It is never too soon to plan your big day, the easier the planning process will be and definitely easier on the nerves. A year or more ahead may seem a long time – but times flies. Allow yourselves plenty of time to tick off each task one by one - no advantage being in a mad rush - and before you know it, you’ll have everything in place!
Brainstorm a list of everything you’re going to need to pay for or plan for. Work out how much you have available to spend, and then allocate sums to each item (if money’s tight, this may involve some compromises – you’ll need to work out which things you’re willing to spend more on, and which aren’t so important to you). This will give you something to refer to when you talk to suppliers.
Venue availability may partly dictate the date you choose, but you’ll also need to discuss the date with the key people you definitely want to be there – think immediate family, bridesmaids and best man. Discussing the date with them before you’ve set it in stone means you’ll avoid having to change the date of your wedding if someone important can’t come, which could prove costly. Remember to check any sporting events that might clash with your chosen date - hundreds of Receptions have been spoilt by the "boys" watching the World Cup Final!
Popular venues get booked up years in advance, so visit lots of different venues and get one booked before you move onto anything else. Do this as early as possible so that you stand the best chance of securing a venue you love. Suppliers will also want to know what venue you’ve chosen, as it may affect how much they charge if they have to travel a long distance. It is now very common for venues to give large discounts on mid-week bookings, may save you money and reduce the number of guests who can attend.
Many wedding venues hold wedding fairs a couple of times a year, so look out in your local paper to find out about fairs near you. These are a great source of inspiration and a place to meet suppliers, from photographers to hairdressers to magicians to fireworks companies. You’ll probably get a free glass of bubbly and cake samples to boot!
Contrary to what the wedding magazines might have you believe, you don’t actually need to get bogged down in tiny details like what confetti you’ll scatter across the tables. How many people are actually going to notice or remember after a glass or two of Champagne? Instead, focus on the things that will affect guests’ experience of your day, such as the food and entertainment.
Dress fittings, menu tastings and guest list dramas are all part of the build up to your big day, however it can be easy to overlook the logistics of the day. For example, how you’re going to get from A to B in your style, as you want to arrive. As well as your own wedding car hire, you might want to think about how the groom will arrive, guests will get to the ceremony and then on to the reception venue - oh and don't forget where everyone will park - City Centre churches have very limited parking.
You’re going to accumulate a lot of information, whether flyers, contracts lists and other documentation as you plan your big day. Keep it all in one place so you don’t lose anything – perhaps set aside a wedding box to house everything.
If the thought of planning a wedding by yourself really doesn’t appeal, or your business life style just does not have enough time to spare - consider using a professional. A good, experienced wedding planner should remove a great deal of the stress, both before and on the big day whilst coming up with ideas you may not have previously considered.
People may tell you that wedding planning is stressful, but it doesn’t need to be. It’s something you are (hopefully!) only going to do once, so try to relax and enjoy the process while it lasts. Throw yourself into the cake samples, menu tastings and dress fittings with gusto, but never lose sight of what it’s really about. Your bridal gown, table plan and flowers are relevant to just one day out of the whole lifetime you’re spending together. Keep that in mind and you won’t go far wrong!
If you have any further ideas that will help a couple have the most wonderful day in their lives, then please email us with your ideas.