The First steps of Wedding Planning – Your instruction Manual

So you’ve just begun to plan your wedding, but where to start?
Planning to some people is a dream, to others it can be a nightmare, there are so many different things to think about when planning a wedding, but if you get yourself in order and take one job at a time, you will avoid the stress and may actually enjoy the whole process.
Most things these days come with an instruction manual, but not weddings!! Here are a few of the things you should be thinking about to get yourself on the right road.

Do it together:
Sit down with your partner and talk through you ideas together. Ask each other what sort of wedding the other has envisaged, you may both have completely different ideas, so you will need to come to some compromises first of all. Is there a particular time of the year, style or theme you were thinking about?

Get organised:
Get a folder together containing divider cards and plastic envelopes. Make a section for each thing you can think of; venue, photographer, cuttings from magazines, etc this way nothing will get lost. Here you can keep all contacts, contracts, emails and quotes in one place. If you are more technically minded then pull together a spreadsheet with all the details on it; a to do list, guest list, budget planner etc. Keeping everything in one place will help later on in the planning process and make your life a lot easier.

Set a date:
Decide when you both want to get married and check with important family members before you book anything.

What sort of ceremony:
What sort of ceremony do you want? Church or Civil Ceremony? This again will determine the decision you make on your venue. If you have a Church ceremony then it will probably need to be local due to the laws of marrying within your parish, where as a Civil Ceremony gives you more freedom and flexibility, it also opens up more options for things like Humanist ceremonies.

It may sound dull but sorting out your budget now is the most important thing you will do and will save you many an argument in months to come.
Talk about what you can afford, what you have saved and how much you can put away each month. Also find out if family members are going to be contributing, and if so how much? Don’t presume, it’s always good to know at the beginning stages.
Put together a spreadsheet and keep a track of it, this will help you manage your spending and make sure you don’t go over budget.
Remember, be realistic and don’t get carried away (unless you have a limitless pot) you don’t want to start married life in debt because of your wedding, so only spend what you can afford. And make sure you have a contingency fund, normally 10% of the final budget……….just in case!

Guest List:
Getting your guest list decided at the beginning stages will sometimes determine what sort of wedding you are going to have. But remember don’t let numbers get the better of you, only invite the guests you want to invite, don’t feel obliged to invite people you don’t want to share the day with you.

Prioritise the important things:
Discuss with your fiancé what is important to each of you. For one a photographer may be the most important thing to get organised, the other it may be the entertainment, but you may not be too bothered about the car. This way you know where you need to spend your money and where you can save it. By doing this now you won’t make any mistakes further down the line, by not allotting each supplier enough time, money or attention.

Keep a check list:
Once you have an idea of what needs to be done don’t over face yourself by trying to do everything at once. List each job to be done and then break down how many months you have to do it all before the wedding, then allot each month a list of jobs. Keep this list in your wedding folder and tick off each job as it is done.

Don’t let the planning consume you:
Far too often when you plan a wedding it is all you can think about. Try and allot your self chunks of time to do you’re planning. Doing a bit here and a bit there, will end up with you doing it every day. Your time may be better spent by putting a day aside every month to get the jobs done. This way you won’t let the wedding run your life.

Make decisions together:
Try not to let just one person plan the wedding, in most cases the man doesn’t want to get involved until the bill comes and then it’s too late. Make time with each other to discuss things, make sure the other person is involved and feels part of it as well.

Do your research:
This may be time consuming but don’t take the first option given to you, or make hasty decisions. Each supplier needs researching, what was good for one person may not be good for you! By spending time looking at all of your options you will not only save your self money but create a more personal wedding with your own style.

Forget the little details for now:
Don’t get tied down with the tiny details at this point. It is tempting to be thinking about shades of napkins or what make of roses to have, but let’s get the big bits done first. As time goes by the little bits and bobs will fall into place.

Remember it’s your day:
You will spend a lot of your time trying to make other people happy, especially your family and guests, but it’s your day, don’t forget that. Yes you have to be sympathetic to other people’s needs and wants, but the two people that have the final say are you two.
It’s your day, have it the way you want it!

For more advice on planning your wedding then contact Kelly:
[email protected]

07989431821 / 0114 2854532

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