15. Wedding Day countdown - wedding planning - Weddings in Wales at Craig y Nos Castle

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15. Wedding Day countdown - wedding planning

Wedding Planning > Wedding Planning Guide > Guest List and Planner

Plan your Wedding in South Wales - Wedding Day Countdown

  • This is our Wedding Planner 'Wedding Day Countdown of things to do' Page. For more wedding planning help, click on Wedding Planner Guide Index or scroll down to the bottom of this page.

Wedding Countdown - when to place your orders


Wedding Day Countdown

18-12 Months before the wedding:

(i)   Choose your venue and select the date of the wedding - and book the Wedding Venue.

Check for any conflicting events or holidays.

Decide whether you want a 'local venue' near where you and your guests mostly live, or a 'destination wedding venue' where you and your guests will need to travel some distance to get to the venue, and where you and your guests will need to stay overnight at the venue, or near to the venue.

Once you have decided whether to

(a) 'go local' - only viewing local venues within half an hour or so of where you live,

(b) go further afield, travelling an hour or more to a destination venue,

schedule your visits to just three or four shortlisted venues.

Though you'll initially browse many venues on-line for ideas, most Couples shortlist 'to-view' just three wedding venues.

Typically you'll plan to view three venues and choose one.

Consider how the venue will look when set up for your wedding, with your decor. How does it fit with your ‘vibe’ - countryside, modern, rustic, traditional?

Also consider the season/ time of year for your wedding date - you'll have more outside shots in Summer, more inside photos in winter etc.

Book the venue and secure the date with a deposit.

(ii)   Book Wedding Photographer and if required, the videographer, for the date of your wedding. Discuss shot lists, desired styles, and packages. Schedule engagement or pre-wedding photo shoots if desired.

(iii)  Book Wedding Toastmaster if required.

(iv)  Make a list of guests taking into account the size and capacity of your chosen wedding venue. Not all may be able to attend on the day. Send out your 'save the date' cards and invite anyone who knows they will be unable to attend to let you know (but these are not RSVPs yet). Include important details such as the date, location, and the venue's (or your) wedding website.

(v) Book the Registrar, choosing a time early enough in the day to allow for the full Schedule of the Day.

Fully review the suggested timings on the Home Page here.

(vi) Determine a realistic budget for your wedding, but accept this may not/ will not be your final budget. Costs may exceed expectations as you book all your additional suppliers. Inflation may change supplier prices.

Allocate funds for different aspects of the wedding and allow for more or different suppliers.

Have a contingency fund within your Budget for unexpected extra costs or to cover shortfalls in funds you'd set aside for each aspect / supplier.

At least 12 Months before the wedding:

(i)   Book your Wedding Cars.

Determine transport needs for the wedding party and guests. Research and book limousines or vintage cars. Diarise to confirm your wedding car reservations closer to the wedding date.

(ii)  Order Wedding Invitations.

(iii)  Honeymoon dates - consult travel agent.

(iv)  Decide on bridesmaid and ushers.

(v)  Design & Order your wedding cake.

(vi)  Book disco, wedding DJ, evening and daytime entertainment. Research and book entertainment options for the reception. Consider live bands, DJs, or other performers. Discuss playlists and specific requests with the chosen provider.

Consider additional entertainment options such as magicians, bouncy castles, and even renting a casino for the evening guests etc.

(vii)  Choose your wedding dress.

(viii) Choose a Wedding Theme and Style. Select a wedding theme that reflects your personality and preferences. Incorporate UK traditions and culture into the wedding.

See for example our ideas for themes based on the town you live in (check if your home town is on the list). Start gathering ideas and inspiration for decorations. Decide on a colour scheme and overall style of decor.

(ix) Do you wish to use a wedding planner?  Evaluate pros and cons of hiring a wedding planner. This is more common for American weddings. Do you need assistance or can you handle everything yourself? Start researching and interviewing potential wedding planners if needed.

We rarely see British Weddings using wedding planners. In the UK wedding planning tends to be a function that the wedding venue provides, via its own in-house wedding planners. UK Couples tend to deal directly with all their wedding suppliers. A venue's in-house planner will primarily be concerned with planning the order of the day at the venue, and will not be involved with all the interim stages prior, such as organising and booking your various wedding suppliers.

As a wedding venue we are forever corresponding with our Couples by email, chat, phone, appointment, text, etc in the months running up to their wedding. No Wedding Planner externally is really needed.

Yet we do find our American Couples will tend to employ a Wedding Planner whom we then meet with and to whom we explain how we do things at the Castle. The Planner normally nods and agrees, and having nothing else to do, off they go! The need for a Planner would be higher at a self-catering venue perhaps, or where there are no wedding planners employed by the venue.

(x) Do you want Wedding Insurance? Understand the importance of wedding insurance and what it does and does not cover. Check wedding venue terms and your wedding suppliers' terms for cancellation and ensure the financial liabilities under your wedding contracts with all suppliers are covered. Research different types of coverage available. Purchase a wedding insurance policy if you feel this meets your needs.

(xi) Take your engagement photos!

6 months before the wedding:

(i)   Wedding Present list - appoint a department store to help you with this (e.g. John Lewis). Compile a list of desired gifts for your wedding registry. Choose a variety of price points and items. Communicate this information to guests through your wedding website or invitations.

(ii)  Decide colour scheme.

