Your first steps into wedding planning…
Following the excitement of telling everyone your engaged; what’s next?! Finding a dress, a photographer, working out your budget, who to invite… it all starts to pile up and can cause some serious debate and effort! So I’ve decided to write some blog posts to get you on the right path- here is the first instalment…
So lets break this down for you…
Sit down with your partner and discuss a budget. Will you have additional help from family or do you prefer to do it alone? Look at what’s possible and stick to it. No point getting yourself in debt… lets be honest its not a great way to spend your first year together arguing over money or being stuck at home because you cant afford to go out!
Next work out what’s most important to you and dedicate your money to these areas.
Work out what kind of wedding you want…
You’ll probably find one of the first things you do when you get engaged is buy a shit load of wedding magazines down at the shops to get your first glimpse of the wedding world and what it has to offer!
But don’t forget you have tons of inspiration at your fingertips on the Internet. Find wedding blogs that fit your style, they are totally free, and have daily inspiration of real weddings, engagement shoots, DIY projects, advice, guidance and supplier tips.
Most blogs turn over a new post daily so you’re getting lots more info than a monthly/bi monthly magazine. Sign up to their RSS feeds to never miss a post, join bloglovin or another platform that sends you blog updates or simply follow them on social media to hear of new posts and news.
Join Pinterest, it’s another free platform and you can create your own visual scrapbook for your day. Simply type in key words, for example ‘festival wedding’ or ‘gold sequin wedding dress’ and you will have endless photos to look through and you can then pin your heart away onto your own personal themed boards.
Research & booking suppliers…
You may find if you are planning to get married the same year you got engaged you will need to get your skates on; Most popular suppliers tend to get booked up really quickly.
High Summer wedding season is extremely busy- would you consider earlier or later in the year to get the suppliers you want? These may be questions you set yourself if you are finding suppliers are booked up. But don’t stress too much as there are so many AMAZING supplier now for the unique and alternative market, Im sure you can find someone offering a similar service that you could use if you’re keen to get things moving.
Check out websites of suppliers you are interested in, read through their testimonials and blogs. Most businesses are now web savvy, offering tons of information on their business web pages, along with their social media sites.
Get a feel of the service they offer and don’t be afraid to ask questions, particularly if you have an idea in your head that you want to know if its possible. Once you’ve decided to book them, fill in relevant paperwork, pay a deposit if needed and relax you’ve got another thing ticked of your to do list.
Make sure you check out our Mr & Mrs Unique Wedding Directory, which is full of amazing, unique wedding suppliers such as yurts, tipis, private houses, fields, dress designers, cake bakers, street food sellers, and plenty more! Tons of suppliers and lots of ideas.
Decide who you want to help you…
Will you need help with planning or organising? Do you want bridesmaids and if so how many?! Who do you want as best man?! What family members can help you? You may want to keep it a one man/women show or surround yourself with your nearest and dearest to help guide you or take up some of the slack. Whatever suits you start to talk to people and get them excited about your day.
Make sure you get a professional photographer with a great portfolio of work that represents you as a couple to take photos of your day. Generally friends with great cameras or family members offering to help you out will just not cut the mustard!
Time after time I hear about couples that were devastated that they didn’t get the right photos of their wedding day… Nothing to remember how amazing it was or how happy they were.
When the day is over and you return from honeymoon, photos help keep the visual memory of your day. Spend as much as you can afford on a good photographer but be warned it may be one of the most expensive things you book for your day.
Ask friends and family if they know or have used any good photographers or take a look at real weddings on blogs. Find out who you like, look at their website and if they fit the bill get in contact with them.
Remember the expense comes from a full days shooting, perhaps a second shooter, travel, full editing of the images, the right equipment, days of training and workshops to get them up to the level they are at, its worth every penny! Worse case scenario and the money isn’t available you can always try wedding blog competitions, perhaps find a new upcoming photographer who is trying to build up their portfolio, or see if your favourite photographer will do reduced hours shooting of your day (although be warned this may not be possible in the height of wedding season).
The list of what’s available for hire for your day is incredible, so many options… from private fields to private homes, members clubs to your local pub!
Look at the number of friends and family you want to attend the ceremony and reception, work out whether you want an intimate or large affair and then find somewhere suitable.
If nothing fits your requirements perhaps find a field for hire and create your own festival wedding with amazing marquees, tipi play tents, posh loos, fire pits and a BBQ?! Or try a village hall and pimp it up with cool decorations?!
Just remember you do have to get married at a venue with a licence, but that doesn’t stop you from signing the paperwork a day before and having a blessing under a tree surrounded by friends and family.
If you’re on a limited budget don’t be afraid to try a bit of DIY on your wedding day or call in for favours! If you’re not that bothered about a posh car to get to the ceremony, does a friend or family member have a cool car you can use?!
If you need help with buffet food ideas, why not ask people to bring a cake for a dessert table, or perhaps order a street food seller to come along for the evening so people can grab a burrito, hotdog or pizza!
Hope this gets you off to a good start, I will follow up on this post a bit later in the month with more ideas and survival tips! If you have any questions or fears please feel free to leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org