Congratulations! Whilst most of the wedding planning journey is fun and exciting, there is a fair amount of organisation required. So, as soon as you can pull your eyes away from that sparkly diamond on your finger, it’s time to get started!
How to plan a wedding - Step one: Budgeting
Possibly one of the hardest parts of the entire wedding planning process, is agreeing on your budget. Before you start contacting suppliers, or talking through venue packages, it can be easy to underestimate the cost of a wedding. But, it’s also worth remembering the cost of going too cheap by choosing inexperienced or uninsured suppliers, could be much higher. The old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ is very true in the wedding industry. If a deal seems too good to be true – dig around a bit, it probably is! Choose which elements of the day are most important to you both and focus your budget there, rather than stretching it to cover every wedding trend for the past 5 years.
How to plan a wedding – Step two: Choosing your guest list
Will you be keeping it small and personal, or inviting everyone from your window cleaner, to the chap that valets your car? After choosing the bridal party and groomsmen, understanding who you want at your big day is a huge step forward. You can’t start looking seriously at venues without a rough number in mind. There are no rules when it comes to who you SHOULD invite. (Although family politics can be a lot more complicated!) You don’t have to invite everyone on your Facebook friends list – or the colleagues that you don’t really like. It’s your wedding day, you will want to be surrounded by love. Invite important people that will truly care about you and your day. No one else matters.
How to plan a wedding – Step three: Set the date
With a budget and guestlist in mind, it’s time to start looking at venues in order to set the date. Your date will most probably be work dependant too. Aim for a couple of days off before the big day and at least a week afterwards. More if you plan to go away on a honeymoon. