Planning Your Wedding
What with house renovations, and busily planning 2018 weddings, there has been no time for blogging, or keeping up with my Facebook page these past few months. This Winter has been a funny mix of going on and on (the rain mostly I'd say), and not having enough time to do everything I would have liked!
But Spring is definitely in the air, and with it comes my intention to start a Mini Series taking you through the planning process.
Congratulations, you're engaged, but what to do now?... . .
Well this is my tick list (in order of priority of course) of where to start, I hope you find it helpful, and I will do my best to find the time to go into some of the steps along the way in more detail through the series.
*Buy a wedding note book - Definitely top of the list, make notes, write it all down, and keep in it one place!
*The Venue - Venues are booked out early, and a lot of other factors will be effected by the Venue you go for, including the date, and guest numbers, so this is a good one to get sorted early on. There are so many options out there - Marquees on your own land, Yurts on someone else's, Simple venues with no frills, to Old Country Estates that provide everything for you. Can you have the ceremony onsite? Do you go for a venue for the ceremony and another for the reception? - We can look at the multitude of options, and how to go about finding the right venue for you in the next blog, but this is definitely a good place to start.
*Set the date - Check all important people - Bridesmaids, Family, Best men can make it!
*Budget - Having a good idea of how much you would like to spend on your day from the very beginning is the best way to keep your budget in check. My advice would be - draw up a spreadsheet and stay on top of it - it is so easy for the budget to spiral out of control without regular checks!
*Guests - Guest lists are always a little tricky to navigate, but knowing numbers early on is really helpful, so get this job out of the way nice and early.
*Save the dates - If you feel inspired this a very good time to start a wedding website or email address where you can slowly start to put helpful info up for your guests.
*Book the Registrar/Celebrant - Spend some time really thinking about how you'd like the ceremony to be, there is so much choice now'a'days that you can really make it your own.
*Order of the day - So planning how the day is going to pan out with timings etc is really helpful at this point. All the services you book will want to know timings, and although this is something that can be constantly tweaked along the way, it's good to have rough plan in place.
*Food - This is another one thats good to get sorted early on, as just like venues, good caterers get booked out well in advance, and just like venues, the choice is mind boggling (Even in the depths of West Wales). This is definitely a subject that deserves a whole blog to itself.
*Accommodation - If you are tying the knot far from home make sure you get your accommodation booked up well in advance, and if you are feeling really organised, putting a few local B&B options on the website for your guest and reminding them to book early is super helpful.
*Photographer - Again a good Wedding photographer is always really busy, so finding one that has your date available is good to do sooner rather than later.
*The Dress - Depending on what option you go with there is often quite a lot of pre planning required. Finding the perfect dress is the first mission, then once the search is over, they may need up to 6 months to either make or alter it. So good to start the dress hunt early on ladies.
*Music - I keep saying it, but again Wedding Bands are popular and can get booked up early. Also once you've chosen a band, DJ or other option, you then know if you need to hire in any PA equipment or not.
*Bar - This takes a little more consideration than you might expect. There is always the option to bring in professional bar, which makes life very simple, but a little expensive for either yourselves or your guest. However if you go with the "bringing in all your own booze at wholesale prices" option, there are lots of other things to plan - The bar itself, people to staff it (take it from me there is a lot of work involved in a bar, they definitely need staffing) glass hire, chilling all the booze etc, etc.. . I'm not saying it's a bad option, I think it's a great one, and most the weddings I am involved with bring everything in themselves. I am just letting you know that there is a little more involved than organising who does the booze cruise.
*Flowers - Finding a good local Florist, preferably who grows their own flowers, or buys in local seasonal blooms, would always be my advice. Then you can look at whether you would like to buy in buckets and do all your own arranging with family and friends (or a planner) or get the Florist to do it all for you. I am a big fan of buying in buckets of locally grown flowers, it's a great way to save on the budget, and for me there is no nicer way to spend a day than arranging flowers!
*Decor - This does feel a little far down the list in many ways - it is one of the most exciting bits after all (well for me anyway :) ) but it's not something that needs to be set in stone too early on, and over time, as you know the venue and food style, you will start to get a real feel for what atmosphere you'd like to create and how you would like the day to look. I am definitely going to dedicate a blog to decor as I love it so much, and there's so much to talk about!
*Hair and Makeup - Fitting in trials can take a bit of planning if you are not getting married close to home, so again it's good to find someone well in advance.
*Invitations - Time to send them out. You should have enough of the final details in place now to keep your guest updated.
*All other outfits - Bridesmaids, Groom, Best men - make sure everyone is sorted.
*Rings - You can fit this detail in anywhere really - You can even book a day to make your own weddings rings for each other which I love!
*Cake - Again there are lots of options, and it may be that a family member would like to make the cake, but if not I would suggest finding someone local to the venue.
*Taxis - It's great if you can give your guests local Taxi numbers, and check in with the Taxi firms in advance to let them know they may well be busy on that date.
*Toilets, Parking, and Generators - These are definitely the less glamorous details, but very important ones non the less.
*Check in with all suppliers on final timings/menus details etc.
*Draw up check lists of things to remember, job lists for the week, order of the day including suppliers arrival times and job list.
*Enjoy your day - This goes without saying, but it's time to let anything that didn't happen go, and have the best day ever!
I haven't put a planner in this list as couples tend to get me on board at all different stages of the process depending on how much help they are looking for, and it maybe that you're going to nail it without needing a Planner (but definitely make sure you have lots of very helpful friends and family :) )
Most importantly - Enjoy the process!
Depending on what sort of wedding you want to achieve it can be quite all consuming, there is a lot to think about, but you are only going to do it once, so have fun!