Weddings are big events that need lots of forethought and planning. That should go without saying, but you’d be surprised how many people think they can get it done in just a few months. Not leaving enough time is one of the major causes of wedding stress, so make a start well in advance and you’ll enjoy the process so much more.
Staying organised with everything is a major task. If you’re doing it all yourself, grab a ring binder and section it off with areas for:
- Contact numbers for all vendors, including photographers, caterers, staging providers, and the main wedding party.
- A detailed timeline of what happens, and when.
- A checklist of everything you need to take to the ceremony. Heaven forbid the rings get left behind in the rush of excitement.
- Ceremony details, including the text and everything else such as processional order. ● Reception details. Floor plans, seating arrangements, location of the bar, menus and drinks lists, DJ playlists (with first dance etc. especially highlighted).
- Guest list.
- Decor details.
- Contracts from vendors.
Weddings can cost many thousands of pounds before you even get round to thinking about honeymoon destinations. Before you do anything else, get the main players sitting down round the table (include relatives that are either just chipping in or shouldering most of the financial burden) and decide how deep the pot is.
Once you know how much you can spend, you can tailor everything to fit and make compromises where they’re needed. Compromises don’t have to be painful. You could, for instance, choose a less extravagant venue so there’s more to spend on the menu and entertainment. It’s all about balance, and while it would be lovely to have it all, sometimes it’s just not possible.
Get the scary money thing out of the way at the beginning so you can build real dreams instead of pipe dreams.
When you know how many guests you’ll have it’s time to choose the venue. Of course, if you’re in love with a particular place you can do it the other way and tailor your guest list to your venue. A popular option is to have a smallish ceremony and reception with an evening ‘do’ for everyone else.
Always bear in mind, apart from legal requirements there are no rules that dictate how you organise your wedding. The day belongs to bride and groom, so do things your way as far as possible and if that means bucking tradition, so be it.
Al Fresco Summer Weddings
During warm summer months, it’s lovely to have part of the celebration outdoors. Discuss options with your chosen venue wedding team, and be guided by their suggestions. Maybe you’d like a marquee for the wedding breakfast, or to erect a stage if you’re having live entertainment and dancing.
Depending on the venue, professional staging companies can help with this type of arrangement, as well as advising on cabling, stage type and size, and seating for guests. When you’re putting up structures, there is always a health and safety aspect and professionals will make sure all the hazards are minimised if not eliminated.
Indoor Winter Weddings
Setting the stage for winter weddings opens up all kinds of decor opportunities. Duller days and early sunsets mean you can go to town with lighting, winter wonderland themes and floral arrangements.
- Grand entrances are always exciting, and even the plainest doors become statement pieces when they’re expertly lit.
- Candles make for romantic centrepieces on dining tables. Just make sure the holders are sturdy so they won’t topple.
- Fairy light curtains or festoons create cascades of twinkling illumination.
With lighting, you can create any kind of atmosphere you like, from neon funk to fairyland romance.
Planning a wedding is a big undertaking. If you’re doing it yourself, delegate as much as possible to willing friends and family. It’s such an important day though, that it’s worth hiring a wedding planner who will organise and manage the day from start to finish.
*This is a collaborative post*