For many of us, our wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate connection, family and friendship with as many people as possible. There’s also no set formula that you need to follow – you can plan your wedding to reflect your values and preferences to create the perfect experience. If you’re not sure where to start with the planning process, here are some of the basics that you’ll need to consider.
Weddings can be notoriously expensive, and it’s important to be realistic about how much you want to spend. It’s not something that you’ll do regularly of course, but you still don’t want it to stretch your finances in other areas as you start your life together. Talk about it with your partner, and come up with a budget that you’re both happy with, leaving a little leeway just in case anything goes wrong.
Make your wedding list
Next, you’ll want to create your wedding guest list. Start with close family and friends, and then work out how much more room there is for additional guests. Having a rough number will dictate the venue you go for, your catering solution, and other details, so it’s important to get your guest list sorted early on in the planning process.
Choose a date
You’ll also need to choose the time of year that you want to get married. Multiple factors will likely go into this decision – you want as many people to be available as possible, and if you’re having an outdoor wedding, you’ll likely want good weather as well. You’ll want to settle on a date fairly early on, so that you can start booking things like vendors and the venue.
Find a venue
Your venue choice will generally have a significant impact on how the wedding turns out. Part of the planning process will be looking at different venues, whether that’s a rural location such as Heaton House Farm or a more urban solution, and thinking about how that will impact your theme of choice. The venue hire will also likely constitute the majority of your overall budget, making it important that you do your research properly to get a good deal.
Getting the vendors sorted
Next, you’ll want to start booking up key vendors such as a wedding photographer, florist, caterer, and potentially a DJ or band. Popular options can get booked up months in advance, so it’s crucial that you get it all sorted early on. Do plenty of research, read reviews, and make sure that you ask your family and friends if they have any recommendations as well.
Planning the day itself
Throughout the overall planning process, you’ll need to be planning the wedding day itself. This will include things like seating plans, timings of key events, and heaps of other important details. It can feel overwhelming if you have to do it all at once, so try to spread it out over multiple months.
If you approach your wedding planning in a calm, structured manner, it can be a very fun process. Make sure that you leave enough time, and book up the services that are important to you well in advance.