The ring’s on your finger! The champagne glasses have been clinked! It’s official – you’re engaged and about plan a wedding. So where do you start, and how do you make sure you start right?
The bridal magazines and the spreadsheets can wait – let it sink in and celebrate! Take some time just the two of you and enjoy this incredibly special time. Have a dinner date, dream about the future, order that champagne and watch the messages of congratulations flood in.
What kind of wedding are the two of you dreaming of? This is the time to discuss your individual expectations of your day. One of you might want a fantasy destination event with 20 guests on a gorgeous sandy beach while the other might want a rustic, countryside wedding of 200. You want to make sure your ideas are in sync right from the start, and if they aren’t, find room for compromise where you need to.
Talk about what the most important aspects of the wedding day are to both of you – perhaps it’s food, headcount, location or music. It’s crucial to know what your future spouse is hoping for to make the big day special for them.
Money, money, money
No one enjoys talking about money, but you need to set the goal posts right from the start to avoid problems down the line. How much have you got put aside, how much can you save, and who else might be able to contribute. Knowing how much you’re working with will help you set your priorities for spending. Don’t forget to factor in that extra 5% for contingencies or surprises over the next few months! Check out some of our budget guidelines here.
Get out the Calendar
How long do you want to be able to plan your big day – speedy planning in two months or take your time for two years? Are you dreaming of a gorgeous mid-summer wedding or perhaps a cosy, mid-winter celebration? Make sure you always check with your most important friends and family members to make sure you’re not looking at dates when they know they aren’t available. Let them know your possible wedding date before signing on the dotted line.
Also, consider whether your big day has to be on a weekend at all! Mid-week weddings are increasing in popularity, especially for more intimate gatherings, and will always be kinder on the budget when it comes to venue hire.
Draft your wedding guest list, labeling your must-haves as your A-list, your would-like-to-haves as your B-list, and your ‘obligations’ as your C-list. That way, you know you have a little flexibility when it comes to venue hunting for capacity and budget for food and drink.
Start as you mean to go on and keep all those important numbers, quotes and photos stored somewhere you can easily update and share. Keep a folder, whether printed or online, of all of your contracts and your brochures. You’d be surprised how easy it is to lose track of all the wedmin if you don’t have a good system from the start!
Pinterest, blogs and magazines are your best friends when it comes to the style and design of your wedding. Flipping and scrolling through these will help you get an idea of what you like and don’t like, and finally, find a cohesive theme or colour scheme. Keeping a visual log of all these like a mood board is a great tool for sharing with your future suppliers. We’ve got a great bunch of ideas to start you off on our Pinterest page here.
If your preferred wedding date is in the not too distant future, make those phone calls to suppliers now to find out who is available. If you have you eye on a particular venue or caterer you’ve wanted to book, don’t hang around. Get something penciled in, as lots of suppliers get booked up way in advance.
Select Your A-Team
Chat about who you think is the right fit for your bridal party on both sides. How many close friends and family could make the cut? Remember to consider the budget in this decision – will you be paying for their outfits and accessories, flowers and transport?
Make sure you choose bridesmaids and groomsmen who are a great mix of supportive, helpful, fun and honest. Guys and girls you know will get stuck in when they need to. Choose groups you think will get along together, even if they don’t know each other yet – bridal party tension is the last thing you want on your big day! And if you have to make some tough decisions not to include some people who might be expecting you to, remember there are other ways to keep them involved. Good speaker? Let them give a reading at the wedding. Loves to bake? Ask them to whip up something tasty for the favours.
Bring in the Experts
Now, you knew this one was coming! I specialise in creating elegant weddings for busy time short clients. With over a decade of producing timeless, elegant events, I am perfectly positioned to make your wedding relaxed, fun and effortless. You are in essence hiring me for my experience and knowledge, so whether giving advice on design or solving family disagreements; I am there, by your side always. Do look at my website for more information on Dream Occasions. You can also read these posts explaining the different services I offer.
Contact us for any of your wedding needs!
Photography by: John Nassari