Ready, set, GO!
Once you have celebrated your engagement, told your loved ones and taken some time to bask in the happy glow of being newly engaged, its time to start planning. But where do you start? Bride-to-be, our deputy editor Becci Clubb has a few ideas that you may not have thought of…
Set a date
At this stage perhaps choose a time frame, not necessarily a specific date but a season and the year you want to get married in. That way when you start viewing venues you can get a more accurate quote. I felt that once I had decided on a date, I could relax a bit because I could start to set a timeline. From experience and reading so many brides’ stories, I knew that I had to be a little flexible before I had found my venue, however.
Start picking out things you like on Pinterest or from magazines and creating a scrapbook including all the things you want. When I had started to fill my collection, I took it into work to share with the girls.
“It was so nice, pouring over it talking about what they thought would n’t suit me, and expressing surprise at some of the things I had found.”
Write a rough list of the people you would like to invite. This will help you when it comes to your budget and the size of the venue. It might even dictate the place you choose. This is a perfect time to manage expectations, both for each other and your close friends and family. Some people have a rule about no partners not invited if either one of you hasn’t met them’. Luckily our families are quiet, and our friends have mostly been friends since childhood (Ben and I went to school together!). If you are finding it difficult to keep your numbers down, ask yourselves these questions about your guest list!
Begin the budget
Create a spreadsheet with everything you will need to buy for the big day and how much money you are prepared to spend on each thing to give you a budget to work towards. Another big part of this is finding out exactly how much, if anything, your respective parents will contribute. Its no good guessing, and it won’t come as a shock to either set of parents if you ask them to help (if they can). Also, prepare for the fact that there might not be any money in the kitty for your wedding, and that you might have to fund it yourselves. Like us, you should go in expecting nothing, and treat anything as a bonus. Cash isn’t always an option, but help, support or something practical can be just as valuable. Here’s how your friends and family can get involved!
For the best DIY budget tips see how these real couples beat their budget!
Where to wed
Think about where in the world you want to get married. Do you want a wedding overseas? Or will you be heading to your local church to say I do? This decision will affect who you invite, who is in your wedding party, your budget, the venue dictates everything, basically. Again, I didn’t quite find the exact right thing, even here in Somerset. Finally, I fell in love with Tunnels Beaches in Devon, and everything else has been planned around that.
“I would suggest that you find the venue before anything else because you can’t even get set on a date without it.”
You’ll need their help and support from the very beginning, so start thinking about who you want to be in your wedding party. Discuss who will take on each role together and how you will ask them to join you on your wedding day. There’s a myth that these people have to be long-term friends or your siblings. But there are no rules! Check out this list of bridesmaids roles and official mother of the bride jobs!
What to wear
Ask your chosen bridesmaids, workmates, female family members or your fiancé to draw what kind of dress they think you will wear for them to give to you on the morning of the wedding. It will be so fun looking through the drawings before you put on your actual dress and see if anyone got it right! It’s also something really nice to have in your keepsake box. I have actually started trying on dresses now in boutiques and its true what they say (and even though I am surrounded by pictures of beautiful dresses all day long!) you will have no idea what will suit you until you start to try them on. And if you don’t know, how can you expect anyone else to?! Part of the surprise for your groom on the day is that he probably NEVER imagined how amazing you would look in THAT dress!
Find local wedding fairs to visit. These are great places to get ideas and suppliers there often have a discount code so you can grab a bargain. Take your bridal party and head out for a girly day, stopping for lunch too. Why not go with your fiancé to see if you like the same themes and ideas. We have actually been to a few shows with both of our parents and its a lovely way to get them involved!
It’s good to talk
Most of all, you should talk to each other. Working out how much involvement your fiancé wants to have; what he wants to organize and what he doesn’t want to go near! You might be surprised by his ideas, and the day should be about you both, after all. In our case, we have ended up making decisions on almost everything together and jointly. Most people I speak to are surprised I hadn’t organized the whole day without him, working on a wedding magazine! But I don’t think you should make a decision without talking about (apart from what you wear, of course!) and making it a team effort. This, in turn, will make the day much more enjoyable for you both and much more ‘you’!