How to Plan an Incredible Wedding: A Step‑by‑Step Guide

To start off, congratulations! You’re getting married to the love of your life!

Now you’re probably overwhelmed with emotion and sprung with feelings of excitement and even nervousness. As well as that, a big question has probably emerged on your mind, ‘where do I start?’ I mean after all it’s probably the first wedding you have ever planned and if you’re not an event planner, probably the first big event too. 

So, for your peace of mind and to make your wedding journey a lot more manageable, we have created a detailed step by step guide. We know that a wedding is one of the most important days of a couple’s life and so you want to make sure you capture the moments and make it as memorable as possible and we are here to help. Be sure to book a good photographer and purchase guest books; these are just some of the things you want to secure before the big day. The team at YCB want to make sure your wedding as well as the planning process will be something you’ll love and enjoy.

Whatever role you have in planning the wedding, the blushing bride and groom, or just friends and family helping out their loved ones, this plan is aimed to take the stress out of your planning worries. We will ensure your wedding is well planned, according to your budget and something you’ll adore organising.

Stag and Hen

OK so this is not exactly part of the wedding guide itself but the hen and stag side of things has become more and more important over the last years and for many people it is now nearly as important as the big day. The celebration of the coming wedding is more in the focus these days rather than the loss of singledom. Heading away for a weekend has become very common and hiring large houses in the UK as a base is one of the most fun, and popular things to do. However, the range of things you can do on these trips is huge! A lot of Hen parties now include the arrival of a butler in the buff unlike the days of old when stag parties always had a stripper these chaps can bring some real class as well as lots of laughs to a party. Polite, good looking and well trained on how to help a party kick off this is perfect for most hen dos. For the stag do things like go karting, clay pigeon shooting, paintball and more are all common ideas and all very effective at bringing the boys together before the drinking traditionally begins.

The key with the stag and hen do is to make sure it is a weekend to remember and not one to try and forget! Don’t let the people planning it go too far!

The Wedding

It can seem daunting the thought of organising everything from scratch, but don’t fret! This guide will ensure nothing is being missed and that everything will run smoothly. So first things first, get some wedding inspiration and immerse yourself in the beautiful world of all things wedding. Get your hands on tons of wedding magazines, read lots of wedding blogs and sign yourself up to wedding forums. Social networking sites such as UK Bride will allow you to talk to other brides in the same position as you and browse thousands of suppliers… whilst making new friends along the way! Pinterest is also good to give you inspiration for wedding themes and dresses. Whilst attending wedding shows will give you an insight into the wedding world and are a chance to get exclusive deals.


You may have browsed through wedding books, and blogs and have the perfect vision for the big day, however, you need to work out a realistic cost. Your budget is very important as it will be impossible to start planning your wedding without it. It is also important to find out if any of your family will be contributing to your budget, the father paying is less common these days.

Once you have an idea of how much everybody is going to contribute including yourself, you can start to create a spreadsheet. A spreadsheet is good to document your budget, compile a list of expenses and keep track of your finances. The best thing to do is work out your overall budget and then allocate a budget to the breakdowns of your wedding. It is also a good idea to choose to open a separate wedding bank account too.  

According to Brides Magazine, the average UK wedding costs £30,111 and breakdown of the costs are as followed:

Wedding venue: £2,790

Reception venue: £3,919

Catering: £3,959

Photography/video: £1,046

Flowers: £638

Cake: £300

Entertainment: £773

Dress: £1,378

Shoes: £161

Stationery: £271

Headdress/veil: £138

Attendants’ outfits: £436

Mother-of-the-bride outfit: £349

Groom’s outfit: £439

Beauty: £301

Engagement ring: £3,037

Wedding rings: £809

Other wedding jewellery: £176

Honeymoon: £4,413

Gift list: £2,400

So the best thing to do is to create a budget for your wedding and see how it compares to the average wedding budget.

Find Your Perfect Venue

Bear in mind that popular venues get booked up very quickly, which is why sometimes you may need to be flexible on a date. Finding your perfect venue also does require a bit of searching. The main thing to think of is also whether you are you going to have a venue for both the wedding and reception or different venues for both. If you’re having different venues, it is a must to ensure they are available on the same date. So you must not book one unless you are sure the other is available. It is also important to think about how far away each venue is and if or how your guests will get there.

