Just Engaged? So where do you start
January and February are probably the busiest 2 months for engagements throughout the whole year. Many engagements happen over Christmas and New Year and then we have Valentines Day, which has always been very popular for those romantic proposals.
I wanted to write a post to help you get started on your wedding planning journey and to help you to start to think about the priorities and maybe to take a little time to decide what is right for you before you steam ahead with the preparations. If you get the initial decisions finalised now it will make wedding planning a whole lot smoother.
If you think you need my help in planning your wedding, then take a look at our 'Total Package'
So what's first? Wedding Budget
So one of the first things I ask all my couples before I start planning their weddings is 'what's your budget'? It may seem rather obvious to many, however I've have seen on so many forums the call for help from couples who hadn't realised just how much their wedding was going to cost and were now worrying about how they were going to pay everything as they had already paid deposits etc and how many of them were loosing sleep from it.
Its not the exciting part of the wedding planning process to discuss money but believe me its the most important and you will thank yourselves for doing this. Your wedding budget will help you when deciding what kind of wedding you can afford and will help you decide what your priorities will be. Always leave a contingency amount of around 5% of the overall budget as you may need it.
What does your wedding look like
What kind of wedding do you want? We started out wanting to get married in Barbados and actually ended up having a classical English wedding at a church with lots of guests. The cost of each option was completely different. You have already looked at your wedding budget and this will help you to decide whether what you want fits with the budget you have.
You need to think about your priorities and what is important to both of you. It could be the people you have at your wedding, entertainment, food or even the location.
How long will your wedding planning take?
Probably one of the first things to do is to set a date. The date may be determined by a number of factors such as how long you want to plan the wedding, when the venue is available or an important date.
You can plan a wedding quickly if you want, I planned my wedding within 3 months but mine was in the winter so I was able to get all my preferred suppliers.
If your date is determined by the venue you want then its important to prioritise this and go and have a look around now.
Dillington House - Photo courtesy of www.joshgooding.co.uk
How big will your wedding be? Venue Search
There are many factors which influence this such as your budget and venue. Of course as previously stated if you want a particular venue then it is important to check the maximum amount of people it will hold as this will determine your guest list.
If you have not chosen a venue then the first thing to do is run through your potential guest list and make a list of the people you must have at your wedding and then this will give you some guidance about how many people you could potentially have at your wedding. When looking at wedding venues make a list of everything that is important to you and then research. I recommend that you shortlist no more than 4- 6 venues and then take a look around each one.
If you need help we will do a venue search for you, click here for more information.
Planning a wedding is a full time job so it is important to get organised and keep everything together. Invest in a file which will hold all the information, such as quotes, contracts, business cards and ensure there is a place to make notes.
Ensure that all your appointments are in one place so you can keep track of who you are meeting and when.
We are currently designing a Wedding Planner which will be on sale soon which will help with your wedding planning.
To assist you to create that perfect day your way, there are many sources that you will find useful to you:
Pinterest: There are lots of inspiration on Pinterest and lots of wedding suppliers have boards which will inspire you. Its a good idea to create your own board and post photos you like as this can aid your suppliers about the style of wedding you want. You can follow us on Pinterest
Wedding Magazines: By the time you finish your wedding planner you would have probably bought most magazines on the market as some stage. These are a great inspiration as there are real weddings and styled photo shoots which may well be in your chosen theme.
Blogs: There are thousands of Blogs available to you online and many are written by wedding suppliers like me and who will also provide you with hints and tips to survive the wedding planning process. Follow the ones you are interested in and you will then be updated about new content.
Instagram: Instagram is used more and more within the wedding industry and there are lots of fabulous photos and ideas available to you. You can follow us on Instagram
Wedding Fairs: These are a great way to meet local suppliers and look at their portfolios. Most wedding fairs run from Jan - April and then September - October. Google wedding fairs in your area for more information. If you are local to Wiltshire our fairs can found here.
Choose your Bridal Party
Probably the next thing to do is select who will be in your bridal party and remember that wedding budget as you will need to factor in bridesmaids dresses, suits for the men and of course flowers and accessories. Think about who would be good for your wedding and choose people who will be supportive as well as fun too. They will be a very big part of your wedding and will be of great support to you during your wedding planning and on your wedding day as there are many duties you can give to them to help you along the way.
You should now be equipped to start your wedding planning and of course not everything is covered here but the if you start with these things everything else should slot in place.
However, if after reading this you think that maybe you do indeed need an experience Wedding Planner like me then take a look at my blog post 'Top 10 Reasons to hire a Wedding Planner' or contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck with your wedding planning.