Congratulations on getting engaged!! If you’re wondering what the first things to do when planning your wedding, you have come to the right place! This is an exciting time and one to be enjoyed. The beginning stages of planning a wedding can be overwhelming so I have broken down the first things to do when planning your wedding into bitesize chunks to help give you the confidence to get the ball rolling and get planning that dream wedding of yours!
First things first…
Discuss what you want
Not everyone would agree with me but, forget about the budget, for a moment, while you discuss what you and your partner truly want.
Lots of different weddings can be achieved on every budget, so the most important thing to do is try and forget about how much money you have to work with and to start by considering the below:
Decide how big you want your wedding to be
The size of your wedding can really dictate the sort of wedding you have
Do you imagine your wedding to be a private and intimate affair, a large lavish party where you feel like a celebrity for the day, or do you imagine somewhere in-between?
You and your partner should sit down and work out the size your wedding and then make a list of everyone you would like to invite based on the size of the wedding you would like. If you decide (like me!) that your friends and family are what will make your wedding day even more special then you should make a list of everyone you and your partner know and then you can cut down based on the size of the wedding you envision. Numbers maybe be dictated by other elements (most probably venue and/or budget) but if one of the first things you do when planning your wedding is having a rough idea of the size of the wedding you want, you’ll be starting off on the right foot!
It may seem ruthless but be honest with yourselves about who are the most important people that you would like to attend. Remember, if your wedding is located close to where your friends and family live there could be the option of inviting more guests in the evening.
Sometimes setting a rule about who “qualifies” for your wedding can make this process little easier and justifiable. Something like, you have both met them or you would both feel comfortable meeting them for a drink. There will be some anomalies but setting a rule can make it easier.
The final number will dictate the size of the venue you are looking for.
What type of venue
There are so many options available and they aren’t limited to the UK
Try and visualize where you can see your ceremony; is it a forest, castle, bar, country house, beach, museum, town hall, garden? The options are endless. This is a great starting point.
Is there a particular season that calls you?
Most of us can easily say whether we are Winter or Summer people. This can help to dictate which month you would prefer to get married in. Summer is the most expensive time of year to get married in because we assume the weather will be best during what is considered the “warmer months”, however May and September are also traditionally good months for outside ceremonies. Winter can be a great option if a Romantic Wedding wonderland is what you after. Venues also tend to include Christmas decorations within their package due to the time of year. Yay!!
Aside from the season, consider which day of the week may be best for you. A weekend can be more expensive but can also mean more people may be able to attend. A week day can offer more flexibility and is less expensive but could be difficult for people to take a day off of work.
Now you have in your minds what sort of wedding you and your partner would like, before you go full speed into wedding planning it’s time to talk about the budget!
There aren’t many people who like talking about money, but setting a budget is an important part and one of the first things to do when planning your wedding. If it isn’t done near the beginning of the planning process it can lead to a lot of stress and disappointment. You and your partner should sit down with each other and work out how much you can afford and would like to spend on your wedding. If there is anyone in your family who you think might like to contribute to your wedding fund, sit down with them to understand what they would like to contribute and if there are any conditions associated with the contribution.
It’s time to have some fun and pull some visual inspiration together.
Pinterest is a great resource for images and it is so much easier to communicate what you want when you have pictures to share. You can even create sub-categories for each part of the wedding. For example; a category for hairstyle that you like, one for flower arrangements and another for the menu. It is so simple to use and extremely effective.
I would start by creating a general ‘wedding’ folder where you pin everything you like and you may notice a particular theme, style or colour scheme emerging from the pictures that you like and then you can start to build what you would like for your wedding.
This is one of my favourite parts of wedding planning and one of the first things to do when planning your wedding, it will make it start to feel real!
Choosing your bridesmaids and groomsman!
While it isn’t essential, it is worth considering those that are reliable and organized. Weddings take a lot of planning and you need your A team to support you and help make things happen. Make sure you and your partner have discussed your options before you start popping the question!
If you are worried about leaving certain people out that would expect to be chosen then you could write them a personal note to let them know how special of a friend they are regardless of them not being chosen. There are always new roles that can be created to include them in you special day!
Time to bring a professional on board!!
Now that you know what you want it’s worth considering bringing a professional planner on board to help with the logistics and décor. For vendor referrals alone, a wedding planner is totally worth their weight in gold! Only someone in the business will know exactly who to go to, to get you exactly what you want.
Ask your friends for references and do a little online research. There are so many options but it’s important you find the right person for you. Drop a couple of enquiries to planners and set up a date to meet in person. The right person will stand out.
It is important that you find the right person for you but please know that I absolutely love what I do and feel honoured every time I am asked to organise a wedding. If you want to have a chat about any part of your wedding, just get in touch!