When planning a wedding where do you start? Wedding planning tips
So, you have found the partner of your dreams and have decided to get married. Now you need to know where to start planning a wedding? When planning your big day, there are things that are nice to know and things that you need to know. Here are our tips when planning a wedding that will hopefully make you say, “I’m so glad someone told me that!”
The first and most important step is to nail your budget. Until you set a realistic budget it is unwise to spend anything. It is a common mistake to forget the little extras like dress alterations, fittings and beauty expenses. The earlier you start planning the less stress you will put on yourself as the big day approaches. Having a clear plan before you start will help you keep on top of everything and be sure you do not forget something important.
Top tip – one of the biggest things to remember is that whether it is the venue, wedding dress or suits, or the wedding cake you will need to make an appointment. This will ensure that enough time is put aside by the supplier to spend with you, and so you get the unrushed, right information.
Before you start visiting wedding venues you will need to get an idea of the approximate number of guests for the day and for the evening. Your budget will be a big factor for your wedding reception venue as this will take a large part of it.
Whether you are planning a wedding for 50 guests or planning for 200 guests it is important to discuss when you would like to get married, including the day of the week. Getting married on a weekday can mean you can get more for your budget, as we have previously discussed in 5 reasons why you should pick a weekday wedding. You will also need to consider if you would like to get married in a religious ceremony, registry office or at the venue – which they will need a license for you to do so. It is good to consider all-inclusive wedding packages at the venue.
Top tip – when contacting venues to get prices, make sure you have a date range in mind. It is so much easier for the Wedding Co-ordinator to check availability if you can be specific. For example, “I would love a Friday in April next year.” They will also ask for your rough numbers so they can check which function suites are suitable.
Choosing your decorations is what makes your wedding unique. Centrepieces, chair covers and bows and lighting help complete the wedding day look whether it is a budget wedding venue or a more elegant affair. Some venues include aspects of this in their wedding packages or you could have to hire suppliers or do much of it yourself – this is something you will need to consider.
Top tip – embrace your venue! If they have a red carpet in the function suite then blue chair covers may not be the right way to go. Ask the venue what colours have been in the room before and looked great, or even ask to see pictures of past weddings to give you further inspiration.
Did you know why it is called a wedding breakfast? It is because it is the first meal you share together as newlyweds. Your wedding breakfast will not only fuel the event, but it will also provide a chance to infuse your personality and style into the celebration. From an afternoon tea to a sit-down meal with 2, 3, 4 or more courses, there is a lot to consider. Could you have a locally themed menu? You will also need to consider the evening affair from hog roasts, buffets and BBQ’s.
Top tip – When sending out your invites, ask your guests if they require a special diet or have any allergies. If they need a vegan menu or have a medical allergy such as being gluten free the Chef will need to know this in advance, so that the guest is not sat with an empty plate in front of them whilst the Chef hurriedly makes something for them.
It’s completely up to you, it’s your wedding after all! You can choose a cake that is compatible with the style of your venue, the season, and even get it to look like the wedding dress or flower arrangements. You could choose different flavours for the layers, including the traditional fruit, or indulge with one of your favourites such as salted caramel, red velvet, chocolate, lemon or a Victoria sponge.
Top tip – generally a 3-tiered cake will serve around 120 guests and you are likely to need 5 layers for 200 guests or more. Ask the venue to have a separate cake table so it can be a feature in the room, and easy to have photographs of and with when cutting the cake.
Research this carefully and find someone who understands exactly what you want. It is important to get on well and so you feel comfortable with time. Engagement shoots are a great way to get to know your photographer and start to build the relationship as well as be given the opportunity to practise your poses.
Top tip – ask your photographer to shoot in documentary form, meaning they will be captured in a natural way. You will get pictures of your guests to enjoy a drink at the bar, sharing a laugh and even strutting their stuff on the dancefloor.
Did you know that not having a wedding video is the number one regret? Although often overlooked, a wedding videographer really is an essential consideration for your big day. Your wedding day will fly by, and many will tell you that you will see less of your wedding day than your guests as you are caught up with the ceremony, photoshoots, catch ups with friends and family and then the same at the evening reception.
Top tip – a videographer will capture the words spoken during the vows and speeches, and interviews with guests. The filmed record of your day is great to look back on with your children or grandchildren and to fondly remember those who have passed on.
Everyone wants to make their wedding romantic and make it feel ultra-personal. Pinning something to your flower bouquet can be a lovely way of carrying a loved one with you, such as a photograph or a or a piece of jewellery. Some like to have a table of photographs of their parents and grandparents, or even great grandparents. Write your own vows or show a slideshow at your wedding venue or a dove release.
