Congratulations, you’re engaged! As you celebrate this exciting new stage in your life, you also need to start planning the day of your dreams. From a divine dress to fabulous flowers, here are the 10 essential planning elements every couple needs to think about.
Whether it’s a fairytale castle, a sleek city townhouse or a beautiful rustic barn, the right venue can make your wedding dreams a reality. Hot venues get booked up quickly, so make this a priority – you can’t even name the day until you’ve confirmed that your venue is available. If the venue you love is booked, or outside your budget, consider a weekday or off-peak event.
Search over 3,000 wedding venues across the UK at www.hitched.co.uk/wedding-venues
It can take at least six months to ensure the dress you love will be ready for your nuptials and with so many gorgeous options out there finding ‘the one’ could take even longer. Most bridal boutiques require an appointment, and it’s wise to take a couple of trusted friends along for a second opinion. Don’t forget those all-important accessories, including a veil, shoes, jewellery, a tiara and of course your ‘something blue’.
In the hitched wedding dress section you can search by neckline, train length, gown type, fabric, colour or designer to find your dream dress. www.hitched.co.uk/wedding-dresses/
Before you book a photographer, think about the coverage you’ll need – do you want to capture everything from the preparation to the last dance or just the ceremony? Some photographers specialise in a romantic fairytale feel where as others create a contemporary reportage style. Make appointments to meet two or three of your favourites and remember the importance of chemistry; if a photographer makes you feel relaxed and confident then you’re on to a winner.
Find contact details, images and website links for wedding photographers across the country at www.hitched.co.uk/wedding-photographers/
Contemporary, retro or traditional, stationery sets the tone the minute your “save-the-date” card lands on the doormat. Once you’ve let your guests know the all-important date, invitations should be sent out two to three months before the wedding. Remember to tie-in the look and feel of the wedding across all your stationery including evening invitations, RSVP cards, order of service, menu cards, place settings and table plans.
For a huge selection of stationery suppliers visit www.hitched.co.uk/wedding-stationery/
Wedding day transport could involve anything from a classic limo to an old-school red bus, a London-style taxi, a boat or even a helicopter. When it comes to planning a smooth running day, transport for the bride is just the beginning; think about how the groom and the rest of the wedding party will arrive, and whether guests need help getting from one venue to the next.
Search for your dream wedding car supplier or narrow your search by region at www.hitched.co.uk/wedding-cars/
As well as the bride’s bouquet, you’ll need to organise corsages for special guests, mini bouquets for the flower girls, buttonholes for the groomsmen and possibly arrangements for your ceremony and reception. A great florist can create anything from romantic floral canopies to dramatic table decorations – so let your imagination run wild. Start making floral inquiries about six to eight months before the big day.
Use the hitched florist directory to find a florist near you or your venue www.hitched.co.uk/wedding-florist/
The wedding cake is a focal part of your day so finding a baker around six months before the wedding gives you plenty of planning time. Once you’ve agreed on flavours, tiers and decorations, talk to the venue about the logistics of delivering, storing, presenting and serving your wonderful wedding cake.
Find an amazing wedding cake supplier in the comprehensive hitched cakes directory www.hitched.co.uk/wedding-cakes/
- Hair & Beauty
Perfect hair and make-up will make you feel really special on your big day, so reserve time for a trial or two in the weeks leading up to your wedding. Collect magazine pages and website images of styles you love and take them along when you meet your hair and make-up professional; it’s much easier than trying to describe what you want. The hitched hair inspiration galleries and scrapbook application will be really useful at this stage of your wedding planning.
Look for a local hair and beauty expert or search for the very best in the country at www.hitched.co.uk/wedding-beauty-hair-make-up/
Do you fancy having a musician at your ceremony? Or a magician to keep guests entertained while you have your photographs taken? And would a band or DJ set your reception apart? Think about the mood you want to create and start your search early - the best entertainers are booked up months in advance.
Search for wedding singers, magicians, caricaturists, DJs and many more in the hitched wedding entertainment suppliers directory www.hitched.co.uk/wedding-entertainment/
After all your hard wedding work, you deserve a fabulous honeymoon - but don’t leave the booking too far down your to-do list! Plan a honeymoon for shortly after your wedding date to keep the celebration going, and if you’re thinking of setting up a honeymoon gift list, make sure the company you pick offers the kind of break you’re dreaming of.
For hundreds of inspirational honeymoon ideas head over to dedicated honeymoon section on hitched.co.uk www.hitched.co.uk/honeymoon/