Planning a Wedding for 2024

For anyone out there who is planning a wedding in 2024, you will have already experienced the internal crushing sensation of trying to determine where to start. There are so many things to consider and juggle before settling on the priorities.

Even trying to determine a priority is a problem because everything is a priority; everything has to happen at the same time.

Planning a wedding in 2024 will be a complex process – it always is. Even for those lucky enough to be able to hire a professional wedding planner, you will still have to engage and give considerable input to the process.

From our experience, especially from a catering perspective, the planning is all about breaking down the process into smoother, manageable chunks.

Let’s take a look at how to break it all down:

1. Budget

Before the sequence of the events can be considered, if you are planning a wedding for 2024, you will need to set a budget and discuss options that are available around that specific budget.

Agree on what you are willing to spend and prioritise the spending around what matters most to you.

Try not to consider what the guests might prefer, it’s your day; it’s about you, and whatever you decide is all that matters. If you want to blow the majority of the budget on the honeymoon, then work out what is left and how you can manage the remainder around the rest of the day – catering, photographer, entertainment etc.

2. Timeline

What follows the determined budget is the timeline.

Assuming that the date has been set – and it usually has by this time – outline what needs to be accomplished by a given time. 

3. The Guest List

If you are working on a tight budget you will need to make a priority list and then refine it.

There are always going to be those who won’t be able to make the big day, so start with family and close friends and then fill the remaining availability with those who you may have overlooked

4. Choose a Theme when Planning a Wedding for 2024

Having a specific theme in mind sets you up for the next stage as it will inspire your choice of venue and décor.

5. Venue

Now you know how many people are attending and you have an idea of the theme surrounding your big day, it’s time to research several venues that suit your style and comfortably accommodate the number of guests on your list.

Choose a venue around your budget and try to envisage the venue as part of your theme. Always visit the venue beforehand to get a feel of the ambience.

Whilst there, discuss the catering options. The venue may have its own, in-house chef, but there may be an option to accommodate your preferred catering team on the day, if necessary.

6. Hire Catering Team and Vendors

This is where many couples decide to hire a wedding planner as there is a lot to consider at this point.

Food is regarded as one of the top priorities for planning a wedding for 2024, and this is why we at Citreus Catering take this part of the wedding day very seriously.

Research and interview potential candidates for the role. Get to know your catering team and plan everything in advance, meticulously overseeing the number of guests, special considerations, and dietary requirements.

You will be able to discuss menu options and a number of courses with your chef, and an experienced wedding catering professional will also provide recommendations and ask about specific requirements and themes.

Have a tasting session, discuss any alterations and determine whether the preferred choices are best as part of a 3-course meal, a buffet, or as part of a street food theme or similar.

In addition, you will need a photographer, videographer, a florist, and someone to decorate the tables.

7. Beverage Service

Your catering team may be able to assist with beverages but if you decide to go beyond what the venue offers, you may want to include an independent beverage vendor in the aforementioned list.

Other options at the venue to consider are open bars, cash bars, or a combination with limited offerings at no cost.

You may also want to offer something special for those who don’t or can’t drink, like a coffee or virgin cocktail bar on the side.

8. Coordinate Venue with Catering Team and Vendors

Confirm any restrictions within the kitchen and the surrounding facilities, and ensure that your preferred catering team and the additional vendors can all be accommodated.

9. Wedding Dresses and Attire

The stage should now be set for you to start working on wedding attire or costumes – depending on your budget and how serious you are about a specific theme.

If you start shopping early for wedding attire it gives you plenty of time for any essential alterations. 

10. Wedding Invitations

When in the position of knowing the date, the venue and the theme, now is the time for sending out those invitations in advance, to ensure that everyone saves the date, well ahead of schedule.

11. Ceremony Script, Menu and Alignment.

Work on what is going to be said during the reception and who is going to speak. Put a programme together for the reception with an order of play including all the speeches, the seating arrangements, the music, and the menu.

Finalise the menu with the catering and confirm the details to those who have responded to the initial invitations with a detailed timeline.

12. Gift Registry

Make a wedding registry to make choosing a gift at an affordable price an easy task. Select a variety of gifts with different price ranges.

13. Finalise Dates with Vendors and Catering Team

Confirm all details with vendors to ensure that everything aligns, and go over the finer points to ensure that everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet.  

Discuss logistics with the catering team, the final number of guests, the equipment, and clarify any staff requirements.

14. Paperwork and Contracts

Dot the I’s and the cross the t’s on all unfinished paperwork and necessary contracts, and obtain necessary marriage licenses.

Review your catering contract and ensure all the costs are outlined.

Discuss a contingency plan with your catering professional in case of any unforeseen circumstances.

15. Research Accommodation when Planning a Wedding for 2024

Even if you are not staying overnight at the venue or nearby, provide attendees with a list of available hotels and B&Bs.

Check to see if the venue may even have rooms available for a number of guests at a discounted rate for bulk bookings.

Also provide transportation options – taxi numbers, public transport times – as most people with probably drink alcohol at the event.

16. Confirm Seating Arrangements

Provide a floor plan to your guests to let them know where they will be sitting. Alternatively, create one plan and provide it to the usher or the reception area of the venue.

17. Stay Connected

To ensure a smooth and enjoyable wedding day for you and your guests, always maintain open communication with vendors and the catering team.

Discuss any last-minute changes and use the remaining days leading up to the big day to address any concerns.

18. The Big Day

Savour the moment. Trust your planning skills, sit back, relax, celebrate, and enjoy the day in the knowledge that you have taken care of everything.

19. The After Party

Thank your guests for attending and the lovely gifts you received and get all financial obligations out of the way so that you can get on with married life without the extra bills hanging over your heads.

20. Contact a professional caterer if you are planning a wedding for 2024

The most important thing is to enjoy the day. If everything doesn’t go entirely to plan, it doesn’t matter. Just enjoy the first part of what is going to be a long journey as husband and wife. 

If you are thinking of planning a wedding for 2024, we’d love to hear from you – .