You’re excited. You’re still shaking. You both decided it’s the right time to tie the knot. So you’re getting married! Congratulations!
You ask yourself - what should you do next? As the Chinese proverb says:
“a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step”.
You won’t progress until you make the first move.
Yes, but what should you actually do? We’ve asked bride and grooms how they feel shortly after realising there’s quite a lot of planning ahead. It’s stressful! The Internet is full of advice that makes the process more difficult.
Now take a deep breath.
What we’ve achieved through this guide to wedding planning is group the most important tasks in a series of easy-to-follow steps, starting from items such as the venue and designs to those related to suppliers and finally to yourselves. Don’t worry. You can do this!
Deadlines. Every properly planned job requires setting deadlines. A wedding or any other event is a project. It’s a project with a series of meticulously planned steps, which are reviewed, tested, launched, and improved on. But it can be fun, we promise. When getting organised, bear these points in mind:
Seems obvious but you need to be strict. We propose the following method: start big and we mean big! Then, narrow down the options. The date is the easy part. Choose you dream season of the year: spring, summer, autumn, winter. Then choose the month. Then map any bank holiday, family holidays or important occasions, and decide on the date. Full stop. Don’t overthink it.
The budget is more difficult. This is a very special day that brings the most important people in your life together. But when it comes to budget you have to think with your brain and not your heart. Set yourself a comfortable budget and stick to it (unless you’re buying flowers of course.)
Guidance of an experienced wedding planner is irreplaceable. It is a struggle to pull off a large-scale with no experience. We understand that wedding planning is associated with ultimate luxury, but the actual cost of hiring a professional to execute your dream is relatively low. You will free yourself from stress and save plenty of time; not to mention you will get to fully enjoy the final day when it finally arrives. Chenai, the founder of ByChenai Weddings & Events, notes: ‘As an experienced wedding planner and event designer, the value I bring to a couple is the ability to interpret their vision and execute it with a network of trusted suppliers who never disappoint. I ensure that the couple can enjoy the journey to their wedding day and give them exactly what they want - a party to remember’. For the organised brides wishing to organise their own wedding, make sure to follow the steps outlined to make sure everything goes smoothly.
We are turning you into a wedding planning guru. Grab a calendar and start mapping the tasks to undertake.
Pinterest is only one of the options. We look for inspiration in the press, magazines (Absolutely Weddings, You and Your Wedding, Harper Bazaar, Vogue, but also creative fashion magazines such as Dazed, or Love), TV, we daydream, we discuss different concepts and we daydream again. We recommend to ‘shop around’ and draw inspiration from different sources.
Unless you’re an illustrator or you’re great at drawing, you will not be able to depict your ideas accurately (if you are an artist, we’d love to see your work!). Compile a series of photos, perhaps of previous weddings, of the colours that inspire you, your life, your greatest memories. That’s the perfect inspiration to start with. And it tells your story.
It’s time to cut down on your images. We tend to go overboard when making inspirational choices, so let’s reduce the number to a maximum of 20 photos.
Perhaps you’ll be able to see a recurring theme in the images you’ve selected. Look for repeating patterns, symbols, lines textures. Give your theme a name.
Colour is one of the most important design tools. As designers, we advise to choose only two main colours. If you’re bringing all the colours to the table, it will be become a multicoloured wedding and the flowers will become white noise in the background. We are looking to connect elements together and create a harmonious look. Simply said, too many colours without bridging create chaos.
Let’s look at this simple design process again and try to reduce it by eliminating any redundant elements or photos that do not match your concept. Reduction is essential step to wedding planning.
And you’re ready to move on!
his can be a sensitive issue. Be brave, this is your wedding and you can’t make the wrong decision. Start from your inner circles: Begin with your family first. Then, move on to your best and closest friends. Next, to the other good friends you would like to share this moment with. Finally, think of close colleagues, special people you don’t get to see much (living abroad, for example), and anyone who has made an impact in your life.
Just when you thought you were done, here comes another struggle. From experience, we’ve worked on weddings where no bridesmaids were present, to weddings where 9 bridesmaids took the honour. This is up to you to choose and there is no particular guideline here. Just keep your budget in mind, especially if you’re gifting the bridesmaids’ dresses.
Break the news to your guests. Ask for RSVPs. This is important to get a feel of how many people will be able to attend and essential to start planning venue, seating arrangements, etc.
You have your vision. You know your estimated number of guests. Now, it’s time to search for the venue.
Take our advice: a rustic wedding fits in a rustic venue. What that means, is that a luxury wedding with orchids won’t necessarily go in a barn countryside setting. Or if you’re thinking about a wedding in one of the grand palaces, a jam jar arrangement will simply look out of proportion in a large hall. This is why your mood boards are so important in understanding the look and feel of your wedding before finding the venue. Keep your budget in mind as well. Period wedding venues with grand rooms ask for grand decorations and therefore higher budgets.
Be prepared, you will look at a lot of venues before making a decision. But don’t overwhelm yourself, too much choice can be bad. Once you’ve visited the venues that are on your list, reduce the options to 3.You can create a spreadsheet and compare the pros and cons of each. Include factors such as price, space, location, aesthetics, how accommodating the venue is to your needs, professionalism and guidance of the venue coordinator and staff, etc.
Once you’ve singled out the potential winners, it is difficult to decide, especially if the finalists provide different offerings but equally tempting. It helps to look at previous testimonials and pictures from events that have taken place there. Visit Hitched, Confetti.co.uk, or Bridebook to start with.
Review your spreadsheet and make the call to book your favourite venue.
Choose your suppliers carefully, your wedding planner will be vital here. Go back to your vision board and make knowledgeable decision to contact the professionals who fit your dream wedding look.
Choose according to their style, check their website portfolio, their social media accounts and their previous experience. As Julie Michaelsen says: ‘
The process is very similar to the above. We advise to focus on the creative capacities of the floral design studio, their testimonials, features in magazines and online blogs and how good the customer service of the studio is.
Table-setting and Additional Venue Deco. Either your wedding planner or your florist will give you advice on the suitable choices. We work with a range of suppliers and happily make recommendations and help style events for our customers.
Would you rather dance to live music or your list of favourite tunes?
Some venues require booking an external catering company. We follow the same process as with a photographer, paying extra attention to testimonials. Do not forget to book your tasting session!
Find an experienced printing company or work with a graphic designer that will the project from the design to print.
Think of the design as well as the taste. Get in touch with bakers who specialise in weddings. Review their portfolio, check the testimonials and choose your 3 favourites and arrange meetings.
Getting guests in and out of different locations is a logistic challenge. Choose suitable suppliers that will make necessary trips smooth.
Do not forget to book your hotel close to the venue where you’re staying.
This is a subject that can be detailed in a separate article. Look out for our next posts for guidelines on choosing a wedding dress.
This is a lengthy process so make sure you account for the extra time to discuss the designs with the jeweller and arrange a series of fittings.
Expertise of the professional is crucial. After all, it is the most important day of your life. Review the testimonials, view the portfolio, and follow the initial inspiration.
Will you plan a short Euro trip or a long-haul holiday?
Do not forget about your skin and nails. You will look glowing and picture-ready.
Every wedding is special and usually requires a different approach. This guide to wedding planning doesn’t have to be followed in the written order. However, account for every item listed to ensure a smooth planning experience and great memories. And if you need help, get in touch with us.