Firstly, congratulations on your engagement, It’s such a wonderful, exciting time!
Once the excitement calms and you start to think about planning your special day, you may be asking yourself where do I even start? Or you may have had it planned in your head and on Pinterest for as long as you remember! Either way I thought it would be helpful to offer you some guidance on planning a wedding.
I cannot emphasise how important it is that you have an idea of what you can spend, without having an idea, it can make it very difficult to plan, unless of course you don’t mind your budget spiralling out of control (said no bride or groom ever!). Whether you are getting help from family, or going it alone, it is so important you have an honest conversation about figures before you start your wedding planning journey. At the initial planning stage, do as much research as you can, speak to potential suppliers and find out what they charge. If you have a venue in mind, check what their rates are, these will alter dependant on the time of year and day you choose. Always remember to work within your means and be realistic.
What type of wedding do you want?
It’s important to dig deep and ask yourselves what kind of wedding you’d like, be clear on your overall vision.
- Are you thinking of having a big lavish event or a more intimate affair?
- Do you see yourself in a Tuscan villa surrounded by olive trees or is a chic city wedding more your vibe? Or maybe it’s a country house.
Figuring out what you want at the initial planning stage is really important. Your wedding should show who you are as a couple.
Now you have your budget is in place, you can work out how many guests you can invite, be realistic and remember the more guests you have, the more expensive the costs will be. Draw up a rough guest list so that you have a rough idea of numbers, you may find that your numbers rule out some venues due to capacity.
Finding the perfect wedding venue
There are so many gorgeous venues, but when finding the perfect one, make sure that you always have in the back of your mind what’s important to you. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you start your venue hunt:
- Do you have a date in mind? You may find that you need to be flexible as your venue may already be booked.
- Where in the country would you like your wedding? Narrow down an area, it will make the search easier.
- How many guests would you like to attend? This will affect the size of room/marquee you need.
- Some venues have a preferred supplier list, you might be happy with this, but you may already have a supplier in mind that you want to work with, make sure you ask your venue what their policies are.
- Do you want to supply your own alcohol? Some venues allow dry hire but charge corkage, speak to the venue, they will be able to help you.
What is important to you? Is it photographs, entertainment, food, drink? Whatever your priority, I would recommend allowing more for this in your budget. Contact a few suppliers in each of your categories to get an estimate of what the job may cost. If you have a wedding planner, they will be able to suggest suppliers that suit your taste and budget.
What type of ceremony you would like? If you’re planning a civil wedding, check to see if the venue has a licence, if they do, the next step is to speak with the local registrar. Non-religious ceremonies can take place wherever you like and can be more flexible. Speak to a celebrant who will be able to assist you. If you’re dreaming of a traditional church wedding, you should speak to your church office who will be able to advise you on things like having your banns read, this is required before the marriage takes place as it signifies your intention to marry. If you want to read your own vows, bear in mind that this isn’t possible in a church ceremony.
Protect yourself, protect yourself, protect yourself! Recent times have shown that it is so important to have insurance to cover you from any financial loss should your wedding not take place.
Hiring a wedding planner
If you are struggling and feeling overwhelmed, maybe work is crazy busy and consuming all of your spare time, then getting help from a wedding planner is a great idea. A wedding planner will guide you through every step of the planning process, they will listen to you, will work tirelessly to make sure that every last detail is met and that your wedding day is the best day of your life. They will help with your venue search, will suggest the best suppliers in the industry and ensure that you only work with the ones who are the right fit for you. On the day, they will be the first there and the last to leave, ensuring that your day runs to plan.
And not only that, they are your confidant, a mentor and a friend who will go above and beyond for you.