If you are recently engaged…CONGRATULATIONS!!! It is such an exciting time for you, your fiancé and everyone in your lives. Make sure you spend some time enjoying it – it’s all about the celebrations. But once everything settles down and you begin to think about your dream wedding, are you left feeling overwhelmed and wondering “how do I start planning a wedding?” I think this is the case for so many couples, so here’s a few tips to help you get started…
1) Set Your Budget
First things first, there is no point in looking at venues or even suppliers until you have figured out your budget. Sometimes this is a situation that requires a sit down discussion with family members. It could be that your parents would like to pay or contribute to the costs of the wedding, or maybe you want to foot the bill yourself. What ever the scenario is, this is the first thing to consider. If your budget is £5K, you can still have a beautiful day but you aren’t going to be able to have 200 guests! The budget really will determine the type of day you can create.
Just make sure you include everything (and I mean everything!) There are many hidden costs in wedding planning and it all starts to add up very quickly, so do your research to avoid any nasty surprises.
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2) Choose Your Type of Ceremony
Time to think about the type of ceremony you wish to have. Is it important to you that you have a religious ceremony or have you always dreamt of getting married outdoors?
There are certain considerations to keep in mind when it comes to the type of ceremony and venue you choose. Currently in England, to have a religious ceremony, it must be held in a place of worship and these are the only ceremonies that are permitted to contain any religious content such as prayers and hymns.
Legally binding (civil) ceremonies have to be held at approved licensed premises, whilst you must say you vows under a permanent structure. This can be something as simple as a garden gazebo. Although there are possibly changes on the horizon, the only way to get married at home or in a remote location of your choosing, is to have a humanist ceremony. These can be truly magical and perfect for couples wanting to be a little different and less traditional. However they are not legally binding, so you will have to sign your paper work at a registry office to make it official.
There are so many options out there that you are sure to find one that really compliments you as a couple.
3) Draft a Guest List
The all important guest list is one of the most daunting tasks of wedding planning. It can seem like a minefield! Do you invite children, who gets a plus one, do you invite the cousin that you haven’t seen for 10 years?! It’s all very stressful putting together the list of names of the most important people in your life, whilst trying not to offend anyone or strangle your partner in the process! Think of the guest list as a good relationship tester and be wary of any work parties. Your partner might just arrive home after a few too many gins to admit he may have invited another 20 people to the evening reception (but his memory is a little hazy). These things happen!
It’s always best to approach this by creating a guest list of your absolute “must attends” such as immediate family and best friends. Then, if you think your budget will allow, start to build from there. This does not need to be the final list, you are bound to add guests along the way. However, this gives you a very good idea of the size of venue you will require and the price that you are able to spend per guest.
4) Set a Date
Choosing a date at this early stage doesn’t mean that it’s set in stone. If you find a venue that you absolutely fall in love with, you might need to be flexible to secure a booking. However, you should consider what season/month you want your big day to be. This is obviously vital for outdoor weddings when you really need that glorious weather for everything to happen as planned.
There are so many positive aspects to getting married during any season. A festive winter wedding on a frosty morning, a vibrant wedding with rich autumnal tones, a spring wedding with fresh blooms or a wedding in the glorious summer sun. Any date can be a great day for a wedding.
Some points to be aware of when choosing a date are:
- Budget restrictions – obviously venues will be less expensive outside of the most popular summer season. This can be a great opportunity to grab a bargain!
- Length of your engagement – the amount of time you have to plan or how quickly you wish to have your big day might be more important than the time of year
- Bank holidays or National events – this usually increases venue prices and can affect guest attendance. If not enough notice is given, you might find that many guests already have plans arranged for the holidays
If you need any more help…
Hopefully you are now feeling a little more confident about how to start planning your wedding, however, if you are still feeling overwhelmed and think you need to get some extra help, just get in touch! I’d be more than happy to answer any questions.
If you think you might need more guidance or are curious as to how Feather & Fawn can help you, take a look through my services via the link below…