Here at Chalk Barn, Wiltshire wedding venue, we believe that planning your wedding should be one of the biggest and most exciting adventures of your lives to date! 

Wedding planning is a fun, romantic, exciting time, filled with memories to treasure and support from family, friends and an expert team. Yet wedding planning is also notoriously stressful, with various important deadlines from your suppliers. That’s why we’ve put together this 12-month guide to wedding planning, so you’ll know what to do and when.

Image by Love of Mine Co

12 months to go


When you first get engaged, you’ll be bowled over by the range of wedding venues on offer. Gone are the days when stately homes and hotels were the only options. Today, there’s a wedding venue for almost every couple’s style, from historic stone castles to eco-friendly, contemporary barns like Chalk.

Look through real weddings, get stuck into Pinterest and scan through styled shoots to decide what venue and vibe is right for you. You might want a church ceremony followed by a barn reception, or perhaps to get married outside (Chalk Barn’s infinity lawn is an idyllic spot for this).

When you’ve found a venue you can imagine getting married at, request their brochures and arrange a viewing. You’ll experience the venue styled for a celebration and meet suppliers who could bring your ideas to life, making planning much simpler.

Consider what is important to you as a couple, do you want to be close to home? Is an eco-friendly wedding venue top of your list of priorities? Have you always dreamt of an outdoor wedding ceremony? Whatever you have pictured for your big day, ensure to use this criteria to narrow down your list of wedding venues. 


Every couple will have a different wedding budget to work to. You may be dipping into your rainy day funds, receiving help from relatives or setting up a savings plan. 

Whatever total you’re working with, take 10% off your overall budget and treat this lower amount as your ceiling for spending. That way, you have a 10% contingency fund for unexpected extra costs when wedding planning.


The three suppliers that couples tend to say make the biggest difference when wedding planning are your venue, photographer and caterer. Your photographer will immortalise your wedding to cherish forever and your caterer will ensure you have a room full of happy and satisfied guests.

Your wedding venue defines the style, atmosphere and tone of the entire celebrations, from providing a peaceful location for your pre-wedding meeting with the registrar to offering plenty of space to party. At Chalk Barn, couples can make the most of the light-filled main barn and intimate mezzanine, luxe bar, fire pit, terrance and infinity lawn and gardens.

Your venue of choice might also support on-the-day organisation, or you may need to outsource this to a wedding planner. At Chalk Barn, we’re proud to offer couples a supportive team to help with the planning journey, the timings, set-up and general operations of a wedding – no wedding planner will be required.

Image by Kate Ventress

9 months to go


Planning your reception can be a stressful process, but ensuring that your entertainment is arranged well in advance can help alleviate some of that stress. It’s no secret that the most popular entertainment acts tend to book up many months in advance, so it’s never too early to start making arrangements.

At our Wiltshire wedding venue, we offer a large barn that can accommodate a variety of entertainment options. Whether you’re interested in a live band or a DJ, or an acoustic guitarist for your wedding reception, we can help you determine the best location inside or outside the barn to position your entertainment. 

We also provide a detailed suppliers list to help you with making your entertainment choices. From talented pianists to exciting live bands, there’s a fantastic selection of recommended suppliers available for you to browse. 


Choosing your wedding wardrobe is an exciting and important task that requires careful planning and consideration. While custom-made suits and wedding dresses are the ultimate option for a perfectly tailored look, they can take six months or more to create. This is why it’s crucial to start the process as early as possible to ensure they arrive in plenty of time for your special day.

To begin your search, start by visiting local bridal boutiques to get an idea of what styles and fabrics you like. 

When selecting your wedding outfit, it’s important to consider the overall theme and style of your wedding. Are you going for a classic and formal look, or something more relaxed and casual? Additionally, consider the season and location of your wedding, as this can influence the type of fabrics and colours you choose.


In order to provide menu information to your guests, you’ll need to ensure you narrow down your wedding menu prior to sending invitations. Luckily for our couples our in-house catering team McCrimmon and Reid have been serving creative, seasonal menus made with locally sourced ingredients from Wiltshire since 2014 and can provide a bespoke menu for your special day. 

Our personalised approach to menu planning and modern cooking style make our kitchen stand out. Let us collaborate with you to design a menu that perfectly suits your wedding. 

Image by Bo Leray

6 months to go


When it comes to wedding invitations, timing and details are key! To ensure that your guests have ample time to prepare and RSVP, it’s recommended to send your invitations in the mail approximately six months before your big day. 

Along with the invitation itself, it’s helpful to include insert cards that provide additional information about directions to the wedding venue, menu options, and accommodations available for out-of-town guests.


At Chalk, we are dedicated to ensuring that your wedding experience lasts well beyond the evening itself. Our team takes immense pride in providing exceptional stays that perfectly complement our stunning venue and breathtaking landscape.

To ensure that your wedding night is nothing short of magical, we are thrilled to offer our newlywed accommodation ‘The Hide’ that is simply stunning. In addition, we also have a cosy off-site cottage that is perfect for accommodating your closest friends and family.


Choosing the details of your wedding can be one of the most fun parts of wedding planning. Think visiting local flower fields and hand-selecting seasonal, British blooms, or enjoying a wedding cake tasting with your cake designer.

These finishing touches allow you to put your own unique stamp on your wedding and at Chalk, we invite you to do as much or little as you like. Our purpose-built barn has been designed to make your dreams simple, so you’ll find convenient fixings in the ceiling for hanging floral chandeliers and virtually no red tape for where you can and can’t decorate.

Image by Greg Shingler

3 months to go

With three months until the big day, your wedding planning is also complete. Now is the time to give family and friends a gentle nudge if they’ve yet to RSVP and to schedule your final few alterations for your wedding dress. 

It’s also a good opportunity to send a photo list to your photographer – think couple’s portraits in the garden arbour or wandering hand-in-hand down the private lane, with nothing but rolling countryside and the big open sky for your vista…

Now is also the time to choose your confetti. Biodegradable, British-grown real flower petal confetti comes in a myriad of dreamy colours and many providers allow you to create a custom petal mix for your wedding.

Image by Joanna Brooks

1 month to go

Your wedding coordinator will be in touch in the final weeks before your wedding to confirm final guest numbers. This ensures every table is perfectly set for you on the big day and means there’s no need for a last-minute rush. Caterers will appreciate receiving any dietary requirements at this point, too.

Image by Sophie Jane

The big day

Congratulations! Your big day has finally arrived! It is a day that you have been dreaming of for a long time, and you have put in a lot of effort into planning it to perfection. Now that everything is in place, it’s time to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Take a moment to breathe and appreciate the beauty of the day. You are surrounded by family and friends who have come to celebrate with you and make your special day even more memorable. Remember that this day is all about you and your partner, so don’t hesitate to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the day to spend some quality time together.

The team at Chalk are here to ensure that everything runs smoothly, so if there are any last-minute issues or concerns, don’t be afraid to approach them. They have experience in dealing with all sorts of situations and will be more than happy to assist you in any way they can.

Above all, have fun! The day will go by quickly, and before you know it, it will be over. Take the time to enjoy the food, dance with your loved ones, and make memories that will last a lifetime. Congratulations once again on your big day, and here’s to a lifetime of love and happiness!

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