You’ve a wedding to plan – here’s how to get started and keep your sanity ….
If you’ve become engaged over the festive period, then the chances are you’re starting the new year with a whole new (and perhaps slightly unexpected) project to plan. Congratulations, this is such an exciting time and there’s lots of fun ahead. As one who’s worked happily in the wedding industry for over 13 years knows, the popping of champagne corks can quickly lead to a certain amount of questions unanswered, uncertainty and stress as you seek to start this whole new process. This month I’m delighted to share my key tips from my considerable experience of working with hundreds of couples in building their weddings from the ground up; these fundamentals should set you on a really stable, safe start, making sure you can cherish and enjoy the planning, not wish it away.
Work out what YOU really want! That might sound simple, but make sure that the ‘you’ is the two of you marrying, not a whole team of well-intended advisers. As soon as the engagement cat is out of the bag you will have advice thrown at you from all directions. This is the time to listen, but not to act. Instead, focus on really working out how you both envisage your wedding looking and feeling before taking on board other considerations. Be prepared for some compromise here, as invariably you will both have slightly different views on this. Write it down and refer back to it regularly during the planning, especially if & when you’re wobbling on various decisions.
Decide on your priorities – following on from the above, I always ask my clients what their top 3 priorities are for the wedding day. Work those out and stick to them as you get into the nitty gritty of the planning. It might be the most spectacular marquee you can afford, it may be an ‘all you can drink’ bar, a wow wedding cake creation or very special paper goods. Just as you work out the must haves, list those things less important to you and again stick to that when you’re allocating budget and spending. Even the biggest of budgets often involves an element of compromise, so be prepared to budge on some of the less important items to ensure you enjoy the big picture and the experience.
£££ – since we’re talking money, the budget is really key to work out from the start. Have those difficult conversations with family early on and really pin down as closely as you can how much money you have to play with. It shapes everything in event planning. It’s not to say you need a luxurious and large budget to have a great wedding, but you do need to shape and tailor your choices right from the off. I’ve had clients come to me over the years having overspent on their venue choice right at the start; from here it’s very difficult to alter the path, when there is simply not enough to do the venue choice justice. As a guideline no more than 50% of your budget should go on the venue and food and drink elements, allowing the other 50% for everything else.
Dates and numbers – before you get truly carried away with all the gorgeous wedding sparkle (and boy are there lots of amazing products and services out there) – work out some key things which you’ll need a firm grip on before you tackle the first big task – the wedding venue/s. Plan out your guest list (write it out if you can because in your head it’s always smaller than it actually is). You need to look for venues with the right capacity – that is vital! Work out also your preferred dates and days – keeping some degree of flexibility is always good and certainly if you’re looking for special offers.
I hope my tips are useful to you and I’ll be sharing part 2 of this topic later this month, so I hope you’ll check back in then.
If you’d like to be kept up to date with more tips and advice from myself and my team then please do subscribe here.
And if you’d like to explore the option of having a professional by your side to guide, advise and co-ordinate your wedding plans for you, then we’d love to hear from you. An independent wedding planner is a must if you’re very time short, planning on marrying in a short timescale (less than a year) or have international guests and travel considerations in your life.
Hen Party Table: Bo Chic & Vintage Party Arrangements // Cakes: Sherry Hostler Cake Artistry // Chair Bow: Beautiful Bows // Cocktails: Cocktailmaker // Light Up Letters: Bespoke Light Up Letters // Musicians: Jack Entertainment // Photography Stand: Stuart Bebb // Wedding Dress: Ellie Sanderson // Wedding Rings: Lance James Jewellers // Groom’s Room Shoes: Jacksin // Red Floral Bouquet: Signature Flowers // Bride and Groom Chairs: Vintage Party Arrangements & Signature Flowers // Paper Airplane Stationery: On Cloud Nine // Transparent Table Styling: Bo Chic & Vintage Party Arrangements