When you decide you’re going to plan a wedding, there are no strict rules but here are a few guidelines that could help.
Always remember it should be an enjoyable experience and not stressful.
One of the first things you should consider is “Budget” set a sensible budget and try to stick to it. If you both have an open and honest discussion and decide what you can afford, what savings you already have and what you think you could potentially have before the big event. This should avoid any pressure on your finances, as you know what you have available to spend.
You then need to start thinking about how you’d like your wedding to look and feel. There are stacks of sites and ideas all over the Internet that provide inspiration. A lot of people now create Pinterest boards.
It’s a great idea to think of a theme and a style that you want so that you can narrow down what you’re looking at. This may also dictate the type of venue you choose to consider.
Remember that if you choose to have a Celebrant Ceremony, a venue does not have to be licensed (the legal’s can be done beforehand). This gives even greater freedom to have a truly bespoke wedding ceremony.
There are a great number of licensed venues and all with their own style, feel and look. It is worth thinking about location, number of guests and of course your budget. Hopefully you will both have agreed on a theme and can have the same opinion about the type of venue you want. If not, you may have to learn the art of compromise!
Some other important factors to consider when deciding on a venue are available dates, accommodation for you and your guests and catering options, do you want the venue to provide catering or do you want to organise your own? What choices will the venue permit?
Not wishing to sound negative, but it is always worth purchasing Wedding Insurance before you start spending any money. By doing this it can reduce stress should anything not go according to plan.
Have a glance at http://www.compareweddinginsurance.org.uk
A very necessary step during the planning process is to look at the legal elements of obtaining a wedding licence. You will require particular documents and you can gain more information here https://www.gov.uk/marriages-civil-partnerships/weddings-and-civil-partnership-ceremonies
Obviously the two of you are the most important people of the whole planning process but you’ll need to think about who else will be part of the “Bridal Party”. It
is usual to have all or a combination of a maid of honour, bridesmaids, best man, ushers, flower girls and page boys.
Remembering that Budget is vital as the more people you have the more costs you will incur as each will require outfits, bouquets, buttonholes and thank you gifts.
Next you need to think about a guest list. Often people have daytime guests and invite extra guests for an evening celebration. The numbers you choose may have been dictated by your choice of venue as they often have a limit of minimum and maximum numbers. Remember here also the catering costs and sticking to your budget.
Once you have decided on the most important elements you need to start selecting suppliers such as photographers, florists, cake makers, stationers, event dressers, DJ, caterers (if required) and perhaps more quirky suppliers like photo booths, drinks vans and magicians and entertainers. Often a venue will have worked with suppliers and will have a suggested list. It’s always worth asking friends for recommendations too.
Probably one of the most exiting and essential elements of the whole planning process is choosing outfits, especially the brides. It’s a good idea to start looking at wedding dresses sooner rather than later, as there is so much choice and if you are going for a designer dress or any alterations are required, you need to make sure you’ve given yourself plenty of time. It’s probably best to choose the wedding dress and grooms outfit before the bridesmaids dresses, best man and ushers’ suits so that you can ensure they compliment your wedding gown and style of your big day.
As you work through your wedding planning list at this stage it is worth considering how you want your actual day to run. A lot of venues will have a Wedding Co-ordinator or you may have employed the help of a Wedding Planner, alternatively you may be organising everything yourself. Whatever you are doing write a schedule for the big day, this will help you imagine how it will flow and is a good tool for everyone involved to understand who is doing what, when. It will also throw up anything you might have forgotten about.
Once you have “The Order of the Day” you may want to match this to your wedding invitations. And make sure everyone involved including venue, suppliers, bridal party etc has a copy, so there are no unforeseen surprises.
As you start to send out invitations, you may find guests will ask for a wedding gift list, so have a think about what it is you’d both appreciate and ensure that everyone who asks has access to you list.
Sending invitations is usually 3 to 6 months in advance of the actual day, but a lot of people send a pre invitation in the form of a “Save the Day” card. If you are going to do that, remember to check on your budget and consider the extra costs of doing this. Remember on the invitations to set a deadline for RSVP.
Once the RSVP’s are returned you can make a start on table plans, there may be a few late responses so you may need to chase some people.
Plan your Hen and Stag Do’s! Amidst all this wedding planning don’t forget to celebrate; your bridesmaids and best man might have ideas or have even made arrangements, but whatever you do – have fun.
Thinking beyond your Wedding Day you might want to consider a honeymoon? If the budget has been spent then why not think about a minimoon? A night or two away straight after your Wedding can give you a lovely escape to relax and enjoy being newlyweds. You can then spend time planning and saving for a bigger trip that will be your official Honeymoon and something to look forward to after all the excitement.
The final touches. You’ve worked though all the big stuff but now you need to think about perhaps the most important aspect, the Wedding Ceremony itself. This is your story, the music, the readings, the poems and the vows. This is where choosing a Celebrant is a great idea. We personalise your ceremony by spending time getting to know you and writing a specific script, adding special elements (if that’s what you’d like) providing ideas and staying in touch so that on your big day its all about you, and that’s essentially how it should be.