Congratulations! You’re engaged! We’re sure the champagne has been flowing and you’ve been in a happy haze of love and support from your nearest and dearest. But we bet you’ve been asked a hundred times, “When’s the big day?”, “Where are you going to get married?”, “Will it be a big do?”….
…It can be so overwhelming, especially if you don’t have a clue where to start! Unlike many Wedding Planning How To’s we’re not going to break it down month-by-month for 12 months. It’s not always realistic. Some of you may have a longer engagement, others may have a matter of weeks so instead we thought it would be more useful to pull together our top tips on how you can go about finding your “theme”; narrowing down venues; thinking about your personal style and generally just, “getting on it” with the wedding planning!
1. Gather Ideas…
… A lot of posts like this start with advising you to set your budget. Well if you’ve never planned a wedding before how the bloody hell are you expected to set a budget?!
You have no idea how much things cost! The first thing you and your partner need to do is gather inspiration for how you want your wedding to be. Always dreamed of a winter wedding? Have a love for the colour blue? Fancy a festival with your friends and family? Obsessed with white flowers? Well, go on Pinterest, search for these things and pin away everything that takes your fancy. You’ll find that searching for a few bits and pieces will lead you off in directions you may never have even thought of.
2. Find A Venue…
… Have a look at your pinned inspiration boards. Have you been drawn to small , funky city centre registry offices? Are you longing for a church wedding? Have you pinned a lot from Country Houses? Well, now is a good time to go and have a look at venues and see if any take your fancy. (NB. Kate actually found her wedding venue when looking for dresses on Pinterest…she saw a picture, loved the setting, did some investigating, and voila…)
3. NOW, Start Budgeting…
… After looking around venues you’ll have a better idea as to costs as you will be provided with a price list for venue hire. Depending on the place you choose, they may do the catering and drinks, so you can check out their pricing on that. Nine times out of ten the venue will also have a preferred supplier list so (whether you end up using them or not) you will also usually get a list of local florists, caterers, entertainers,etc and you can have a quick chat to them about what they charge for their services.
As a couple we’d recommend deciding on three non-negotiables. These are things that you really, really want for your wedding and are prepared to spend the most money on.
As a couple we’d recommend deciding on three non-negotiables. These are things that you really, really want for your wedding and are prepared to spend the most money on. If push comes to shove and you need to economise, anything else can be compromised on. For instance you might be real foodies and therefore, having amazing award-winning caterers may be the must-have for you. Perhaps you love live music and going to gigs and want to spend money on a great band. Maybe having the most beautiful “fashion blog” photos will mean the world to you so you’ll be prepared to pay for a great photographer…. you get the picture. Equally, if food isn’t a priority instead of a three course meal, how about an informal BBQ and ask guests to make cakes and yummy treats to contribute to a dessert table.
Once you have an idea as to the type of services you’ll want and how much your dream venue charges – add it all up. Then, BE HONEST. Are you comfortable with the figure? If you are or you can afford a bit more, then you can start exploring other suppliers and begin to select what you want. If you can’t then go through the list of everything you have and think about where you could save money and what you’d be prepared to compromise on.
4. Find Your Dress
Once you know where you’re getting married and the general feel of the day, you can then embark on the most fun part of the journey – the dress shopping. You may be tempted to try on dresses as soon as possible but your venue can really influence your style of dress. For instance a huge Princess gown with long train may not be practical at an outdoor wedding; a ‘naked’ style dress would be inappropriate for a church do, and a flimsy, floaty dress may get lost in a big country house… you get the gist. We have another post here with great tips on refining your style and choosing the one (the wedding dress that is, not your partner!)
Hope this was useful