How to Plan a Wedding


Social Pantry’s Wedding Planning Guide

Congratulations! The question has been popped and the ring is on the finger, now for the fun part! Wedding planning can be daunting and there will be all sorts of ideas to be discussed and decisions to be made but try not to feel overwhelmed. Here at Social Pantry we have been working with happy couples to bring their plans to life for more than nine years and have picked up quite a few wedding planning ideas on the way! From budgets and checklists to invites and dresses, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite wedding tips to make sure nothing is left off your wedding plan checklist.


Have a wedding budget

First on your wedding planning list should be to establish a clear budget to work to. From flowers and favours to drinks and decorations, there’s a lot to consider and budgets can be blown if there aren’t clear wedding plans from the outset. Think about what is important to you, would you be happy with a high street wedding dress or will only designers do? A wedding planning guide can be brilliant to show you how to make savings through DIY wedding elements and there’s no end of wedding planning ideas to be found online. Establish what is important to you, would you rather save on the venue dressing so you can splurge on the wedding band, this way of prioritising your wedding planning checklist will make it easier to prioritise how your budget is allocated. 


How confident would you be with a DIY wedding? This is the time to consider who you have around you that could lend a hand. A friend that is a dab hand with decorating, an aunty who can bake a beautiful cake or a brother who drives what could be a wonderful wedding car. There are many ways friends and family are able to help you out with your wedding planning ideas to considerably cut the budget but remember that paying for professional services also gives you peace of mind. One of our most important wedding tips is to remember that you ensure you have full confidence in anyone you do involve in your DIY wedding. Wedding plans can be stressful enough without the doubt people may not be as dependable as you need. 


Choose a wedding date

Have you always dreamt of celebrating in the snow, or perhaps getting hitched in high summer is more your thing. When you’re wedding planning, the season you choose to tie the knot is something you should establish from the start. It will not only affect the feel of the day but can also have a big impact on budget. Popular venues can be booked up years in advance and prices generally rise in the sought after summer months. 

Does the day of the week you chose to wed make a difference to your plans? Couples who chose to tie the knot during the week can save up to £5000 compared to the exact same reception on a Saturday, with Monday’s proving the most cost-effective. A weekday service could also mean that you can book the first choices on your wedding planning list without any compromise. Just like the venue, the most popular bands, make-up artists, and photographers can be booked up years in advance for weekend dates. Don’t forget to consider all of the other factors when it comes to your wedding planning checklist rather than just focussing on where potential money can be saved.

Chose a wedding venue

You may have a lot of definite wedding planning ideas on how you want your day to be from the outset or perhaps your dream venue is something you’ve never considered, either way be open to what you may find. Just like a wedding dress, a style you had always envisaged may not turn out to be ‘the one’. Consider all of your wedding ideas that need to come together to make everything that extra special. Cast your net wide when you begin your search and remember, it’s a joint decision so willingness to compromise with your fiancé to find a venue that ticks both your boxes is key!

Choose your wedding caterers

Once you have the foundations ticked off your wedding planning list it’s time to choose your caterer. At this point you should have a good idea about your number of guests, your ideal date and the budget allocated to the catering. Many venues will provide their own in-house caterers with some not allowing for any outside suppliers at all so consider if having the freedom of catering options is important to you. A good wedding caterer will be happy to discuss your ideas and requirements and provide you with plenty of wedding tips to help you decide. It’s also important to consider your guests dietary requirements, all good caterers should be able to cover all of your guests needs, from gluten-free to religious beliefs.


Plan your wedding menu

There are many important factors to decide upon before you begin to plan your wedding menu including your date, venue, budget and guest list. It can be helpful to speak to a professional caterer for some expert wedding tips on everything you need to consider when planning your menu.


Plan your guestlist

Now for what can be the trickiest part when it comes to wedding planning, the guest list. 

The number of guests you invite is a vital factor to decide upon when you begin to make your wedding plans. It affects everything from the venue options you have, depending on their capacity, to the budget you need to allocate to catering and everything in between. It’s easy to get carried away and want to invite everyone you know to your special day but unless money is no object you may need to be strict with your guest policy, do you really want that second cousin you haven’t seen for seven years and her family eating into your honeymoon fund!

Sort out invitations

The rules have shifted over the years from weddings being a family orientated event to the bride and groom’s friends taking precedence over distant relatives. Start another wedding planning checklist of essential guests and a second of people you would also like to invite and allocate a budget per head, you can then make a decision based on how much, if anything, you have left over after all of your key guests are counted for. As a rough wedding planning guide the average reception will cost £120 a head.

Once the date and venue is decided upon and the guest list is fine-tuned it’s time to get the invites out. There are various ways of announcing your big day. Virtual invites are increasingly popular and will certainly save time and money but they can lack that special feeling. A ‘You’re invited’ email popping into your guest’s inbox will never feel the same as a beautifully crafted and thoughtfully posted physical invite. Establish what is important to you, again it might be a case of saving on the invites, which cost an average of £8 each, so you’re able to spend more on other elements of the day. There are some great wedding planning guides full of creative and cost-effective DIY wedding stationery ideas.


Keep organised

Make your wedding planning checklist your best friend! You might be the obsessive list maker anyway or more of a go with the flow planner but to ensure that every detail is covered and every eventuality catered for a wedding planning list is the must have for all organised brides and grooms. It should be a working document which is constantly changing and adapting as your wedding plans come to life, but the important thing is you use it! Put all of your thoughts down no matter how insignificant they may seem, if an idea comes to mind add it to the wedding planning list, it will stop your thoughts from spiralling and ensure you don’t become overwhelmed with your many wedding planning ideas. As your wedding plans become clearer the list will allow you to manage your time and prioritise your preparations, and what is more satisfying than ticking tasks off!


We love nothing more than bringing our customer’s wedding planning ideas to life and have worked with many happy couples over the years to make sure all of their catering needs are met. Please feel free to get in touch and our dedicated team who will be delighted to share more details about their wedding catering services, making the catering one more thing you can confidently tick off your wedding planning list!

To let us help, ring 020 8871 1949 or email