I remember when I got engaged, I was terrified at the thought of the wedding-planning task ahead of me and I was an experienced event manager. Once we’d celebrated our engagement with our family and friends, I’d bought the magazines, started my Pinterest board (where I was to spend the next 947,254 hours of my life) and finally stopped spending all my time looking at my ring sparkle in the toilet mirror at work, I realised I had to plan a wedding. I’d managed hundreds of events. But suddenly I was running one with all my nearest and dearest watching. And I would be stood at the front. The pressure was immense!
Thankfully, it was a perfect day with barely a hitch and I LOVED the planning (well, it would be an odd career choice if I didn’t). But the task of starting it was beyond daunting. Now, with my own wedding and several others under my belt (not forgetting my UKAWP training), I want to pass on some top tips for getting you going on your planning and take some of the ‘blank sheet of paper’ fear away. The tips below are those to follow as soon as you get engaged and before you start approaching venues and other suppliers. If you tick off these steps first then you should be well on your way to stress-free wedding planning! Once you’ve done these initial steps you can also download my wedding planning checklist to use as a guide in your own planning.
1. Firstly, enjoy it! Try to stay relaxed and remember that you’ll only do this once. It’s very easy to get swept up in the enormous amount of information and ideas out there. Remember that it’s your day and you should do it your way.
2. Narrow down a time of year to get married and decide on two or three ideal dates. It’s probably a good idea to check these dates with key family members before you start anything else! It’s also a good idea to avoid dates that might make it difficult for guests to attend (e.g. too close to Christmas) or where they may be ‘distracted’ (e.g. a major sporting event). You might also want to think about the type of wedding you’d like and how this might be affected by the time of year you’ve chosen. For instance, if you’ve got your heart set on getting married by candlelight at 4pm then you’ll want to avoid getting married in the height of summer.
3. Decide on the area you want to get married (you may already have a very specific venue in mind).
4. Draft your guest-list. Before you can consider venues, you’ll need to know how many people you have to accommodate. Your dreams of intimate venue for 40 becomes difficult when you realise you have 150 guests that must be invited!
5. Decide on your wedding party. The minute you got engaged, your nearest and dearest will have started wondering!
6. Plan your budget. You can’t really do any proper planning until you know how much you have to spend. If you don’t know where to begin with allocating your budget then take a look at my packages where budget guidance or management is included or at the stand-alone service: Services page
7. Start researching priority suppliers and their availability – namely: venue, caterer, florist, photographer and band. Great suppliers get snapped up quickly. Supplier research can be quite a task – take a look at my planning packages or my venue and supplier sourcing stand-alone services to see how I could help with this: Services page
8. Start a Pinterest board and start saving pictures for inspiration. You’ll find this will start informing all your other decisions and is a great place to start. For help with designing your wedding, take a look at my styling packages: Services page
9. Set yourself a timetable. Download my wedding planning check-list for a basic planning schedule here.
10. Think about what you do and don’t have time to do and consider bringing in help where you think you’d benefit. Take a look at my services and packages and see how I could help fill your time or skills gaps. My packages are designed to offer affordable wedding planning to suit all budgets: Services page
I hope this is useful to all you newly-engaged couples. Good luck and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you find you need help! Contact me.