After your engagement, the fun of wedding planning starts. This is a time every bride dreams of. However, it can be quite stressful once you get into the finer details. There is a lot to think about over the months and weeks before your big day, but having a little guide to help you along the way will ensure you stick to your plans and relax throughout the process.
Whether you’re planning a huge celebration or an intimate gathering, take a look at the top things to sort out to make your day run smoothly.
Decide on the type of wedding you want
Before you start your research, deciding the type of wedding you both want is essential. It could be a small affair or a large white wedding, but considering this first will give you an idea of what areas to research first.
Start your research
Planning your perfect wedding starts with research, and you can never do enough of it. Everything needs to be considered from the venue and dresses to the catering and a honeymoon. Even before your research starts, you should have an idea of the type of wedding you want so you can begin to gather quotes and options based on your themes.
Set a date
Setting a date for your wedding or having a good idea of when you’d like it is critical in the early stages of wedding planning. When you’re doing your research, this can make or break the ideas you have as some months are more popular than others. Sticking to this date is also a priority as once you start booking things, any changes will affect how much money you could lose. Be sure to pick a time you are both happy with so you don’t have anything clashing unexpectedly.
Get a wedding journal or diary
Another critical feature in the planning stage is noting everything down. This could be important dates, deadlines, quotes and lists, so having a journal or diary is crucial to ensure you remember everything. There is a vast selection of pretty wedding planners available, and they also make beautiful keepsakes of the hard work you put into making it a special day. They are also a great way to keep track of everything, as details can start to get confusing if you’ve forgotten to make a note of everything.
Set a budget
There’s no point in doing all the research if you don’t have a budget in mind. The budget is a critical aspect of the type of wedding you can achieve and affects everything from how many guests you can host to what venue you can afford. It’s best to be realistic with the number too, as even if you are saving for your dream day, other areas of your lifestyle may dip into your savings at a moments notice. Be prepared for compromises and contingencies, and also consider cheaper options where possible. Weddings don’t have to cost a fortune, but you can get sucked into the expense when the excitement kicks in.
Pick a venue
The venue is going to be your most significant expense. If you opt for the full experience, this will also often come with catering, ceremony, accommodation, evening entertainment and those little extras. This can be a great way to save some money, as everything is under one roof; however, it can also work out more expensive if you decide on exclusive use. Consider your options on venues, plus hiring everything separately to reduce your costs.
Flowers, decorations and wedding stationery
Some wedding venues provide flowers and decorations; however, you need to consider these areas if they don’t. These elements can match perfectly with your wedding themes, and there is a range of suppliers that can cater to your every wish. When it comes to wedding invitation cards, you can also choose to design your own or select one of the many beautiful designs at an affordable price.
Planning the guest list
This is one of the most areas most people dread. Family politics can make selecting who comes to your wedding one of the most stressful parts about it. Not only that, but you also have to decide where to sit people, so it doesn’t cause conflict or upset during your day. When it comes to the element of your wedding, it is difficult to plan when you also have pressure from family and friends. In this instance, it is better to distance yourself during the process and decide who you’d like there with your partner only. That way, you can both thrash it out without interference. If people don’t make the cut, many will understand the costs involved and will be happy either way. However, some may not, but you have to stick to your decision as it’s your big day.
Dressing the bridal party
The dress is another essential factor, and there’s not forgetting your entire bridal party too. Everyone from bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls and mother’s of the bride need to be considered, so everyone looks great and feels comfortable. This can be a significant expense, as bridal gowns are often handmade and tailored to your preferences. However, everyone else’s suits and dresses can be hired if budget is tight. There are plenty of options for hiring suits and dresses that fit with your wedding themes. Or you could opt for more affordable off the hanger options that also look beautiful but are a fraction of the price.
Depending on your budget, the honeymoon may be straight after the wedding or a few months down the line. Many couples opt for the big luxury getaway, but smaller breaks are also becoming popular too. If you’re short on cash after the big day, a great way to help you on your way is to ask for contributions to your honeymoon rather than gifts. As many couples often live together already, you already have lots of homeware, so there’s no point in getting more, so this could be a great alternative.