Congratulations, you’ve just got engaged! And now you’re wondering where to start with your wedding planning. We have put together a few tips and ideas to hopefully help guide you on your wedding journey.
Money is always a sensitive subject when it comes to weddings. The best way to avoid any potential upset is to sit down with your partner and have a rough/realistic view on how much you’re both willing to spend before any planning starts. You both might have different ideas of how small or extravagant you’d like to go. You might not be able to put as much money into the wedding pot as your partner or you might be very fortunate and have a family member or friend who would like to help you both out. Whatever your financial situation is, be honest and open with each other and hopefully you will both be able to work out the best scenario for the two of you.
It might sound a little early to be putting together your guestlist but the number of guests you have can determine quite a lot. Again, budget wise, you might not be able to afford to invite everyone that you want there, or your venue might have a limited number of guests you can invite. Equally, caterers and venues can sometimes have minimum numbers that you have to invite so it’s always good to have rough idea of your guestlist before you begin to narrow down the rest of your planning.
3). When do you want to get married?
Once of the first things we’d recommend is to have a rough idea on when you would like to get married. Is there a particular time of year you’d prefer? Or maybe there’s a particular date you’d ideally like to be married on? Have a sit down with your partner and discuss what you’d both prefer. This will help when trying to narrow down which venue you’d like to get married in and what availability they have.
4). Finding your venue
Now you have a rough idea of when you’d like to get married you can start contacting venues for their availability. But where to start? Try categorising your venues; location, style, do they offer in house catering, do they offer accommodation for your guests, how much support do they offer throughout the wedding planning? Decide what is most important to you both. Do you have a certain budget – can you afford that venue? Do you have a particular supplier you really want to book – does that venue allow you to bring external suppliers in? Is it a local venue – will it be hard for some guests to get there, and do you need accommodation for them? Once you have a list of venues, you’re interested in nailed down, it will be surprising how easily you can discount some venues off the list because they don’t fit you and your partner’s criteria. This is one of the most exciting parts as one of those venues will be the place where you get to say I do.
5). Visit Venues
When you have shortened your list, you can begin contacting venues. Some venues offer viewings where you can go and look around the venue and see what they have to offer. You can meet the team who might be looking after your wedding, you can see the room where you will get married and see the room where you will celebrate with all your friends and family. Some venues also offer Wedding Fayres which give you the chance to see all of the above and usually a range of suppliers are invited to attend so you can meet some of them too. We’d always recommend physically going to see a venue before booking if you can. That way you can get a feel for the place and see if it’s the right one for you. It’s sometimes like viewing a house when you’re moving. Sometimes you just get the feel for it and you know that’s the one you want to book.
6). The Legal Bit
Once you have booked your venue, you will need to choose what kind of ceremony you are having. Church ceremony, Civil, Celebrant perhaps? Whatever your beliefs, you can’t have a legal wedding without the legal ceremony. So make sure as soon as you have your date booked in with your chosen venue, book your church/registrars/celebrant too.
It’s now time to start booking your suppliers. We usually suggest booking your caterer (if it’s not included in house at your venue) and your photographer/videographer (if you’re having one) first as they are usually the suppliers that are likely to get booked up first. Again, go back to your lists, look at your budget, what style you’re wanting. Do you want a sit-down meal, a buffet or street food vans? Wedding cake or Dessert Table? Do you want natural & laid back or more posed photos? Do you want a pre shoot to get to know your photographer? Can you go for a food tasting to try the food? The world’s your oyster so have a shop around.
This is where you need to ask yourselves, how big are we going? Are we going with a band or DJ? Are we hiring a photobooth or a magician? Casino tables or glitter station (yes there are such things). There are so many options, and you can go as big or as little as you want. It’s at this planning stage where the real fun begins.
Every couple wants to add their own personal touch to their wedding. This can shine through your venues, choice of ceremony or suppliers but it can also be highlighted through your choice of décor. As with everything wedding wise, you’ll have realised now there is a lot of choice. You could go all DIY and make a lot of it yourself. Or you could hand the entire designing process over to a professional and hire a stylist. Either way deciding what theme, colours, centrepieces, favours or no favours is the area where you really add your own spin to your wedding.
10). Additional Items
There are still a fair few stages we’ve not included in this list that make up the wedding planning process. Such as sending your save the dates out (usually 18 – 12months prior), gathering your RSVPS in (usually 3-2months prior), choosing your Wedding Dress/Suit/Outfit. Or choosing your wedding party, your closest people who you couldn’t imagine saying “I do” without. Your entire wedding will be made up of so many elements that you might not be able to keep track of them all at times. But, the most important thing to remember is to embrace this period of time as much as you can. You’re planning your dream wedding day with your best friend and partner, and it will be celebrated with all your friends and family. Enjoy it!