We know that planning a wedding can be stressful at times, so to ensure you don't forget anything along the way, we've created an A to Z list of everything you need to plan the perfect day...
Regardless of whether you’ve been engaged for just a day or an entire year, if you’re reading this article then you’ve probably not yet booked your wedding venue. When it comes to planning your special day, there’s a plethora of things that you’ll need to think about in order to achieve the dream.
To make it easy, and fun, we’ve created a full A-Z of weddings, so that you don’t miss out on anything during the run up to your big day!
A - Announcement
One of the first things that newly engaged couples like to do is to announce their engagement! There are several ways to share your exciting news with friends and family; from changing your Facebook status to tweeting the happy news for the world to see. #Engaged
B – Bridesmaids
Your best girls will be there to help, guide and support you through this special time. When considering who to ask to be your bridesmaid(s), think about friends you can depend on, who are trust worthy and who you genuinely want to be by your side throughout your wedding planning journey.
C – Cake
Your wedding cake will be a huge focal point at your wedding reception, so be sure to choose something really special. Long gone are the days of choosing a simple white wedding cake – these days, you can be creative as you like; from unique flavours to delicate detailing.
D – Décor
Regardless of whether you have a dedicated wedding theme or not, you’ll more than likely decorate your wedding ceremony and reception with beautiful accessories. Plan ahead and check that your wedding venue allows all of your thoughts and ideas before you make any expensive purchases.
E – Exclusive Use
Choosing your wedding venue will be one of the most important decisions that you’ll make throughout your wedding planning journey. The Bijou Collection of wedding venues are all available to hire on an exclusive use basis, meaning that for 24 hours, the wedding venue belongs to you and your guests alone. A Wedding Planning Management Team, Staff and an excellent catering team will take care of your every requirement, so that when the big day arrives, all you need to do is relax and enjoy every moment.
F – Flowers
Wedding flowers will probably play a huge role at your wedding; from the bridal bouquet that you’ll toss at the end of the night, to the floral décor in both the ceremony room and on your wedding reception tables. Browse inspiration galleries, Pinterest and in magazines to seek sensational floral ideas for your big day.
Top Tip: Different flowers will be available in different seasons. Speak to a floral specialist regarding the flowers that may be more available during the season in which you choose to get married.
G – Guest
Whether you’re inviting ten or two hundred, your wedding guests will play a vital role on the big day. Ensure your guests are well in formed about every element of your wedding – from directions, to menu options and where they can stay the night, if they want to!
H – Honeymoon
After all the planning and arranging that you’ll be doing ahead of your big day, you definitely deserve a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon. Flights are generally available to book 12 months in advance if you plan on going abroad. Some couples choose to go on a mini-moon right after their wedding and then plan a bigger honeymoon later down the line. Or, some couples like to stick to tradition and head off on their honeymoon the very next day. Discuss honeymoon destinations together in advance and if you’re struggling to choose a traditional gift list, consider asking your guests for a contribution to your honeymoon.
I – Invitations
Your wedding invitations will be the first insight to your wedding that your guests will receive. When ordering your wedding invitations, don’t forget to think about menu cards, RSVP cards, thank you cards, driving directions, place cards and anything else stationery related that you think you might need.
J – Jewellery
To add a touch of glamour to your wedding day style, consider wearing a special piece of jewellery. You’ll also need to think about buying wedding rings approximately 6 months ahead of the big day. Some couples like to choose matching wedding rings, some couples choose to have their wedding rings made bespoke, and others may choose to wear a family heirloom. Discuss your wedding ring choices as a couple; they’re important because they’ll be the one part of your wedding that really will stay with you forever.
K – Keep to your budget
Your wedding budget should be discussed between you (and your families if they’re contributing) as soon as you start your wedding planning journey. Knowing how much of a budget you have to play with will determine the type of wedding you’ll be able to plan. Work out how much money you have to spend on each portion of the day and try to stick to it as best you can.
Top Tip: If there’s something that you simply must-have at your wedding but it doesn’t quite fit within your budget, consider compromising on something less important.
