Wedding bells are ringing, you’ve got the ring on your finger and you’re both blissfully excited…but, what now? Hopefully you’re going to be dreaming of a beautiful day, with gorgeous gowns and walking hand in hand with the love of your life. This however is the finished picture and there’s much more to organise to ensure the day runs smoothly. There’s no need to panic though and planning can be just as exciting as the big day itself! We have put together our ultimate wedding planning guide below to help you organise every aspect of your big day.
No two weddings will ever be exactly the same and it’s vital that you acknowledge the different types of wedding available, to fully understand what it is you’re looking for. Some people may have a clear vision of their dream wedding in mind already, whereas for others it’ll take some time to realise what it really is they’re looking for.
Do you want your day to be very sophisticated, a black tie event? Alternatively, are you looking for a more casual, colourful, fun day. An outdoors event in the sunshine, but with some backup options in place for rain? Do you want to play it safe and hold the ceremony indoors regardless? A large wedding for all of your family and friends to attend, or a smaller more intimate event? No matter what it is you’re looking for, the perfect solution is out there for you. It’s important to ensure that you’re planning the big day that you both are pleased with.￼
Budget. It’s something that could initially be overlooked and is often the cause of the majority of the stress when it comes to planning your big day. It can be so easy to get carried away with your spending and that ‘just a little more’ soon adds up and becomes ‘a lot more’. You should sit down and ensure you know your budget, make sure to accommodate for all of those things you require and begin to understand your priorities a little. You may wish to spend a little less on one thing, in order to afford something else you desperately desire. One example would be opting to go D.I.Y. with some of your table decorations, in order to save that money towards picking the perfect photographer to capture all of your memories from the big day. Another point that’s worth making is to ensure that all of the suppliers you choose are upfront with their fees. Make sure they’re disclosing everything, that there are no hidden fees which may surprise you at a later date.
Write down all of your expenses, even those little ones you think won’t make much of a difference. Keep a spreadsheet of some kind to keep track of your finances. Although it may be a little time consuming at first, it’s worth it in the end as you’ll stay organised. It also doubles as a great ticklist, to know what’s ready and paid for and what you still need to organise before the big day.
For many, this is the most difficult part of the process and is also one of the biggest steps you’ll need to take. You should have already considered the type of wedding you’re looking for and hopefully will have some understanding of the type of venue you’re looking for. Whether you’re looking for a beautiful barn, a grand country manor or are seeking a modern setting within a bustling town or city… There a few things which you will need to consider.
The first is how many people you’re hoping to invite and the amount of guests each venue can accommodate. Okay, you don’t need a full guest list at this point, but you should have a rough idea of the amount of people you’d like to include. It’s always better to over accommodate than to not, as a few empty spaces is better than getting upset over not being able to invite everyone you love. On the other hand though, choosing a venue which is designed for 200 people when you have 30 guests may be too much empty space. It really does depend on you and the style of wedding you’re looking for.
The location of your venue should be considered, alongside many factors which go hand in hand with location. Is it close enough for your guests to comfortably travel to, particularly any who may be relying on public transport? Is there ample parking available either at the venue, or close nearby? Will you be hosting the ceremony and reception at the same location? If not, are they quite far apart? Will there be accommodation available nearby, or even on site, for those guests who have to travel a little further to join you on your special day. There are so many things to be considered, it really is a decision which must be made after a lot of thought.
When it comes to choosing a venue, it’s important not to just pick the first one you hear of without seeing it in person. You should make some appointments to visit multiple venues, to decide whether it’s what you’re looking for and not just book based upon a few photographs.￼
Now’s the time to figure out who you’re looking to invite and send them out a save the date. This is a little different to the formal invitations you’ll send out later, when you can figure out for definite all of the finer details. For now, you’re letting people know that you’d love them to be a part of your big day. This can be a great opportunity for people to let you know at this point whether they’ll be able to attend or not, as then you can decide who to invite instead.
Take some time to decide on your theme, your colour scheme, everything which makes your wedding unique to suit your needs. Take a look through lots of magazines, brochures, look online at other wedding’s and see what catches your eye. Colours and themes really are an important part of setting the mood and ensuring it’s the day which you’ve been dreaming of. Would you like a rustic wedding? Are you visualising something more magical, with fairy lights strung up across the room? How about something with a romantic hue? A vintage wedding? A beach or nautical theme? A black tie event? The options truly are endless and no matter what theme you may like to have, you are bound to find the appropriate decor to go alongside it. Consider the date of your wedding. Are you having a summer wedding? You may wish to go for whites and lighter beautiful colours. Spring weddings often call for pastel colours and plenty of blooming bouquets, whilst a winter wedding will likely have some sparkle to brighten up a drearier day. There’s no restriction though, you really can choose any colours you like. What are your favourites?
Take a look around at some local suppliers and see who’s work catches your eye. Whether this is your caterer, photographer, videographer, florist, musician or DJ, car hire company, cake maker, etc… the list really does go on and it’s vital that each detail is perfect for your big day to be a success. Take a look through their portfolio and reviews, see how experienced they are in capturing beautiful photos of your big day. Ask to see samples of their work, to determine whether this is going to be suitable for your needs.￼
Who are your bridesmaids going to be? Do you have anyone special in mind to be your best Man? Now is the time to pick those special people you want to be an even bigger part of your big day. Why not look at some of the special ways you can ask them the big question and the fun ways of celebrating together.
This is one of those things that shouldn’t be a last minute decision - at all! You should begin looking for a dress well in advance of the big day, as many suppliers will have long wait lists for alterations and you’ll need to make sure you can get your dream dress in exactly the right fit. Begin by looking through magazines and online for inspiration, to get an understanding of the type of dress you’re looking for; although, we would advise not to set your heart on a particular dress before seeing yourself in it and to keep an open mind throughout the process. It’s incredibly common for brides to choose something completely out of the blue and unlike anything they’d previously liked, from seeing the dresses in person. Nonetheless, magazines and online image galleries are a great way to start.
Remember your budget and then shop around accordingly. You’ll likely find yourself trying on a lot of dresses and when it’s right, you’ll know! We promise.
This guide is a brief of some of the bigger parts of wedding planning, but in reality there are so many more things to consider. This is why, here at Reigate Hill, we are determined to help make your big day run as smoothly as possible. With indoor and outdoor facilities, on site accommodation, space to hold both the ceremony and reception, ample parking facilities, connections with many local suppliers and an experienced, dedicated team who are on hand to provide any help you may need. Give us a call today on 01737 645577 to discuss your big day with us.