Finding A Venue To Your Wedding Day!
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. Follow our step-by-step timeline over 12 months with all the main things you need to do ahead of your wedding day. There is also a helpful list of questions to ask your wedding venue and practical tips for essential items to pack in your bag on your wedding day. Every wedding is different and not everything on this wedding planning checklist may be applicable to you and your partner but it has 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 wedding venue 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 wedding planning ideas, read our Tips To Manage Your Dry Hire Wedding blog post!
Book you wedding venue, book a registrar and if required, book accommodation (read our Wedding FAQ’s for more on this)
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 wedding 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 seated / standing capacity for the venue?
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 wedding 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?
Is the venue easy to get to for you guests? Attending a regional or destination wedding can cost guests between £350 to £1000 each to attend!
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 (we recommend Halcyon Halcyon)
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, emergency cash, toothbrushes, tissues, wet wipes, deodorant, safety pins, sewing kit, scissors, lint roller, any essential daily medicine like contraception pill, emergency supplies (small first aid kit, tweezers, nail clippers, nail file, band-aids, aspirin, allergy tablets, mints)
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 during your 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
Eat a healthy, hearty breakfast
Exercise or yoga to alleviate any stress
Stay hydrated and pace your alcohol consumption
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 venues page or read through our wedding couple FAQ's to find out more information on booking our East London wedding venues. We also have other great wedding planning tips on our wedding blog.
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!
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Anything missing from the list ? Please leave a comment.