After Adrian and I got engaged I didn’t leave it long until I started the actual wedding planning, it was all so exciting I simply couldn’t help myself ! I went full steam ahead but I actually found it quite daunting at first… I had no idea how much planning was required or how in advance you had to plan! So I thought I would do a little “wedding series” of blogs from the start of the process until our actual wedding day to help anyone out going through it all too! So this is how I started the planning process…
Work out your numbers & make a budget
First things first, weddings are not cheap, according to Google in 2017 it cost on average £27,000 for a UK wedding. So before you get your heart set on a venue that is fit for a princess with a never ending cheque book, work out your numbers!
* To start with you need to work out how much you have saved/can save by your ideal date. Family members may want to contribute so take all this into consideration when adding up your potential Wedding Fund. It might be handy to set up a separate savings account so you can easily keep track of the finance side of things.
* Work out day and evening guest numbers. I found that most venues do prices per head so it’s good to have an idea of guest numbers so you can get quotes from venues.
* Start gathering some ideas together. Make a Pinterest board and buy bridal magazines to save any little ideas you like the look of. Wedding fairs are also great fun as you can meet with suppliers and get an idea of styles and prices!
Finding a venue
If you have an idea of what type of venue you like then its easy to narrow your search down, however if you are completely open to all types of venues get researching… a traditional church wedding? Abroad wedding? On the beach? In the woods? Close to home? A favourite UK holiday spot? Converted country barn? Old fashioned manor house? Castle? The list is endless!
* Choosing the area is key, whether you plan on getting married abroad or in the UK. If it’s away from your local area find out if there are enough local hotels for guests to stay when they travel.
* Book appointments and go to open days, pictures of venues are great but until you are actually standing there it’s hard to get an idea of how the venue will compare to your vision. View as many places as you can until you get that feeling when you just know its “the one”
* Have a list of questions to ask the venues. From finishing times to food options, ask as many questions as you can!
Found the venue? Get booking!
Before the engagement I had no idea how in far in advance couples book their weddings, most venues we looked at were already taking booking for 2022! So once we found our dream place I knew we needed to act fast as I wanted it to be a Saturday in the summer months for the following year. However we wasn’t quick enough as the only Saturdays left in 2019 were in February or November so we had to settle for a Friday in July instead. So top tip, if you find the dream place for you, don’t hang around, get the deposit down!
* Once you secure your date look into suppliers as again they get booked well ahead of time too! I originally emailed four florists and two of them were already booked for that weekend in 18 months time!
* Most venues will have a list of local, frequently used suppliers that they can recommend to you so call around, get examples of their work plus quotes to help you decide who to go with. Most suppliers will ask for a deposit of £100-£400 to secure the date so make sure you have a little fund set aside to do this.
* Send save the dates. Get save the dates made so people know well in advance to keep the special day free.
Decide any special roles & keeping track
For any girl I think this is one of the most special things when you start the planning process, you get the chance to “propose” to your girlies and the ideas of how to do it are endless! I had all my bridesmaids over for the night where I had a box made with a balloon containing a scroll that read “I can’t say I do without you, will you be my bridesmaid/maid of honour” along with a card asking the same thing where I wrote a little message to each of them, plus a little Bride Tribe tote bag. I then had a little puzzle made for my nieces that asked them to be flower girls when the pieced it all together.
* Book some wedding dress appointments. When I first started looking the consultants always advised to start looking over a year before as majority of the dresses take 6 months to make, so make sure you give yourself enough time to go shopping, find the right dress, get it made and have time for any alterations.
* Keep a list or a spreadsheet of the things you have booked so far along with deposits paid so you don’t forget.
So that is how I started the process of planning our wedding plus any tips I learnt along the way, I hope this helps any brides to be going through the same thing!
Thank you for reading