Did you find that special ring underneath the Christmas tree this year? Did your partner propose to you at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve? If so, congratulations! After telling all your nearest and dearest, you’re probably wondering what to do next, right?
I’m getting married in two months – it’s crazy to think I started planning my own wedding just over a year ago! Getting engaged can seem a bit daunting; you’ll suddenly be hit with loads of people asking you when the big day is, if you’ve thought of a wedding theme, where you’re getting married, if they can they come, etc. It can get a little too much! When it comes to planning a wedding, where do you start?
Here are my five top tips.
Get advice from any newly-married couples you know
When we first got engaged, my partner and I paid our recently-married friends a visit to ask them a few (lot) of questions. Before speaking to them, I had no idea how much things cost, what I needed to include in my budget or what I had to book first. They mentioned things I had not even considered, and gave me some really practical advice. Their best tip was to create a spreadsheet which keeps track of the estimated cost of your flowers, cake, outfits, food, venue, etc. and what it actually cost you later down the line. This was ESSENTIAL to our wedding planning, as I knew approximately how much we needed to save and if we were over or under budget. Luckily it has mostly been the latter!
Visit wedding fairs
Wedding fairs are great for several reasons: they give you ideas for your big day, allow you to meet and find the very best vendors (who will likely be running a ‘special offer’ if you book with them that day) and you’ll pick up some awesome free goodie bags! Not only that, but they’ll help get you and your partner really excited for the wedding.
Don’t feel pressured to stick to tradition
Tradition is an odd concept to me. Just because we’ve been doing things a certain way for so long doesn’t mean it’s the best way, or your way. Of course, if the whole ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’ means a whole lot to you, then knock yourself out, but don’t be afraid to ignore any traditions you don’t want to follow.
Think about who (and how many) you want to invite early on
There are thousands of amazing wedding venues across the country and whilst you may be itching to visit them all right away, it’s wise to think about how many guests you want to invite before you do. Indeed, this is one of the first things my partner and I did – we always knew we wanted a fairly small, intimate wedding, so that helped narrow down our choice of venue. You may be surprised by how many people you actually want to invite, too, which is why it’s best to write a rough list as early into the planning process as possible.
Don’t rush yourselves
Hopefully, everyone is going to be really excited for you, and whilst that’s great, the big question: ‘When are you going to get married?’, might start to really piss you off.
Just because someone else you know got married within the year, don’t feel as if you have to race to the finish line. Planning a wedding, although sometimes stressful, is a wonderful thing to do as a couple – you don’t want to rush that experience. Take as long as you both need and try to ignore anyone who tells you to hurry up. You’re planning the damn thing, not them!
I hope my advice proves to be useful to you – if you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments section. I’m no expert, but I’ll try to help as best I can.
You may also wish to read ‘5 things I’ve learned from planning my own wedding’.