Congratulations! As a newly engaged couple you have the world's permission to basque in the glory of your own happiness, tell your nearest and dearest, tell your milkman, tell the cashier that you've never met before, fully acceptable during this time. Today's post is all about what to do next in the whirlwind process that will be planning your dream wedding, it will come as no surprise that it is a minefield of themes, ideas, colour schemes, destinations, budgets, family politics and of course losing hours of your life to Pinterest.
Announce your special news!
Call everyone you know and announce your news and go into wonderful depth over your proposal story, your family and friends will love to hear about your happiness and of course will be so excited about your ring selfie! I have revelled in the stories of my best friends getting engaged...here are their reactions to the loves of their lives declarations of wanting to be with them, and only them, forever.
"It's about time!"
"I had been complaining at him for making me walk so far then I was like ....'erm, what?'
What are your priorities?
Sit with your future husband/wife and discuss your priorities for the day, for example venue or band, food or flowers, head count or destination. Talk about other weddings that you have attended and list the aspects that you liked and did not like, what you would have done differently and allocate your budget accordingly. Lose hours of your evenings on Pinterest discovering the many different ways to dress a wedding and dream 100 different ways to have the perfect wedding and then you will need to talk about if your ideas are in sync and which areas you are happy to compromise on.
How long to plan your wedding?
Discuss with your future betrothed how long an engagement you would like to have and how much time you would like to take planning your wedding, a brief short engagement of two months or a relaxed and comfortable two years to plan.
It is important that when you decide a date that you discuss with your most important attendees to ensure they are available at this time, for example a maid of honour teacher may not be able to attend a Wednesday wedding in September....
Guest lists and table plans have been stated as one of the most stressful parts of planning a wedding. Be sure to organise your guests in order of "must comes" and "would be nice if they came", this will help you know if you have any flexibility when it comes to venue searching, minimum and maximum numbers when booking suppliers and caterers.
A Wedding Budget
A very common mistake when planning a wedding is not having a wedding budget or not following through and sticking to the budget. Money is not always a fun conversation however it will be a necessary conversation when it comes to planning your wedding and it is important to allocate realistic budgets to your most important aspects of your days to avoid any disappointment further into the process. Fortunately for yourselves I have several years of finance experience and will be able to help you with your budget.
Large bookings first
As obvious as it may appear, make sure that you book the main parts of your wedding before you book the smaller parts - venue before prosecco! Choosing a venue can be a long drawn out process especially if you have a large list of "must have" guests to invite but not quite the right size budget to host and feed them all, but also the venue has to be available on your preferred date...repeat after me.... "large bookings first".
There are a lot of ways to find the right suppliers for your wedding, but keep in mind there are a LOT of wedding suppliers in Devon and even in nationwide who are willing to travel. Facebook, Bridebook, Pretty & Punk and other wedding directories are saturated with fantastic suppliers so make sure you do not feel that the first photographer you meet is the one to take on, there are so many that you really can find the perfect one for you with a bit of looking. Here are some options:
At your venue you can request a list of suppliers who have recently hosted at the venue and can demonstrate different styles of hosting events at your chosen destination.
Real weddings - ask your friends the suppliers who they spoke to or used, word of mouth and personal recommendations can often boost your confidence in the suppliers.
Wedding blogs, Etsy and social media have a great demonstration of suppliers and their skill sets, this is a good way of finding out what they have done before and if it suits your tastes.
Wedding fairs - there are many incredible fairs around to hunt down your perfect wedding supplier, check some out!
Hire a wedding planner with a little black book....
Choosing your bridal party
This may already be a childhood promise that was made many years ago or maybe you would like to take this time to show your closest friends how much they mean to you to be in your bridal party however you have to ensure to keep your budget in mind or it could be very easy to get carried away. Agree with your budget whether you will paying for the outfits, accessories and transport or not and hold yourself to this.
You must also consider whether your bridal party will mix well even if they haven't met yet and that they will support you accordingly - bridal party tension should be the very last thing you should be thinking about. If you feel as though there is someone you would like involved but not as a bridesmaid or groomsmen remember there are other ways of including your friend. Do they have a special skill? Ask them to create something for your special day. Amazing at talking in front of a crowd? Ask them to do a reading at your ceremony. For our wedding we asked 2 close friends to sing our introduction song into the reception and it was fantastic! This is a great way to delegate some stress in the process as well ;)