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You’ve found the Meghan to your Harry, the Jay Z to your Queen Bea and are now engaged! You’ve told your family and friends about your wonderful news! Then comes the realisation…
It’s finally time to start thinking about your big day! However, if the biggest party you’ve ever thrown was a house party during your university days, the prospect of planning a spectacular wedding with your closest friends and family could be causing you some anxiety. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our top planning tips and a collection of fantastic articles to help you pull off the most incredible wedding celebration.
Start here with our top tips on the fundamentals right here on this page before diving into our expert Wedding Planning Checklist – for FREE!
We understand that this is a huge question to ask at the outset of your wedding planning, but it’s one that’s well worth answering with some research into who you are as a couple and what matters to you on your wedding day. So, before you book your place, ask yourself these questions:
Do you envision a formal or casual day, an intimate gathering or a glamorous event?
And what kind of vibe are you both looking for? Are you and your partner more of a city chic or a classically elegant couple?
If you’re having trouble deciding what kind of wedding you want, look for inspiration online, in bridal and fashion magazines. You may also use your home as a design guide – places with similar aesthetics would feel more like you.
Being clear on your overall vision early on will ensure that your wedding is a personal representation of you as a couple and, in the end, will make your decision-making process easier, and fun!
Figure out your numbers!
Drawing up a rough guest list and having an idea of numbers is an easy way to narrow down your choices – capacity may suddenly rule out certain venues.
You don’t want to bounce around in a hall suited for 100 people if you’re planning an intimate ceremony for ten people. Similarly, if you want a massive, lavish wedding, you can comfortably rule out venues that won’t be able to fit your guest list into.
Set your budget.
The majority of your plans are going be influenced by your wedding venue, but before you book something, you must first determine how much you can actually afford.
Begin by making a list of your incoming and outgoing expenditures to decide how much you can (and want) to save. If someone has offered to help with your wedding, now is the time to finalise the arrangements! Calculate your gross expected savings, as well as any family gifts, to arrive at your big day budget.
Another problem is determining how much of your budget to commit to your location, which will be decided by a variety of other factors, so you’ll need to start prioritising early. This will require you to sit down as a couple and make some difficult decisions about which aspects of your wedding are the most important. The food, the setting, the place, the music, the decor, the finishing touches… What is absolutely important and what is merely desirable?
Set your budget.
Write down your requirements for your dream venue.
Finding the ideal wedding venue is as much about ticking logistical boxes as it is about falling in love with the vibe, particularly with so many practical considerations. So, before you begin shortlisting, ask yourself these questions to help you concentrate and simplify the process!
(And once you’re ready to start looking at venues, check out our FREE Wedding Planning Checklist of important questions to ask your venue and top tips for making the most of your venue search!)
How would you like to say “I do”? You’ll need to book the ceremony and reception sites separately if you want a religious ceremony. If you want your wedding and reception to be held in the same location, make sure your venue has a civil ceremony licence – and know where you can and can’t say your vows because only certain rooms can be approved.
When do you want your wedding to start and when do you want it to end? If you want to party until the wee hours of the morning, your venue will require a late licence. It’s also worth double-checking the availability on this, as certain venues have the ability to extend their licence with advance notice!
What day of the week do you want to tie the knot? Weddings are only held once a week or on specific days at certain locations.
Consider the seasons: do you prefer the golden light of autumn or the long days of summer? Peak season months (July and August) will be more expensive, so keep that in mind as well as the wedding theme.
What date do you want to tie the knot? If you have a specific date in mind, you may need to be flexible with the venue or the amount of time you are willing to wait for your wedding! Common dates book up quickly, and the average engagement lasts 14 to 18 months. (Excluding a global pandemic!)
Where would you like to have your wedding? You can easily rule out something further afield if you have your ideal place narrowed down.
Like we said, we know that’s a lot to consider, but I think now is a good time to remind you that planning your wedding should be a pleasant and enjoyable experience! Take a moment to look at the big picture and break it down into manageable chunks if you’re feeling frustrated by it all. And, every now and then, go out on a date night to get away from dreaming about the wedding!