Congratulations, you're engaged! You've called your family & friends and posted the ring picture, like most bride to be's I bet you're wondering what's next! Getting engaged is a wonderful thing but once the bubble has popped you may feel a little overwhelmed. Here are some tips on what you should do next!
1. Set a budget
Sit down together, be frank, honest and talk finances. See how much you can afford to save each month, look at savings you already have and go from there. Look at where your finances will be 12 months, 18 months, 24 months and 36 months to set a timeline for saving. Make sure you aren't leaving yourself short each month as you never know what might crop up, for example will your wedding budget be affected if your boiler breaks down?
By doing this you can both talk about what budget you want for your wedding and how much flexibility you have. If this is a strict budget then there is no point in looking at suppliers that are out of this range.
By knowing your monthly saving limitations you can set realistic targets for your wedding. For example, if you fall in love with a venue but it's a bit out of price range you can see if there is the flexibility to move your wedding to a later date and have some extra saving time.
2. Talk through your expectations of your wedding day
Do you want a church ceremony? Do you want an outdoor or indoor ceremony? Do you want a band or a DJ? Do you want an intimate or large wedding? Summer or Winter?
These are all questions that you both need to talk about to know what you both want. You also need to talk through things you don't want to compromise on, for example if you want a summer wedding. This sets out your expectations from the starts o there are no surprises once you get in to the wedding planning.
3. Make a rough guest list
Both of you should write a separate guest list for day and evening guests. Once you've done this, compare and you will have a pretty good idea straight off the bat who you can't go without. Then run through people you have down individually and talk through why you feel they should be invited.
You do need to be pretty brutal sometimes, especially if you have a strict budget or a cap on numbers. If there are people you are unsure whether to invite make a checklist like the one below:
- Have you spoken to them in the last 6 months?
- Have you seen them in person within the last 12 months?
- Will they be in your life in the next 12 months?
If the answer is no to each of those questions then I wouldn't keep them on your list. Do bear in mind that your parents may want some family friends to be invited that you may not know, this can then be a discussion between yourselves and them.
4. Research venues and book visits
Research different types of venues. If you are set on a barn wedding, go and have a look at other venues styles just to reconfirm your feelings. Make a checklist of must haves and bring this to each visit. Don't worry about seeing lots of venues, sometimes that is what you need!
If you know what you want but just can't seem to find it, get in touch as we have a venue finding service that is perfect for you!
5. Get inspiration
Create some mood boards, cut pictures out from magazines or start a pinterest board. You will find so much inspiration for your dress, the cake, colour themes and everything in between.
6. Get some help!
Planning a wedding is wonderful but hard work! Speak to family and friends who have been married before, get advice from people who aren't married and you can even speak to a professional. We have lots of different services and can help if you want full planning or just a chat!
Whether you get help from a professional or your family & friends you're going to need it, which leads on to our next point...
7. Choose your bridal party
Think wisely about who you want next to you on your big day. You've no doubt been talking about this day for a long time and now you get to ask your bride maids!
8. Get a wedding planning diary
Whether you purchase a physical/digital version or make your own, it will quickly become your bible. You can keep all of your notes, information, budget planning and inspiration in one place!
We are working on something exciting so keep your eyes peeled.
Planning your wedding should be exciting and fun! If you are feeling overwhelmed, having any questions or just need a chat then get in touch!
Beth & Amy xo