Congratulations to those of you who got engaged this weekend! I do love a leap year engagement!
So now what? In case some of you are feeling a little overwhelmed after the initial glow, I’ve put together a little guidance below for what to start thinking about first. For those of you who love to jump in and start making plans (I know you’re out there!), try to resist the urge to make any firm decisions about guest lists, venues or tell people immediately that they are in the bridal party – there is a lot to consider and you have lots of time.
I even recommend not telling anyone you’re engaged for a few days – you’ll never have this time again where just the two of you can bask in the fact you’ll be getting married to each other, without all of the questions about when and where that you’ll hear so many times in the coming months!
These are the things to start thinking about and discussing first:
Yes, I know it’s not romantic but it is so important and you can’t make any decisions without it. Work out how much you’ll spend and have those delicate conversations with others if they’ll be contributing. Make sure you and your fiance are in agreement with the budget before talking to anybody else. The budget and where it is coming from will also help you work out when you will get married as you might need a year or two to save.
The Guest List
Usually the most contentious part of wedding planning, especially if parents are contributing. Do a first draft including everyone you’d love to invite and everyone your parents would love to invite – expect that if they are paying for some of it, they’ll want a say. Then prune the list, dependant on the budget. If you’re not sure whether someone should be invited, make some rules. Some people have rules like ‘if my other half has never met them then they don’t get an invite to the ceremony’ or ‘if you wouldn’t invite them over for dinner at your house, they don’t get an invite’. Whatever works for both of you. This really can cause arguments so be open-minded and listen to each other and you’ll get it sorted!
The type of wedding
Think about the overall wedding you’ve envisaged. You may have always known you want to get married abroad with just a few friends or you may have dreamt of a huge fairytale wedding all of your life. Discuss these dreams with your partner and listen to their dreams too so you can come to a middle ground (or you might be lucky and both want the exact same thing!) Consider other possibilities that you hadn’t thought of – you may change your mind when you start your research into the many kinds of weddings you can have. Think about the time of day, the mood of the wedding, whether you must have a ceremony outside for example. Thinking about the big picture will help you with the detail later on.
This depends on budget and the type of wedding you want. If there’s a particular date that means something to you that you must have, you may need to wait longer for some venues as they can get booked up 2-3 years in advance in busy Summer months. If budget is an issue, look at mid-week or out of Summer season weddings as your money will go a lot further. Check for National events on the date so that you don’t clash with them and so that it doesn’t make travelling difficult for guests.
This becomes easier to finalise once you know your budget and you know how many people you’re going to invite. Think about the area you want to get married in and then do your research. Look at venues that work well with your overall feel, mood or look of the type of wedding you want. In other words, don’t go straight for a very grand ballroom in a traditional hotel if you know you want a fun quirky modern wedding. Again, even if you think you know exactly where you want to get married, have a look at other options – even if just to compare.
So there you go – your first wedding to do list! Resist the urge to start thinking about the detail yet or booking suppliers – get these essential parts done to make your life easier in the planning process going forward. And if you don’t use Pinterest yet – you soon will so maybe download it now and have a play!
If you need any assistance with your wedding plans, do get in touch. Some of our couples book us for a 2-hour Inspiration Session first just to discuss ideas and put together a comprehensive list of what they need to do and when.
We get excited discussing all things wedding so would love to hear from you.