Where to start?
For most people, planning a wedding is going to be a new experience and knowing where to start can be really tricky. It can be made easier by having close family or friends who have got married before you, but in some cases, you could be the first one!
If your budget won’t allow for a wedding planner, then I’ve found there’s a bundle of great wedding planner books and apps out there to get you started. Personally, I found the Bridebook app fantastic when I was planning for my wedding day, back in 2019. I loved their checklist so I didn’t forget anything, and I can add my own tasks and deadlines too! Their search facility is also really handy for finding local suppliers. Blog posts and supplier directories, such as design.my.wedding and Hitched, can also be so helpful in getting inspiration.
First things first, everyone thinks you’ve got to have a venue, ceremony and date sorted, so this should be priority number 1. However, you can’t go head first into the fun stuff until you’ve decided on rough numbers of guests and a budget, as this may narrow down a lot of venues for you! What type of wedding ceremony you may like, either religious or civil, could also impact on which venue you decide to choose. So sit down with your partner, talk it out and decide on how you’d roughly like your day to look.
Then, next is probably food and drink! Does the venue supply food? Or do they recommend external caterers you can hire? Do they have a drinks package? Or will there be a corkage charge if you bring your own alcohol?
Then the next thing on the list is probably a photographer and/or videographer. Check out their style, have they shot at the venue before, and are they available on your date?! Do they come together as a package, or separately? Again, you will need to check they’re both available if you decide to have both from different companies!
I’ve seen brides also ask, when’s the right time to try on dresses?! I truly believe it is whenever you’re ready. Whether that’s because you want to lose some weight, or you just don’t feel bridal enough yet, it’s completely up to you! But on a practical note, if your dress is to be made for you, you will need to enquire how long this process will take – a little Google has told me that you should leave 9-12 months as a minimum before the wedding. Don’t forget to also factor in time for alterations – how many will you need and when will they need to be done? I had two dress fittings after saying “yes”, 4 and 3 months before the wedding (and one two weeks before at home, just to make sure I hasn’t over-indulged at Christmas!).
All the little bits and pieces after that will no doubt fall into place, but don’t forget to send out save the dates – particularly if you’re planning years in advance or a destination wedding!
Either way, there’s practical deadlines for everything but ultimately, plan at a pace that suits you both.
Enjoy your wedding planning and don’t forget, it’s all about you two!