London Wedding Planning Guide

engagement rings

Congratulations on your engagement!

If you are in the early stages of your wedding planning or need a refresher to see if you have everything covered, this list is for you. Every wedding is different and not everything on the list may be applicable to you and your partner but its been fun to compile and hopefully it will be of some use to you ! If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment at the end.

Setting a date

  • It’s time to think about what type of wedding you would like, indoor, outdoor, city, local, Shoreditch or a destination wedding?

  • Choose your season or ideal month and pencil a few ideal wedding dates on your calendar. August and September are our busiest months so if you are planning a wedding during these months, get in touch asap

  • Make sure your wedding date doesn’t clash with any major family or friend events like birthdays, anniversaries, friends weddings etc

  • Try to avoid having your wedding on major public holidays or sporting events. Have you ever been to a wedding during the World Cup finals? Try to find a date when most of your important guests and family are available to come

12 months +

  • When you have a shortlist of suitable venues, enquire with availability on your ideal wedding date/s and book site visits 

  • Enquire with a local registrar (Hackney Council for our venues) to ensure they are available on your ideal wedding date/s

  • Make sure your max guest numbers do not exceed the venue capacity

  • Work out how many guests you want to invite and how many you would like to feed. You can always invite more guests after the wedding breakfast

  • Think carefully about the catering numbers, feeding 10 less people can save you £800 to £1000!

  • Set your total budget

  • For more money saving tips, read our Tips To Manage Your Wedding Venue Expenses blog post!

  • Book you wedding venue, book a registrar and if required, book accommodation

  • The sooner you book your venue, the sooner you can start planning everything else!

  • Find a caterer, do some tastings

  • Book a wedding planner or download a planner and start delegating tasks

Questions to ask venues 

  • What does an average wedding in the venue cost?

  • What is included in the hire - Full venue and catering package or just dry hire

  • What’s not included with the venue hire - Security, waste collection, wedding insurance, furniture, staff, catering etc

  • What suppliers are mandatory?

  • What is the venues seated / standing capacity?

  • Can the venue accommodate your seating requirements, i.e 120 theatre or cabaret?

  • Does the venue have sound restrictions?

  • Can we choose our own caterer?

  • Does the venue have a late licence?

  • Is the venue licensed for civil ceremonies?

Finding the right venue

  • Are you happy with the location?

  • Does the venue fit with your budget?

  • Can you host your ceremony and reception in the same venue?

  • If you are booking a different venue for the ceremony, are the venues close, will you provide transport between the venues for guests?

  • Is the venue layout suited to your preferred style of service i.e. buffet/seated dining/relaxed bowl food service. 

  • Make sure your maximum guest number does not exceed the venue capacity

  • Think about how much you are willing to pay for food and drink per guest

9 months +

  • Review total budget

  • Send your save-the-dates

  • Invite friends and family to be part of your wedding

  • Follow up with any guests who haven’t RSVPd

  • Review guest numbers and finalise with caterer

  • Buy wedding rings

  • Taste and order wedding cake

  • Book the photographer, videographer

  • Find and book a florist

  • Buy or hire your wedding attire, dresses, bridal party, suits, shoes and accessories

  • Arrange wedding insurance

  • Review budget, make sure you are on track and that the most expensive items are booked and paid for

  • Book DJ or band, any furniture, lighting or production you require for your wedding venue

  • Plan and book honeymoon and any pre wedding parties like a stag, hens or engagement party

  • Buy, make or book someone to help with wedding decor

  • Book a wedding venue day manager to make sure all suppliers are managed and your wedding goes smoothly. Venue can make recommendations

6 months +

  • Book wedding transport

  • Review budget and make sure you have money left for any last minute expenses

  • Set up gift registry

  • Book hair & make up for your wedding morning or day before

  • Give ‘must have’ wedding photo list to photographer / videographer

  • Review guest numbers

  • Send guest invitations

3 months +

  • Send playlist of essential songs to DJ or band

  • Make a wedding day schedule to coordinate suppliers, deliveries and pick up for any items going to the venue

  • Confirm timetable, seating plans, wedding playlists, readings

  • Buy wedding favours or gifts for bridal party or any guests traveling for the wedding

  • If you are having hen or stag parties, have them soon so its out of the way and you can recover well before the wedding

1 month +

  • Check in with venue, wedding planner and all wedding suppliers to make sure all is ready for the wedding day

  • Share wedding day plan with suppliers, staff and everyone involved in the wedding

  • Confirm honeymoon reservation and pack a bag for it

  • Retry wedding outfits to make sure you have everything and make any alterations if necessary 

  • If you bought new shoes for the wedding, wear them in

  • Book couple manicures for 1-2 days before

  • Book anything else on your list that is not already dealt with!

  • Make one day each week or weekend a ‘no wedding planning day’ and relax

1 week before

  • Pack a bag with a change of clothes, wet weather gear, sunscreen, jacket, mobile chargers, toothbrushes, tissues, any essential daily medicine like contraception pill, emergency supplies (first aid kit, band-aids, aspirin, allergy tablets)

  • Print out all speeches. and review the day plans. If required, do a rehearsal of wedding ceremony

  • Call photographer to make sure they are ready, have reviewed your ‘must have wedding shots’ and have the wedding day itinerary 

The day before

  • Make sure everything is laid out and packed for your wedding day, clothes, rings, honeymoon or overnight bag 

  • Couple manicures, haircut, exercise or anything else you need to get yourself ready and feeling good on your wedding day

  • Pack some healthy snacks, chocolate, cakes, pastries or other favourite non messy snacks just in case you get hungry before ceremony, reception or the wedding photo shoot. A toothbrush or gum is also essential for the photo shoot

  • Don’t stress about any thing you may have forgot, it is likely to be too late to sort now and is unlikely to have an impact on your wedding day

  • Eat well, relax and get good sleep

Wedding day

  • Eat a healthy, hearty breakfast

  • Exercise or yoga to alleviate any stress

  • Get ready, give rings to whoever is responsible for them during ceremony

  • If something doesn’t go to plan, roll with it and enjoy the day!

Are you ready to plan your wedding?

Visit our wedding page or read through our wedding couple FAQ's to find out more information on booking our venues. You can also download venue floor-plans and a comprehensive event manual on each venue which includes a full suppliers list and venue specifications.

Ready to book a site visit or have any other questions? Get in touch with the Shoreditch London team on 020 7033 9006 or enquire now to find out more about hosting your wedding in one of our popular Shoreditch wedding venues.

We look forward to hearing from you!