Congratulations on your engagement! This is without doubt one of the most exciting periods of your life and you will want to shout the news from the rooftops or at least put into action the ‘we’re engaged’ ring shot that you’ve been planning in your head since forever!
Everyone will be excited by your news but remember to tell your family first before announcing it to friends across your social media account! Secondly, make sure that you get your lovely shiny, new engagement ring insured as the first thing you do!
Images: Laura Beresford
Before you head off to download or purchase bridal magazines and scour weddings online for ideas and even before you create your ‘Wedding `Pinterest’ board (if you haven’t already got one!), we’ve created a helpful seven point guide of your next steps to get your wedding planning off to a flying start.
Wedding Day Planning – Where To Start and What Should Be On Your List
1. Guest Numbers
Working out your approximate guest numbers is a key place to start as the number of guests you invite directly correlates to your budget spend. It sounds obvious, but the more guests you invite the higher your budget needs to be so think long and hard about who you want to share your day with you – will they be with you on your journey through life as a couple, should you have evening guests or do you have the budget to invite everyone to the whole day?
Lina and Tom Photography
Your guest numbers may influence where you host your ceremony and will definitely influence your choice of reception. Venues come in all shapes and sizes and all of them will have maximum guest numbers for day and evening guests. Popular venues may also have minimum guest numbers during the peak season (May to September) so make sure you ask lots of questions on venue viewings.
2. Potential Wedding Dates
Before you head off to look at venues make sure you talk to key family members to see if there are any date clashes with your potential dates Also you will need to think about the time of year you want to hold your wedding in– have you always pictured yourself as a Summer bride with an outdoor ceremony or a winter bride with candles and textures? Don’t forget that these days,midweek weddings are just as popular as weekend weddings. Perhaps you have a date that is of significance to you as a couple?
Images: Paylor Photography Stationery: Darling Ivy
Remember that in peak season, awesome suppliers and venues are often booked up 18-24 months in advance and sometimes even longer so if you have particular suppliers that you would like to book you may have to adjust your date around their availability.
There is a saying that money talks but it seems wedding budgets are the one time nobody wants to talk about money, however it is key to a successful planning journey. At the very beginning, decide what you can afford to spend including contributions from family members and as tempting as it is to keep stretching the budget make sure you only book what you can afford. If you do overspend in one area, think about what you have left to book and how you can make savings. Your budget will to some extent define your style of wedding along with the time of year that you choose.
Styling: The White Emporium Image: Summer Lily
Styling: The White Emporium Image: Lola Rose
4. Church, Civil or Celebrant
Discussing between you what kind of ceremony you both want will also influence your style of wedding and reception venue so tick this one off the list at the very start.
Images: Helen Warner
This is where the fun starts and if you are super organised, you may already have a ‘wedding’ Pinterest board set up!
The season that you choose to marry will affect your style and colours and certainly your florals. If you have a favourite flower such as peonies or dahlias and you really want them in your bouquet then you need to make sure you are choosing to marry when they are in season.
Images: Si Creative Photography
6. Bridal Party
Choose your ‘crew’ wisely –it’s one of the exciting tasks, asking your girls to be a part of your big day and your planning journey but make sure you assign them tasks early on so that they know what is expected of them!
Lina and Tom Photography
7. Wedding Planner
If you’re holding an outdoor wedding consider a planner to be there on the day to manage suppliers,deliveries and timings, because whilst venues come with staff, independent outdoor weddings don’t.
Remember your planning journey should be fun and express yourselves as a couple,following my tips above will start you off on the right track but my biggest tip of all is never be afraid to ask for help from a professional at any stage in your journey if you think you need help.
Images: Cat Lane Weddings
Looking for more wedding day advice and Inspiration? Take a look at our online magazine BOND BRIDE. And stop by RandF Weddings for more wedding planning advice from Vanessa.