12 Steps To Start Planning A Wedding - Qube Events

12 Steps To Start Planning A Wedding

Newly engaged? Then you’re 100% in the right place, as we reveal how to start planning a wedding via our step by step guidance and top wedding planning tips!

Having a ring placed on your finger truly is a special time, and so our very first piece of advice…? Enjoy that amazing newly-engaged feeling, sharing and celebrating the wonderful news with your nearest and dearest before the planning gets underway.

While incredibly exciting, we understand that knowing exactly when and how to begin piecing together your dream big day can be somewhat overwhelming. And so, to set you off on the right path, we’re sharing the first steps you’ll need to take to start planning a wedding.

This will cover the initial groundwork from which you and your partner can build on – with the help of your chosen suppliers – to bring your ultimate “I do” vision to life. Put simply, it’s your how to start planning a wedding checklist.

So, have your wedding journals, Pinterest boards and Excel spreadsheets at the ready as we begin the wedding planning journey…

How To Start Planning A Wedding Step-By-Step

12 step guide on how to plan a wedding

1. Set A Wedding Budget

Ok, we get it, nobody likes talking budgets, which is why we recommend getting this item ticked off the wedding planning checklist asap! It’s a crucial factor in shaping your wedding day and will give you an early indication of what you can (and perhaps can’t) afford. You will want to sit down as a couple to figure out what you feel comfortable spending on a wedding, how much you think you can realistically save in the run-up and whether any family members will be contributing. While it’s not the easiest conversation to have, determining how much relatives will be gifting towards your wedding is also super helpful to know from the outset.

Qube Top Tip – Try to plan in an extra 10-15% contingency for any surprise costs or last-minute must-haves (videography and photo booths we’re looking at you!). Also, be aware that deposits and balances for the venue, attire and various suppliers will be due at different dates in the run-up to the wedding, so an Excel spreadsheet will be your BFF for keeping track of payment dates.

2. Pick Your Priorities

Once the sums are done, it’s time to prioritise how you will spend that pot of money. So, as a couple discuss what’s top of your wedding wishlist and where you could perhaps make some sacrifices or cutbacks. For example, wedding photography usually ranks high as a key wedding budget priority as these images will provide lasting memories of your magical day. If you’re big foodies then catering might rank highly too, or maybe you met at a festival/gig, so live music is an absolute must-have.

Indoor elegant wedding breakfast tablescape

3. Gather Inspiration

Now the fun part of how to start planning a wedding gets underway…the inspiration gathering! From Pinterest and Instagram to wedding blogs and print magazines, now’s the time to get a feel for how you want your wedding day to look. Focus on colours and themes that stand out to you and the type of styling you’re drawn to, be it nature-inspired weddings with earthy palettes, vibrant tipi festival style celebrations or classic big days with muted colour schemes. You could also take our free Bridal Style Quiz to discover your ideal big day style.

Qube Top Tip – Look to real wedding features to give you a realistic idea of what’s achievable and to see how couples have put their unique stamp on their day. Remember, it’s not all about on-trend wedding themes and schemes, you’ll also want to add some personal touches to the proceedings too! Follow us on Instagram at @qubeevents and @qubeeventhire for lots of inspo!

4. Discuss Dates & Seasons

Setting the date is a key part of wedding planning and something your family and friends will be eagerly waiting for you to announce. When choosing your ideal season, think about your favourite time of the year, and what it is you love about it – maybe it’s the food, flowers, weather or colours associated with the season. Historically, April to September has been considered ‘prime wedding season’, but nowadays, couples are getting hitched all year round, so don’t overlook autumn/winter dates when venues could be slightly cheaper. Likewise, week-day weddings are becoming the norm, so a Monday or Thursday celebration could save you a pretty penny too. Above all else, prepare to be flexible, especially if gunning for a popular date such as bank holidays, Easter or Christmas.

Outdoor wedding with opulent styling

5. Get Support

Hiring a professional wedding planner can seriously help alleviate the planning pressure. This doesn’t mean losing control, but having an expert in your corner who knows the planning ins and outs, has a glowing contacts book and can take your vision to next-level fabulous! Here at Qube Events, we offer On The Day Planning Packages, to ensure you get the most from your budget and total peace of mind. Meanwhile, our sister company Debbie Marks Events offers a range of planning and event management services for luxury weddings, with couples working directly with our highly-experienced CEO Debbie to bring together an extraordinary big day with ease!

Qube Top Tip – A wedding planner can give you as much or as little support as you require. So, if you need help in just one or two areas – such as concept creation and styling, venue and supplier sourcing, room design and floor plans or on the day coordination – be sure to take a look at their services to help minimise the planning stress. Our venue styling team are super helpful too, we love giving advice and recommendations!

