1. Book the venue FIRST
Planning a wedding can often be very daunting and right at the beginning it seems like you’ve got a million and one things to book, sort, decide on and pay for. But honestly, make sure the first thing you book is the venue. Often you can only book other vendors when you have a specific date. Also when you do book your venue, you’ll know what the space is like, what vibe it has and what will work there and what won’t.
2. Choose wisely on how you’re going to remember your day
Photography is one of the most important parts of your wedding day. I know that sounds bias coming from me, but it’s true. You won’t believe how quickly the day goes, and memories do fade over time. Wedding photos (and videos) will be the way that you will remember your day in ten years, twenty years, and fifty years time. Don’t leave the photographer as an afterthought and make sure you work it into your budget early. Find a photographer that is right for you; you love their work and working with them is a joy. Trust me if you do, you won’t regret it.
3. Attend at least one wedding show
I really enjoy going to wedding shows as part of my job, as a bride it was a completely different experience. You can often feel hounded, there’s an awful lot going on and you sometimes feel you have to make on the spot decisions. It’s a great way to see in person what local wedding vendors can offer you though, and talking to suppliers in person allows you to make decisions in a way I don’t think you can on the Internet. So be brave, take a couple of friends along and see what’s on offer.
4. How much do you really have to spend?
I always find this a very weird question, but I found myself asking the same thing when planning our wedding. The simple answer is, there is no specific amount of money you have to spend. Sit down with your partner and make a “wedding to do-list” (venue, clothes, food, photographer, music, decorations..) and be honest about what parts of the day are really important to you personally (for me it was my dress and the photographer) and as a couple. This will help you keep things in perspective and hopefully you won’t overspend.
5. Start DIY projects early
Please don’t fall into the trap (like I did) of thinking you’ve got lots of time to make things, even if your wedding is two years away. Two years goes by quicker than you think and before you know it, you have to make all sorts of cool things you found on Pinterest in the space of two weeks. The longer you give yourself to do them, the less stressful it will be.
6. Think back to other weddings you’ve attended
Remember that awful wedding you went to a few years back? Remember that amazing one you went to six months ago? What was great, and not so great about them? Think about how you can avoid the bad parts and incorporate the good. Was the photographer really great? Was the cake beautiful and taste delicious? Ask where the Bride and Groom went to for these services, it's a good starting point at least.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask for and accept help from loved ones
Your friends and family love you, and they want to be a part of your big day. If your friend offers to help you out with making place names - great! Make an evening of it, have a glass of wine and a laugh to pass the time. If another friend offers to be in charge of making sure the reception room is dressed and the tables are set out right – that’s great! If you think they are responsible and can do it, then embrace it. You really don’t have to do everything yourself!
8. BE YOURSELF
It’s easy at times to forget that the day is about you and your partner, you’re planning a party after all. But every now and then remind yourselves that it is a celebration of your love and your relationship. If you don’t want a big wedding, don’t have one. If you don’t want the meringue dress and to be caked in make up, don’t be. If you’re both big fans of a tv show, try and incorporate it in somehow. My husband and I made sure we didn’t do anything we didn’t want to, and I can honestly say hand on heart that I wouldn’t have changed a single thing about our day. It’s your day and it’s your money – have fun with it!
LOVE & STUFF.
tHE ramblings OF HOLLY CADe:
Wedding and Portrait Photographer - based on the Isle of Wight.