Where to start with your Wedding planning…
So you’ve just got engaged, congratulations! But where to start with your wedding planning?
When you first get engaged to the one you love it’s a very exciting time, lots of celebrating and feelings of joy. But for many of us the concept of getting married is very new to us, unless of course you have previously been married, and when it comes down to the planning side of things it’s all a bit of a minefield and not knowing where to start. It’s one of the main questions I get asked by couples, “Where do we start with our wedding planning?”
Well, the very first things you need to do are a) Decide on a date or time of year you’d like to get married and b) Choose your venue(s).
There are lots of things you need to consider and bear in mind with both of these. When it comes to choosing a date you may have a specific date in mind, perhaps a special date that means something to both of you eg Valentines day, or you may be more flexible and not be too bothered about a specific date but want to get married at a certain time of year eg summer. It may be that the venue you really want to get married at is already booked for your preferred date, in which case you either need to pick another venue or change your date. So my advice here would be to have at least a couple of dates in mind and also another venue incase this happens. Another thing to think about when choosing your date is what day of the week it falls on. Most weddings take place on a weekend, but it’s getting quite popular to get married on a weekday as it’s cheaper. It all comes down to personal choice and of course budget, but if you are wanting to get married on a weekday you need to consider that this can make things more difficult for your guests as they will have to book time off work, perhaps take children out of school and so on which could potentially put people off coming to your wedding, even people invited to the evening reception. Most people would prefer to attend a weekend wedding because it’s easier all round. Bank holiday/public holiday long weekends are also a good time to have a wedding providing the venue doesn’t add any extra charges (which they shouldn’t do) unless it’s on the day of the Bank/Public Holiday itself.
Then there’s quite a lot to consider when it comes to choosing venues. The 1st thing to decide is whether you want a big church wedding or to have a more modern civil ceremony in a hotel or other licensed venue. Again, it’s all down to personal choice and budget, but the main differences are the cost and the length of the service and of course if you’re religious or not. Getting married in a church is more expensive than getting married in a hotel for example. The service will also be much longer in a church. Also, if you choose to get married in church you will normally be expected to attend church every week for at least one year before your wedding, even if it’s not a catholic church, so if you’re not prepared to do this then there’s no point.
It’s much cheaper to get married in a Registry Office, Hotel or licensed venue. If your wedding ceremony and reception are all at the same venue eg a Hotel, then it’s even cheaper and it makes it easier for your guests too! The other thing to consider when choosing venues is location. As soon as you become engaged you start to think about venues and often with all the initial excitement of it all you get swept away and look at the big grand venues which are miles away in the middle of nowhere and cost a fortune! We’ve all done it, I know I did, and then I realised that a) They were too far away and b) I couldn’t afford them! You need to consider how long it will take you all to get there, if it’s a long distance away it may mean staying overnight the night before the wedding which adds to the overall cost for both you and your guests unless of course they are willing to do all the travelling on the day of the wedding. Again, if it’s a weekday wedding this could put people off as it makes it more difficult for them to attend. The nearer the wedding venue is for the majority of you and your guests, the easier it makes it for everyone and it helps to keep the cost down too. This also applies if getting married in a church and then following on to a separate venue for the reception. Many people make the mistake of choosing a reception venue that’s really far away. This can be off-putting for people as it makes things more difficult with all the travel and extra cost involved.
Another thing to consider is the overall look and style of your venue, facilities, service and so on, does it provide everything you need? Does it tie in with your theme/colour scheme/style? Does it have the ‘WOW’ factor you desire? Does it have the ambience you require? Are the staff professional, friendly, approachable? Are they going to look after you and your guests well? Are they able to cater for your individual needs/requirements? What is the food and drink like? Is it within my budget? So many things you need to consider.
Then there’s the cost to consider when choosing your venue as prices vary dramatically depending on many different factors. It’s one of the main things that will be the deciding factor for you. Lots of venues offer wedding packages which makes things easier when you are working with a specific budget in mind. Many of these packages are based on a certain number of guests. Just make sure that you ask for a full price breakdown on any packages as there can be hidden costs eg things included that you either don’t want or don’t need. You may initially want to get married in a big grand castle or something similar (yes, I did, soon changed my mind though!), but can you really afford it or justify the expense? If money was no object then I suppose we’d all love to do this, but when it comes to planning a wedding you have to be realistic and work with what you can afford. Remember that bigger isn’t always better and the weddings that people seem to enjoy the most are those that are in smaller, more intimate & personal venues.
So I hope this blog post has helped you in deciding on where to start with your wedding planning. Remember, these are just my own opinions based on personal experience. I myself don’t understand the logic when people for example have a church wedding in their local town then have their wedding reception at a venue 30 or more miles away! Seems ludicrous to me and having been invited to weddings such as this I decided not to bother as it’s just too much hassle, even if just invited to the evening reception. The only allowance i’d make is for family or a very close friend. When planning my own wedding I wanted to make it as easy as possible for my guests and make sure they were comfortable and that as many people were able to attend as possible. This is why I opted to have a civil ceremony in a lovely, small, local hotel, The Red Hall Hotel, that had just been renovated and we purposefully chose to have it on a Saturday on a May Bank Holiday weekend. It also saved us a lot of money doing it this way as initially we looked at getting married in the local parish church, but not only was it much more expensive but it was much more hassle and as neither of us are religious anyway we decided in the end there was no point. So i’m really glad we did things the way we did and our guests were too!
Once you’ve decided where and when you want to get married and you need a helping hand with anything from venue dressing, wedding stationery, prop hire, flowers or even just some friendly advice, get in touch with me for your FREE quote or consultation by clicking here and filling in our contact form or by giving me a call on 0161 797 3437 or mobile 07500062451. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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