You're engaged! it's so exciting, but now reality hits and you realize you have to plan a wedding, Where do I start?
It can be a mind field and its so easy to miss out on the most important details like registering your interest to marry etc.
So I've put together my top tips for planning your big day from start to finish... I hope you enjoy it and I'm positive you will find it helpful x
The first thing you need to do is have a night with your partner and spend the evening working out your guest list, until you have numbers you can't begin to look at the budget or any venue's, so number 1 is the guest list
Once you have sorted your guestlist now its time to think about the budget. Weddings are not cheap and are hands down the biggest party most couples will ever have.
You need to think about what's important to you, is it food, is it entertainment or do you not care about any of that.
Make a list of anything that will be paid for by family, maybe your mum will buy your dress, etc, and then work out how much you are prepared to spend on each guest and you will have a gage of budget. yes, its boring number crunching but you have to do it.
Back to the guestlist
Yes, its hit that huge guest list needs to get cut down to match your budget. My advice is to be as honest and brutal as your heart will allow. some things to think about,
: Have you spoken to that person in the last year?
: Do you know their partner's name?
: Will they make your wedding more fun?
: Do you have a close family connection?
Check out this easy quiz to decide who is making the cut!
Now, this is a fun part start looking at venues, I love this bit if you can visit a few of your favorite - the feeling is everything, when you get there you will just know, pay close attention to the way the staff make you feel, chances are if they are welcoming and warn this is what your guests will experience on your day.
Now you have chosen your venue provisionally book because the next stage is SO important
Check that your registrar is available for your chosen date and ceremony time, it's honestly so so important, I can't tell you how many weddings I've been to where the couple has to get married at 4 pm because its the only available time left so before you pay the venue make sure you book the registrar.
You are booked
Now you have the registrar booked call your venue and pay your deposit, You are now officially getting married you have a date and a venue... let the fun begin x
The next thing I recommend is looking into wedding insurance, it gives you peace of mind and god forbid if anything does go wrong you will get your money back, it's worth every penny in my eyes, There are new issues due to coronavirus so really do your research and find the best deal for you.
Who is in your Wedding party?
This is a nice part you get to choose your wedding party, there are so many ways you can do this announcement, for me I think to get everyone together for a BBQ or a lunch and make your party feel special, this way lets be honest you get another celebration of your love, you are only getting married once milk it for all its worth!
Pinterest the CR**P out of it
Its now time for mood board moments, you have your venue so I imagine in your head you have exactly how you want it to look, I would recommend getting on Pinterest and looking at styling options, there are so many ways you can go with your venue so [play with things on your mood board until you are in love with the style you have chosen. we have our Pinterest page to get you started, check out our pins here https://www.pinterest.co.uk/9a4ec2ec9c246ae7d7364756349f38/_saved/
Book Book Book - as soon as you can book your suppliers that way you have the pick of the bunch. I know for us we get booking 2 years in advance this is pretty standard so most suppliers will the same. In my opinion, your suppliers can make or break your day so get booking your dream photographer, videographer, makeup artist, and Band and DJ asap. We provide acts for every part of your day so wether its an acoustic duo for reception drinks, a roaming brass band for the wedding breakfast, or a show-stopping party band and DJ for your evening we have got you covered.
The Dress, Like most you will have an idea of what you want, so start looking online at bridal shops, and get that Pinterest board out again, and start pinning. and then get your gang together and have another celebration trying on dresses
Attend a meeting
12 months before your wedding you should book and attend a meeting with your registrar. These can be booked for any time between one year and three months before your wedding date, but it’s best to get it out the way.
On the day, you’ll register your intention to marry, pay for your marriage certificate, you will then be sent a form which asks for all of your wedding ceremony details.
You will then have up until six weeks before the wedding to return your ceremony details,
Save the date
Save the dates, you have chosen your guestlist now its time to let them know to send out your save the dates. Personally, I love it when the Save the dates match the theme of your wedding, so choose your stationary and try to keep it consistent throughout - the devil is in the detail. a year is a good amount of time for a save the date.
