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How to plan a wedding in a year: 12 months + to go

Updated: Jan 16

Okay, so you’re newly engaged and feeling slightly overwhelmed (but excited) at the thought of organising your wedding. It’s okay! I’ve got you - I’ve broken down a 12 month plan to help you and make planning your wedding as stress-free as possible.

Bride and groom walking in between friends and family throwing confetti over them
Chloe & Dan at Bashall Barn. Photo taken by Laura Duggleby Photography

Before you start planning your wedding…

Write your guest list

You can’t determine a budget or venue without it. Do you want your day to be more intimate? Are children invited (or maybe just a few)? Coworkers? Remember the bigger the guest list, the bigger your budget will need to be - the bigger the venue needed, more people to feed and more tables to dress.

Decide your budget

Be realistic, you still want to be able to enjoy life while organising your wedding. Will any family members contributing? Have that conversation with them, so you have a clear budget and reduces the chance of any awkward conversations or misunderstandings down the timeline.

Wedding Aesthetic

Time to get creative! Start thinking about your colour palette and any theme you would like. It’s really nice for these to reflect you as a couple - it makes it unique to you and it will naturally compliment you both. You can get lots of ideas on Pinterest, Instagram, wedding magazines and heading to local wedding fairs.

Start reaching out to venues

This will give you a good idea of what you like, what is on offer and what styles of venue work with your budget - many venues also to packages that include catering and some decor, which help with your wedding planning.

AKS School Hall set up for a wedding breakfast. It has an opulent atmosphere.
AKS School Hall. Photo by Samantha Broadley Photography

12 months (or more) to go

Hire a wedding planner (if you want to)

Wedding planners are a huge help. They have industry contacts, the know how and take on all the logistics of your wedding day to help it go smoothly. A wedding planner is an expense and not always necessary, especially if you want a hands on approach to your wedding planning. However, if you are limited for time, it may be a wise investment.

Book your venue

First things first, the most important decision. It is the backdrop to your big day and will have a big impact on how your photographs will look and how it looks with your chosen theme.

Lots of wedding venues have open days and viewing appointments so you can have a good look around and ask lots of questions. Some venues can get booked up way in advance so you need to be a quick and be flexible with your wedding date.

Also think about logistics like how your wedding guests will get to the venue - if it’s far away will you potentially need to provide transport? Or is there any accommodation nearby?

Book your florist

Florists also get booked up quickly for key season dates - so if you have your heart set on a florist speak to them as soon as you have your theme and venue. I have lots of hints and tips over on my “When Should I Book My Wedding Florist?” blog post!

Finalise your guest list

Now you have your venue, you know how many guests you can have for sure. Some venues allow more guests in the evening so you can always split your guest list like this too.

Give notice of marriage

Now that you have your venue and your wedding date, you need an appointment with your registrar to give notice of your marriage. If you are getting married in Lancashire you can find more information on the Lancashire County Council website. Your venue can also help and give you advice on this.

Bride holding a yellow and cream bridal bouquet under a summer house in the gardens of Ribby Hall
Anita at Ribby Hall. Photo by Mick Cookson Photography

In the meantime, get in touch for a friendly chat about creating the perfect flowers for your wedding.


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