I remember the excitement of being engaged and wondering how to plan a wedding. After all, I knew I wanted to be married, I just hadn’t really thought about the wedding and relied on friends and wedding magazines to steer me in the right direction. So as a wedding planner and a former bride I say “Welcome to our very first planning feature”.
Set a Date
Congratulations! He asked and you said “Yes”. After sharing your news with family and closest friends you’ll need to Set a Date. After all, the question you’ll be asked the most, after “How did he propose?” is “When are you getting married?”. Just to be clear this is not a set-in-stone-date but “We’re thinking of Spring 2020” date. This will give your guests a mental note for their diary and allow you the flexibility you need while searching for the perfect venue.
Setting a budget and sticking to it is the hardest part of planning your wedding. This will be one of the MOST important days of your life, the MOST amount of money you will spend outside of your mortgage and you WILL fall in love with things you won’t have costed for. Your budget will determine the number of guests, your choice of venue, how many bridesmaids/groomsmen and the list goes on. It’s so important you understand how much money you will allocate to each and every part of your wedding. Conversations around money are never easy. Understanding if family can contribute along with your own savings are really important to confirm a total ‘pot’ before you start. Setting up a separate bank account for your wedding will really help with keeping the reigns on your spending.
Writing a Guest List
Which brings me onto the next item, your Guest List. Catering for your guests will be the largest part of your budget. It’s really important you have an idea of how many guests you can afford as well as how many you’d like to invite. Your search for a venue will also be determined by their capacity. Ask your parents to draw up a guest list of those they’d like to include, especially if they’re contributing. Maybe set out some guidance about immediate family only, no work colleagues, whether you’d like to include children etc. There will be many drafts of your guest list so don’t panic if your first count is a ridiculous number, (think Steve Martin in Father of the Bride) just be mindful the more people you invite, the more expensive your wedding will be.
Your Venue Search.
All the things you’ve done so far will come together to form part of your decision in choosing a wedding venue. Are you having a church or a civil ceremony? If it’s the latter then you will need to ensure you choose from the list of approved venues found at https://tinyurl.com/mkvlb6t or check your local county website. There will be many things that will narrow your search, the area, the number of guests, your budget and of course the venue’s availability. Get ready to roll your sleeves up, draw up a list of ideal venues, short-list them and make appointments to visit. You’ll know when you’ve seen the venue you like, you’ll fall in love with it!
Should you say “I Do” to a Wedding Planner?
Taking my bias aside (of course you should hire a wedding planner) there are many things you should consider before contacting a planner. The chances are you haven’t planned an event on this scale before and if you hire a wedding planner you’ll have to relinquish some control and only you can decide if you’re comfortable doing that. You can ensure they have values and communication styles that align with your own and many planners have a tiered or tailored service so you dictate how much or how little they are involved. Wedding planners are an additional cost but they can negotiate better prices or terms to fit within your budget. A good planner will keep up with trends, have established relationships with suppliers and offer design ideas that reflect you and are unique to your wedding whilst troubleshooting along the way.
Enjoy and Celebrate.
Planning your wedding should be a lovely experience. Enjoy it. Celebrate your engagement. This can seem quite overwhelming but please keep in mind you’re having a wedding to get married not getting married to have a wedding. It’s an exciting time for you and your fiancé and the wedding is ‘day one’ of the rest of your life together.
If you’d like help with any aspect of your wedding please call Gail on 0787 655 1592 or email firstname.lastname@example.org