If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve recently got engaged. So first things first:
HUGE CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU BOTH!!
I love to hear proposal stories so leave me a comment to tell me your story.
Over the next 5 weeks I’ll be bringing you all the info you need to get your wedding planning off to a great start.
There’s a lot to cover so I’ve split it into bite size chunks. But it’ll provide lots of advice and tips to get you on the right track. So why not sign up to the blog now so you don’t miss anything.
The key message today is not to panic. You absolutely don’t need to do anything straight away.
Just enjoy the glow of your engagement for now and take your time.
Be mindful of etiquette though and make sure you tell your parents your exciting news first and then the rest of your close family.
Only then should you splash the photos on social media. (Make sure your nails are looking great for those pictures!)
So now you are on the path to lifelong happiness. You might have never been to a wedding before so let’s start with the real basics. People often expect you to know all about weddings but if you’ve never been to one how would you know? And even if you’ve been to a few you probably don’t know the first thing about planning one!
What is a wedding?
· The formal description is a legal ceremony where two people make life commitments to each other in front of witnesses. You’ll receive a formal certificate of marriage too;
· In reality, it’s an organised event (typically a day, a night and many hangovers) involving an agreed number of guests containing elements defined by tradition, religion and law;
· Most couple’s ambition is to hold a fab party that you can design to reflect things you as a couple.
If you can make all these things come together, then your wedding will be epic.
A wedding no longer needs to involve a church if that’s not your thing. You can have a civil ceremony instead – you can find lots of info here about your options for a legal ceremony in the UK.
Where to start?
It’s important to take some time to think about what type of wedding you would like, when and where.
Initially you should start thinking about what type of venue you would prefer. Do you want a modern hotel, a rustic barn, a marquee or tipi or something small and intimate? Or maybe you just want to fly off somewhere hot and get married on the beach?
Your options for your venue will be influenced by how many guests you want to invite and your budget. But for now, just start by getting your ideas together.
Your venue is likely be your first major decision as you can’t really book anything else until you know where and when you’re getting married. So generally this is the start point for your wedding planning. For more info about choosing your venue, you can read my blog about this.
Don’t forget to discuss your thoughts and ideas with your partner – it’s their day too and you need them on board with your plans.
Over time you will start to build up your ideas for design, colours, themes etc. There may be an obvious colour choice for you if you have an addiction to a certain colour.
Or you may want a theme which means something to both of you, such as Disney, Harry Potter, Star Wars etc. There’s no right and wrong or must do’s on this – it’s your day to style how you like.
To build up your ideas, here’s a few tools you could try out:
A mood board is a lovely way to build up your ideas in a visual form. You can use cuttings from magazines, photos, pictures from websites for example. Then stick them onto paper like a collage.
If you’d rather do this in a digital form then you could consider Instagram and Pinterest.
Chances are you already use Instagram as it’s one of the biggest social media platforms. But if not, it’s worth creating an account on there so you can look at photos that suppliers post to give you inspiration.
You can easily search for different types of suppliers, like florists & venue stylists on here which enables you to see their style of work and will help you to shape your ideas.
Once you have a venue in mind, it’s also good to search for the venue as suppliers who have worked there will tag the venue in their posts. This helps to find suppliers who know the venue and gives you ideas of how it can look when it’s dressed for a wedding.
Pinterest is a great free tool for gathering ideas and allows you to create digital mood boards. It’s easy to set up an account and then you have access to thousands of photos.
You start by creating a board. Then, you can create as many boards as you like so you can have individual ones for different elements of your wedding. You can also make the boards secret if you don’t want anyone else to see your ideas before the wedding.
You can have a nosey at my Pinterest boards here if you want to get some ideas.
Once you have a board set up, you can then search for any topic, such as wedding bouquets. Any designs that you like, just confirm which board you want to save it to and click on Save.
You’ll probably see themes appearing in your boards after a while, things like predominant colours, styles and flowers.
This can really help you to shape your ideas and it’s a great way later on to show your suppliers what you have in mind. In my view, Pinterest is the best option for mood boards as you can keep going back to them and it’s easy to share with other people too.
Bridal magazines are special. There’s something so enticing about them – I still love them. They have so much inspiration and so many ideas, as well as practical help and supplier information.
You can use them as an alternative to Pinterest if you prefer. You probably won’t want to cut them up to make a mood board but you can stick post it notes on pictures of things you like.
Be careful you don’t blow all your wedding budget on magazines though!
One thing you do need to do straight away is insure that ring!!
I know it’s dull (the task, not your ring!) but you need to make sure your gorgeous new ring is adequately insured.
You can quickly and easily add this to your contents insurance so make sure you do this as soon as possible. Well worth the extra few pounds it will cost you.
So I hope this blog has helped you to start thinking about your wedding planning.
The remaining series of blogs, will cover the following topics:
· Where & when you’ll get married
· What to do when
· Creating & managing your wedding budget
· Tools and Tips
I’ll give you all the info you need to get off to a great start with your wedding planning.
If you can’t wait, you can read the next blog in this series here. And you can make sure you don’t miss any free content by signing up to my mailing list below. That way, I’ll always notify you when there’s a new blog available.
And if you’re still feeling overwhelmed, it may be worth considering hiring a wedding planner. You can read my blog here about when a planner is a good idea. And you can see details of my wedding planning services here. I’m happy to arrange a free consultation with you if you think this would be beneficial for you.
Get in touch if you’d like to know about ways I can help, I’d love to hear from you.
(updated and re-published 4th Jan 2023)