How long does it take to plan a wedding?

08 February 2024

So, you’ve just got engaged - congratulations! Getting engaged signals the next level of commitment in your relationship and is an exciting time for most couples. However, when thinking about planning your big day, it can be a little overwhelming.  Whether you’re looking for a big celebration or something more intimate, it’s important you allow an adequate amount of time to plan your big day.

How long does it usually take to plan a wedding?

For most couples, it takes between 12-18 months to plan a local wedding or between 18-24 months for a destination wedding. Determining the right amount of time to plan a wedding is similar to asking how long is a piece of string - it can depend on several factors. Some couples prefer to elope after just a few weeks of engagement, whereas others can spend years planning every detail. For most couples, the amount of time it would take to plan a wedding depends on the venue availability. Here at Eastnor Castle, we recommend booking your wedding between 6-18 montha, allowing you ample time to plan your special day.

What to do first when planning a wedding?

After you first get engaged, it’s important to discuss what you and your partner want out of your wedding, including the theme and feel of the wedding. You should also put together a rough guest list of who you’d like to invite. This initial discussion is arguably the most important part of planning your wedding, as it influences your budget and determines what type of suppliers and venue will be best suited for your big day.

Book your wedding venue

Before you start planning any other aspect of your wedding you should choose your wedding venue. There are plenty of wedding directory sites like Hitched and Coco Weddings, to help you shortlist potential venues.

It’s important to visit potential venues if you can, so you can visualise your wedding day and ask any questions. Booking a showround at Eastnor Castle is incredibly quick and easy -  select a date and time that suits your schedule, and our wedding planner, Hayley, will be happy to give you a full tour, along with plenty of insider knowledge about hosting your wedding day at Eastnor Castle.

It’s also worth discussing what type of ceremony you want. For example, if you want to have a Church wedding, you may be required to attend services in the area for a specific amount of time before you can be married there. At Eastnor Castle, we offer a variety of wedding ceremonies – from civil ceremonies and church services to outdoor weddings - so you can say ‘I do’ in the stunning setting you’ve always dreamed of.

If you have a particular wedding date in mind for your special day, you should enquire about availability before you view potential venues. If you haven’t got a particular day in mind, consider your preferred season and day of the week before discussing what a typical wedding looks like at that time of year at your venue.

Booking your wedding venue secures your wedding date and can also put you in contact with other suppliers.   

Send Save the Dates

Once you have your wedding venue secured, you can start sending your save the dates to your invite list. Your save the dates can be sent well in advance to ensure that all your loved ones keep the day free and book time off work if needed. If you’re having a child-free wedding, it’s also important that you give your guests time to arrange child care.

If you’re planning a destination wedding, you might want to give more notice for your save the dates so that your guest list has enough time to make travel arrangements.

Start wedding dress shopping

If you’re wearing a traditional wedding dress to your wedding, it’s important to note that wedding dresses usually take a minimum of five to six months to make. Some premium designers will take even longer, and after your dress is made you need plenty of time to allow for alterations to ensure a perfect fit. That’s why we recommend booking appointments at bridal boutiques at least nine months before your big day.

Book your main wedding suppliers

Your wedding suppliers are key in developing the look, feel and overall theme of your wedding. The most exclusive suppliers are likely to have longer waiting lists, so you may have to book further in advance to secure them.

The main wedding suppliers include;

  • Wedding photographer
  • Florist
  • Celebrant
  • Cake
  • DJ and Band
  • Hair and make-up
  • Entertainment
  • Wedding Car/Transport

How can Eastnor Castle help?

After you’ve secured the venue, dress and key wedding suppliers and asked your loved ones to save the date of your special day, you can start to relax, as most other details can be arranged closer to your big day. Although you might want to keep a Pinterest board of inspiration for your big day!

If you’re newly engaged and looking to start planning your dream castle wedding, come and visualise your wedding day at Eastnor Castle. Book a Wedding Showround with our Wedding Planner, Hayley.