With over 25 years experience of hundreds of weddings I thought it might be a good idea to pass on a few tips and ideas to help with the planning of your big day. Over the next few months I will post a series of what I hope you will find helpful articles and maybe the odd story.
Today’s article is about planning, without some sort of plan you will struggle to bring your ideas to life.
This is a time line for the build up to your special day please use it as a guide to help you get your wedding your way.
As soon as possible
Choose a date. You can’t make any proper plans until you pick your date, talk to each other about your favourite times of year, or when you can get time off work.
What sort of wedding do you want. Discuss the style of wedding you both want, big or small, religious or civil, local church or country hotel. Set your budget and discuss with anyone who is contributing towards the day. Prioritise what’s important to you. Fit your plans round the budget and try not to go over. Times have changed over the 25 years, it used to be parents paid for the wedding but now you’ll find most couples pay for their own. The advantage of this is usually you get the exact wedding you want because you are paying for it.
Choose Your Attendants. Decide who you would like to be your best man, bridesmaids and ushers and ask them in good time to give them chance to book the day. You’ll know who has been your best friend and shared good times with you. Sometimes it’s hard to choose between friends. We have known weddings where there have been two bestmen or a girl as the best’man’ . One bestman does the speech the other is better at meeting and greeting and showing people to their seats.
Pick your reception venue. You will need to start looking at the venues in your area and get prices and menus to see if they fit into your budget ,perhaps look at alternatives such as marquee, converted barns or village hall hire. Once you have decided make a firm booking to ensure you’re not disappointed. We have noticed recently that big lavish weddings are not as popular (probably due to the recession) but this has given rise to very imaginative weddings. Homemade decorations are also popular. Homemade bunting etc. Afternoon tea themed wedding giving everyone afternoon tea instead of a meal is a cheaper option but a novel and delightful idea. We have even seen, this year, an ice cream man instead of deserts.
Book your photographer. Talk to any recently married friends to see if they recommend who they used would be a good place to start however please do not book a photographer without meeting them and making sure that they will cover your day in a way that suits you. Don’t be afraid to go see a few to make sure you book the right one for you. If you have seen some ideas in magazines or online, take them in and discuss with the photographer what you want. Also be open to suggestions. If you are on a tight budget an idea is to get all the photographs on a disc/memory stick. This way you can book the photographer you want but not have to pay more to have them make up an album. This is something you can do at a later date.
Start to think about clothes. Decide on a colour scheme or theme then take time to select the right wedding dress then compliment it with your bridesmaids dresses and suits for the men. It isn’t always necessary now to have ‘wedding’ suits but it always looks good if all the men involved in the bridal party, are dressed the same. Reflect your personality in the clothes. We’ve seen brides with white Doc Martins, grooms with fluorescent socks etc.
Our next post will cover plans for nearer the day.