You’re engaged – 10 tips to get you started

Congratulations you’re engaged! You’re on cloud nine, you can’t stop staring at your engagement ring, you’ve retold the proposal story a hundred times and you excitedly talk about the future and your wedding day. You dream about the dress, partying with your friends and of course becoming husband and wife (or husband & husband/wife & wife). But, just how do you plan a wedding, where should you begin?

Start dreaming

Yes, you have permission to start dreaming about your wedding. Go wild, what would you have if money was no object?

What’s your style? 

Buy every wedding magazine to work out which one matches your style. Each magazine has a different target bride/wedding and you’ll quickly discover which ones are right for you.

Think of a date

Think about what season you wish to marry in and what year.  Must it be on a weekend or will you consider mid week (which can be cheaper for venue hires).

Who to invite

It stands to reason that ideally you’d have all your family, friends and work colleagues at your wedding. Remember though that every guest has a price to their head. The rough number of guests is necessary for when you start short listing venues


What can you afford, the average UK wedding is £20k but you can spend considerably less or more. Are you paying for the wedding or are family contributing? Work out what money you have saved, and what you plan to save leading up to the wedding.  Some guidelines on budget is allocation can be seen here


Start discussing what style venue you want and ideally what location. Is this where you live currently or perhaps where one of you were bought up? Look at this blog post on how to select your venue


There are some amazing wedding blogs available for you to browse, as you’re on my blog, I’m assuming you already are familiar with the concept of blogging! My recommendations for blogs to consider are (in no particular order):

  1. Rock n Roll Bride – for edgy, alternative style weddings
  2. Love My Dress – for beautiful weddings with a vintage twist (20’s – 60’s inspired). Look out for a Dream Occasions wedding in the New Year
  3. English Weddings – for beautiful real weddings but also some fabulous planning advice (oh she’s also a fabulous calligrapher as well)
  4. Rock My Wedding – comprehensive site with articles, tutorials, real weddings, fashion
  5. Whimsical Wonderland Weddings – beautiful blog (a few of our weddings have been featured here)
  6. The Wedding Community – great collection of real weddings and articles written by wedding professionals
  7. Style Me Pretty – the crème de la Crème of wedding blogs (American)
  8. Martha Stewart Weddings – some great tutorials for hand made designs ideas (American)
  9. Ruffled – some great DIY projects as well as beautiful weddings (American)


Get Pinning

This year has been the year my clients have come on board with pinterest, showing me their ideas during an initial consultation. As a planner I love it. Sometimes it is clear their verbal description of what they want for their wedding is very different to the visual description, having pinterest will help forumate your ideas when speaking with designers (stationers, planners, florists, cake makers) for your wedding. You can follow my boards here.  Want to keep the design private from guests? No worries as you can create private boards and show with just key people involved in the wedding.

Plan it together

Try to plan the wedding together as sometimes it can be left to the bride, after all you are entering the ultimate partnershiop as a married couple so start as you mean to go on and learn the art of compromising! The end wedding should be a culmination of both your ideas and personalities.

Hire a planner

Ok I couldn’t give you tips without including hire a planner. I’ve been organising weddings and events since the end of 2002 and it would be a pleasure to help you with yours. I specialise in events in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk but can go further afield upon request. Do look at my website for more information on Dream Occasions . You can also read these posts explaining the different services I offer.

Photo by Kerry Morgan 

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  1. Claire on 5th January 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Great advice Bernadette, I love how concisely you write! Fab tips, easy to digest and really encouraging 🙂
    Pinterest would be my top tip for 2014 as well, it’s an amazing resource and being able to visualise details is fantastic.
    Claire x

    • bernadette on 5th January 2014 at 6:24 pm

      Gosh blushing, thank you so much Claire, high praise indeed from a professional blogger!

  2. […] You’re engaged! 10 tips to get you started from Dream Occasions […]

  3. Christina {wedding cards} on 17th June 2014 at 9:28 am

    Such a great article Bernadette. These tips are really helpful in planning a perfect wedding and encouraging too. Thanks for sharing.

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