So your other half popped the question, you said yes and now you’re wondering where to start with planning your wedding. UK wedding planners Knot & Pop break down the five big decisions to turn your thoughts to to help ease the wedding plan pains! So let’s just get started, shall we?
1. Guest List
Knowing who you are inviting is important to put down on paper and tally up before getting lost in Pinterest and all that lovely wedding inspiration.
Having your guest list sorted not only feeds in to the overall budget, but also importantly drives your venue search with you needing to know how many guests you need the space to accommodate. It may sound like an obvious one, but all too often people start on the venue search without having a true idea of their guest numbers.
So sit down with your partner and get those names into a document so you can clearly see how many guests you will be inviting.
Discuss and think through the best time of year for you to set the wedding date for, balancing the practical reasons with the pretty.
Does work or other commitments mean that certain times of the year aren’t an ideal time for your wedding?
Have you both imagined getting married in Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter? Do you see yourself having a cosy Autumnal wedding or would you ideally like to celebrate in summer with more chance of sun and outdoor celebrations?
Rather than pin-pointing an exact date up front we first recommend you consider a month, allowing therefore some flexibility when it comes to the venue finding to ensure you have a greater chance of venue availability.
3. Budget & Timeline
Another early discussion is the dreaded wedding budget.
Weddings vary considerably in costs so it’s important to sit down with your partner to discuss what you both feel happy and comfortable spending on your wedding. Consider if there will be any parental contributions and in turn what these contributions may mean in terms of input into decision making or guest list.
You can find lots of wedding budget templates online so it’s best to use one of those as a guide so you can see all the costs you need to apportion into your budget, and for each supplier. Knowing what to apportion takes some intel so here’s where the research gets underway to make educated projected costs, based on reality rather than guess-work.
As your costs are confirmed you can update your budget with an ‘Actual’ spend so you can keep a running spend across the difference, aiming all the while to keep things in budget!
The other key part of Wedmin is the timeline so separate by week and into Suppliers, and allocate when you need to brief suppliers, receive quotes by and then decide and book.
Having this check list will take the stress out of everything and keep things on track. It’s also the ideal time to discuss who will be managing what with your partner, playing to one another strengths so no-one feels out of their depth.
If you are thinking of getting a wedding planner to help you with organising your day then this is the best time to get them in the fold so that they can help guide on budget allocations and timelines, and then oversee the planning from start to finish to allow you a stress-free journey to your big day.
With so many options out there, before you start Googling have a fun discussion with your partner about what would make your ideal wedding day, what have been the weddings you have enjoyed the most and where do you see yourselves celebrating.
It’s good to go into the venue hunt with some focus, which comes from having this open chat about your wants for the big day.
Whether you’re leaning towards the historic charm of a castle, the beauty of a quintessential English manor house, want to enjoy the great outdoors with a marquee countryside wedding or see yourself celebrating in a city setting, decide on the type of venue and any preferred regions, and from there you will be best placed to find your ideal venue.
Remember to think both ceremony and reception, in terms of which spaces are licensed for the actual Dos and the type of ceremony you want, contacting the relevant parties to get the legalities underway.
5. Wedding Theme
If you have a clear idea of your wedding theme this will play into your choice of venue as you will likely want to make sure that the venue you go for complements the theme you have your heart set on.
If however you are undecided on your theme, then finding your venue can really help with this decision as the venue may have a particular style that you can then blend beautifully and help inspire you for your wedding theme and colours.
Rather than Pinterest (however tempting that is), the inspiration should come from you as a couple.
Tease out your tales together to find ways to weave your story into the wedding so the day speaks of the two of you.
Once you have your wedding theme decided it’s really useful to produce a mood board so you have something to share with Suppliers in order for them to understand your vision and what you want your wedding day to be like.
TOP TIP: GET TOGETHER YOUR WEDDING A-TEAM
It takes more than the two of you to organise a wedding so you’ll need a trusted team to bring your wedding day to life.
From the caterer, to photographer, to florist, cake maker, stationer, hair and make up, bar, band, lighting, crockery, furniture and more, you want to get an A Team around you.
Make sure you therefore research those trusted and talented suppliers are, reaching out to a few of each so you have comparative quotes to ensure you keep a keen eye on your budget.
Check out your local or national wedding fairs, refer to trusted sources for their recommended supplier lists, ask for recommendations from friends and family, and importantly call and speak directly to the suppliers you are considering to get that first hand impression and to see who you fit with best – contacting some of their previous clients for first hand testimonials. One person’s love is another’s loathe so find the Suppliers who you have an instant affinity with and love the work they do. You want to hear that your Supplier’s are enthused by the wedding and your plans and this comes from speaking to them to build that rapport.
Make sure you get all the right paperwork from Supplier – contracts/terms and conditions, payment terms, copies of Public Liability. Don’t overlook these essential practical elements in favour of all the pretty! These are must-get aspects, along with your own Wedding Insurance.
The main thing is to start the planning knowing that it can be fun! Yes they’ll be contracts, timelines, budgets but they’ll also be plenty of good times – wine tasting, playlist compiling, dress hunting, hen dos, and that epic day at the end of it all when the big day rolls round and you’ve never smiled, laughed, danced and loved so much.
FRAME X KNOT & POP, FIT BRIDES EVENT
Over the past seven years we’ve put dozens of brides through their paces to ensure they look and feel totally awesome when they walk down the aisle. Added to our expertise, we have enlisted the help of award-winning wedding planners Knot & Pop who have opened up their coveted black book to give FIT BRIDES access to some of the most progressive and creative companies around.
FIT BRIDES is totally free and represents a curated selection of our favourite fashion, beauty and experiential brands to help you look and feel your best in the run up to, and on the big day.
Expect interactive elements such as sign-painting master-classes, talks on how to be a Fit Bride from the Frame founders, nutrition advice from Madeleine Shaw and Shona Vertue, flowers by The Flower Appreciation Society, wedding planning words of wisdom from Knot & Pop, plus much, much more.
Find out more here