Five Things To Consider First
The question has been popped, the answer is Yes and the planning is underway, but where to start?
UK wedding planners Knot & Pop break down the big five decisions to turn your thoughts to first to help ease the wedding planning pains.
Number One – Guest List
Knowing who you are inviting is important to put down on paper and tally up before getting lost in Pinterest and all that lovely wedding inspiration.
Having your guest list sorted not only feeds in to the overall budget, but also importantly drives your venue search with you needing to know how many guests you need the space to accommodate. It may sound like an obvious one, but all too often people start on the venue search without having a true idea of their guest numbers.
So sit down with your partner and get those names into a document so you can clearly see how many guests you will be inviting.
Number Two – Date
Discuss and think through the best time of year for you to set the wedding date for, balancing the practical reasons with the pretty.
Does work or other commitments mean that certain times of the year aren’t an ideal time for your wedding?
Have you both imagined getting married in Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter? Do you see yourself having a cosy Autumnal wedding or would you ideally like to celebrate in summer with more chance of sun and outdoor celebrations?
Rather than pin-pointing an exact date up front we first recommend you consider a month, allowing therefore some flexibility when it comes to the venue finding to ensure you have a greater chance of venue availability.
Number Three – Budget & Timeline – Wedmin
Running hand and hand with an early discussion, and good to do at the same time as discussing guests, is the dreaded wedding budget.
Weddings vary considerably in costs so it’s important to sit down with your partner to discuss what you both feel happy and comfortable spending on your wedding. Consider if there will be any parental contributions and in turn what these contributions may mean in terms of input into decision making or guest list.
You can find lots of wedding budget templates online so it’s best to use one of those as a guide so you can see all the costs you need to apportion into your budget, and for each supplier. Knowing what to apportion takes some intel so here’s where the research gets underway to make educated projected costs, based on reality rather than guess-work.
As your costs are confirmed you can update your budget with an ‘Actual’ spend so you can keep a running spend across the difference, aiming all the while to keep things in budget!
The other key part of Wedmin is the timeline so separate by week and into Suppliers, and allocate when you need to brief suppliers, receive quotes by and then decide and book. Having this check list will take the stress out of everything and keep things on track. It’s also the ideal time to discuss who will be managing what with your partner, playing to one another strengths so no-one feels out of their depth.
If you are thinking of getting a wedding planner to help you with organising your day then this is the best time to get them in the fold so that they can help guide on budget allocations and timelines, and then oversee the planning from start to finish to allow you a stress-free journey to your big day.
Number Four – Venue
With so many options out there, before you start Googling have a fun discussion with your partner about what would make your ideal wedding day, what have been the weddings you have enjoyed the most and where do you see yourselves celebrating.
It’s good to go into the venue hunt with some focus, which comes from having this open chat about your dreams and desires for the big day.
Whether you’re leaning towards the historic charm of a castle, the beauty of a quintessential English manor house, want to enjoy the great outdoors with a marquee countryside wedding or see yourself celebrating in a city setting, decide on the type of venue and any preferred regions, and from there you will be best placed to find your ideal venue.
Number Five – Wedding Theme
If you have a clear idea of your wedding theme this will play into your choice of venue as you will want to make sure that the venue you go for complements the theme you have your heart set on.
If however you are undecided on your theme, then finding your venue can really help with this decision as the venue may have a particular style that you can then blend beautifully and help inspire you for your wedding theme and colours.
Moreover, the inspiration should come from you as a couple. However tempting, we ask you to resist from turning to Pinterest too soon and first have a fun chat with your partner.
Tease out your tales together to find ways to weave your story into the wedding so the day speaks of the two of you. If you are a couple who love the simple things in life then opt for a wedding theme that is bedded in natural beauty, or if you are a couple who love to live life to the max then bring that sense of fun to the wedding with bright and bold colours with lots of interactive elements for you and your guests to enjoy.
Once you have your wedding theme decided it’s really useful to produce a mood board so you have something to share with Suppliers in order for them to understand your vision and what you want your wedding day to be like.
Then start thinking…
The Wedding A-Team
It takes more than the two of you to organise a wedding so you’ll need a trusted team to bring your wedding day to life.
From the caterer, to photographer, to florist, cake maker, stationer, hair and make up, bar, band, lighting, heating, crockery, furniture and many more, you want to get an A Team around you to ensure you have the day of your dreams.
Make sure you therefore research those trusted and talented suppliers are, reaching out to a few of each so you have comparative quotes to ensure you keep a keen eye on your budget.
Check out your local or national wedding fairs, refer to trusted sources for their recommended supplier lists, ask for recommendations from friends and family, and importantly call and speak directly to the suppliers you are considering to get that first hand impression and to see who you fit with best. One person’s love is another’s loathe so find the Suppliers who you have an instant affinity with and adore the work they do. You want to hear that your Supplier’s are enthused by the wedding and your plans and this comes from speaking to them to build that rapport.
If you have a wedding planner then thankfully they will have their trusted contacts and will be able to research on your behalf to share all the best fits with you.
Be mindful that some Suppliers need to be booked in good time with must-have Suppliers, especially photographer’s and entertainment snapped up. If, for example, you have your sights set on a photographer, wanting them and no other, then it is best to check their availability before deciding on your wedding date to avoid disappointment.
Enjoy! The best day of your life is firmly in your sights!