OMG you’re engaged!
Feeling on top of the world right now? Loved up and looking forward to the next chapter of your relationship?
If you can pull yourself away from your ring for 5 minutes, you’ll soon realise that your new shiny piece of jewellery means more than simply agreeing to spend the rest of your life with your partner (that’s the easy bit).
It means you’ve ventured into the unknown and intimidating territory they call ‘wedding planning’.
Don’t worry, my friend. That dream wedding that you’re picturing isn’t that far away. With a few
hundred emails/phone calls, you’ll be well on your way to that Pinterest-worthy wedding album and even more shiny jewellery for your left ring finger. Oh and cake. Don’t forget cake.
Set a Wedding Budget
Ok, first thing is first, you need to plan how much money to spend. Spoiler alert – Weddings aren’t cheap!
Setting your budget may be a deciding factor when it comes to looking at dates. If you want a £25,000 wedding and need to save up, unless you have some crazy, high-flying exec job, you may need a couple of years to achieve this. If you’ve got a very generous and traditional dad with a few quid in the bank, you may be able to plan the whole wedding faster. Check out How To Plan A Wedding In 5 Months – Even if you have no idea what you’re doing for a quick ‘how to plan a wedding guide’. If you’re planning a low-key wedding and/or haven’t got 200 cousins to invite, you could easily do it with just a couple of grand. The trick to planning a wedding on a budget is knowing how to prioritise your spending. By agreeing on what’s important to you both early on (good photographer is a must, a floral arch is a nice-to-have!) you’ll save yourself from many arguments later on.
Visit multiple wedding venues
Hello free tea/coffee/bubbly!
Be open-minded. The wedding venue that I’d had my heart set on for years before I was engaged was a big fat disappointment when I went to view it as a bride-to-be. Think conveyor-belt weddings where I was nothing more than a walking £ sign to them. Whereas, the little hotel down the road blew me away with their personal service, suggestions and advice that were specific to me and what I wanted (I say I, obviously my future-hubby was there but as he’s the quiet type and likes to make me happy, he could have stayed home, really we both knew it was my decision).
Once the venue is booked and you have a date, it has a domino effect on the rest of your planning and you’ll be speeding through that list before you can stop and say “what’s a buttonhole”.
Chill for a bit
Ha! I’m only joking. If wedding planning isn’t taking over your every thought right now, something’s not right. Time to crack on with booking some important suppliers! Here’s who you need to sort. Not all of these are urgent (or necessary) so work through them at your leisure (unless your wedding is 12 weeks away). If your date is set and there is a particular supplier that you’re desperate to have there, you may as well tick them off the list as early as possible so that no one else snaps them up.
- Venue Dresser
- Hair dresser and makeup artist
Don’t forget you also need to give notice of marriage at your local registry office at least 28 days before your wedding.
Do some fun wedding stuff
Well done, you’ve planned the big wedding stuff. Now you get to do some fun stuff like twirling around wedding dress shops wearing fancy wedding dresses. Send your groom out with his best man to choose suits and take the time to do those essential ladies-who-lunch bridesmaid meetings.
Do more wedding stuff
Ok enough frolicking, back to hardcore wedding planning. Send the invitations (6 month before at the latest), start working on your table plan (eugh!) and get started on those DIY projects that you’d planned to do months ago (you remember? When everything was still new and exciting and you’d not had your 5th argument over how essential wedding favours are).
It’s as essential as choosing a venue. I’m happy to let any disbelieving grooms-to-be know this. Start a proper skin care routine, drink lots of water, eat well and exercise to ensure you’re looking your best for the wedding day. But, not only that, get a spray tan if you need it (I’m very pale and ginger, without the spray tan I blended into my white dress), have a good haircut, get waxed, get a manicure and enjoy a massage (just because you may as well go all out, right?).
You did it! Easy-peasy wasn’t it?
Don’t forget to take time to enjoy being engaged. No one told me that, I had the venue and date booked 3 days later which started the ball rolling on everything else that needed to be done. Enjoy the VIP ‘bride-to-be’ status and remember why you’re planning to get married in the first place. A little prospective goes a long way when you’re waist-deep in paperwork, lists, wedding scrapbooks and supplier business cards.
Congratulations and happy wedding planning!
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