The Dorchester's grand entrance to the ballroom

London weddings – the ultimate checklist

January 17, 2017

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 sommelier, 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.

Shades of pink in wedding bouquet
Glass of champagne with bubbles

Food by Mario Perera, 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 Robertson, 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 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 24 Carat Gold Facial to diminish pigmentation, brighten and illuminate, boost cell renewal, and giving the skin a radiant glow. 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!

Entrance of The Dorchester London
The bedroom from the Dorchester suite at The Dorchester

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 housekeeping 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.

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