Newly engaged? Congratulations! It's such an exciting and lovely time for couples to enjoy and revel in the celebrations that follow. However at some point the dust settles and the wedding planning work begins in earnest. It can be stressful talking about budgets and overwhelming to think about where to start, so our Director of Wedding Planning Jessie Westwood wanted to give a few tips to those of you just starting out on what should be a fun and memorable journey to marriage.
1. HIRE A PLANNER
I know it might seem biased, as after all that's what I do, but truly if your budget allows then hiring a first rate independent event planner is the best thing you could do to set you on the right path. We work with you and for you to create the very best event we can within the budget you are limited to. We have an eye for design, and know all the best venues and suppliers to recommend. It ensures you get value, that the stress and "unknown" elements are taken away, and offers you constant practical and emotional support along the way. When clients come to us further down the line, having put down deposits and already made commitments to vendors, it's a much tougher job to get things back on track. Start with a planner. Ensure thy have the right experience and expertise, and that it's someone you really get on with on a personal level.
Nobody really likes this bit, and the tendency for most couples is to start gathering quotes and building their budget as they go. However whether you are paying for it yourself, or having contributions from family/parents, it's important to discuss upfront and early before making any decisions. Again, this is where a great planner will add real value. At Studio Sorores we break your available wedding funds down into real detail and show you how we can track overages and savings as the planning process develops.
3. DO NOT (ALWAYS) LISTEN TO ADVICE FROM FRIENDS AND FAMILY
Every wedding and every couple is different. Lot's of people hand over advice and recommendations to couples having been married themselves, but no two events are the same and we often see our clients make mistakes this way. Know your own style and priorities, and find the right suppliers to fit those requirements in line with your overall budget.
4. START A PINTEREST BOARD
You may well have been curating your wedding online for years already (!) but if not, now is the time to start. It's not a tool to rely on for the visual side of your wedding, as so many people tend to fall into the trap of gathering lots of things they like and not actually creating a cohesive design plan that works with the venue and setting. However it does start to focus your thinking on likes and dislikes, and as designers we find it useful to look at - not just a wedding specific board, but also your personal taste in fashion, interiors and travel. We spot patterns and dream up ideas based in the things you love most.
5. SET A WEDMIN DAY
Whether you have a planner or not, setting a day of the week to focus on wedding jobs and admin can really help keep things on track and stop it completely taking over your life! These days we are all busy with work, friends and busy lifestyles. Approach wedding planning with gusto but also take a measured and calm approach so it doesn't quickly become overwhelming. It also helps parents if they get a weekly update in the same way - they usually like to feel involved, on some level.
6. COMPILE A GUEST LIST
In order to budget properly a planner will need to know your estimate on guest numbers. It's a really good idea to sit down and draft this nice and early. It's not easy being selective, and you might find a perfect venue which restricts you on numbers, or even not have the budget to invite absolutely everyone. So we would always recommend starting with the "must have" lost before moving on to more "nice to have" guests.
7. THINK ABOUT LOOKING FOR THE DRESS
I offer this advice with a warning! As tempting as it is to rush off and try on princess gowns as soon as possible, it's worth waiting until your style of wedding and venue is decided on. By all means start the process, but I would suggest waiting to purchase until you know what setting you'll be walking down an aisle in. A traditional church wedding will usually require more modest attire, whilst a country barn may allow for a more bohemian style. Keep it in mind!
8. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION....
Before deciding on a venue, you will need to think about which areas you can narrow down. Is it important to get married in a family local church? Are you leaning towards a destination wedding? What does that mean for your guests in terms of travel, hotels, time off work and other logistics? For some clients it's an obvious choice to host a wedding at their family home with a marquee - but in that case you have an entirely different set of logistics to consider, and a very different budget to narrow down.
9. CHOOSE YOUR BRIDAL PARTY
Harder than choosing your own wedding dress, is picking out those for the bridesmaids! It's a good idea to think about who your bridesmaids and groomsmen will be nice and early - as it helps with budgeting, and can take a little time and effort to co-ordinate everyone for shopping duties!
We recommend getting your engagement ring insured straight away, and that you consider comprehensive wedding insurance as soon as possible. It deals with so many unexpected issues that could happen along the way. Just make sure you get the right level of cover, particularly if you are having a marquee wedding.
To contact Jessie about planning or designing your wedding for next year, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call + (0)79 4004 8885.