Weddings are such personal events, so feel free to take everything I say in this post with a pinch of salt, and always go with your own gut feeling. This is just how I see it from my point of view, and of course with the added knowledge that now I can look back at this time with added hindsight!
ENJOY THE ENGAGEMENT
This might seem a little strange to add as the first step, but it’s something I wish we had done more. Of course we had an engagement party which was wonderful, but I wish we had really made the most of the time being an engaged couple with all the excitement that it brings, without getting overwhelmed planning the big day. Even if you want to get married fairly soon, there’s no harm spending the first few weeks in engagement bliss- it’s a one off and something you won’t experience again.
NOW, FIGURE OUT THE IMPORTANT STUFF
With this, I’d recommend speaking to your partner and working out together what’s important to you both. For us, well, me in particular, that was having an outside ceremony. I knew it was what I’d always wanted and it wasn’t something I was able to comprimise on (luckily for me I didn’t have to). We had to really settle on certain elements though, as I think orginally Dan wanted a bigger wedding, whereas I preferred something much smaller (we met in the middle and ended up at around 60 day guests). If there are things you really are passionate about, voice them and see if there’s a way you can come to an agreement that works for you both. And try not to argue too much, it is a nice thing you’re planning afterall!
RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH (and budgets…eek)
Weddings are HUGE. The amount of things included in one day still blows my mind, from the big stuff like the -actual getting married business- to the background music you want while dinner is being served, and the colour theme you want to go for for the decor. And while you’re researching, have a think about how much money you realistically want to spend on the wedding. They are extremely expensive, so you really need to consider numbers and try and keep on budget as much as possible. If you want to spend less than £5,000 and your venue cost is £2,500, realisitically, that might not be feasible.
ASK FOR HELP
There’s no way I could of done it alone, in fact Dan probably did just as much preparation in wedding planning as I did, if not more on occassion. My sister and mum were happy to help with whatever we asked them too, aswell as both families helping out financially. No-one expects you to do it alone, and you shouldn’t have to either. When people ask if theres anything they can do to help, let them.
I hope this has helped you in putting together the first steps to planning a wedding, I know how overwhelming it can sometimes feel. In a few weeks I’ll be posting my advice for future brides, so stay tuned to read that post if it sounds interesting to you!