Tunbridge Wells started in the second round after receiving a bye in the first round, due to having reached the fifth round the previous year, by defeating Hellenic League Premier Division team Wantage Town 2-0 at their Culverden Stadium. In the third round, they were drawn away to Binfield, where they won 2–1 after extra time (aet). In the fourth round, Tunbridge Wells were drawn against the FA Vase holders, Dunston UTS. After the match was postponed four times, Tunbridge Wells won 1–0 at the Culverden Stadium. In the fifth round, they were drawn away to Larkhall Athletic, where they won 4–3 aet In the quarter finals, they played Hadleigh United. In front of a record home crowd, Tunbridge Wells won 2–0. In the semi-finals, Tunbridge Wells defeated Shildon 4–3 on aggregate after a 2–0 win at the Culverden Stadium in the first leg and a 3–2 aet loss in the second leg. This made Tunbridge Wells the second Kent League team to reach the FA Vase final in its history.
After a meeting at Wembley Stadium the week after the semi-finals, where both teams met with The Football Association to decide the choice of dressing rooms and the kit selections, tickets for the final were released on sale on 2 April 2013, with Tunbridge Wells selling over 2,600 tickets within the first 24 hours comparing with an average home crowd of 138.
Both teams set up shops in their respective towns. On 12 April 2013, Spennymoor Town opened a shop under Spennymoor Town Hall after the space was loaned to them by the Mayor of Spennymoor. On 16 April, Tunbridge Wells opened a temporary shop in the offices of the Kent and Sussex Courier newspaper in Royal Tunbridge Wells. On 27 April 2013, Tunbridge Wells opened a second temporary shop in the Royal Victoria Place shopping centre.