Our last blog looked at what not to do when you first get engaged, so it’s only right we take a look at the 10 first steps in planning your wedding you should take (or may have done already!) now you’ve been engaged a while.
It may seem like ages away, but time will soon fly and planning a wedding is not easy: we should know, we do it all the time!
So, in no particular order, here are our 10 first steps in planning your wedding:
1. Start a wedding folder or Pinterest board
Leafing through magazines and scrolling through Pinterest will give you tonnes of ideas for your big day. Cutting out or printing off what you like and keeping it all in one place will make it easier when it comes to making decisions.
2. Work out your budget
Decide how much you want, or can afford, to spend on your wedding, taking into account any savings and contributions from family members. Setting a realistic budget and sticking to it from the start will allow you to see how much you can spend on everything from venue and catering to wedding favours and stationery. If you’re familiar with spreadsheets, now’s the time to set one up so that you can keep track of costs.
3. Reserve your date and venues
Once you’ve decided on a date, you should start looking at venues sooner rather than later to ensure you can get the date you want. Decide whether you want your wedding all in one place, or in separate venues and visit them all to check you’re happy with the space, style etc. Don’t forget to factor in travelling time and additional costs if you’re having the ceremony and reception in different places.
4. Research local suppliers
Wedding suppliers like photographers, cake makers, florists, entertainers and caterers are usually booked well in advance, so it pays to start researching them early. Make sure you get quotes and store this information and their contact details in your wedding folder.
5. Hire a planner, if you wish
Wedding planners can really help ease the pressure in planning a wedding and will have great relationships with – and knowledge of – local suppliers. Most wedding venues usually have a dedicated team who can also help plan most aspects of your big day in terms of catering, decoration and entertainment, or you can choose to hire someone like us who can take care of the whole process. For more info on our services, click here.
6. Book your officiant
If you decide to have your ceremony anywhere other than in a church or registry office, you’ll need a licenced and registered officiant. Again, these tend to get booked up in advance, so do your research and make sure you book in enough time to secure the date you want.
7. Choose your wedding party
It’s likely that your closest friends and family are already wondering if they’ll be asked to be bridesmaids or groomsmen. Think carefully about your choices and ask them sooner rather than later. You can even think up some fun ways to ask them too!
8. Start working on your guest list
No matter how big your budget, not all your friends, family and colleagues will be getting an invite! It might be brutal, but if you’re trying to keep within a small budget then the best way is to keep numbers low. Set up a spreadsheet or database you can use throughout the process, to store contact info, RSVPs, gifts and other relevant details such as access and dietary requirements.
9. Throw an engagement party
If you want to celebrate and announce your engagement formally, then now’s the time, and what better way than with a party! Just make sure your invitees are also on your wedding guest list too.
10. Start thinking about a honeymoon
Planning this well in advance can really pay off, allowing you to take advantage of any special offers for booking early. Don’t forget to consider any potential weather conditions, such as July being monsoon season in the Maldives for example.
Hopefully, our 10 first steps in planning your wedding has given you some useful pointers and ideas on where to start!
There are loads of websites, blogs and guides that offer lots of useful tips and advice, often with downloadable planners and checklists! The best ones we’ve come across are these:
https://www.theknot.com/content/first-wedding-to-dos – a good yet simple guide to what you need to do in the first few weeks after getting engaged.
http://onefabday.com/uk/wedding-checklist/ – a comprehensive checklist that covers EVERYTHING – perfect if you love making lists and covering every detail!
http://www.realsimple.com/weddings/weddings-planning/wedding-planning-checklist – although geared towards brides in the US, this breaks everything down into simple, manageable steps and timescales.
Planning your wedding should be a lovely and memorable experience, so do remember to enjoy it and have fun.
If you’re feeling stuck, overwhelmed or just completely lost, we can help. Simply get in touch for an informal chat.