L – Love
Throughout your wedding planning journey, don’t forget that the reason you’re getting married is because you fell in love. Without love, the whole day wouldn’t be taking place, so don’t let the materialistic elements of your wedding take over! On top of the love you have for each other….don’t forget to love your wedding venue, love your wedding dress and love your wedding style.
M – Make-up
You’ll want to look your very best when your wedding day arrives – be sure to think about your bridal beauty well in advance. You can opt to do your own wedding day make-up; ask one of your bridesmaids to do it for you, or hire a specialist, so that you can relax and enjoy the morning of your wedding.
N – Notice
If you plan on having a civil wedding ceremony in the UK then you legally need to give a minimum 28 day notice period to your local register office. If you don’t give notice within this time period, then you may face the consequences of having to delay your wedding. If you’ve already booked and paid for your wedding venue then you could be faced with an unexpected, and unwanted circumstance on your hands. Give notice as soon as you can (within in a year of your wedding date), just to be on the safe side.
O – Outdoor wedding
If you’ve always dreamed of saying ‘I do’ outdoors then be sure to search for wedding venues with an outdoor marriage license. Not all wedding venues will hold this sort of license, so if getting married outdoors is a wedding ‘must-have’, be sure to ask the question as soon as you start your venue search.
P – Planning
Planning a wedding takes time, patience, money and commitment – but overall, it should be fun! Whether you have 3 months or 3 years to plan your special day, be sure to enjoy every moment of it.
Q – Questions…to Ask your Venue
We mentioned above that booking your dream wedding venue will be one of the most important decisions that you’ll make throughout your wedding planning process. In order to make this a more enjoyable experience, be sure to go to your venue viewings armed with questions that you feel are important to you as a couple. To save you time and help you along the way, be sure to read our article on questions to ask your wedding venue – before you go!
R – Registry for Wedding Gifts
Your wedding guests will want to buy you a wedding gift, so choosing a high street specialist, a travel agent or a charity to register with is important. Be sure to mention your gift list registry details on your wedding invitations and don’t forget to order thank you cards in your stationery order so that you can thank your friends and family afterwards.
S – Suite...as in Bridal Suite
At Bijou Wedding Venues we’re known for having incredibly beautiful bridal suites. We believe that it’s important to get ready for your wedding in an ultra luxurious setting, as much as we believe how appreciative you’ll be when you drift up to bed after your incredible day. Be sure to check out the bridal suite at any wedding venue viewing you attend.
T – Transportation
To get you to the church, or venue on time, you may need to hire some mode of wedding transportation. Be as quirky as you like – we’ve seen anything and everything when it comes to wedding transportation; from grooms landing in helicopters to a London Bus load of guests arriving at our wedding venues in style!
U – Ushers
The ushers and best men at your wedding will play a vital role throughout the day. Be comfortable with who you choose and ensure you buy or hire the grooms party attire well in advance.
V – Vows
Saying your wedding vows will be one of the highlights of your day. Your guests will witness everything and the words will bind you both as a couple forever. Some couples choose to write their own wedding vows and others will stick to tradition. Discuss ‘saying your vows’ between you, so that you can chat about different options with your registrar.
W – Wedding Dress
All eyes will be on the bride when you walk down the aisle, so be sure to choose a spectacular wedding dress to wear on the big day. Aside from our luxurious, country house wedding venues, Bijou also own a glamorous bridalwear shop, the Bijoutique, located on the site of Botleys Mansion in Chertsey. If you’re after a dream gown, why not book in a visit?
X – X...as in your First Kiss
Your first kiss as a married couple will be a moment to remember forever, so be sure to have a great wedding photographer on hand to capture the amazing moment.
Y – YOUR day!
Regardless of how many people you have to help you plan your wedding, you must remember that it’s your day. Fulfill your wishes and dreams and be sure to go with your heart when making big decisions, such as your wedding venue, wedding dress and overall wedding theme.
Z – Zero stress
Easier said than done – but if you stay cool, calm and focused throughout your wedding planning experience, you should be able to pull of an incredible day, stress free! If however, you do feel stressed in any way, all you need to do is scroll back up to H and look forward to your incredible honeymoon!