Wedding Planning Guide
Congratulations – you’re getting married!
The time has come to begin planning, and there is never a right or wrong way to plan a wedding. Every bride and groom has a different budget and different ideas, and all you need to do is get your planning in order to make life easy. Writing down your thoughts in a journal or planner is the best way to start, and you can make sense of the steps that you need to take to ensure that your wedding goes off without a hitch. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the ultimate guide to planning your wedding; we’ve even included some costs!
Set Your Budget
We can’t give you a financial figure here. Every single budget is different from person to person. Some people choose to have a smaller budget that covers a simple, minimalistic wedding. Others want to go the whole hog with all the glitz and glam, frozen swan fountains and six-tier cakes – the works! It doesn’t really matter what your budget is, you need to set it, and you need to work within those parameters. The last thing that you want is to go over budget and start married life in debt and worrying.
££: Anything you like!
Visualise Your Day
Once you set your budget, you can let your creative flag fly. This part of the process shouldn’t cost you a thing in reality, as you can use Pinterest and other websites to decide how you want your day and your colour scheme to look. There are so many inspirational sources out there, but Pinterest is the best one as you can create online mood boards and goals boards, and this can be invaluable when it comes to shopping around. It’s here where you need to think about the theme you want, including your colours.
Save the dates and invitations need to be designed and sent as early as possible to secure your date. However, you cannot send anything until you’ve set your date. This is what the save the dates are for and you need to lock in your date as soon as you can. Your full and formal invitations can be sent once you’ve sorted your venue and asked your bridesmaids and groomsmen to stand with you on your big day. When you are considering your stationery, think about the table numbers and place cards, and if you have it in your budget, think about a table planner for the venue. This can help everyone to know where to sit!
££: Average costs £600
Step 4: To Wedding Planner Or Not?
Some people are far too busy to arrange their wedding by themselves, and this is why wedding planners were created. They can step in and negotiate with suppliers, liaise with the vendors on the big day and help you to create your wedding vision. They have insider advice in the wedding industry and in some cases, can even help you to get some significant discounts. A wedding planner is an excellent help if you work long hours and need assistance. It’s definitely a service worth utilising!
££: Average costs up to £1,700
Finding A Venue
Your wedding venue choice is going to define your day. It will determine your wedding date, your location, your guest numbers and even whether you can have the sit-down wedding meal or your end up with a buffet and drinks. The wedding venue may well come with a package including drinks and appetisers, a DJ and tablecloths. Some even include a toastmaster to announce the main wedding party members! There are castles, stately homes, barns, registry offices and hotels to choose from, and you can even have your wedding in the great outdoors. So, what you need is to sit and research this thoroughly. The costs will vary from place to place, so use your budget as a guide.
££: Average costs £12,000 – venue, food, drinks package
Alongside your venue, you need to know whether it’s big enough for the type of entertainment you want. Your wedding reception is going to be about your guests as much as it is about you, so whether you choose a caricaturist or you choose a DJ, you need a way to entertain everyone. You may splurge and choose more than one type of entertainment. Either way, you need to make sure that it fits your budget and works with the theme of your big day. Your entertainment is going to be a big part of the day, so make sure that you have thought it through with the guests that you have and tie it in as something that you want.
££: Average costs £1,500
Saying Yes To The Dress
You likely already know who will be in your bridal party, including your maid of honour and your flower girls. This part of the process isn’t just about your dress – though that’s very important – but whether it’s in your budget to afford the dresses for the rest of the bridal party. If you don’t have it in your budget for dresses and shoes and hair/makeup for everyone else, make it clear from the very beginning. When it comes to your dress, there is going to be hundreds of options and it’s really a personal choice as to whether you buy a discount dress or a designer one. It’s a dress that you wear once; so make a smart decision that suits your finances.
££: Average costs £1,300
Choosing Your Vendors
When it comes to wedding vendors, you have several to consider:
- Wedding cake maker
- Photo booths
- Prosecco vans
There are hundreds of options and you need to consider what will fit your day, your theme and your budget. You can choose student wedding photographers who are eager to please if you want to save some money, and you can choose to be your own florist with silk flowers, too. Approaching a wedding cake maker is going to carve out a chunk of your money, but it’s all worth it as long as your budget is met. Some people choose to have a photographer AND and videographer, and it’s important to estimate all your costs and get more than one quote along the way.
££: Average costs £4,000+
Making It Legal
If you are getting married in a church, there will be a fee for the use of the church, the organist, the bells and even the celebrant/priest that you choose. You also have to have your Banns read and you need to pay for your wedding certificate. Usually, this is included in the cost of the big day, so it’s worth checking with your church. If you are choosing to get married anywhere else, there will still be fees to pay to perform the wedding ceremony, so do your research. Some venues have your marriage fees included!
££: Average costs £750
Once your wedding is over, you’ll want a holiday together, just the two of you, and this is your honeymoon. Time for both of you to spend together and make a step toward wedded bliss? It’s a must! The budget will dictate where you go, but you may get lucky with generous friends and family who would put towards your honeymoon. The world is your oyster, so make a careful plan!
££: Average costs £3,000