Forum home Planning

When to book things for a 2018 wedding?

Libby13Libby13 Posts: 244 New bride

Hi everyone!


I'm getting married August 2018 and booked the church and venue today. I'm wondering when is best to start doing everything else?

E.g. Is it too early to send save the dates? When should you send these? When are invites usually sent? And when do you do things such as book photographer, get a dress etc


ive been reading the 2018 brides thread and it makes me nervous because so many people have pretty much booked their whole wedding! I wasn't planning on doing anything else until next year as its 2 years away it seems too early! I'm worried I'd change my mind on things





  • Hi Libby, 

    Don't panic, there will always be people more organised than you, but equally people who aren't even engaged yet that get married before you will.  It's entirely personal preference and depends on how picky you are.  If you have a very clear idea on what you want then I'd get looking as soon as you can as lots of suppliers do get booked up in advance.  I'm fairly new to the wedding industry and am already having enquiries for 2018.  

    If you think you are likely to change your mind, take a little while to think things over.  Wedding fayre season is just starting again which will be really useful in helping you meet suppliers etc.

    Good luck and congratulations!



  • bella2015bella2015 Posts: 1,903 New bride

    Hi, congratulations on booking your wedding!

    You've done the big things like venue and church, I would recommend booking a photographer now also as they get very busy plus you are getting married during high wedding season.

    In regards to your dress you can leave that until next summer, I really would recommend not buying too early. Things like flowers, hair, cars etc could also be left until the beginning of next year. Booking earlier will not guarantee you saving any money which I think is a common misconception sometimes. When I booked things for my wedding I ended up booking some things too early (i.e my chair cover company, which then went bust) and I ended up buying loads of things that I changed my mind about (decorations, hair accessories, jewellery etc)

    I didn't send STD's but I can't see any reason why these can't go out now/when you are ready.

  • Fiona98Fiona98 Posts: 408 New bride

    I'm booking key things like venue, registra (time and date), photographer, and venue decorations  (drapes for ceremony room) asap. I know the suppliers that I want and i want to guarantee I get them. I get married in exactly 2 years today and want to make sure I get the suppliers I want. 

    I would book if you know exactly what you want to guarantee you get it. :) 

    With regards to save the dates and invitations I don't think there is a right or wrong time. I'm sending my save the dates straight away as I know certain family book holidays two years in advance. With invitations you want to make sure you have enough time for getting your replies back and numbers sorted. So I think around 6-8 months before the wedding? Maybe earlier if you don't do save the dates. :)

  • Lexi90Lexi90 Posts: 971

    Personally I think you cannot be too early with 2018 wedding bookings now. 

    I am getting married May 2018 and definitely starting to book- I've done venue for ceremony and reception and photographer so far. My photographer is booked for 3 weekends in May 2018 now. She's super good value for money, which I am sure has something to do with it. 

    I think if you want a certain supplier, it's worth getting in there early. Plus sometimes they will give you 2016/17 prices if you book now. You will be able to book things next year, of course, but you may risk not getting your first choice if your dates are popular for weddings (which I would think August is!) 

    I am sending save the dates out around just over a year to go, and then invites much closer- maybe 3-4 months. 

    In terms of the dress, I have read lots on here and lots of people have said don't buy too early as you have more time to second guess your choice. If you are ordering in new, usually you need to allow 6-9 months to make sure it's in by your wedding and allow time for alterations. I want to give myself time to try on lots and not feel rushed but will then probably order closer to the 10 month ish mark. I think I will start looking/trying end of this year/ beginning of next as I cannot resist! 

  • MrsJ2017MrsJ2017 Posts: 3,017

    I started planning with just over a year to go. Mine is in april so its not peak season, but Ive found that Im wishing I hadnt booked things as early as a year in advance because I want to change my mind!

    So things that cant be changed such as dresses, or jewellrey etc that youre just buying, Id leave it as long as you can.

    Things with a bit more flexibility go ahead (venue dresser, florist etc where you book the company but can change your mind about the exact details nearer the time).

    I bought my dress with 11 or 10 months to go and was advised 10 months is the recomended time to order your dress to allow it to be made, delivered and altered in time. I ended up buying a sample so this didnt matter, but dont leave it so late that you might be pushed to get it in time.

    STDs I didnt bother with but Im sending my invites with 5 months to spare, mainly because of the christmas post.

  • Hey Libby

    We're May 2018 and have booked venue, caterer (designated through venue anyway), registrar photographer and a string band. 

    These were the main things we started with as the venue, catering & photographer are where we are spending the most money so wanted to know what we will have left after those to spend. It also gives us more time to pay things off and I have set savings targets based on our current & predicated expenditure. 

