In a wedding celebration, there’s no denying that the reception venue plays a crucial role....
So you’ve just got engaged, now it’s time to sit down and begin to plan your big day, but where do you start? Planning to some people is a dream, but to others it can be a total nightmare, there are so many different things to think about when planning your 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. (honestly!)
Most things these days come with an instruction manual, but not weddings!! Here is a step by step guide to planning your wedding!
Step 1) Set your budget/set your theme/Do it together
Sit down with your partner and talk through your ideas together, you should be making these decisions together! Ask each other what sort of wedding the other has envisaged, you may both have completely different ideas. Do you want a Church ceremony, a civil ceremony or something less traditional like a Humanist ceremony or a blessing? Once you have done this then look at your budget, Yes I know it may not be the most romantic aspect of planning a wedding but it pays to be realistic about your expectations and also it will help with the whole planning process. Talk about what you can afford, what you have saved and how much you can put away each month. Also it’s a good idea to 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. Once this done you can look at the mood of the day and ideas on how you want it to feel/look. Do you have any sort of theme, have you seen anything you like the look of, do you have your won ideas how to make the day special to you?
Step 2) Set a date and your guest list
Decide what part of the year you both want to get married and check with important family members before you book anything. Be ready to be flexible if you can and have a few dates in mind as many venues may not be available if you only have one date in mind. Once you have this, draw up a very rough guest count so you have some idea what sort of numbers you have.
Step 3) Find your Venue
Finding your venue could very well be the hardest part of the planning process! But once you have you will find a lot of things fall into place. Lots of popular places get booked up quickly, especially if you are looking for a Saturday venue. If you are looking for a Friday, Sunday or mid-week then there may be more availability and flexibility, however Fridays are becoming nearly as popular as Saturdays these days. (well if it’s good enough for the Royals, then why not1) the best thing I can advise is Do your research and visit as many as you can. Often within spring and autumn a lot of venues will have open days this is a great way to see the venue dressed for a wedding, and also a great way to meet some local suppliers.
Step 4) Choose your photographer
You will find that good photographers get booked up a year in advance, so this is one of the first suppliers you need to book. If you have your eye on a certain person you don’t want to be disappointed because you haven’t got your booking in quick enough. Photography is a very personal thing and there is a huge amount of choice. I would advise you to look at the photographers blogs as well as their website as they tend to put more up to date work on them, also you get to see whole weddings not just the best bits that may be on the websites. Also look at different wedding blogs as this is often a great way to find the style of photographer you may be looking for. Choose your top 2-3 and go and meet them. It’s SO important you get on with your photographer because if you don’t you won’t be comfortable in your pictures and it will show! Your photographer (apart from your planner) is the one person you will spend the whole day with so it’s important you get on.
Step 5) Choose your dress
This is probably the best bit of the whole wedding experience!! To most brides it is so much fun but some brides do find it stressful and put so much pressure on finding ‘The’ dress! The first thing I would say to do is research! Make sure you do as much research as possible. Look through the magazines; search the internet so you have a good idea what you like before you go. Be ready to try as many style’s on as possible and go with an open mind. What you thought you may choose may not be what you finally decide on. Also a lot of the dress shops have a 9 month league time from choosing the dress to it being delivered to the shop so you need to make sure you leave yourself enough time.
Step 6) Choose your suppliers and get organised
Once you have your venue, photographer and dress the rest of the wedding will begin to take a bit more structure and fall into place. However I do find that this is when some couples tend to get a bit lost and overwhelmed by the whole planning experience. It is at this stage that I often get the phone call, of ‘help I’m lost!’ First of all get yourself organised. Get a list together of everything there is to do, keep it simple an excel spread sheet may do the trick or maybe you just like good old pen and paper. Work out when each job needs to be done and spread it all out on a month by month basis. A check list will help you stay focused and also it helps to incorporate the budget which will help you stay on track. Also it’s very important to spend time researching each supplier; don’t book the first person you find. Where you can, go and meet them, sample what they have to offer. Look at their website, but also check out their blogs and Facebook pages, as with the photographers they may have more up to date work on these. Go to the wedding fairs as this is a great place to meet them face to face.
Step 7) Enjoy it!
Planning your wedding should be a happy and fun thing to do, not a thing to dread, if it’s becoming too much or you simply don’t have the time to dedicate to it then call in a wedding planner, that’s what we are here for! (shameless plug)
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 yourself chunks of time to do you’re planning. Doing a bits here and there will just 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.
Don’t forget 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.
And don’t forget why you are getting married. Some couple loose site of the actual marriage as they focus so much on the wedding itself, yes it is the best day of your life, but you also have the rest of your lives together, so try and focus on the long term aim!
For more information on my wedding planning services go to:
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Due to an email issue if you have emailed me between the 2nd & 9th of December, please resend it.