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Your 2021 Wedding Planning Checklist – The Essentials

An essential wedding to do list to get your 2021 wedding planning mojo moving.

Artificial wedding bouquet with macro focus on a gold and sapphire engagement ring. Hessian boho bridal bouquet. Eco friendly wedding flowers. Wedding photography Leicestershire.

New Year. New ambitions. New resolutions. New adventures. New beginnings. New things to plan - like your wedding day! Planning your wedding requires some organisation and we are here to help.

Before we get into the bits and bobs of wedding planning, it’s worth noting that no two wedding days are the same. Couples have different budgets, style choices, interests, beliefs, traditions – and some have been dreaming about and planning their perfect wedding since they could walk. This essential wedding planning checklist is therefore a guide rather than a rule. Above all, make your wedding day your own. Keep it stress free and enjoy it!

An example if you please… If you’re aiming for a boho wedding in the Leicestershire countryside under a tipi festooned with fairy lights at Bridge House Barn, your wedding planning checklist might look a little different to your best friend’s who has dreamt of a black-tie wedding at The City Rooms, with photos amongst the famous, bustling Leicester Market.

Boho wedding inspiration. Boho chic bride in wellies and a woolly hat stepping out of her yellow classic Mini Cooper wedding car. Countryside wedding photography Midlands

First on the Wedding Planning “To Do List”

  • A fiancé / fiancée (quite important)

  • Wedding venue(s)

  • Date

  • Who will marry you? We mean vicar, registrar, purohit, celebrant etc...

Although only four bullet points, they will influence many different elements – the backdrop for your wedding style, guest accommodation / travel options, catering choices, possible weather (summer / winter), time available and guest numbers.

TOP TIP: If you want to guarantee the availability of your favourite suppliers, include them in the wedding date decision before confirming with the venue.

One venue or two? Generally speaking, a religious or registry office ceremony would take place at one venue (e.g. a church), with the wedding reception hosted at another venue. Alternatively, vast amounts of wedding venues hold marriage licenses to conduct the ceremony on site, removing the need to travel between venues – saving time, confusion and potentially money.

Wedding flower girl playing amongst the lavender at a summer wedding in the Leicestershire countryside. Leicestershire wedding photography

Next on the Wedding Planning Essential Checklist

Stop! We don’t actually mean essentials here. Everything is optional depending on your vision for your wedding day. Take it with a pinch of salt! You might not even need a wedding dress if there is no bride (#loveislove)! But, the list below might just get your wedding planning juices flowing or remind you of something you’ve missed.

Wedding venue(s) essential checklist:

  • Wedding breakfast (the daytime meal)

    • Menu options

    • Menu tasting – Not to be missed...

    • Min / max numbers

    • Drinks for the tables

    • Toasting drinks

    • Guest seating plan - Always fun!

  • Evening food

    • As above, but thankfully without the seating plan

  • Confirm max guest numbers

  • Ceremony décor

  • Wedding breakfast table décor

  • Evening music – DJ, band or playlist?

  • Reserve accommodation (if any)

  • Payment plan

  • Date for confirming final guest numbers

  • Date for confirming catering choices

  • Timetable for the day

Memories essential checklist:

  • Wedding photographer (we know two nice chaps…)

  • Guest book

Brides and grooms essential wedding checklist:

  • Wedding ring(s) or alternative

  • Wedding dress

  • Bridal shoes

  • Bridal accessories

  • Make up – either DIY or with a makeup artist (MUA)

  • Bridal hair – again, DIY or with a hairdresser

  • Groom’s suit and attire

  • Groom’s shoes

  • Bridal bouquet

  • Button holes (the mini bouquets on the lad’s chests)

  • Speech notes

  • Write / choose vows

  • Choose hymns and/or readings

Wedding guest essential checklist:

  • Select your bridal party

    • Bridesmaids

    • Groomsmen

    • Best man / woman

    • Maid / Man of Honour

  • Decide who is doing speeches - Remember to tell them!

  • Send save the dates

  • Send invitations

    • Ask for food allergies

    • Dress code

    • Idea: Online invitations

  • Directions between venues (if needed)

  • Wedding favours for daytime guests

Other essentials:

  • CAKE!!

  • Select and agree on a first dance song.

TOP TIP: The florist creating your bridal bouquet could also be involved with the wedding breakfast table décor, venue décor, buttonholes and flower girl headbands. Be prepared for your first florist meeting! Florists are notoriously nice, but it’s worth knowing what you want.
Laughing bride on a wedding venue swing in the Leicestershire countryside - pushed by dapper groom. Ashton Lodge Country House, Rugby. Countryside eco wedding.

Finally: Don’t Panic

Yes, there are a lot of bullet points noted above, but that doesn’t mean that wedding planning needs to be stressful. Give yourself time. Do some planning. Write a checklist. Get some help from family and friends to spread the work. And remember, it’ll be a fantastic day!

Alternatively, enlist the help of a professional wedding planner like that black & white cat, Willow and Rust or Wonderful Events to guide you through the process. Wedding planners are ace – but make sure they are your cup of tea before starting the planning – you’ll need to get on and be aiming for the same end goals!

Wishing you all the very best with your plans.

If you have any queries or are interested in our photography work, please feel free to contact us.


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