If you’ve reading this, we think huge congratulations are probably in order. Not just for finding us, but much more importantly – for your engagement! What joyous news! We hope you celebrated extensively and basked in the warmth of every second; you deserve to. 


Photograph – Lena Sabala


And now you’ve got the ring, it’s time to do the thing – but where to begin? Don’t worry, this whole thing isn’t written in rhyme; but it is written with years of expertise and experience in the wedding industry, to help you plan your wedding stress free. To save you from spending hours desperately googling ‘how to plan a wedding UK’, we’ve broken down starting your wedding planning into 5, easy-to-follow stages, which will help create the day you’ve always dreamed of. 

Drum roll please – here’s the Gloam Guide to how to plan a wedding:


Photograph – Lauren Elliott 


1. Set a budget to start your stress free wedding planning

We know, we know: it’s not a sexy way to start a wedding planning checklist, but it is the first thing you should do. And don’t worry if you don’t know the exact figures: that’s totally okay. Even a rough idea is a good start, as it can help you start to narrow down certain things like location, venue, and guest numbers. 


Photograph – Claire Fleck


2. Discuss your dream stress free wedding with your partner

It’s all very well and good knowing how to plan a wedding, but what’s most important is how to plan your wedding. A wedding is a celebration of the two of you, so it should represent the two of you, too! Whilst your partner might not have super strong aesthetic preferences (though they also might, which is great) they will most likely know which parts of the day are most important to them. 


stress free wedding planningPhotograph – Claire Fleck


Once you’ve come together to discuss how you imagine the day, you can then work out your priorities as a duo. This can, in turn, inform your budget, as well as the rest of your planning checklist and timeline too. For example, if your partner cares most about the band and you the styling, you know to place these near the top of the list.

Remember, here, to bring to the table what you really want, rather than what you think is expected of you. Nowadays, weddings can be anything you want them to be. If you really want a woodland elopement but your partner dreams first and foremost of a delicious feast – those two can come together in perfect harmony! (and here’s proof!)


Photograph – The Kitcheners 


3. Pick your wedding date

Another key element of how to plan a wedding is choosing when it will happen. Whilst that may feel like an overly simplistic idea – it’s not like you just pick 1 out of 365 (366 on a leap year) from a hat and are done with it, is it? – having an ideal date in mind can really help you get a clearer picture in your mind of what’s possible. In fact, we’d recommend having a handful; flexibility is really helpful when you’re trying to match your suppliers’ availability!


Photograph – Claire Fleck


For example, knowing which season you’d like to get married in can inform your venue choice. Much as we adore our beloved Scotland, an outdoor wedding in the winter months would be a tad nippy. Knowing what day of the week you’d prefer to get married on may inform the prices you’ll pay, too; often, venues will offer reduced pricing for midweek weddings, even in peak season.


stress free wedding planningPhotograph – Neil Thomas Douglas 


4. Book venue viewings 

If you can, we’d always recommend viewing a venue in person – though obviously, we know this isn’t always possible, especially at the moment. 


Photograph – Northern Aye Photography


It’s best to get a good feel of the place and its vibe, to see if it’s right for you. We also think it’s super important to meet the team who work there, to see if you get on with them! We’re not suggesting you have to be best friends with every one of your suppliers, of course, but when you’re entrusting such an important day to someone else, you want to be able to relax and know that it’s in safe hands. (Having said that, if you’re looking for wedding stylists who you can not only trust, but more often than not will stay your pals for life…you know where we are…)


Photograph – Claire Fleck


As well as how it looks and feels, another thing to consider with any venue is: what’s included in the price, and what isn’t. Do you have setup time the day before, for example? Is there any furniture included? These are all great things to know when you’ve seen the space IRL.


stress free wedding planning

Photograph – Lena Sabala


5. Get in touch with your dream suppliers

Armed with the above information, it’s never too early to enquire with your dream suppliers. This is especially true after this past couple of years, which has meant that diaries for the next couple are looking more jam-packed than ever. Alternatively, if your dream suppliers’ books aren’t quite open for your particular date yet, they can let you know when to get back in touch. 


Photograph – Claire Fleck


As a general rule of thumb, it’s important to get your venue, caterers and photographers sorted earlier rather than later, but of course, who you’ve got your heart set on depends on your answers to number 2 on this list. If there’s one particular celebrant you can’t imagine not being married by, slide into their inbox as soon as you want! 


Photograph – Jen Owens Images


Once you’ve got in touch with a couple of suppliers, you may also find that your dream supplier list snowballs quickly. Through their portfolio, directories they’re listed on or their recommendation, you may suddenly have visibility on all the people who are perfect for your wedding day. 


stress free wedding planningPhotograph – Claire Fleck


And there you have it: our guide to how to plan a wedding, in the UK and beyond. We hope it’s given you a good grounding in how to get started on the planning in a stress-free fashion. Hopefully, we’ve not only shown you how to plan a wedding, but how to enjoy it in the process –  because we really do believe you should have fun with it! 


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Cover Photograph – Nikki Leadbetter