Essential Guide to Planning Your 2023 / 2024 Wedding at Clock Barn
Is there anything more exciting than planning a wedding? We really don’t think so.
A wedding allows you to create a day that’s all about the both of you, and what you both like, want and deem important. Whether you opt for a traditional or alternative affair, this is a day you’ll design and share with all your family and friends. Perfection.
So to help you plan your wedding day with relative ease, we’ve put together an essential guide to wedding planning at Clock Barn, including all the things you have to do and those that you don’t have to worry about.
© The Kensington Photographer
Wedding planning essentials
Congratulations! You’ve booked Clock Barn as your wedding venue and are already well on your way to planning a brilliant day. Here are the essential things to book, consider and decide upon as far in advance as possible:
The guest list.
Write a first draft of your guest list and consider sending save the date cards to people who you’d like to be with you for the whole day. These numbers are important when you’re thinking about food and drink and also when you’re working out your budget.
Book the BIG suppliers.
By this, we mean the suppliers who can only work on one wedding per day. Ultimately, it’s up to the both of you to decide which suppliers are most important to your big day – and to get your date secured with them as early in your planning journey as possible. Think photographers, videographers, florists and entertainment. You might also like to think about hair and makeup artists, cake makers and transport at this point too. Start by taking a look at our list of recommended wedding professionals.
© Adrienne Photography
Think about your outfits.
Wedding dresses can take at least six months to arrive in your chosen boutique after you’ve placed an order, and then you also need to include time for fittings and alterations. Plus you want to give yourself plenty of time to find your dream dress or outfit! Similarly, the guys out there should start shopping around for their outfits too and decide whether they’ll hire, buy or have something made specially. You’ll find wedding dress ideas for your rustic barn wedding here.
Decide on your theme or colour palette.
There is a huge amount of choice out there when it comes to themes and colours so deciding what you want for your big day will help narrow things down when you start looking at flowers and decorations. We recommend starting a Pinterest board which you can share with suppliers so that they can see what you want for your day.
© Alisa Roberts Photography
Food and drink.
Now this is a really important part of your day so it’s worth considering your wedding menu quite early on in the planning process. Think about what you might like to serve for your drinks reception (drinks, canapes etc.), your wedding breakfast and your evening food. Evening food really is important if you want your guests to have the energy to party all night long and remember, wedding days are long days so you’ll all need to refuel. Speak to the Events Team if you need any advice or assistance.
© The Kensington Photographer & Lydia Stamps Photography
Lots of couples and their families decide to stay with us on the night of their wedding so it’s a good idea to make the decision to reserve rooms early. Staying at Clock Barn means you are able to make use of our gorgeous on-site accommodation (no late-night travelling required!) and are also able to all breakfast together the following morning and reminisce about your brilliant day.
© Jonny MP Photography
Don’t forget the registrar!
If you want to be legally married (and we’re guessing you do), you DEFINITELY need a registrar so reach out early to find out what you need to do to book one for your ceremony. Similarly, if you’re having a religious ceremony and then travelling to Clock Barn for your reception, speak to your vicar, priest or officiant as soon as you can.
© Chloe Caldwell Photography
Things to do before the big day
Ok, so now you’ve started to coordinate the big decisions and bookings, it’s time to delve into the details. If the sheer number of things to organise and think about has started to seem overwhelming, these are the elements that you can spread out and take your time with:
Make/source details and decorations.
Lots of couples love to make details and decorations for their day so whether you’re making or buying favours, signage, decorations or table plans, try to give yourself plenty of time and make sure that everything is with you well before the day. Similarly, if you’re thinking of hiring items or a wedding stylist, try to book as early as possible to secure items and for support in helping you bring your ideas to life.
© Adrienne Photography
Finalise your seating plan.
Some couples find this really easy and some find it a bit trickier but finalising your seating plan is an absolute wedding day essential. Think about putting people who know each other together so that everyone can relax with friends over dinner and don’t forget to mark anyone who has special dietary requirements on the plan that you give to the Events Team so that everyone gets the perfect meal for them.
Create a timeline for the day.
This might seem like planning overkill but it’s such a useful thing to do. Run through the day noting what needs to happen and when and who is in charge or needs to know about each element. Share this with your bridal party and your suppliers so that everyone is clear on exactly what you want.
Finalise details with suppliers.
In the month or two before the wedding, you’ll need to get in touch with all your suppliers to finalise details. Photographers will need to know what group shots you want, your cake maker will need the go-ahead for the final design, your florist will need confirmation of what you want and when they’re able to start setting up and your DJ or band will need to know what you’d like as your first dance and any must-haves for the playlist. You can also share your timeline with them at this point too. To help you out, take a look at our gallery for some inspiration.
© Natalie J Weddings
Think about what’s happening after the wedding.
If you’re going straight off on your honeymoon, you’ll need your cases with you and someone will need to take your outfits, cards and any presents home for you. If you’d like your bouquet preserved, that needs to be booked in advance and your flowers will need to be sent off ASAP. If you want to continue the celebrations, think about what you might do the day after the wedding.
© Lydia Stamps Photography
Wedding jobs you don’t have to worry about
When you’re planning a wedding, it can seem as though the list of jobs to do never gets any shorter, regardless of how much you do. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or if you just want to keeps things simple, here are the ‘nice to have’ jobs that you don’t have to worry about:
Wedding craft. If this isn’t your thing or if you’re just short on time, don’t worry about hand making every detail yourself. There are plenty of great suppliers online if you want to dodge the DIY.
Running out of time or feeling the budgetary pinch? Just concentrate on the big things. Make sure there’s enough to eat and drink and that there’s entertainment for your guests. Don’t worry so much about the napkins, the favours, the place cards or too many details.
Tradition. If there’s something different that you want to do or if there are one or two wedding traditions that you just don’t want to include, go with your heart. Every element of your wedding should be there because you and your partner want it to be there, not because anything or anyone tells you that’s how it should be done.
The day. Finally, don’t worry at all about anything on the day. The Clock Barn team will have absolutely everything under control so all you need to do is relax and enjoy your day.