Congratulations, you’re engaged! You’ve popped the champagne and now reality has hit – you need to start planning an actual wedding. Whether you’re looking to hire a wedding planner or go it alone, here are our top 10 tips to getting started.
1. Celebrate, celebrate, and celebrate some more! Getting engaged is a pretty big deal, and there’s no better excuse than an engagement to throw some celebrations!
Many couples are tempted to start rushing into wedding planning. However, before you start cracking on with that, it’s important that you enjoy the happy post-engagement bubble for a while. On announcing your engagement you’ll be surrounded by so much love and happiness – soak it up and enjoy! You only have this special time once – and let’s face it, there’s no such thing as too much champagne!
2. Set a budget – and stick to it
When kicking off your wedding planning journey, setting a budget is the key starting point. Not the most glamorous or exciting part of planning, we know, however it will allow you to ensure you stay on track and avoid you from getting swept up in the Pinterest and Instagram frenzy.
Be realistic. Sit down and go through your finances. Whether you’re using your savings or getting help from family, work out how much you have to spend, as well as any additional funds you might be able to save before the wedding. It’s always worth building in a buffer, as it’s almost inevitable that you will find some last minute things you want to splurge on…
Once you’ve set up your budget, create a tracker. If you have a wedding planner, they should provide one for you and help you keep on top of this. If you’re going it alone, create a spreadsheet and input your budget allocation per supplier, then update with a running total of your costs to ensure you stay on track.
3. Know your priorities
Once your overall budget is set, it’s important to work out how you’re going to spend it. Sit down together and talk through your priorities for the day (we find this always far more enjoyable over a glass of wine… any excuse!). For some, it’s all about the dress. For others, it’s flowers and decoration. For some, it was all about having good food, good wine, and a good party – so set more of your budget aside for these elements. By setting your priorities, you can ensure you have a sufficient budget set aside for the things that matter most.
4. Create a guestlist
Ah, the joys of creating the guest list! This process invariably brings some kind of disagreement, so it’s important to stay strong and decisive!
Start off with the most obvious immediate family and your closest friends, before your working your way through the remainder. Try to set ‘rules’ where you can to avoid getting too carried away – for example, no colleagues.
The guest list doesn’t need to be set in stone and will likely evolve over time once you have secured your venue and have a better idea of cost-per-head – often the realization of having monetary amounts against people can make some of the decision making rather more clear cut..!