Reserve Dates and Venues

As soon as you choose your venue, you can pick your special date. First of all, it is essential to ensure that you allow enough time for preparations and, if needed, time to save up for your big day. Also, for a maximum turnout, it may be best to avoid popular times of the year when guests are likely to book holidays. A good idea is to check if the dates you want will clash with any festival dates, major sporting events and school holidays. You don’t want to be saying your vows in front of an empty venue. However, it is also important to remember that this is your day and when choosing a date it is almost impossible to please everybody.

Choose Your Wedding Party

Who are you going to invite?

You need to select members from both of your families. Choosing your wedding party also depends on budget and how many people your dream venue fits. Therefore it is probably best to make a spreadsheet of who you want to invite. To make things easier for yourself, group them with titles such as close family, close friends, neighbours, distant relatives etc to get an idea of who are musts to invite and who is not if you are unable to accommodate them. You might want to have two guest lists for the wedding and the reception. Consider that if you invite one person, you’ll need to invite their partner and even their children… So the total of guests will add up quite rapidly! Its always a good idea not to get carried away with your guest list, as it should be a 50/50 bride, groom ratio.


After you have figured out who you are going to invite, you should send out some ‘save the date’ invitations. You should send out the invites early so that your guests can do what it says on the invitation ‘Save The Date.’ Or if you are really on a budget, or just want to save some money, electronic invitations can be used. You can even create an event on Facebook super cost efficiently to remind your guests when your big day is. Doing so, it makes things a lot easier when waiting for replies whether people can make your big day or not.

Research Photographers, Bands/DJ’s, Florists, and Caterers

You are obviously going to want your big day to be as special as it can be, that is why it is worth looking around for the best photographers, florists, caterers and entertainers, all to help you make your day a big success. The small touches are usually the most significant, which is why you’ll want these services to be up to your standard and in your budget. The things you’ll want to do when researching is to look at past reviews, meet with them face to face, or in regards to entertainment even watch them do their work. As after all your wedding reflects on you and your partner, so everything needs to be perfect.

Wedding Dress and Bridesmaid Dress Shopping

One of the biggest priorities for the bride is the dress! The first step to finding your perfect dress is to know your budget. When you’ve decided on your budget, think about your personal style as well as what type of wedding you are having. Therefore, you can find an appropriate dress as well as the one you love. Consider allowing time for any alterations, and so we always recommend you start looking early. This is especially important as the perfect dress may take some time to find. You’ll also need to find your bridesmaid the perfect dresses and choose a colour that goes with your theme.

Launch a Wedding Website

Launching a wedding website is a lovely idea and a great way to get all of your guests in one place. You can get your guests to RSVP you on there, indicate their meal choices, and even get all their questions answered. Also, it is the perfect way to shares photos of your big day after.

Plan Your Honeymoon

Ahhh, the honeymoon…! A romantic getaway makes for the perfect opportunity to spend treasured time together as newlyweds! The first thing you need to do is to put your research hat on. Flights and hotel and usually priced differently on different websites, so it’s best for you to look around and get the best price. Honeymoons are best spent going to a destination you’ve never been too before and somewhere you can fully relax. After all, you want to rewind from all that wedding stress.

Select and Order the Cake

Like everything, do your research ahead of time and scout different wedding cake suppliers so that you can get one that’s perfect for your wedding and fits into your budget. A wedding cake needs to be tasty as well as incredible to look at. That’s why it is worth trying samples and running through designs with suppliers. This will ensure you will get the ideal cake.

Purchase Rings

Finally, you should now purchase the most important thing – the rings. The wedding bands for the groom and bride will be a piece of jewellery you’ll never take off. Therefore, they need to be perfect. You can either surprise your partner with them on the wedding day, or a more popular option is to choose them together.

Ade Holder

Ade is a professional digital content writer specialising in anything from motoring and lifestyle to science, health and business too! With years of experience working in a range of sectors Ade simply loves to write! Always in the process of working up new content, Ade is spreading positivity daily at Your Coffee Break Magazine and in other publications online such as Fine Magazine and Archant Life.