(iii) Bridesmaids dresses. Choose the bridesmaids dress and party accessories; schedule fittings.

(iv) Formal Wedding Clothes for Best Man, Bridegroom, Fathers and Ushers. Consider climate and time of year when selecting wedding attire. Buy the all important tuxedo/suit for the Groom.

(v)  Choosing the Wedding Rings.

(vi) Arrange appointments with wedding hairdressers / wedding beautician.

(vii) Check you have all the legals and timelines in place with Registrar. Check requirements for marriage licenses and certificates. Start the process of registering the marriage.

(viii) Attend some menu taster meals at your venue if these are on offer, to start planning your menu for your Wedding Banquet.

(ix)  Design and order your wedding invitations from a professional wedding stationer (or schedule the print run ready for when you finalise your full details and menu choices).

(x) Order rental items (tables, chairs, linens, etc) - check what the venue provides.

3 months before the wedding:

(i)   Decide on the menu choices for your guests to choose from for your Wedding Banquet. Select your catering options for the reception from the venue's wedding menu. Guests need to know your menu choices which you will send out in your RSVPs.

Consider dietary restrictions and any preferences of your guests. Finalize the menu you will offer guests. With most venues you should be permitted two choices of each course which guests can select from, plus a Vegetarian option. Some venues only give you one choice plus a vegetarian option but guests still need to RSVP with their preference.

Send out final RSVP wedding invitations with meal options as above. Include all necessary details and RSVP information. Address and post the invitations to guests.

(ii)  Mothers' outfits chosen.

(iii) Choose hymns and choice of music, 'order of service' sheets printed. Send out your playlist to your DJ.

(iv) Start planning your Schedule of the Day.  Create a detailed timeline for the wedding day. Include all important events, such as the ceremony, reception, and photoshoots. Communicate your Schedule of the Day to your wedding suppliers. Let your guests know when they are expected to arrive (before or after Ceremony etc), if not already done so!

(v)  Confirm all bookings and services with suppliers. Review contracts and quotations and make any necessary adjustments. Communicate with suppliers regularly in the months leading up to wedding to ensure everything is on track.

(vi) Purchase or rent necessary decorations for the wedding. Start organizing and labelling decorations for easy setup. Create a detailed plan for decorating the venue. Ask Venue when will you get access to the reception room ('day before' or 'morning of' the Wedding Day)?

(vii) Confirm honeymoon options with your partner. If not alrady done so, book destinations, flights and hotel accommodation. Check you both have the necessary travel documents, visas, passport renewals, and vaccinations.

(viii)  Book hair and make-up trials with your chosen stylists. Discuss your desired look and make any necessary adjustments. Take photos and notes to ensure the desired outcome on the wedding day.

(ix) Brainstorm ideas for guest favours and gift bags.

"Stayed for 2 nights to celebrate my brother's wedding. Stunning location with spectacular views. The rooms are a bit dated but this adds to the charm of the castle. The conservatory where the wedding breakfast was served was a spectacular room with fantastic views....." Read more

1 month before the wedding:

(i)   Follow up all suppliers to ensure everything is 'happening'.

(ii)  Confirm reception venue Schedule for the Wedding Day, arrange your Event Finalise meeting with your Venue's Wedding Planner 3 - 4 weeks before the wedding day.

At the Event Finalise, confirm numbers attending,

menu choices,

seating plans and final

accommodation reservations.

Determine the seating plan for the reception. Communicate the seating plan to the venue.

Design and write up a seating chart / mirror / table plan to go on an easel at the Venue/ Wedding Reception showing where guests are seated for the Wedding Banquet.

Also create place cards for guests.

Waitresses will serve meals according to your Table Plan so this needs to tally with the Table plan given to the Wedding Venue.

(iii)  Confirm details with photographer. Pre wedding shoot?

(iv)  Confirm wedding cars that you already booked earlier, are still all 'on'.

(v)  Confirm details with wedding florist
and confirm numbers for the buttonholes.

(vi)  Confirm any external hotel bookings and all other accommodation for guests.

(vii)  Confirm
honeymoon if not already done so.

(viii) Schedule and attend the final dress or suit fitting. Make any necessary alterations or adjustments. Ensure the dress fits perfectly for the wedding day.

(ix) Write your wedding vows. Choose any readings or speeches for the ceremony. Practice and rehearse to ensure a smooth delivery. Practice your vows out loud or in front of a mirror.

(x)  Follow up with guests who have not yet sent in their RSVP.

Make any necessary adjustments to seating arrangements to allow for last minute changes and inform venue of changes. Complete a final headcount.

(xi) Break in your wedding shoes; comfort is key!

(xii) Pamper yourself; This means nails, facials, hair and massage!

(xiii) Put aside ready any suitcases, bags, and survival kits to bring to the ceremony or reception. Clean and ensure you pack your ring!  

(xiv) Pay your venue and suppliers in full.

(xv) Assemble gift bags.

(xv1) Order custom name place cards for the tables.


Now go to

<<<Plan Your Wedding in a Castle>>>

This explains how we will work together to plan your Wedding Day at Craig y Nos Castle.


Craig y Nos Castle Weddings, Wedding Planner Guide
© Martin Gover, December 2003 (Text Updated April 2018)
Craig Y Nos Castle
Brecon Road
Swansea Valley

See Regional Theme Wedding Ideas based on the town you live in or come from.

Craig y Nos Castle Wedding Venue
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