Take the stress out of Wedding Planning

The Kingsmills Wedding Planning Checklist

Congratulations. You’re engaged! After the initial celebrations, it can become quite daunting to think about all the planning that you need to do. But fear not! Our Wedding Coordinators have picked up a few tips over the years. So we’ve put together this wedding planning checklist to help you get started …

Remember, it’s your day. You don’t need to do everything on this list, and you don’t have to do it in this exact order. But it should give you some guidance as you start to plan.

As soon as possible:

  • Set your budget – This is a difficult task. But it’s good to have an idea of what you’re aspirations and budget allow.
  • Draw up your guest list – Next on our wedding planning checklist, we would advise you to write a guest list. This will give you an idea of the size of wedding you are planning.
  • Select your wedding party – Now for some excitement! Time to appoint bridesmaids, best man and ushers if required. Choose from close friends and family, ensuring you will have them by your side through the whole process.
  • Find your venue – Your wedding venue is an important choice. Of course, we would love to welcome you to The Kingsmills, our beautiful Scottish wedding venue in Inverness. We host occasions large and small, and our dedicated Wedding Co-ordinator will be with you every step of the way, to talk about timings, food and drink, table settings and all those special little touches that will make your day unique. You can even try us out before you book, just to make sure.
  • Set the date – Do you want a spring, summer, autumn or winter wedding? Midweek or weekend? This year or next? Check with your venue and closest friends and family before setting the date.
A bride and groom with sparklers swirling around them
The Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness offers a choice of stunning wedding rooms and grounds. 

Twelve months to go:

  • Wedding theme – Think about any themes or colours you’d like to incorporate in your big day. Have fun making mood boards on Pinterest, or old school cut-and-paste scrap books using wedding magazines.
  • Meet your registrar/celebrant/minister – Be sure to book them in early to guarantee your date. They will be able to guide you on suitable music and readings and to answer any of your questions about the big day.
  • Send out save the date cards – Give your guests plenty of notice, to help make sure as many friends and family as possible can attend.
  • Book your photographer / videographer – Now is the time to start thinking about a photographer (and videographer if you wish). Be sure to do your research to find a photographer who can offer the style and feeling of photos that you are looking for. A good idea is to ask to view their portfolio (this may be on their website) to give you an idea of their work.
  • Book your florist – Florists may book up quickly around certain dates, Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day for example, so arrange this nice and early.
  • Find a wedding dress – Finding the perfect wedding dress can be one of the hardest, most time consuming parts of planning a wedding and the photos from your big day will be around till death do you part. Some companies can take a minimum of 6 months to order in your dress, so give yourself plenty of time to find the right one. One that looks good, feels good and is comfortable enough to do the funky chicken in!
  • Arrange groomswear – There are lots of different options for grooms too, whether its a suit, full Highland dress or something more casual. Book an appointment with a formal menswear specialist and give yourself plenty of time to decide.
  • Plan your wedding transportation – How are you and the wedding party planning to arrive? Limo? Vintage car? Or something a little different? If your wedding ceremony and reception are in different places, you may wish to arrange transport between venues for your guests too.
  • Choose your entertainment – A difficult choice for the day, will it be a DJ or band?
  • Arrange any extra items – such as chair covers, table centre pieces and wedding favours.
  • Book your honeymoon – Time to book up the exciting honeymoon!
  • Consider wedding insurance – It is more and more common now to invest in wedding insurance. For a small fee, you can protect yourself should something happen before the big day.
Save the date card in an envelope
Before the official invitations go out, “Save the date” cards give your guests advanced notice of the wedding date.

Six months to go…

  • Choose your make-up artist and hairdresser – ask for a trial if you want to know how it will look as the day goes on.
  • Book the honeymoon suite – at The Kingsmills Hotel you can even request some rose petals to be scattered on the bed!
  • Wedding party outfits – check in with the rest of the wedding party and make sure their outfits are planned and co-ordinated.
  • Arrange a gift list – decide if you want to have a wedding gift list, from a traditional list to help you set up a new home, to help towards your honeymoon or future plans.
  • Order your wedding cake – allow plenty of time to choose your design and flavour and place your order.
  • Children’s entertainment – if you’re inviting young children, consider activity packs and games to keep them entertained.

Three months to go…

  • Arrange wedding and bridesmaid dress alterations – if necessary.
  • Buy your wedding rings – Try these alongside your engagement ring so you can rest assured they sit comfortably with one another.
  • Send out the invitations – Be sure to have all relevant RSVP details on there. If possible, include information for your guests on overnight accommodation, transport, parking and any dress code you may have.
  • Buy a guest book – to record messages and happy memories from your guests on the day.

The day before…

  • Have the day off – but don’t exert yourself too much. Just relax and look forward to the day ahead!

The big day…

  • Have the most amazing day. Remember, the most precise and organised wedding may not go exactly as planned. But this is the beginning of your married life together and nothing matters more.
Bridal Party jumping on hotel bed
The prep is over! On the day, have fun and enjoy every moment.

Happy planning!