YOU SAID YES, LET’S GET PLANNING!!

Congratulations your partner has just asked you those 4 magical words you have been waiting for ‘Put the kettle on’……..HAHA of course I’m only joking they were ‘will you marry me’ obviously you have said YES!!!
How exciting for you both and of course you want to get the planning underway. So, what happens next?
Obviously I’m going to tell you to hire a Wedding Planner!! I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t suggest that this be the first thing you do, but I also appreciate that not everyone wants a planner so here are my 5 top tips for planning your wedding.

1. Celebrate!!

Before you go off and start planning celebrate your engagement, be that in a party, a night out or a romantic meal for two, celebrate it and enjoy it!! After all this is a huge moment in your life, so get a manicure and flash that ring off to all who know you and who will be just as excited as you are!

2. Set the date

This is a really big decision to be made and you have to really chat through this together. Start with choosing a season, this will help you with a base from which to start planning, the choice of season will not only dictate the style of wedding but it will also effect what is available. There are obvious pro’s and con’s to each season to consider, let’s face it, you can’t be guaranteed the weather in the UK. We don’t always get warm weather in Summer, we are not guaranteed snow in Winter, and you we usually get a cold spell in spring. Autumn is typically wet, but it’s my favourite season due to the beautiful colours. So have a think about your favourite time of year it may surprise you!!

Other factors to consider when choosing your wedding date, if you have a big family and will be inviting lots of people with children you might want to avoid a date in the school summer holidays when many of your guests are likely to be away. Or if you are a school teacher and this is a good time for you send save the dates as soon as you can so your family and friends can be there.

If you have a sport fanatic partner then it may be a good idea to work around major sports fixtures, let’s face it, you don’t want some guests sneaking out to watch a game during the wedding breakfast or ceremony.

3. Work out your wedding budget

This is the important part, when I am planning a wedding for my couples its the first thing we discuss. The average wedding now costs around £24,000, I’m not saying you need to spend this amount of money, it’s just an average as it’s very easy to get carried away when planning your special day. Especially now we have the internet you can google ideas until your hearts content and before you know it you’ve spent a small fortune. So, first things first set a budget, a realistic one you can afford, there is no point in looking at a grand wedding if you only have a budget for a small and intimate one.

Before you book anything and start paying deposits, sit down with your fiancé and work out what you can afford to spend, what your priorities are and where you can cut costs if needed. If either of your parents are contributing, involve them in the discussion too.

Decide on a budget and stick to it. If you over-spend in one area, have a look at where you can cut some costs elsewhere. There are so many ways you can save money if you need to especially if you are creative.

4. Chose a venue

It may surprise you to know that a venue can be fully booked up around 2 years in advance, especially during the height of the wedding season. Don’t panic! If you can compromise on when you want to get married then you can still have your dream venue (as long as it’s within budget). Since this is where a huge portion of the budget is going to be spent you need to make sure that not only can you afford it but that it’s in keeping with the theme of your wedding.

You also need to consider if it’s a licenced venue for weddings, if it’s not don’t worry you can still have a wedding ceremony conducted by a celebrant which will make it even more unique and personal to you!! Also take into account the location of your venue, does it have onsite accommodation, if not is there accommodation close by for guests who may need to find overnight accommodation or make travel arrangements.

Catering arrangements will also need to be looked into. Venue fees are just that a fee to hire the venue, there will be many other add-ons, including catering and other costs, so consider that before you decide on anything.

5. Compile a guest list

You may think it’s too early to start a list but believe me it isn’t, this is one of the most difficult parts of planning your wedding you will write, and re-write the list right up until you send out your invitations. You don’t need to have the list finalised and set in stone, but it does make sense to make a list of who you both want to invite.

The amount of guests will have an impact on your venue choice, many venues will have details on seated and standing capacity numbers, which will give you a rough idea. You should also have a think about whether you want separate day and evening guests, or if you’d like to invite the whole guest list to all of your celebrations.

Either way, enjoy planning your wedding together, after all this is one of the most special days of your life!

One final tip, make it about you two make sure you add your personality to the wedding, let it be a celebration of you two and your love story!!

Happy Planning!!