When do you need to start wedding planning?

The question of when to start wedding planning doesn't really have a right or wrong answer. Some people like to wait a bit until after the engagement other people have got a whole list and a notebook at the ready the day after their engagement so it really is down to personal preference. But how long should you give yourself and when do you need to start booking things? Lets take a look.

when to start wedding planning

How long do you need to plan a wedding?

Of course weddings can be planned in under 12 months, especially if you're looking out of season and on a week day, it's more than doable. If you're wanting a weekend summer wedding though you really need to book things well in advance. The average length of an engagement in the U.K. is 14-15 months. We'll have been engaged 20 months when we get married. We could have definitely planned our wedding in a year but because of when we want to get married it stretches it out to 20 months. We started planning properly around 3 months into our engagement and started to get things booked at that point, so from starting to book to getting married there will have been 17 months. It really is about what you want from your day and how much you're spending a budget wedding obviously won't take as much saving but a costly venue will take a lot of saving so booking further in advance gives you chance to save. A lot of venues and suppliers will let you book up to two years in advance and once you have a firm plan and budget in place it is worth getting things booked as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. 

What should I book first?

The obvious answer to this is the ceremony venue and that's what I'd have said at the start of my wedding planning journey until I discovered that the registry office we want to get married in only allows bookings 12 months in advance. I'll be honest and admit I've never heard of any other venues have this policy but it's worth keeping in mind as I'm sure our registry office can't be the only one with this rule. Because we're having a peak season Saturday wedding we've had to start booking other things even though the actual ceremony isn't booked yet, which I would not recommend! We're definitely going to get the date we want, it just would have been nice to have the actual legal bit all booked first. So unless you're in a similar position to us I'd say the venue for the ceremony is the bit that needs booking first seen as that's the legal and important part. Obviously a lot of people book one venue for the ceremony and reception but if you're having separate locations like we are then look at getting the reception venue booked next. Everything else will just fall into place as I'm sure you'll have your heart set on a particular venue or venues where as there'll always be more than one place to look for a photographer or transport etc. 

Will planning take over my life?

This depends on what sort of person you are, I know brides with a similar engagement length to me who are busy doing wedding related things every weekend then there's brides who are getting all the important stuff booked and not really doing much else at the moment. I definitely fall into the second category and I can't see things getting particularly busy with planning until next year when we start our DIY projects. I personally wouldn't want planning to take over my life, we originally planned to get married in 2021 and one of the main reasons we quickly changed that to 2020 is because I couldn't think of anything worse than spending two and a half years planning a wedding. Don't get me wrong, I'm loving planning our wedding now but it's not the main focus of my life and that's how I want to keep it. Wedding planning definitely doesn't have to take over your life especially if you keep focus on the marriage not the show for everyone else's benefit.

So the short answer is you need to start planning whenever you feel ready. Just keep in mind that there is a peak wedding season and weekends are far more popular than weekdays. Give yourself enough time that you can get your dream venue and suppliers and not feel rushed but perhaps don't drag it out long enough where it consumes years of your life/

How long after getting engaged did you start planning your wedding? How long will you have been engaged when you get married? Let me know in the comments!

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