Top tips of when to start planning your Wedding

From Berkshire Wedding Planner have a read of when to start planning your wedding based on the season you are hoping to get hitched in.

When to start planning your wedding is a big questions once you are over the whoop whoop of being engaged.  Now comes the point in every couples’ journey where the logistical feat that is planning a wedding hit home.  When to start planning your wedding. There is often the panic of …. where to begin?  And when to begin?

As a general rule-of-thumb, most people start planning their wedding at least six months before the big day. This gives you enough time to book your venue, sort out your catering, choose your dress, hire a photographer, and send out invitations. Then come the details such as fine- tuning your menu, table decorations, floristry, place cards, music – just to name a few.

However, before any of these decisions can be made, you’ll have to pick a date, and this is where you might want to consider the seasons more broadly.

In fact, the season your wedding falls under will probably influence many aspects of the your wedding day.  You’re unlikely to book an exclusively outdoor venue for your January wedding or pick a fur-collared dress for a celebration in height of summer!

Beyond these functional considerations, incorporating seasonal elements into your wedding is a fantastic way to subtly theme and bring consistency to your amazing wedding day.

To help you one your way of when to start planning your wedding read through my top tips on how to plan your wedding based on the season you are getting married in!

Spring Weddings – March – May

When to start planning: September – November

Nothing says romance quite like a spring wedding!  Waving goodbye to the winter months the colours seem all that bit brighter, the sun is warmer and the air sweeter.

However, given the unpredictability of the weather especially in UK, it’s worth picking a venue with outdoor and indoor spaces available in case of an unexpected April shower.  If you are opting for a marquee wedding, you can have the joy of enjoying the outside space around you with coverage, but you will still need to have heating as the nights do get chilly.

You’ll also want to make use of the natural light and lighter evenings, The spring sunsets provide excellent photo opportunities earlier on in the day. This will leave you free to let your hair down for the afterparty.  If are getting married with a marquee in a stunning garden or field setting, consider where the sun will set and which areas will work well for photographs to showcase the season’s vibrancy.  If you are hiring a venue look for spaces with large windows that let in the light.

Springtime flowers lend themselves to weddings; daffodils, bluebells, tulips and forget-me-nots can inject a splash of colour into traditional white and ivory palettes.

Pastel or naked wedding cakes also work well for spring celebrations, and, in regard to catering, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Asparagus, lemon, artichoke, and rhubarb are in their prime, as are wild herbs and berries – perfect for botanical-inspired cocktails.

Summer Weddings – June – August

When to start planning: December – February

There’s something magical about celebrating in the open air; the long days and balmy summer evenings are perfect for weddings. However, with the English summers you can never quite rule out the possibility of rain!

Having a contingency plan for your outdoor wedding is key whether it is for your ceremony or party afterwards.  A marquee is essential if you are not hiring a venue. Do ensure you have the sides available…. torrential rain and flooding has been seen in July.  If are marrying at venue with an open terrace for the ceremony for example, ensure there is some indoor access and a backup room available to use.

Of course, peak season can also mean limited availability, so it’s best to book early.  Liaise with caterers if you’re thinking about less conventional food and drink. Popular options in the summer are BBQs, street food stations, al fresco dining. If you’re heading outside, research durable décor and tableware.

If you love big, bold hues, now’s your chance to embrace them. Vibrant yellows, fabulous fuchsias, sky blues – the world is your technicolour oyster!  Alternatively, you could add an element of the tropical to your wedding floristry. Anthurium, orchids, protea, and palm leaves to give a contemporary twist to floral backdrops.

For food and drink, choose light and fresh.  But do be careful when selecting desserts. Ice creams, tempting as they are, aren’t always the most practical for large parties (beware the melt!). Consider chilled desserts such as cheesecakes or panna cotta instead.

Autumn Weddings – September – November

When to start planning: March – May

The evenings are drawing in and there’s a chill in the air.

Autumn is one of the most visually arresting times of the year.  From golden evening light to fiery foliage, if you can incorporate outdoor elements into your day, you will have the most wonderful natural “set” at your disposal for photographs.

Venues with terraces or courtyards offer a good middle ground. This will allow you to step outside to make the most of the light and colours, whilst reserving indoor spaces for the ceremony and party.

When setting up a marquee do consider the view and backdrop so that you work with your surroundings best features.

It’s also useful to have back-ups for the weather.  Keeping heaters and air coolers (you can’t rule out a September heatwave!) on hand will be invaluable with fluctuating temperatures.

The time of year also lends itself to fireworks and sparklers which can add a delightful touch. Just ensure your venue has an open space large enough to accommodate them. If at home in a marquee, ensure you have warned your neighbours.

Autumn conjures up the thoughts of being cosy and warm.  Use the darker evenings to your advantage and play with fairy lights and soft, rustic furnishings.  Bring the outside in with your floristry and déc. Use russet garlands, place cards tied to pinecones – perhaps strewn leaves instead of rose petals. The season also gives you free reign to indulge in the richest colours. Don’t be afraid to experiment with metallics, as golds and coppers make wonderful accents for autumn wedding.

Autumn catering comes into its own as it is harvest season.  Think of all the wonderful foods that coming to their prime that caterers can use, pumpkins in pasta, apple tarts, blackberry bakewells, spiced cinnamon pastries and warming squash soups.  

Winter Weddings – December – February

When to start planning: June – August

When you’re planning a winter wedding one of the first considerations to remember is that that a venue or a garden will look very different during the summer (when you’re likely to be looking at potential locations).  

Viewing your chosen space towards the end of the day – or better yet, when the sun’s gone down – might give you a better idea of what the venue will look like in the colder months. If this isn’t possible, ask for a virtual tour or photos of the space from previous seasonal celebrations.

Additionally, you might want to consider keeping your ceremony and reception in the same location. This will save guests travelling between two venues.  Do remember to check your venue has a license. It’s also worth factoring in transport links. Whilst a country house in a far-flung nook of rural England feels romantic, in heavy rain or even snow and ice can result in you and your guests struggling with logistics. Traffic and horrendous driving conditions can cause delays to proceedings.

Marquee wedding are very possible in the winter and do make for a truly romantic look with pretty lighting and florals. But they do add to the planning logistics.  Consider that frozen ground can make it hard to knock in marquee pegs, running water through hosepipes for the caterers can freeze, the heating will need to be on for a good day before the big day… just a few factors to remember.

For winter weddings, candles and tealights can create an ambiance unmatched by overhead lighting,   Do check with venues, and in churches if naked flames are allowed. LED flicker candles are still highly effective and give off the same vibe.

Whilst the season might conjure images of bare trees and empty flower beds, fear not – holly, ivy, and snowdrops are readily available, and make for some truly beautiful wedding florals.

With regards the menu think about winter roasts, mulled wine and hot cocoa will go down with your guests!

If your wedding is near Christmas everyone enjoys having some festive elements incorporated into the wedding day. These could be as simple as including a few Christmas songs in your party playlist or form the whole framework for your wedding theme. If Christmas is your favourite time of year, why not go the whole hog with crackers, bauble table decorations and a multi-tiered Christmas cake centrepiece?

So when will you start planning?

Whichever season you choose for your wedding it will be your special day. Every season has its own joy to give.  If you need help with when to start planning your wedding day please do be in contact.

Setting a wedding date. How to choose your wedding date.