Planning a wedding - Where To Start
Ready to start planning your wedding? As a business, I get the opportunity to meet clients from different stages of their wedding & it always fascinates me when I hear the phrase "Our wedding is a year away yet we're just looking" Little do people realise like my self, other vendors will have bookings for the next 3 years! That being said I always try and help guide people to make the right decisions and plan their wedding in stages, here's how.
I always find it helps by jotting down on paper/computer or buying a wedding planner each part of a wedding i.e Costs & Vendors. This way you can keep track of your money, vendors booked/balance and keep track of your final checks later on.
1. Set a Budget -Only you and your partner will know how much you can save/afford when planning your wedding. Have a month & year in mind and work our how much you can save each month without leaving yourself too short i.e June 2022 with £400 per month = £10,000 budget. Speak to relatives and loved ones to find out if they are willing to contribute to anything either pay for your dress or allocate spends to your budget. Think about other aspects of your wedding like honeymoons/ engagement parties/hen/stag parties ( average costs) and timescale of where you plan to have these scheduled in your calendar.
2. Organise your guest list- Start your forever changing list with immediate family and close friends and if you feel you want to add more you can. Remember though the more you add the more money your spending. Revert back to your budget to see if it's possible. If you really eager to invite more people maybe add more to the evening party to keep costs low. Use this time to choose who will be standing with you and your partner on your wedding day. How many bridesmaid and groomsmen you want? Collating this key information you're now ready to move on a search for venues & suppliers.Notekeep the capacity of your venue in mind.
3. Get Inspired - Let your creative juices go crazy! Research looks of different weddings gather information on how you want your wedding to look & feel. Use Pinterest as a platform but PLEASE be realistic. We live in the UK, not in America where we can hang fairy lights in the forest. Attend wedding fairs to collect suppliers information and most importantly, speak to them. I can not stress to you the amount of times people have spoken to suppliers who have sold them something completely different to what they had planned for. A good supplier is one who will take the time to speak to you about your dream wedding and work with you on your ideas ( within reason). Check there stand out,/social media pages, view the quality of there products, feel the vibe they give you. A good supplier will always leave you feeling at ease and excited. Don't forget if you found a supplier you really like ensure you book with them or else someone else will. When planning your wedding you will feel so inspired you may think about doing most of the wedding yourself which is fine BUT on your wedding day do you really want to be running around ensuring that items are set up in place or would you like time to chill and compose yourself, enjoy those bubbles with loved ones. What about all the items you will have in your house that you will have to sell ( much easier said than done trust me). Set your self realistic things to do and let professionals sort the rest. Planning your wedding should be fun and stress-free - keep it that way! They are your memories.
4. Set A Date - Now you have done the research and gathered that vital information, if not done so all ready its time to set a date and book the suppliers. ( this can be done at any stage). Ensure you have taken into account any holidays you or your family have booked, work schedules. bank holidays. Start a list of who you are ready to book and prioritise the most important. I.e Venue, Decor, cars. This will ensure you get the supplier you want which will make planning your wedding a whole lot easier. Now the fun really starts.
NOTE - If you find the stages of wedding planning overwhelming and simply dread the thought of the time/organisation of it why not hire a wedding planner, some couples hire one right from the get-go and others after the venue has been booked.
5. Save the dates -If you have budgeted for sending you save the dates speak to your chosen stationery supplier about your wedding looks and what you want to include. I am a little old fashioned and prefer to meet with stationery suppliers as I like to know I'm hiring quality rather than cheap & cheerful. I speak to so many couples that rush this stage and find something online and then by the end of the wedding planning the save the dates look completely different to there finished stationery. Your wedding should flow with the style you wanted this includes stationery. Note If you're happy with the quality of the supplier use them for all stationery.
6. Wedding bands -Have you thought about your bands? Don't forget this will be with you for the rest of your life so make sure you're comfortable. Speak to your partner about your options.
7. Wedding Invitations -There's no right or wrong time to send invitations. Fact! There's so much material out there that suggests sending invites out nearer to the wedding date, as close as 8 weeks!!!!! but like you people have VERY busy lifestyles or may even have holidays or other events to attend to. That being said allow people time to organise themselves and RSVP back to you in a timely manner. Make a list who has responded and follow those who haven't responded to ensure you get everything back in time. Speak to your stationery supplier about the invitation design, ask for proofs so you can ensure you are happy with the final product.Note Allow your stationery supplier time to design and allocate your place in the queue, don't assume stationery can be done in a few days.
8. Pre Wedding Events - By now your calendar will be jam-packed with pre-wedding stuff, now is the perfect time to let your hair down and enjoy life as a singleton! Though the soon to be married couple doesn't have much involvement in preparing for these events you still want to ensure you attend those parties in style, take hundreds of photos and add them to your memory book. On a more serious note your chosen venue, church etc will be in contact with you to organise the plan of the day, meal choices, wedding vows etc. Now is the perfect time to ask any questions which have been bothering you or if you're unsure of anything.
9. Confirm your details with Vendors- Have in mind a time frame to catch up with your chosen suppliers ask them important questions like what time they will be at the venue etc. A useful tip. Most suppliers will expect payment around one month before the wedding, I like the idea of catching up with them at this time to confirm your order/confirm payment ask for rough timeframes of delivery. Two birds one stone type of thing! At this point, it gives suppliers the chance to ask you any information they may need too. You can always check in with a supplier again one or two weeks before the wedding too. Communication is key!
10. Get Married -Remember the day is about you and your partner, at this point all your hard work and planning has come to this day. Whatever happens on the day happens but most importantly enjoy every second of it. A few helpful tips below
Allocate jobs to family members DONT take everything on board and do it yourself
Compose yourself and give your self-time to take in the moment - throughout the day!
Enjoy every minute, dance till you can't dance no more, take photos to live for the moment!
Written by Chantelle Houghton @ Flossy Pots Events www.flossypotsevents.com