Congratulations, you are now engaged to be married. It has suddenly hit you that you need to plan your wedding and you don't know where to start!! Here are my Top 10 tips for starting your planning process.
1. Decide on your budget!! This is the most crucial part of your planning process. There is no point having that bespoke venue and inviting 200 guests if you aren't able to afford it. You will be surprised just how fast the costs mount up. The easiest way to break down each element is to allocate a percentage of your budget for each part. Here is an approximate breakdown of what this should be.
40% for your Wedding Breakfast & Reception. (included decor, favours etc) 10% for entertainment/music 15% for all your flowers 15% for your bridal wear 10% for photography/videography 5% for your stationery 5% for your ceremony & transport
Setting and sticking to your budget can make the planning much easier.
2. Visit Venues within your budget and get detail costs for each before making your final decision, check which dates are available. Sometimes going out of season can save you alot of money, so it's always worth considering. This will also determine how many guests you can realistically have to share your special day with you.
3. Book the registrar and set the date, send out Save the Date cards or Fridge Magnets to your guests.
4. Book your photographer, the really good photographers are booked up well in advance so it's important that you start this process early in your planning. So many photographers say that they have couples coming to them a few weeks before the wedding, you need to be able to build and have a good relationship with the professional who is going to capture your day, it makes a huge difference to the images that you get afterwards, as you are more relaxed and comfortable with them.
5. Decide on your theme, there are so many ideas out there it's good to do a bit of research, visit wedding websites, photographers websites, look in magazines and make yourself a mood board and play around with ideas and colours to get that perfect look.
6. Bridal Wear is also so important to start looking early. Many bridal stores need at least 6 months notice to have your dress ready for the day, this includes having it made, you will need several fittings as most brides believe it or not drop a dress size on the lead up to their wedding. Give yourself plenty of time to shop around, visit wedding shows to get inspiration, watch out for sales you might even bag yourself a designer gown at knock down prices.
7. Flowers again are something that many couples leave until the last minute, thinking about this early and deciding what you really want is so important, the flowers can complete the look of your outfits on the day, you want them to compliment your dress/outfits as well as tying in with your colour scheme. Consider the time of year you are getting married and what blooms are in season at the time.
8. Family arguments!! This is a very common theme for many weddings and the way to avoid confrontations and resentment is to lay the ground rules down early on. This is your wedding and you want it done your way, it's so crucial that you never lose sight of that. Involve your bridal party and family in the planning, assign tasks and roles to everyone, listen to their ideas and implement the ones your like. If you don't like an idea be tactful and say something like "I like that idea, but would like to think about a few others before making a final decision"
9. Think about hiring a Wedding Planner/Consultant. Seriously, it can make such a huge difference. Forget the Hollywood portrayal of wedding planners in real life it's not like that at all. Wedding Planners don't take over your wedding and don't cost a fortune, they can actually save you money, by recommending suppliers, being able to source decor items. Most importantly they give you the support you really need especially on the run up to your big day (the last 6 weeks are the most stressful). Not only will you be de-stressed you will have the confidence and assurance that your day will go without a hitch and be as perfect as you dreamed it would be.
10. The most important thing of all.... have fun! Enjoy your engagement, have fun in the planning and look forward to one of the biggest and happiest days of your life.
For more information on wedding planning services, visit my website