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  • Writer's pictureDenise Whelan


A Wedding Planning Calendar showing the wedding date

Your engagement whirlwind is now blowing you towards planning your wedding. That big next step with so many things to research, check out, budget and pay for which is why wedding planning can be such a daunting task, but with the right approach and mindset, it can also be an enjoyable experience. Here are some top tips to help you plan your dream wedding:

  • Start planning early: It's never too early to start planning your wedding. The earlier you start, the more time you have to research and make informed decisions. This will also give you more time to book your preferred vendors before they get booked up.

On average it according to a national wedding survey it takes couples 12-24 months to plan their wedding. It can be done in a much shorter space of time but more flexibilty is needed as many vendors could already be booked, especially if you are planning your wedding at a weekend or in the spring and summer months.

  • Create a budget: Weddings can be expensive, so it's important to create a budget and stick to it. Decide on the most important aspects of your wedding and allocate funds accordingly.

The key to this is to sit down and openly discuss your finances. Are your parents planning to pay or contribute to the wedding? If so, talk to them as soon as possible, establish what their contribution is. Maybe download a planning guide from a site like Hitched or create a spreadsheet to keep you on tack and focussed on costs

  • Discuss your priorities: It is important that you discuss what is important to you. Is it the location - UK or abroad, your venue - rustic or chique; children or no children; someone in particular doing a wedding speech; honouring those you loved who are no longer with you or is it the size of your guest list?

Once you have come to a decision, then write them down once you have agreed on them. It is a useful list to refer back to when looking at your budget and helps to keep you focussed on the priorities you have agreed on having.

  • What will be your wedding style?  Research online, social media is a great source for ideas. Have you seen a celebrity wedding that appeals? Are you festival goers and fancy a festival style wedding? There are so many styles to choose from, it can be overwhelming so try and narrow it down to a few and discuss them to see how they fit with you budget.

Your wedding style will also include colour schemes, this is something venues and stylists need to know and ensure you choose something that you will still love in 50 years time.

A joyful couple at a casual, relaxed wedding

  • Make a wedding planning checklist: There are loads of apps, Hitched has a great one you can download, no matter which you choose they are great for keeping you focussed and on budget.

If you make your own, don’t beat yourself up if you forget to include something. You can always add to. Don’t be afraid to delegate to family and friends too. Spreading the tasks is a great way of looking after yourself and alleviating the overwhelm of wedding planning.

  • Setting a date: This is an exciting part of planning your big day. It will also influence other aspects of planning your wedding. For instance, it may be more cost effective to choose a weekday for your wedding. Time of the year will influence your budget too and it will also impact on when you can get married, especially if you are looking for a Saturday in August at a venue you have set your heart on! It is more likely to be available January or February.

Once you have chosen a date at your chosen venue you can then send out Save the Date cards, email or wedding website.

  • The guest list!  Your budget will influence how many you plan to have and also if parents are contributing they may also want to have an input into who is invited.

You may already have an idea of who to invite, what is important is to remember that you invite peope who mean the most to you, the people who have supported you and been there to share with your your highs as well as your lows.

  • Choose the right venue: The venue sets the tone for your wedding, so it's important to choose the right one. Consider the size, style, and location of the venue, as well as the amenities and services they offer. Once you have set the theme for your wedding this will help you to choose a venue.

SIt down and talk about what you both want from your wedding, the number of guests will also determine what size of venue you choose. Also consider the important factors such as accommodation, location and accessability. If you are having an evening reception will it accommodate more people?

  • Wedding Supppliers: Choosing your wedding suppliers is possibly one of the most important tasks as it will influence your budget and theme. Start by making a list of all of the items you need - photographer, caterer, cakemakers, florists, entertainment (band or DJ), bar, drinks, stationary, makeup, hair, wedding dress, grooms suit.

Contact at least three from each catergory and then sit down together and work out which you are the most comfortable with. You have to be a good fit to work togther so it is important to spend some time talking to your prospective suppliers and get to know them.

Then decide if you need additional suppliers - celebrant, photo booth, entertainer, venue stylist, transport, wedding favours, marquee, dog chaperone.

All of these suppliers will have a huge impact on your wedding budget.

  • Wedding Insurance and Contracts: do read the small print in your contracts. Spend time going through them as they are legally binding contracts. It is unlikely that there will be anything to amend, however, it is important that you are clear about their services before you hand over any money. Whilst not the most fun task when planning your wedding it is the most important.

Recent research shows that the average wedding costs £18,400! Whilst a budget of £20,000 may seem like a huge amount of money, it soon gets used up when you look at the number of suppliers you are booking.

Whilst not a romantic aspect of wedding planning, and you hope that nothing goes wrong it is worth taking out insurance just in case. Take out wedding insurance as soon as you start planning your wedding - remember, it can cover your honeymoon too!

As for those friends or family members who offer to work for free or at a reduced cost, do have an audit trail just in case something does go wrong. Just for peace of mind.

  • The legalities: it is a necessary part of your wedding arrangements, you need to legalise your marriage and get a marriage licence. If you are marrying abroad make sure you have all of the correct documentation needed, the same applies if you are a second marriage too.

Research what you need and if you are using a Celebrant, remember that in England and Wales they are not legally binding weddings so you will need to legalise it at a Registry Office.

If you want to plan a wedding that reflects your unique style and personality, follow these tips:

  • Be specific about your expectations when working with suppliers and ask for updates throughout the planning process.

  • Take care of yourself during the planning process. Remember that wedding planning can be stressful, so make sure to take breaks when needed, get enough rest, and practice self-care.

By following these tips, you can ensure that everything runs smoothly on your special day. If you do start to feel wedding planning overwhelm if your budget allows for it you can purchase my Wedding Angel package at any point during your wedding journey. Click HERE to book a quick Discovery Chat to discuss how it works and why we are a good fit to work together.

A bride and groom walking through the countryside.

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