Wedding planning is a big job but it’s a really bloody fun job too. Don’t be scared by colleagues or pals telling you about how stressful theirs was to plan – granted, it can be stressful at times, but that’s only because you care so much. ALWAYS REMEMBER that a wedding is simply a case of signing some paperwork and being with people you love. Everything else is a bonus.
Work out what’s important to you both
Weddings, just like life, are a case of priorities. Even though the chances are you know each other pretty well by this point, still make sure to sit down and discuss what each of you want from the day. What’s most important to you? Is it the guest list? Is it the food? Is it the dance floor at the end? Working these out is your first job as it makes it so much easier to plan stuff after that. This is when it gets exciting, and you start to think of all of the possibilities! Try to do this before sitting down and browsing wedding media. Set your priorities from your heart, not what you feel you ‘should’ be having. Make your list of priorities and stick it somewhere prominent. Then when you’re in the thick of it all, refer back to that list. It’ll keep you on track.
Work out a budget
Straight in at number one in the list of Super Boring Wedding Planning Things That Are Sadly Necessary is the wedding budget! Together, work out how much you’re willing to spend on the wedding. This combines a number of things; how much money you have saved, if any; the contributions you’ll be receiving from other people, if any, and the money you can realistically save from your current income between now and the big day. Also – and I cannot stress this enough – add in a margin for error. Some elements of planning a wedding will always cost more than you think, whether it’s seemingly little things like stamps for invites or bigger things that will crop up. Adding in a margin of at least 10% (if not more) that you religiously won’t dip into as pocket money will leave you with some breathing space. And if by some miraculous chance you end up making it through your wedding without needing it, then you’ve got a little nest egg to save (or spend) after the wedding!
Set the date
There’s two reasons that this should be done early on in your wedding planning checklist: one, a deadline helps focus the mind and helps turns those “Oh my god I’ve too many ideas this will never happen” thoughts into “well this is happening next year and I’m going to get stuff done” thoughts; and two, you need a date to get accurate quotes and be able to secure your suppliers. Having your date secured will make the process of getting started with wedding planning much easier.
Keep everything together
Whether it’s virtual and on your desktop, or it’s a physical beast brimming with ideas, stay organised from the beginning of wedding planning and keep everything all in one place. You’ll thank me (and yourself!) for it later. it doesn’t need to be mega fancy, colour coordinated and in alphabetical order, literally just put everything you find in one place. Google drive and dropbox do a sterling job of keeping all you digital finds in one place and backed up (so important!). Another good resource for digital filing of ideas is Pinterest. Just pin an image from the useful stuff you find and write in the comments why you’ve pinned it. If you prefer things a little more tangible, then I really love this planning tool from Rock’n’Roll bride and Veronica Dearly.
Start building your guest list
You don’t need to have this nailed ASAP but it is a really fundamental part of wedding planning as the size of your squad affects everything. It’ll affect your wedding venue choice as well as the budget (see above) so start compiling a list of the people you couldn’t live without being there. People ALWAYS make the party in my opinion.
Start to research your dream suppliers
And there is no better place to start than here! Over the next few months I’ll be interviewing, showcasing and shouting from the rooftops about my favourite suppliers in the industry who I know would go above and beyond to make your wedding exactly how you’re hoping it would be. You can sign up to receive all the wedding planning related blog posts by joining Club Tropicana here. It’ll be all killer and no filler.
As well as my blog, use instagram and Pinterest to lead you to the dream team who’ll make it happen. I’ve written a blog post about my favourite sources of wedding inspiration. Well worth a read if you are looking for something outside of mainstream wedding media.
Don’t forget to Sign up to Club Tropicana to see where to go next! I promise not to be a dick with your data and to only send you information that’s interesting and relevant. Besides, you’re free to easily opt out as soon as it get’s dull (it won’t).
While you’re here…Why not check out Club Tropicana?
(where wedding planning advice is free!)