The ultimate wedding checklist
Planning a wedding is incredibly exciting, but with so many different things to consider it’s a big undertaking too. To help make planning your big day a breeze, we asked our wedding experts for their top tips.
Flowers by Philip Hammond, designer florist at The Dorchester
Pick your theme by basing it around a personal treasure, such as a piece of jewellery or a favourite painting. Look at the colours and patterns for a starting point. In terms of budget, invest in larger displays rather than lots of small ones to make a real impact, and don’t skimp on the bouquet! For beautiful pictures, ensure the bouquet is in proportion with the shape of the wedding dress.
Wine by Matteo Ramazzina, head sommelier at CUT at 45 Park Lane
Choose wines that will both complement the food and elevate its flavour profile, rather than simply thinking of serving red wine with meat and white wine with fish. If you’re unsure, you’ll find the most versatile wines are a medium-bodied and slightly spicy red or a relatively neutral, crisp, and lightly floral white. Finish with a luscious pudding wine to add a final sweet note to your special day.
Food by Henry Brosi, executive chef at The Dorchester
Seasonality is important when planning any menu. Once you’ve chosen your date, check what will be in season at that time of year so you can select fresh, seasonal ingredients. As an additional bonus, it will help your wedding budget ‒ ingredients get pricier when they’re not in season.
Event planning by Husna Mirza, events manager at The Dorchester
Sourcing the right suppliers for your big day is key but it can be hard to find reliable ones, so word-of-mouth is always a good start. Try to get everything booked at least three months in advance. It’s also helpful to create a Pinterest board and collect pins for décor, wedding dresses, hair and make-up ideas. They’re also great for showing suppliers exactly what you’re looking for.
Out-of-town weddings by Emma Longley, events manager at Coworth Park
When planning your idyllic countryside wedding, consider where your guests are based and evaluate whether the distance might affect attendance. Look out for venues with great transport connections for those travelling from further away. A few months in advance, advise your guests on local hotel reservations and see if you can get a special rate for block room bookings.
Caring for your wedding dress by Petra Nagy, host valet at 45 Park Lane
After the wedding, you should use special cleaning and packaging techniques to maintain the colour, fabric and shape of your gown to ensure it retains its beauty for years to come. After cleaning, ensure your gown is wrapped in acid-free tissue paper and keep the box out of direct light, which can yellow the fabric over time.
Beauty by Sally Peddler, spa director at The Dorchester
Begin your wedding preparation a month in advance with a Carol Joy London Pure Collagen and Oxygen with Diamond Touch Facial to diminish pigmentation, refine the skin texture and boost cell renewal and collagen. In the lead-up to the big day, book waxing appointments and a gel manicure and pedicure for the finishing touch. Early nights are a must, and avoid alcohol to get your skin glowing for the big day!
Wedding fit by Simon Inman, personal trainer at The Dorchester
With lots to organise, planning a wedding can be stressful, but exercising regularly and focusing on a balanced diet can help to lower stress levels and maintain energy levels in the lead-up to the day. Set achievable goals and you’ll be be sure to walk, skip, or run down the aisle looking your best.
Sleep tips by Sabah Smith, executive housekeeper at The Dorchester
Make sure you get plenty of beauty sleep in the weeks before your wedding with a pampering sleep routine. The night before, get your mind and body ready for sleep with a relaxing massage, followed by a soak in a hot lavender-scented bath and a cup of soothing camomile tea.