It’s been seriously busy at One Curious Dream HQ as our team of wedding planners gear up for an incredibly busy wedding season. It’s been such a pleasure to welcome some amazing new wedding planning couples into the fold following a ton of Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s engagements. With so many of you starting out on your wedding planning journey, it seems apt that we share some ideas to get you off to a great start – by no means, an exhaustive list, here’s just a few pointers to consider.
Your day, your way.
At One Curious Dream, our wedding planning ethos is very much ‘Your day, your way’. With so many of our planning couples opting for marquee, tipi and weekend weddings in dry-hire venues, never before has there been so much opportunity to truly personalise your celebration.
A good starting point is to discuss how you see yourselves spending time across your wedding – perhaps you fancy a 3-day affair with rehearsal dinners, post-wedding bbq’s and friends and family gathered to spend time and share the love, or maybe you prefer a single day that’s full of elegant details that offers your guests a more luxury experience.
In terms of style, are you going 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 traditions?
Narrow down and agree on the direction you both wish to take as early as possible as this sets the tone for the rest of your wedding planning journey.
Turn the traditions upside down
Don’t be afraid to shake off the traditional – don’t want a first dance? No problem. 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 day, nobody else’s – so go with whatever makes your heart sing.
Talk about the numbers
This one is obviously critical – having an approximate budget at the start of the wedding planning process will ensure a much smoother planning journey. At One Curious Dream, our wedding planners conduct the budget setting session at the earliest possible opportunity as this not only ensures you have a realistic budget to work with, but also helps us determine which venues and suppliers we’ll have access to. Of course, as experienced wedding planners, we have a little black book brimming with amazing, trusted suppliers to connect you with, many of whom offer perks and discounts to our clients.
If you are lucky enough to be receiving a financial contribution from family members or any third party, it’s really really REALLY important 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 celebration in mind, accepting the cash without having the conversation about your vision will only lead to drama further down the line. Be clear and concise about what leverage those 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 important. If you are paying for your wedding yourself, perhaps you would like longer to save the funds required or maybe you are keen to just crack on and look for some late availability deals with your ideal venues. Having a rough timescale in mind will enable you to check availability with both venues and suppliers.
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 wish to avoid clashing with – not many people would fancy their guests being distracted by a footy derby after all!
The essence of you
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 or an amazing DJ will be essential. If you’re more into food and fine dining, higher budget allocation for the wedding breakfast could be considered.
Assemble your tribe
Identify, early on, who are going to be the key people to help you through the planning experience. Whilst naturally we would impress the value of hiring a professional wedding planner, knowing which resources you have available to help will make your journey smoother.
Now you’ve established the key criteria for your wedding, here’s a couple of speedy tips to assist with your wedding planning:
- Ensure your engagement ring is insured
- Set up a wedding only email address. Ensure everything wedding related stays in that inbox for ease of reference in the future
- Buy wedding insurance and consider opening a wedding only bank account
- Set up a wedding Pinterest board to gather your ideas in one place
- Consider using a wedding website to help you stay on track (https://www.hitched.co.uk/planner/todo/ is useful)
- Tricky one – consider whether you need a prenuptial agreement!
Whilst this list may seem daunting, always keep in mind that you’re planning the ultimate commitment to the one you love. Make sure you keep the conversation open, honest and transparent and don’t forget to have FUN throughout the wedding planning process!