How To Plan A Wedding: Ten Top Tips


Hello again and erm, how and when did this become my last feature of 2016?! I honestly can’t believe how quickly this year has flown by!

Before we all kick back and enjoy some downtime over the holiday season, I thought I’d get in early with some wedding planning New Year resolutions that you need to make right now.  In fact, if you can start on these as soon as possible, by the time that January rolls around, your wedding preparations will be in very healthy place for the year ahead.

1. Put an end to procrastination

If you’ve been holding off making decisions, whether it’s as a result of not having enough time, wanting to make sure that you’re 100% making the right choices, or over-researching to the point where you have too many options to choose from then now’s the time to be decisive – DON’T let decisions drag on into 2017.

Trust me, you’ll feel so much more relaxed over the break if you know that you’ve managed to secure your suppliers and that the most crucial items are ticked off your to-do list.  So, instead of procrastinating, trust yourself and be decisive.  And, once you’ve made a decision, tick it off your to-do list and DON’T revisit it.

2. Edit your style

If you’re fortunate enough to have a lengthy festive break, then try to use the time to do a little editing.  Review your Pinterest boards and check that everything you’ve saved still fits with your wedding style.

It’s totally normal for ideas to develop and plans to change so now’s the perfect time to double check that whatever you’re working from (and possibly sending out to your suppliers) represents where you are now, not just what you loved when you first got engaged.  Once you’ve done this, you’re all set and ready for the next resolution…

3. Take advantage of the seasonal sales

Obviously, there are sales aplenty over the holidays and it’s a great time to pick up some bargains as long as you know that everything you’re buying will work with your wedding and edited wedding style. There are often great offers on champagne and other beverages at this time of year so think ahead if you can.  Also, keep an eye open for decorative reductions and sample sales at wedding boutiques too.

4. Friends & Family

We all spend a lot of time with friends and family during December so when everyone’s happy and relaxed, why not drop in a little wedding chat?  If you’ve asked loved ones for any help, or if they’ve offered to give it, now’s the time to talk them through what you might need or how they can get involved.  Also, confirm dates for important events such as fittings or pre-wedding parties – diaries will start filling up come the New Year and most people love to have things to look forward to.

5. Review your budget

I know that thinking about budgets isn’t the most thrilling task but NOW is the perfect time to review where you are, what you’ve spent and what’s left to spend.  If you’ve gone over budget then you absolutely need to know and the sooner you find out, the less of a problem it could end up being.  Take heart from the fact that for most of us, January is a super frugal month anyway so it’s the ideal opportunity to start saving.

6. Be honest with yourself

It’s time for a little bit of tough (self) love!  If anything’s been bothering you or if you know something’s not quite right, confront it head on rather than hiding behind the happiness of the season.  So, if you’ve found wedding planning in 2016 stressful, then I’d urge you to reassess what you’re doing.  Is your planning style working for you? What can you change to make things easier? What do you need to delegate to relieve the pressure?

It might mean that you need to be strict with yourself to set aside certain times for wedding planning rather than allowing it to eat into every evening and weekend or you may need to bite the bullet and ask for help.  PLEASE don’t let any negativity or worry follow you into 2017.

Similarly, if you’re having wobbles about any of your suppliers or you’re wondering if you’ve made the right decisions, you need to look at these areas now.  You essentially have two options – resolve to change whatever you’re concerned about (and that might mean telling a supplier you’ve changed your mind about working with them) OR let it go and move forwards positively.  Bringing baggage with you into the New Year won’t solve anything and there’s every possibility that the closer you get to your wedding, the harder it’ll become to rectify those areas that you’re really not happy with.

7. Get date specific

Weddings really do have a habit of arriving much sooner than you think, so get date specific now.  Stop telling people (and yourself!) that your wedding is ‘next year’ because next year really will be here before you know it.  Instead, make a point of saying that your wedding is in five months, six months, seven months (you get the drift!) time.  Trust me when I tell you that making it clear how much time you’ve got left really concentrates the mind when it comes to getting things done.

8. Beware of the Christmas post

The postal system is always groaning at this time of year with deliveries, Christmas cards, online orders and so much more.  However tempting it might be to send out invitations (or save the dates), now isn’t the best time to do it for the simple reason that your beautiful stationery will probably get mixed up with the excitement of the Christmas post.  Instead, send everything out in January when the postal system has recovered and everyone will love to receive something cheerful in the mail.  Your invitation could be the perfect antidote to those post-Christmas blues.

9. Show your suppliers some love

I’m going to put in a little plea on behalf of your wedding suppliers because we’re looking forward to our holidays too.  Whilst some wedding pros work a little over Christmas, most of us take a break so that we can spend some quality time with the family and friends that we’ve neglected dreadfully during the rest of the year.  So, when you put your out-of-office on and kickback for a week or so, remember that a lot of wedding suppliers will be doing exactly the same.

Use November and the first week in December to connect with any suppliers that you’ve not spoken to for a while.  This is always a healthy thing to do, especially if your plans or thoughts have changed.  Arrange any pre-wedding meetings now and if anything’s outstanding, try to deal with it before the break.

It’s also really tempting to use your time off to plan your wedding and that’s totally understandable.  However, please don’t expect the usual speedy response from suppliers between Christmas and New Year – they’re probably enjoying their downtime from work as much as you are and I can promise you that normal service will be resumed in January.

10. Remember why you’re getting married

Sometimes, in the midst of busy lives, it’s easy to lose sight a little of why you’re getting married.  We can also sometimes be guilty of working really hard in the run up to Christmas, cramming loads of social activities into our diaries and generally operating at a frantic speed.  Use your break to slow down, to take stock, to be a couple and to do all the things that make you happy.

Love this time of year and most importantly, love being loved by someone who’s asked you to spend the rest of your life with them.

Love Kat x


Image by Libby Christensen


Katrina View all Katrina's articles

I’m a planner, strategist, designer, thinker, doer, perfectionist, artist, creative, partner, friend, and I’m passionate about supporting the incredible community of Love My Dress readers by sharing my knowledge of weddings and wedding planning via regular, HONEST and practical planning features. As part of the Love My Dress team, I love having the opportunity to explore different aspects of wedding planning and since 2015 have covered everything from learning how to embrace imperfection to pressures, worries and wobbles. You can find out more about who I am, what I do, my style, my approach, and the wedding planning support services I offer at Katrina Otter Weddings.

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