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The beginning of the year is a very busy time for wedding planning. If this is your first time to the blog, welcome and congratulations on your engagement. Christmas and New Year are very popular times for wedding proposals, so this month we have a whole host of wedding planning advice, hints and tips and wise words from our in-house wedding experts.
Our first wedding planning article of the year comes from our in-house wedding planning experts Carmela Weddings. Once you are engaged and all the fizz and fun of celebrating has died down, it’s easy to panic. With this quick guide, Lisa and Sam have some excellent top tips of where to start and where to focus.
The engagement party is over and you’ve realised you now need to think about the actual wedding. Where to start!? I understand that it can feel a little overwhelming at first (blame pinterest for this) but don’t worry – I’m going to guide you on the very first things you need to think about when it comes to planning your wedding (and I promise the order is important!)
Firstly, unless you have already done it, try to resist telling your besties that they are in the bridal party! I know it’s exciting and you want them all involved but you have lots of time and a lot to consider. It’s a difficult thing to un-ask someone to be your bridesmaid so please take your time to do the things below first!
It’s the worst part and definitely the least romantic and fun part but you have to do it as you can’t think about anything else until you’ve worked out the budget. Work out how much you’ll spend and have those delicate conversations with others if they’ll be contributing. All of this will then help you make all of the other decisions too like where and especially when as it may be that you need to save for a year or two. Make sure you are both in agreement and do not plan a wedding using debt – nobody wants to start marriage with a credit card bill looming over them. Save instead and do it a bit later.
This is the discussion you’re most likely to argue with someone about but it’s really important (especially if parents are contributing – they’ll want a say!). Do a first draft including everyone you’d love to invite and everyone your parents would love to invite then start culling the list, dependent on what you have figured out in step one, when you looked at the budget. If you’re not sure whether someone should be invited, make guidelines together such as ‘if my other half has never met them then they don’t get an invite to the ceremony’ or ‘if you wouldn’t invite them over for dinner at your house, they don’t get an invite’. Whatever works for both of you. This really can cause arguments so be open minded and listen to each other and it’ll all work out!
This is where you think about the overall wedding celebrations and what they look like. Have you always known you’ll get married on a beach with just a few friends or do you see yourself in a castle with everyone you’ve ever known? Discuss these dreams with your partner and listen to their dreams too so you can come to a middle ground (or you might be lucky and both want the exact same thing but expect that you won’t). Consider every option even if you’d not thought of it– you may change your mind when you start your research into the many kinds of weddings you can have. Think about the time of day, mood of the wedding, whether you must have a ceremony outside for example. Thinking about the big picture will help you with the detail later on.
This will all depend on the budget and the type of wedding you want. Be prepared to wait more than a year or two if there’s a specific meaningful date you really want to get married on. Remember that some sought after venues can get booked up 2-3 years in advance in busy Summer months. If budget is an issue, look at cost-saving options such as mid-week dates or out of Summer season weddings as your money will go a lot further. Check for events on the date so that you don’t clash with them (national football games, olympics, etc) and so that it doesn’t make travelling difficult for guests.
This becomes so much easier to narrow down once you know your budget and you know how many people you’re going to invite. Think about the location you want to get married in and then do your research. Look at venues that work well with your overall look and feel or type of wedding you want. In other words, don’t go straight for a very grand ballroom in a traditional hotel if you know you want a fun quirky contemporary wedding. Again, even if you think you know exactly where you want to get married, have a look at other options – even if just to compare.
So there you go – your first wedding to do list! Resist the urge to start thinking about the detail yet or booking suppliers – get these essential parts done to make your life easier in the planning process going forward. And if you don’t use Pinterest yet – you soon will so maybe download it now and have a play. If even this list is stressing you out, consider hiring a planner – they take all of this list away and do it for you and will help you narrow down every decision and give you options!
Lisa and Sam create contemporary stylish weddings for modern, fashion-forward couples in the UK and Malta. They love an urban wedding and know how to put on a fabulous party! They’ve also been married for a year and love travelling.