6. Book Your Wedding Venue

Another super exciting part of starting to plan a wedding…finding your dream venue! You might already have an ideal setting in mind, but if not, take time to carefully research the options. Location, capacity, style and accommodation will likely be key factors that you will want to check. Then it’s time to visit your shortlist, giving you a chance to get a feel for the place and enquire about packages, availability and any restrictions. Also, think back to the weddings on your inspiration boards – does the venue align with your big day vision, and above all else, can you and your partner envisage your “I dos” at said venue?!

Outdoor garden wedding ceremony

7. Choose Big Day Theme

With the venue decided and the date locked in, it’s time to decide on your wedding theme to help bring all the details of the day together. Again, think back to your inspo boards to determine what will work well with your wedding venue and season, not forgetting your personal style too! You don’t have to go all-in with a specific theme; it might just be deciding on the look and feel along with one or two key colours. So, for example, relaxed and rustic with a green and ivory palette. If you need a little help in this area, be sure to take a look at our Top Wedding Styling Trends For 2022/23 blog post which might spark some ideas.

Qube Top Tip – Professional event decor and styling companies, like us here at Qube Events, will help you create a one-of-a-kind wedding that reflects your chosen theme…and your personalities! Hiring us will also give you access to a huge range of wedding decor, props and furniture to project your chosen theme. You can discover further reasons to hire a wedding stylist in this super helpful blog post.

8. Select Your #Weddingsquad

Support won’t just come from professional suppliers in the run-up to and on the day of your wedding, but also from those you choose to be a part of your wedding party. We’re talking bridesmaids, maid of honour, groomsmen and the best man (or men). Though easily done, try not to fall into the trap of asking people to fill these roles as a return favour, simply because you did it for them. Instead, think carefully about who knows you best, will live up to the responsibilities and will generally have your back!

9. Assemble Your Wedding Supplier A-Team

Choosing which professionals to trust in executing your big day to perfection is no mean feat. But with a little research, you should be able to secure some of the best in the biz to bring their skills and talents to the table. When searching for suppliers, see if there are any recommended by your chosen venue or use online directories and blogs to discover top suppliers region or nation-wide. Once you have a shortlist of names, take a look on their website/social channels to see examples of their work and how their offering aligns with your wedding vision. If boxes are ticked, get in touch for more details and to discuss availability.

Qube Top Tip – Testimonials are everything when booking wedding suppliers. These are reviews from previous wedding couples, so likely the most genuine form of feedback you will find. Also, you will want to ‘click’ with your suppliers, so if the vibe is off when enquiring with them, accept that they might not be the right supplier for you.

10. Don’t Forget Legalities & Insurance

Somewhat yawn-inducing, but given the disruption to weddings caused by Covid-19, it’s essential to have the best possible protection in place to cover your big day. As such, we’d always advise taking out wedding insurance and carefully checking supplier contracts so you know what you are and aren’t covered for in the instance of a cancellation, illness, accident or unforeseen circumstances. Supplier/venue contracts should also include what’s been agreed that they will deliver and for what price, as well as payment terms and conditions.

Luxury stationery suite

11. Create Your Wedding Guest List

Perhaps one of the most dreaded tasks on the wedding planning checklist…the guestlist! Your venue capacity and budget will partly dictate the numbers, but then it’s a question of who? There’s no easy way to do it other than sitting down and hashing out your thoughts with your partner. Is it going to be more family than friends? An intimate day for just immediate family and close friends? Will additional guests be invited in the evening? Are you inviting children? Do single guests get a plus one?

Qube Top Tip – When drawing up your guestlist remember the costs associated with each additional individual…so catering, drinks, cake and favours per person. These numbers can quickly escalate and bump up your budget!

12. Send Out Save The Dates

With your wedding date, venue and theme sorted, you can decide on your wedding stationery style and send out those all-important save the dates! Post-lockdown people’s diaries are back to being filled with numerous social events and holidays. As such, it’s great to give your guests as much notice as possible – especially if marrying in peak season or overseas – to ensure they can make the date. It’s generally advised to send these twelve to eight months before the big day, giving your guests plenty of time to get organised – and excited – for the celebrations to come!

Whether looking for a professional wedding planner or event stylist extraordinaires, we can help! Simply get in touch to book a complimentary consultation to see how we can make your wedding stand out in serious Qube Events style!

Accompanying image shoot credits: Photography: Esther Louise Triffitt Photography | Concept and coordination: In Awe Weddings | Venue: Hodsock Priory | Videography: Ed Bray Films | Props and decor: Qube Events | Florist: Gigil and Bloom | Cake: Pink Peppercorn Cakes | Stationery: Dove and Lace | Bridalwear: The Knot Bridal | White dress: Cupid, Cherie By Oui | Nude dress: Roxy, Anna Georgina Bridal | Model: Whitney Martins | MUA: Ruby J Beauty | Hairstylist: Alison Jenner | Accessories & jewellery: Halo & Co. | Rings: Temprell | Shoes: Charlotte Mills Shoes | Candelabras: Stoff Nagel | Candles: Ester and Erik 

Qube Events & Productions

Event Decor Brochure