    Over the rest of this year I'll be booking the florist and a few other bits and bobs but any small details and everything to do with clothing & accessories I'll be ordering nearer the time as I have already made the mistake of trying dresses and I would not recommend it yet! 

    I'm not sure about STDs, still trying to decide this ourselves, I'm thinking a year or so before as we have booked a bank holiday so people may make plans to go away. 

  • MrsLMTMrsLMT Posts: 3,830

    Hello, I'm a March 2018 bride. We booked our venue and provisionally booked our registrar 22 months in advance. 

    We have just hit the 18 month mark and slowly getting through the list. We booked our photographer at the beginning of August. When we met with her she only had one date available this year, limited availability for 2017 and her 2018 diary was already filling up with enquirers and bookings coming through for October 2018. I would suggest looking at a photographer sooner rather than later. 

    We sent out our save the dates at the end of July. Our wedding date is the week before Easter so wanted to let people know. 

    Yes I have ordered my dress, but I know I am not going to change my mind. I love it and cannot wait to see it again. 

    It is surprising how quickly suppliers get booked. Since we booked our venue I know of three other couples who have booked it! One of being oldest daughters dance teacher. 


  • Jenni8Jenni8 Posts: 3,201

    Some great advice here. My advice would be that for 2018 wedding, now is not too soon to start. By having a long time to plan, you can focus on one thing at a time, making it less stressful. You will also have your pick of the suppliers which is great if you are looking for the best value for money suppliers and are quite fussy with your ideas (nothing wrong with that by the way). 

    Of course it is do-able in much much less time, but what I have enjoyed about my planning experience was that I wasn't rushed, only 3 or 4 times I found a supplier booked on my date and was a little disappointed. I ordered the priorities in importance and tackled them one at a time, spending 3/4 weeks on each one researching, emailing, getting quotes, getting to know them, and then meeting a few and making our choice. 

    Regarding STDs, I have strong opinion that there is no such thing as too soon to send these out? People book holidays months and months in advance these days and people sometimes have to book annual leave with plenty of time to go so how can you possibly give someone too much notice? I sent mind to close family and friends (about 40 people in my wedding of 70) with 19 months to go. 

    If it helps, here is my list of importance with regards to booking.

    Venue and registrar (you've done this, congratulations!)

    Food if not included in venue


    Photographer/videographer if you are having one

    Transport if you need it


    Hair stylist and MUA (I actually did this after florist and cake but found a lot of the cheaper ones were fullu booked so I have bumped it up for you).



    A stationer if you are having one (many brides DIY)


    Basically people that can only do one wedding per day are most important. All material things can wait until after this such as dress, bms dresses, rings, suits. I always get confused when I see peoples planning threads they have got the BM dresses with over a year to go...! I am planning on getting mine 4/5 months in advance to allow for the getting pregnant (this is a strong possibility with mine!) and changing shape etc. With regards to your dress, I am one of those brides to got mine too early (19 months before) because I was just so excited to go shopping after I got engaged and then got a bit obsessed with my hunt for "the one" so I would advise not to even step foot in a dress shop until the year to go mark! I absolutely adore my dress but I went through about 4/5 months of angst and uncertainty which is just not worth it. 

    Good luck! Check out peoples planning thread for more ideas of timeframes and order of booking stuff.

  • Hi Libby13! I am getting married on 2nd June 2018 and atm i have booked the venue (ceremony + reception), the registrar and catering. The next thing i have my sights on is the photographer as I have been told that they book up early (although we know someone personally who may do ours, still looking around!). I may possibly look at music for the ceremony as we are looking at hiring something special like a string quartet and not sure how quickly they book up but want to be on the safe side.

    In regards to the rest, i'm planning on doing that as and when. I have had a look at dresses but went in with the mindset that I was not going to buy anything and was just narrowing down styles so i could focus on what bridal shops i wanted to target that stocked the designers and type of gown i like. I may go again before the end of the year but planning on waiting as long as i can (me and my mum live a 4 hour drive away so with work not sure when we will actually be able to go dress shopping so fitting it in as and when we can). 

    STD's, i would suggest doing this a year in advance or so, I am sending separate day and evening invites as I have a large family some of which (cousins - i have a total of 84 with partners and kids on this basis decided that the kids will not be invited as they mark up 34 of that number and growing!) are only invited to the evening and i don't want them to get the wrong end of the stick! That is what i am planning and my cousin has just sent hers for her wedding next August so using family weddings as a guide!

    Please do not panic though it will get all done in the end and be a lovely day! My aunt recently got married and was not as organised as i was but it really did not matter as it turned out beautifully (key things i.e. venue, registrar were booked in advance!).

    Good luck and happy to speak further! xx


Sign In or Register to comment.