Well first things first – Congratulations!! How exciting. I’d love to hear how the proposal went…..were you surprised? Did you suspect he was up to something? Where were you? So many details and it’s all really exciting!
TOP TIP: Take some time to enjoy this moment and don’t rush head first into wedding planning.
So once you’ve told friends and family and got used to being called “fiancee” it’s time to start thinking about the wedding, and one of the first places to start (as boring as it is) is with the budget. Chat with family members who are contributing and come to the figure you are all comfortable with. It doesn’t have to be to the penny but having an idea will help you to manage your priorities.
Allocate more of your budget to the aspects that are important to you. If you are wanting a once in a lifetime honeymoon, allocate more to that. If you are foodies – then keep more aside for some good food. Is it important to you to have a theme/colour scheme and set the scene to wow your guests? Then allocate some of your budget to venue styling and decor. If you aren’t bothered about traditional elements like a cake, then allocate money elsewhere.
Who to invite
The next thing to start thinking about is a guest list – to start with it needs to be a rough list so that you have an idea of numbers when venue visiting. Start with your closest family and friends who are “must have” and work from there. Having your budget and a list will help you work out your maximum numbers for both the full day and evening. It’s important to have an idea of the maximum number of guests when looking at venues – don’t fall in love with a venue that can only hold 50 people when your list of guests is 85. Otherwise you’ll be looking how you can cull your list!! Keep track of your list on an wedding planning app or on a spreadsheet and you’ll be able to log when you’ve sent invites and received RSVPs etc.
Remember : These first few stages are kind of interchangeable, they all need to be done but choose which order you want to do them in.
When will it be?
Have a think about a date – you might know that you definitely want a summer wedding or that you’ve always dreamt of a cosy winter wedding but it will help to steer conversations with venues. The availability of a venue might decide the date for you!
If not, where do you start? First of all think about the year – how long do you want to plan for, also will your savings allow you to do it this year or is next year better. Is there a date that is important to you (an anniversary or similar). A fab day for a wedding this year was 02.02.2020, a palindromic date! Does your date need to fit with the best time to go to on your dream honeymoon so you avoid hurricane season!
More and more weddings take place on different days of the week to a Saturday now, some weekdays may even be cheaper – check with your venue!
An important note when choosing your date is to check special dates, bank holidays, key sporting events. The last thing you want is half your guests secretly listening to the World Cup final during your reception!!!
Where will it be?
The Venue – The fun bit and the bit that makes the planning real! You may have your dream venue in mind but if not have a look round at different venues and styles before picking the one for you. Whether that’s a stately home, a countryside hotel, a barn, a tipi or a village Hall. Check out when local venues have wedding fairs, these are a great opportunity to see the venue set up for a ceremony and reception to help you visualise how it will look and give you inspiration. Bear in mind that your budget is going to be an important part of this decision… boring I know but needs must!
Choose your bride tribe! Again you will probably already have thought of this and there will be obvious people to fill the roles……but don’t feel obligated to choose someone if they don’t fit with your ideas. I’ll say this here, but remember it during your planning – it is your day and whilst you can consider other people’s suggestions/opinions, don’t agonise over it and do what feels right for you and your future husband on your special day!
Choose people to be by your side who will help you, support you and who you can rely on. You need those around you that will calm you, make you feel good and keep your spirits up if you get stressed. Planning will be a whole load more fun if you have a great team around you who help to lighten the load!
These are the biggies to start you off but remember, don’t panic and don’t worry, it all doesn’t have to be planned in a weekend. Take your time, chat to your partner and family. Stay true to yourself, share tasks with others and most of all make it fun!! Planning doesn’t have to be (and shouldn’t be) stressful. Use our wedding planner checklist to help guide you and give you a timeline for your planning. Download below or view the images below.