In this day and age, couples are absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to finding resources to help you plan your dream wedding. Pretty much every couple on the planet will spend time pin-teresting, googling and reading wedding websites such as Rock My Wedding, Style Me Pretty, Hitched and Confetti for ideas and inspiration. Whilst it is fantastic that so much information is readily available, how do you whittle down the really useful wedding planning advice that will actually help you plan your big day?
Before we start putting any plans in place, our wedding planners always ask our couples to think about three sets of numbers – the number of guests, the budget and the timings of the day – get these right and you are guaranteed to create an incredible wedding to remember.
Number 1 – The guest list
So many of our wedding planning clients have a really clear idea in mind of the style of venue where they would like to get married. Before you rush off and start looking at venues, however, it’s really important to create a guest list (approximate numbers is fine) to determine a rough number of guests you will be inviting. This list will help you determine the right kind of venues to view – if you are keeping things small and intimate, there’s absolutely no point in considering the ballroom in the local castle, your guests will look lost in all the space! Similarly, if you are aiming to create a gigantic celebration, a bespoke venue that caters for 50 isn’t going to work.
Number 2 – The budget
Probably really obvious this one, but you wouldn’t believe the number of couples that start to consider their budget at a much later stage than they should! We would always suggest you tie in your budget discussions with pulling your guest list together as the two really go hand in hand. It’s also important that you have the discussion with your fiancé early on – many couples struggle to keep the wedding planning side of things fun when you both have different expectations about how much cash there is to spend.
Once you have a rough idea of your budget, make a list of what is most important to you – for example, if your perfect vision is to have everybody dancing the night away, having live music or a DJ needs to be accounted for. Similarly, if you are both foodies, more budget will need to be allocated to the wedding breakfast. Take your time and do your research – ask local suppliers for their best rates or better still, hire a wedding planner who will have their own little black book of suppliers who offer the very best deals!
Number 3 – The schedule
Ok, this one is a bit more tenuous but still really important! Once you start to pull the schedule for the day together, think about the timings. You want to ensure the day isn’t rushed along at a million miles an hour and similarly, you need to keep your guests entertained throughout. Ask your suppliers for their knowledge and input so that you can put a realistic timeline together. For example, ask your caterer how long they anticipate your wedding breakfast will take as this may determine the time you invite your evening guests. Ask your photographer how long they will need you for individual couple pictures as you may well want to find something for your guests to do in that period, having fun with garden games for example. Of course, you could always use a local wedding planner to help you cover all of the above in detail to make sure your day runs smoothly and delivers everything you hoped for!