized.
- Order wedding favours for your guests
- Speak to your wedding planner – make sure everything is covered and all points are taken care of at your wedding venue in Nottingham.
2-3 months – book, pay, and make those final decisions.
- Finalise your music playlist – and don’t forget your first song!
- Apply for your local marriage licence – this may seem early, but sooner rather than later can provide peace of mind.
- Design and officially order your wedding cake.
- Finalise the wedding party outfits and make sure to keep them in a safe place.
- Think about how you’re travelling to the venue. For example, do you want a limousine, a traditional stately car, or a wedding bus?
- Finalise your wedding script with your officiant.
- If you have readings at the wedding, ensure everyone has these, and they know where they must be and when.
- Post your invites and keep a close eye on the RSVPs.
- Purchase any gifts for parents and your wedding party as a thank you for their role in your big day.
- Keep scheduling your dress fittings right to the very end.
- Have a timeline for your actual day, and share this with parents, your wedding party, DJ, photographer, etc., i.e., those who have a part to play in your day.
- Finalise your menu choices after carrying out taste tests and narrowing down your decisions.
- Most importantly, make sure to lock in all of these details with your wedding planner.
4-2 weeks – check, check, then check again.
- Check any outstanding RSVPs.
- Confirm all appointments, i.e., hair, makeup, etc.
- Purchase wedding dress undergarments.
- Have your final meeting with your wedding planner to finalise seating charts, décor, scheduling, and more.
- Pick up your marriage licence and make sure to keep it somewhere safe.
- Confirm and make all final payments.
- Have a final walk-through.
- Break in your wedding shoes.
- Pack your bags for the honeymoon.
Your Wedding Day
Your big day is here. Take deep breaths, have a good breakfast (it’s a busy day saying hello to your friends and family), and drink plenty of water.
Finally, make sure to enjoy every second.
If you’re looking for a wedding venue in Nottingham, at The Nottinghamshire, we can help.
Providing you with an incredible, breathtaking venue, we provide a wedding planning service that is second to none.
To find out more, contact us today and see how we can help to make your day one you and your partner will never forget.