Getting engaged is one of the most special times in your life. But after the initial joy starts to fade comes the daunting realisation, now I have to plan a wedding! I remember how I felt when I looked at the prospect of wedding planning and how overwhelmed I was. I had no idea what was actually involved!
Having done more than my fair share of research in the area in preparation, I thought I would share with you some key things to help you start the planning process.
1. Set a budget. A realistic one that you will actually stick to! There are tempting times when the budget seems a minor priority and you get a bit carried away with all the fun things you can buy for weddings, but don’t. Have a clear plan and work your ideas around that. It will save you the regret of overspending in the long run.
2. Make a guest list. For us this was probably the hardest task, who do we invite, who do we leave out? No one wants to offend people by not inviting them! At the end of the day we made a long list, worked out who we actually thought would make the journey as a lot of our family lived a distance away and begun the process of cutting out those we hadn’t seen for a long time. When looking at your budget fewer people means less money spent!
3. Work out your theme, colours etc. Once this is worked out you can start buying around it. If you haven’t set a clear overall theme/idea you will be more likely to change your mind and buy things that either won’t work or you just don’t like. Again the clearer your ideas the more likely you are to stick to that pesky budget!
4. Choose your bridal party. Hopefully this is an easy step and one that you will enjoy! The hardest part is the size, we went with 4 bridesmaids and 4 groomsmen, so plus us that was a party of 10. I liked that size, any bigger and I think it would have got a bit more difficult to manage however this is a very individual step and you will know who you want to stand with you and the numbers fall around that.
5. Decide on location. In the early stages you don’t have to pick a venue (unless you have one in mind) but just work out the basic location. For example my husband and I are both from country NSW but live in Brisbane. We decided as we felt like Brisbane was now our home that we would get married here. Yes it did mean some family had to travel but people will make the journey to celebrate such a special occasion. Also in terms of location are things like if you want to get married on the beach, in the city, in the mountains etc this will help when thinking of themes and looking at availability of venues.
6. Pick a date – one that suits you. You are not going to please everyone and some people will already have plans, you can’t help that. Make sure its ok with your bridal party and your parents and grandparents and run from there. Also this is a good time to start thinking about honeymoon destinations as season can be a factor there.
7. Don’t feel obligated to do anything. This is a step that I lived by during my planning stage. I still wanted a traditional style wedding but there were certain things that I just didn’t want to do, main example the bouquet throw. Most of my female friends are married or in serious relationships so it just felt a bit outdated and silly for me. But that’s the thing, it is your day, do whatever you want!
I hope this helps any brides to be start the process and gives you a good foundation for what is an exciting time! For more on my experience planning my wedding see my earlier post My Year As A Wedding Planner.
Let me know in the comments if you have any tips for brides to be!