If you’re recently engaged and beginning your wedding planning journey, then today’s blog will be the perfect read for you!
It’s been very busy at One Curious Dream HQ as I gear up for a slightly later than usual wedding season (thanks Covid!) and such a pleasure to welcome some awesomely cool new couples into the fold following a ton of Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s engagements.
With so many of you at the early stages of planning your wedding, it seems apt to share some wedding planning advice to help. By no means an exhaustive list here’s just a few things to consider at the very beginning of your planning journey.
Wedding planning tips
Whenever I start working with new wedding planning clients, the very first question I ask is “Tell me about your perfect wedding”. Whilst lots of people will have been dreaming about their fantasy wedding for years and years; many other couples know what they don’t want, so it’s my job as a wedding planner to help define the wedding brief.
A good starting point is to discuss how you see yourselves spending time across your wedding day. Perhaps you fancy a relaxed weekend wedding with rehearsal dinners, post-wedding bbq’s and friends and family gathered for an extended period to celebrate with you. You may be hoping to plan a tipi wedding or marquee wedding or are hoping to create an intimate micro wedding.
In terms of style, are you hoping to plan a wedding that’s contemporary, traditional, romantic, rustic, vintage, boho, luxe or mega glam? Do you want something stripped back and casual or highly formal, embracing all the classic wedding traditions? Agree on the direction you wish to take for your wedding as early as possible, as this sets the tone for the rest of your wedding planning journey.
Shake off the wedding traditions
Don’t be afraid to forego any typical wedding traditions. For example, if you don’t want a first wedding dance? Don’t have one! Want to walk down the aisle together? Go for it. On the flipside, fancy having your dog deliver your rings during the ceremony? Yes! Fancy having pizza for your wedding breakfast? Do it. It’s your wedding, so choose whatever options that make your heart sing.
This one is critical – have you defined your wedding budget? Doing your sums before you undertake any wedding planning activities is so important, you don’t want to set your heart on the perfect wedding venue or wedding supplier before realising the pennies won’t quite stretch that far.
THE awkward conversation
If you are lucky enough to be receiving a financial contribution from family members or any third party, it’s essential to establish what their expectations are (if any) in return. If, for example, parents who are injecting funds expect to add an army of people to the guest list, but you have an intimate, close friends and family wedding celebration in mind, you could be setting yourself up for a difficult conversation further down the line. Be clear and concise about what leverage those wedding funds unlock and to what extent and where you are prepared to compromise.
Whilst there is no doubt that you will be inundated with people asking whether you have ‘set the date’ the minute you get engaged, setting a realistic timescale is so essential. If you are paying for your wedding yourself, perhaps you would like longer to save the funds required or maybe you are keen to move quickly and look for some late availability deals with your ideal wedding venues. Having a rough timescale in mind will enable you to check availability with both wedding venues and wedding suppliers.
The wedding season
Also think about the season you wish to marry in and give consideration to any specific family gatherings, national holidays or even sporting events you want to avoid clashing with – not many people would fancy their guests being distracted by a footy derby after all!
Next, it’s time to determine what’s important to you both and where your wedding budget should be primarily allocated.
Think about what you love doing together as a couple – if you enjoy going to gigs and dancing the night away, allocating budget to great bands, DJ’s and musical entertainment will be a priority.
The bridal party
Identify, early on, who are going to be the key people to help you through the wedding planning experience as well as choosing your bridal party. Whilst naturally, we would impress the value of hiring a wedding planner, your friends and family will be able to offer lots of wedding planning ideas, inspiration and advice.
The final piece of wedding planning advice is to remember that this should be an enjoyable experience! We always want to ensure our wedding planning clients are embracing the journey and having fun, after all, you’re planning the most significant event of your lives, so really relish the challenge!
If you’re getting married across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridge, Essex or London, or further afield throughout the UK and fancy finding out more about my wedding planning services, I’d love to hear from you! You can reach me on 0800 772 0765, [email protected] or book a wedding consultation here.
As an elite member of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners, I adhere to a strict code of conduct and don’t accept commission or referral fees.