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Wedding Planning Essentials

Wedding Planning Essentials

Twenty tabs open on your laptop, your phone constantly pinging, Post-Its all over the kitchen table? Congratulations – you must be planning a wedding! It’s such an exciting time; however, wedding planning comes with a lot of logistics and it can all seem a bit daunting. At Willington Hall, we’ve been planning weddings for years, and naturally, we’ve learnt a lot along the way. It’s easy to get bogged down in the details when you’re planning your big day, and this is what makes it stressful. Shut down those (other) tabs, while we share with you our tips for fuss-free wedding planning.

Based on our experience, here are the wedding planning essentials.

What sort of Wedding do you want?

Summer lawn or winter fireplace? Hundreds of guests, or just your favourite friends? Is it in the day, or in the evening, do you want a party or a barbecue? It’s important to think this through early on, as this determines the venue and date. We understand that every wedding has a budget, however, a gorgeous wedding doesn’t have to cost a fortune, especially if you plan a budget early on and work out your spending priorities: catering above entertainment, for example.

Where will the Wedding Ceremony and Reception be held?

If you plan to get married in your parish church or a register office then move on to another location for the reception, you’ll need to be super-organised to get both venues in the diary. Or, find yourself a wedding venue that can do it all. At Willington Hall, we’re licensed to hold civil ceremonies in both the hotel and grounds, then it’s a seamless move to the celebrations. No diary juggling and fewer logistics for you and your guests.

Who are the Significant Others?

It’s really important to let your closest friends and family know the date, especially if they’re part of the ceremony. Trust us, you’ll regret it if your best friend or close relatives can’t come. So, let them know early, and book them in. If you’re having wedding invitations printed, get this is the pipeline to make sure they arrive in plenty of time. In the meantime, to make sure wider family members and friends can come; send a “Save The Date” note or email.

How do you want the day to run?

With the venue and people in place, you can start to add some detail. If you’re going for a wedding package or have a planner, this is a lot simpler as it takes a lot of the legwork away from you. The main things to think about at this stage are timings, food, entertainment and décor.

Timings are important, as this affects the menu planning. Your wedding venue will be able to discuss food and drink options with you. This naturally leads onto questions of layout for the reception rooms, which in turn, makes you think about décor. With the schedule in place, move on to arranging the photographer, flowers, cake, entertainment and wedding transport. To get your first choice of florists and entertainment, you will need to book them nice and early.

Have you found The Dress?

There’s nothing as stressful for a bride as leaving the wedding dress until last-minute. The key is not to worry about any weight loss or gain, but buy the wedding dress early and book in a series of fittings. The same is often the case for grooms and their suits and also bridesmaids and their dresses.

Are you going on honeymoon?

Again, reduce the stress by booking early. You can also set up an online honeymoon vouchers scheme: instead of having a wedding present list, your guests can contribute towards your honeymoon. Or, if you’re getting married at Willington Hall, simply stay on with us afterwards…

Will there be a Stag and Hen Do?

Theoretically, this isn’t your job (hurrah). However, think about the parameters, and make sure your best man and maid of honour stick to them. This can be dates, budget, geographical location – and basic ground rules.

Have you thought about the extra details?

As the wedding approaches, it’s time to get a bit more detail focused. When the big day is about three months away, it’s time to plan:

  • Accessories (shoes, jewellery etc.)
  • Gifts for the bridal party
  • Wedding list
  • Any readings at the Wedding Ceremony
  • Seating plans and place cards (this bit's great, social engineering meets Blind Date)
  • Send out the invitations
  • Book an beauty sessions/spa days/massages in the run up to the wedding (highly recommended)


We hope this has helped you feel a bit more organised. Wedding planning can be a really exciting and enjoyable time: just keep focused and don’t let the details take control. If you’d like to speak with our wedding team at Willington Hall, please get in touch.

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