Ultimate wedding planning guide 2024

The complete guide to planning your perfect wedding. With over 8 years experience as a wedding photographer here in South Wales, we believe our breadth of knowledge covering weddings from the start of the day right until the very end and everything in between, makes us the perfect suppliers to help plan your wedding day.

For most newly engaged couples this will be the first time you have ever had to plan a wedding and it may appear quite daunting at first glance. You may even be wondering how to plan a wedding? With so many wedding suppliers commenting on your Facebook posts searching for a specific supplier recommendations or being given a catalogues worth of flyers at a wedding fair. We understand how overwhelming this could feel, so we thought not only would we create a perfect wedding planner for you but would also provide some recommendations to suppliers you maybe considering hiring for your wedding day.

So grab yourself a pen and paper, or your wedding planner if you’re really organised!, turn your phone to do not disturb (although remember to wiggle the mouse if you’re working from home!) and lets get into The Best Wedding Planning Guide for 2024!

How long does it take to plan a wedding?

The average timeframe to planning your wedding really does vary depending on the style of wedding you are going for. Are you looking to hire a wedding venue or are you going for an alternative style of wedding day?, where you may not need a whole wedding venue. It also massively depends on the wedding suppliers you are looking to include in your wedding day. Speaking as a wedding photographer, we tend to get booked 1-2 years in advance of the big day.

However, we have also had couples book us who have planned their whole wedding day within 6 months! You definitely need to consider what timeframe you feel comfortable with, as wedding planning can become stressful on tighter timeframes. We would say that 1 to 2 years is a comfortable timeframe if you are looking to have a more relaxed wedding planning experience.

Wedding Budget

Ok so we know this definitely lowers the tone to the excitement of planning one of the most precious days of your life. But this will help avoid any unwanted upset when you set your heart on a wedding venue/supplier to then find out that it is outside of your wedding budget.

Sit down with your partner and decide on a budget that you both feel comfortable allocating towards your wedding day. Then the key is to stick to it! Take a look at our top wedding budget tips for more details on how to become a financial master of your wedding day. We have created a wedding budget document for you to download and utilise in your wedding planning journey.

Don’t forget! Create a contingency to your wedding budget. Allocate an additional 5-10% to your overall budget for any unforeseen costs. The last thing you want is to be at the maximum of your budget spend to then find out any additional costs.

The really boring stuff

  • Wedding insurance – Make sure to buy wedding insurance at the very start of your wedding planning. We have all read horror stories of wedding venues and suppliers going under, leaving couples without anywhere to turn to. Wedding insurance will help with any unforeseen complications that we hope doesn’t happen during your planning.
  • Credit Cards – One way to increase your safety is to pay for everything wedding related via a credit card. This way the company your card is with maybe be able to assist retrieve any money potentially lost during any unfortunate circumstances.
  • Contracts – Not only should you make sure you have a contract with all of your wedding suppliers but you should also read each one and ensure you are happy before signing. If you have taken a look at Our Style then you will know that we invite all of our couples to an online portal where they have full access to their contract.

Whats important to you

Whenever we speak to couples who are at the start of their wedding planning journey, we always advise that they go away and write down what is most important to them. But the secret is to do it individually and then compare the two lists and tick off together what you will include to ensure both have the best day ever.

Here’s a list of priorities for you to consider:

  • Wedding photographer
  • Wedding videographer
  • Wedding style
  • Wedding location
  • Children or no children
  • Big guest list / Small Guest List
  • Real or Artificial flowers
  • Entertainment (magician, band, saxophonist, harpist, cellist, singer etc.)

Wedding style

Ultimately your wedding style will not only set the tone for the rest of your wedding planning but should also embrace your personalities as a couple. If you are searching for a more relaxed wedding day then you should definitely be searching for a barn/marquee wedding that will allow for a free flowing wedding day. However, if you’re looking for a very high end and contemporary wedding day then you should be looking more along the lines of a manor house/stately home to host your wedding day.

Set a date

So you’ve set your wedding budget, have a list of essentials and know the style of wedding you are both looking for. Now its time to start looking at wedding venues and deciding on a date that you’d like to host your big day on. For most couples, a summer wedding is the dream, with beautiful weather and golden sunsets. Thats why wedding suppliers say “Wedding season” because typically between the months of May through to October is where we are at our busiest. With some lovely winter weddings at the tail end of the year.

The date you choose will also be impacted by when you choose to start your wedding planning as prime bank holidays get booked up years in advance, so if you are looking for these kind of dates definitely consider getting started on your wedding planning sooner rather than later.

Start booking suppliers

If you keep scrolling you will find our list of recommended suppliers who we have personally worked with over the past 8 years and continue to work with on a sometimes weekly basis, which is just absolutely amazing.

