Congratulations! You are about to embark on an amazing journey; planning your wedding day is going to be amazing.
Preparing for your future with your one and only is an incredible time of your life and planning your special day will be exciting but also a little overwhelming. For most of us, we only plan on getting married once so we’re all rookies at planning the most important day of our lives. Brace yourself for A LOT of opinions from the “experts”; some advice will be really helpful, others, not so much but it’s up to you to make sure what you take on board and don’t. The number one thing you need to remember is that it is your day…. So plan it how you want it.
I’m in the middle of planning my own wedding and I’ve found that by setting up a clear game plan from the very start, I’ve been able to have a really organised and stress-free lead up to my big day … so far…
To help my fellow bride’s to be, I’ve decided to start a blog about what I’ve found has worked in my favour and what I’ve found challenging. I plan to guide and assist in every way possible so that you can all have an amazing wedding day for everyone involved. At the end of the day you want your guests to say how wonderful it was, and not thank the heavens that it’s over!
To start you off, here are my top 3 tips to commence the planning process, ready, set, Go!!
1. Crunch your numbers: And I don’t mean budget, not yet. Many blogs will tell you that you’ll need to set your budget first but until you know a rough size of the guest list and size of your bridal party, you won’t be able to effectively plan your budget. I would also recommend discussing the guest list with your parents and in-laws to be; many of us face the burden of having to invite distant cousins and relatives because our parents say we need to. This is where you may need to have the discussion about whether your parents pay for their guests; having these discussions early will help you plan your budget and make decisions on other areas of the wedding. Another thing to consider is whether you will be inviting children or not; this will help you plan your reception budget as well.
Agree on your bridal party. These days many are opting for smaller bridal parties but if you come from a large family and each have a handful of nieces and nephews, you will need to agree with your fiancé as to who will be asked to be involved in your big day. Remember, you can have people involved in other ways like reading at the ceremony or helping set up.
Decide on the time of year you’ll have your special day; deciding on a date will also help with the budget as you will know how long you have to pay everything off. Winter weddings are generally cheaper with many reception houses offering winter packages whereas Spring is “wedding season” so you’ll be expected to see prices go up around this time of year. It might also be worth discussing with your fiancé whether you want to have your wedding locally or have a destination wedding. You would need to consider travelling and accommodation costs as part of your budget; on the flip-side though, you could be saving on the number of guests attending if you choose to have your wedding out of town as some people may need to decline their attendance… food for thought.
2. Plan your budget: Once you’ve agreed on the approx. number of guests and the total number in your bridal party, sit down with your partner and start crunching numbers being as detailed as possible. You know how many guests you’re expecting so this will allow you to think about how much the reception will cost.
Once you’ve agreed on a budget, add $5,000 to $10,000 to it… seriously.
3. Pick a theme: This part is my (and most bride’s) favourite part and where Pinterest will be your best friend. If you don’t have a Pinterest account, I suggest creating one and start searching for inspiration. If you want to keep your inspiration private, don’t worry, you can make your boards private as to not give away your plans for the big day.
It’s also best to pick and theme and stick to it as much as possible; indecision will turn you into Bridezilla!
You now have your approximate guest list, your bridal party, your budget and the time of year for your wedding. Having a clear outline of what you’re able to work with will help you make firmer decisions on reception locations, your suppliers and allow you to isolate those businesses that cater for your needs.
I hope that these tips help you get started on your wedding plans and helps you feel like you have some control. In my next post, I’ll share how I chose to allocate my budget and where I think it’s important to splurge vs. tighten the grip.
Good luck and happy planning!
Purple Orchid Brides