You can make your wedding fun without breaking the budget. You and your guests will dance the night away with a DJ or band, but there are other options for entertainment too. Hiring a magician is a perfect way to keep your guests occupied, especially if they are a good trickster. Photobooths and selfie mirrors are also very popular and the keepsake fun photographs will be fun to look back on.
Is planning a wedding stressful? It can be if you over-do it beforehand. Everyone wants to look and feel amazing on their wedding day, but if you starve yourself or spend every waking moment in the gym you will be exhausted and hungry by the time the wedding arrives.
Experts recommend that you do not set a weight goal, but some fitness goals instead. Want to wear a sleeveless dress but need to tone your arms? This is something that can be worked on in weekly classes or with personal training.
Top tip – get your bridal or stag party involved too. A one-day bootcamp is an alternative to a boozy night out and is designed to kick start and boost your fitness as well as being great fun. It is also a good way to introduce key guests to each other before the big day.
The top three things that brides say the main culprits here are too much fake tan, too much foundation and overfilled in eyebrows. Wedding day beauty should not begin on the day, whilst you’re sitting in the stylist’s chair, it does start in advance so you can look your best on the big day.
If you do not usually wear a lot of make-up, it may initially feel a bit odd but a good make-up artist makes your features stand out. Equally, your hair will require a little love and devotion. Experts recommend Vitamin B to bring out the natural shine, this can be found in foods like fish, nuts and eggs. Deep conditioning treatments can help hair feel silky and manageable as well as regularly getting those split ends trimmed.
Do not forget to get your hands and nails in top condition too – including gents. Most photographers like to zoom in on the hands, especially on that new wedding ring. Biters may need to start 6-8 weeks in advance to get the length and shape there. It is also recommended to invest in a good moisturiser to keep cracked nails and dehydrated skin at bay.
Planning for a wedding ceremony does take time. Make sure you schedule time to organise the bigger and smaller things and that will make planning a wedding fun.
1. Shine up your engagement ring, as it will be on show too
2. Prep a touch-up bag including toiletries and makeup and give to your maid of honour to look after
3. Put together a getting ready playlist
4. Plan your breakfast or mid-morning snacks
5. Arrange your transportation from where you are getting ready to the venue
6. Pack some comfy shoes, even if they are just to wear home
7. Get your thank you gifts together
8. Bring an invitation, your photographer can get some snaps of it
9. Check if you need cake-cutting accessories
10. Do not forget a couple of pens for your guest book
11. Bring an umbrella, it’s good to have a contingency plan for bad weather
12. Know when the sun will set, this is an ideal time to get some magical photographs
13. Feed your suppliers, your photographer will be with you all day they need to keep fuelled too
14. Write a do not play for your DJ. Good DJ’s play to the room and can see what your guests like, having a no playlist will be easier for them than a must play.
15. Appoint a post-wedding person. Can your bridesmaids or groomsmen to do a sweep of the venue to make sure you have not forgotten anything
16. Arrange transportation home or to the hotel, there’s nothing worse than waiting for the taxi to arrive after a long day
17. Pack a change of clothes, if you are staying overnight, you’ll need something to wear to breakfast the next day.
18. Do you have pets? They will need someone to look after them for the day and night.
19. Practice your kiss! Seems odd, doesn’t it? But you’re about to kiss in front of a lot of people, including parents, grandparents, and now in-laws… enough said.
Ultimately, you are getting married to the love of your life. Even if you are planning a wedding without your fiancé’s help, with or without a parent or when looking after a baby. Take a step back and remind yourself what the wedding is really about. Our experienced teams are on hand to give you advice and let you know what to know when planning a wedding:
You are more than welcome to book an appointment to meet with our highly experienced Wedding Co-ordinator Jodie or Ellie on 01752 701000 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The stylish ground floor rooms can accommodate a small wedding or up to 300 of your guests. There is also a courtyard ideal for taking photographs on your big day. From complete wedding packages in Plymouth to evening wedding receptions.
From an intimate feel to a grander affair, the suites can accommodate your guests up to 280 people. Plus they are situated on the top floor of the hotel with fantastic views over Bristol City Centre. There is even a small balcony to take in some air and enjoy these from. Viewings can be booked with Aaron or Seyran on 0117 304 1010 or email@example.com if you are looking for places to get married in Bristol.
As an approved UK Bride Supplier, the team in Cardiff have over 60 years combined with helping couples plan their special day. The wedding venue in Cardiff Bay has a variety of suites to choose from, all of which are on the ground floor, and can host up to 210 guests. Appointments do need to be booked in advance with Michelle or Martin on 02920 487111 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask about their Welsh themed wedding breakfast menu too!