One thing to consider when you are booking your wedding suppliers is their availability to be at your wedding. Some suppliers have multiple people operating and are able to cover more than one wedding on the same day. Whereas suppliers including venues, photographers, videographers etc. typically are only able to cover one wedding a day.

In addition you should also be looking at the suppliers popularity and recommendations which can be seen on Google and social media. This is a prime indicator to the quality of the supplier you are considering, as you want someone who is getting booked up on a regular basis and has 5-star reviews from real couples.

Feel free to take a closer look about us if you are considering us to capture your wedding day! But if you want to keep scrolling heres a brief summary. We are a real life couple who have been capturing weddings for over 8 years, building relationships with awesome couples and suppliers. Being very fortunate to continue booking weddings up to three years in advance.

Get excited!

You have gotten the main foundations to your wedding day set, now its time to relaxed and start getting excited!

One of the best ways to celebrate this milestone is to have a pre-wedding photoshoot at a location which means a lot to you as a couple. Get comfortable in front of the camera, whilst also creating memories which can be printed and incorporated into your wedding day decor.

We love pre-wedding photoshoots as it allows us to really get to know our couples and also help with any wedding planning questions that they may have. If you haven’t already guessed, we are kind of experts in this sort of thing…

Get suited and booted

Possibly one of the most important but equally important parts to any brides wedding planning journey is wedding dress shopping. So make sure to explore all of the amazing wedding dress shops near you. Just like when booking your wedding suppliers, wedding dresses also have a timeframe from the point of choosing “The One” to having all the alterations completed.

After choosing your wedding dress you can then start deciding on bridesmaid dresses to not only compliment your wedding gown but to also fit in with the colour scheme you have chosen for your wedding day.

The same goes for the gents when deciding on their suit. Consider if you are going to rent or buy your suit. As this will not only effect price but also delivery time with tailoring being required on bought suits.

Wedding day Timeline

The key to a perfect wedding day is definitely having a timeline of some description. This will allow your wedding suppliers to work meticulously on your special day to ensure nothing is missed and/or delayed.

Depending on the date of your wedding its also really important for photographers and videographers as in the winter months daylight really isn’t our best friend. So by having a timeline, we can see the best gaps in the day for some beautiful couple portraits.

Your wedding planner will be able to sit down and go through every element of your wedding day, establishing what parts are most important to allocate time to and in addition what entertainment you have that may need allocated slots, magicians, singers etc.

We are always here to give a helping hand to our couples and have in fact planned an entire wedding day with many of our couples to ensure everything runs smoothly.


Make sure you send out your wedding invitations a few weeks/months ahead of your wedding day to give your wedding guests time to book time off work and return to you to say if they will be joining you on your wedding day.

This is also the perfect opportunity to tell guests anything important such as wedding gift ideas, colour schemes, menu’s etc.

Decide on speeches

If you haven’t already please go take a look at our How to master wedding speeches blog, as this will provide you with an in-depth how to guide on organising your wedding speeches.

Your wedding speeches will dictate how many hours you need to allocate to your wedding reception, with the number and estimated duration being key factors to how long you should allocate to them.

Finishing touches

You now have everything in place and you can take five minutes to sit back and relax. Crack open a bottle of fizz and reward all of your hard work planning your wedding day.

Planning a wedding is no mean feet as its usually something you only ever do once. So give yourself a huge pat on the back.

Now its time to review your wedding budget and see if there is anything left over to allocate to those little extras including second shooters, decor, bar tab’s etc.

We hope you have found this ultimate wedding planning guide useful and that you have the wedding day of your dreams.

Wedding supplier recommendations


St Fagans, Fairyhill, Hensol Castle, Clearwell Castle, Sant Ffraed House Cobbles Kitchen, Tall Johns and Deli, Gilestone Manor


Eva Ashley Bridal, Laura May Bridal, Bridal Studio Pronovias, TDRBridal Birmingham


Dyfed Menswear, Slaters, Nathan Palmer Bespoke

Hair and Makeup

Rhys Andrews, Makeup by Ceri, Makeup by HW, Jodie Sheen MUA


Forever Green Blooms, One Splendid Day, evefrancescadesigns, Irisandwild


Dwynwyn Invitations, Paper Date


Katie Lee Farr (Singer), Savannah Mountain (Singer), Nerys Clark (Cellist), Hannah Williams (Harpist), Darren Stephens (Saxophonist)

Cake Makers

Orla Boutique, Sticky Fingers, Ginger Bear Bakery, Bella Cakes, Centre Stage Cakes

Thats it for now!

We hope you enjoyed reading through our ultimate guide to planning your dream wedding day.

If you loved our photos which we hope you did, then feel free to click the button below and leave us a message. We would love to have a chat with you and discuss all of your wedding day plans.

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