I'll bring you flowers
Its time to find your florist and bridesmaid dresses, choose what you love, for the bridesmaid dresses take into consideration all your bridesmaid's different shapes and sizes and make them feel comfortable, you want them to look stunning and feel confident, and excited to wear the dress you have chosen. this is your team and you want them glowing on all your pictures as well as rocking the dancefloor.
10 months to go
You have about 10 months to go until your big day its time to decide your ceremony details.
what are you walking down the aisle too, who is walking you down, what order are the bridesmaids going in etc?
Next, ... booking your honeymoon. Most couples spend double on their honeymoon compared to a normal holiday.
If you are looking for an unbelievable VIP service I would recommend getting in touch with Travel Lux Charlotte, she is a VIP personal travel agent who can book every detail of your trip and find you the holiday of your dreams with the best available rates. and all ATOL & ABTA protected, firstname.lastname@example.org
Some say a gift list is outdated and all they want is their guest's company, some ask for money, As a guest, I would always bring. gift or money, if you are looking for something a bit different and fun you should check out https://www.buy-our-honeymoon.com/honeymoon-fund its a really fun way to get your honeymoon fully pimped out, Guests can give you anything from 2 cocktails at the pool, to an extravagant excursion. that way no one feels pressured to spend the big bucks and you get an all-inclusive lux honeymoon.
Get Technical - make a wedding website, it not too hard, and here is a blog to help you https://www.weddingwire.com/wedding-ideas/how-to-create-a-wedding-website
On your website you can put details like hotels in the area, your gift list, local taxi numbers - basically any information that is going to help your guests have an easy and seamless experience in the run-up and on your day, it also saves you time repeating yourself to individual guests.
Invites it's now about 6 months until your wedding, the save the dates have been sent now its time for the invites, time to get the RSVPs in.
Suited and Booted
Outfits and Wedding rings at the 6-month point now its time to get any suits you need for any of your wedding party. Also the all-important rings.
Hen & Stag or Sten do time
By now we are edging closer to your day and its the 3 month count down, It time for Stag and Hen parties, this gives enough time to clear the hangover, and its close enough to the wedding to have the buzz of the big day looming.
you no doubt have bought some unreal wedding shoes for your big day maybe some
Sophia Webster or Jimmy Choo but one thing is for sure don't let your wedding be day be these beauties first outing, start wearing them around the house and wear them in a little otherwise you could be in a flip flop by 2 pm
One Month to go
You have a month before your wedding. You will now have all your RSVPs so the seating plan can be fully arranged, you will always have an idea but at this point, you know exactly who is coming, maybe you have added an extra guest as others couldn't make it.
The seating plan is so important but a good mix of people together, you don't want all your rowdy friends on one table spread the rowdiness across tables so everyone can be part of the action.
Beauty Treatment month
In the month leading up to your wedding, this will most likely be the most beauty treatments you have ever had! make sure you are fully prepared and book in advance for these as you want to look and feel your absolute best on the day x
The day has arrived
And now its the day of your wedding! TOP TIP aim to be ready 1 hour before your ceremony, you will most likely leave 15 mins prior to service, so that then gives you 45 mins to relax, have a glass of champagne, take photos and have any moments you need with relatives, you do not want to be flapping about at the 9th hour and arrive flustered and stressed
After your service please choose one person to keep your marriage certificate, I can not tell you how many people lose these on the day.
A moment for yourselves
One thing I would advise every couple is to take 20 mins to yourself, go to the bar or for a walk, instruct your wedding planner and bridal party that this is your time, at reception drinks is usually a good point, take it all in and enjoy because you are not going to have a moment for the rest of the day.
Now relax and enjoy and watch all your hard planning come to life, Go with the flow its an event sometimes things run slightly behind sometimes they don't, but just don't sweat the small stuff be present and enjoy your day x
PS... If you need any help or advice with booking the best entertainment you can get in touch with us at any time and I will respond within 24 hours you can send us a message here