Wedding Planning can often be daunting and overwhelming. Let's face it, it's not something you do everyday and there is a good chance that you have also never done it before. Or, if this is your second wedding you may not remember the ins and outs or want to do the same thing again. Here are just a few tips to get you started:
1. Pick a Date.
Factor in long weekends, public holidays personally significant dates, religious and cultural holidays and leap years. Depending on you these dates could be the ones to avoid or the ones to book. (Dates such as 22.02.2020 will be those that get booked the fastest also.)
Whatever you are planning on spending - assume you will spend more. Whilst there are general rules when it comes to breakdown of budget, more often than not this purely comes down to personal preferences. I.e. generally the budget will be made up of roughly 50% reception, 8-10% for outfits, 8-10% flowers, 8-10% music/entertainment, 10-12% photos/video, 2-3% invitations, 2-3% gifts and roughly 8% for extra services or vendors such as a stylist, wedding planner or day of co-ordinator. It is important to add about 10% contingency for extra, unforeseen expenses - ie changing your mind about shoes, extra tailoring etc. As mentioned before this breakdown can hugely vary from couple to couple. You may want very minimal flowers but want to splurge on outfits. There is no right and wrong and no rules about what you wish to include/spend or save money on for your wedding.
3. Guest List.
There is no easy way to do this. It will involve loads of prioritising and negotiation (and potentially fights). It is not an easy process and of course the more guests you invite, the higher to cost of the wedding will be. Unless you are comfortable with guests paying for their own drinks/bringing food there is no way around this.
4. Choose your team.
I can't emphasise how important this is. You have to trust 100 percent that your vendors are going to do everything and beyond to make your day magical. That way you don't even have to worry about the things that don't go to plan (trust me, some things won't go to plan). It's also worthwhile to ask your vendors for other vendor suggestions. I.e. if you are set on a photographer ask them if they can recommend a florist/stylist/band etc.
If you are choosing to purchase from a bridal shop it's best to start looking around 7 months out and purchasing around the 6 month mark. Alterations generally start about 4-6 weeks out from the wedding date (not sooner.) If you are buying off the rack or online of course this timeline will be distinctly different. If you are planning on going bridal shopping don't take 6 others with you. Take one or two friends or family, if need be. Whilst it can be helpful to get someone else's opinion, it is important to choose someone who accepts/understands your style and personality and is supporting you, rather than putting their own expectations on you.
These are just a few starting points - if you wan't to get some more useful tips to wedding planning check out our Practical Wedding Guides that cover topics like budgeting, timelines, outfit shopping and making guest lists in more detail. Good luck. x
Image by Matt Godkin.