Planning a London Wedding: Tips and the Ultimate Checklist


Are you and your partner engaged? First of all… congrats! Second of all… it’s time to start thinking about the wedding – how exciting! Planning a wedding can seem like a really daunting, stressful task. And it certainly can be. After all, there’s so much to think about, so many people to keep happy, and of course, so much to pay for.

However, it’s also set to be the most magical day of both of your lives. And if you’re planning on having your wedding in London, it’s sure to be even more special! After all, London is a city that simply oozes romance, glamour, sophistication, and fun, so it’s the perfect location.

If you’re currently in preparation mode, we’re here to help. Here’s an ultimate checklist of things you need to do and when you need to do them, to keep you on track for having the best day ever!

12+ months before

  • Set the date: this can often seem like one of the hardest things to do, but once you’ve at least got an idea of the date you want, the rest becomes instantly a lot easier. After all, you can’t book a venue, or book any other supplier, or invite guests etc. without a date!
  • Choose your venue: this and the above sort of go hand in hand. After all, you don’t want to fall in love with an amazing venue, like the likes of the Shaftesbury Hyde Park International, to find out they’re not free on your date. Go to your chosen venue with a couple of options if possible, to avoid disappointment.
  • Put together your guest list: once you’ve chosen your dream venue, you’ll know exactly how many people you’ll be able to invite to each stage of your big day. Therefore you can start to put together the guest list.
  • Send save the date cards: once you have your list, make sure you send them out save the date cards, to ensure they can make it. It’s also a good idea to send accommodation recommendations with this, so your guests can make arrangements for where to stay early on, to help them save money. The Shaftesbury London is perfect for this.
  • Choose your bridesmaids, best man and ushers: this is another tough one to decide, but will be super important, especially when it comes to helping you with organising the day (whoever you choose will be responsible for helping!) and budget (typically, you’ll have to buy their outfits for the day).

9-12 months before

  • Set the theme: it doesn’t have to be a complicated theme, this can literally just mean the difference between a rustic look, a more traditional feel, or even just a colour scheme.
  • Book a church minister/registrar: you’ll need to decide whether you want to have a religious ceremony or not in order to choose who will marry you. Also make sure your venue, such as the Grand Royale London Hyde Park can accommodate the type of service you want. Most good venues will today.
  • Book caterers: deciding the food is a big commitment, so make sure you and your partner take the time to shop around to do it properly.
  • Book music/entertainment: likewise, the music or entertainment you choose can really set the tone for your big day, so choose wisely.
  • Book photographer: you’ll want to ensure you have top quality photos you can cherish forever, so start doing your research on wedding photographers early on to make sure you get a good one.
  • Shop for your wedding dress/groom’s suit: one of the most exciting bits! Grab your closest loved ones and make a true day of it.
  • Get wedding insurance: this is so important, but is often overlooked by many couples. Don’t be one of them.
  • Book florist: as soon as you have your theme/colour scheme, this will be a lot easier. Ensure you choose a florist that can either deliver to your venue on the morning of your wedding, or is near enough for someone to pick them up for you.
  • Order cake: enjoy lots of tasting sessions!

6-9 months before

  • Plan stag/hen dos: or organise a chief bridesmaid/best man to take care of it for you – simply tell them the sort of thing you’d like to do, and where.
  • Book time off work: make sure you have a good few days off either side of your wedding, so you’re not more stressed than you need to be.
  • Buy shoes and other accessories: things like jewellery, underwear, veils etc. should all be bought at this time.
  • Book hair and makeup: take the time to choose your hair dresser and makeup artist wisely, as they will be responsible for making you feel like a million dollars on your big day.
  • Buy bridesmaid dresses/ushers outfits: time to go shopping for outfits of those who will be key on your big day!
  • Send invitations and gift list: send out your invitations nice and early, to increase the chances of securing those maximum numbers.

3-6 months before

  • Buy wedding favours: they don’t have to be super lavish or expensive – just a little keepsake for guests to help remember your special day.
  • Agree order of service: make sure this is finalised with all the key people involved in your ceremony.
  • Appoint a toast maker: you’ll also need a toast maker to ensure the day stays on the above schedule. Make sure the person is organised and confident.
  • Buy wedding rings: make sure it goes well with your engagement ring!

2-3 months before

  • Book honeymoon: another fun bit!
  • Ensure all dietary/special requests are being catered to: check last little details with the caterers and the venue, to ensure everything goes smoothly on your wedding day.
  • Final dress fittings: weight can fluctuate in the run up to the wedding, so make sure you have one final fitting a couple of months before.

1 month before

  • Pick up all outfits: and keep them out of harm’s way!
  • Write speeches: and rehearse them, too.
  • Finalise seating plan: a bit boring, but quite important to ensure your guests have a good time, and that the venue is comfortable with the arrangements.

The big day!

  • Pick up flowers: make sure someone else does this for you.
  • Pick up cake: see above.
  • Enjoy!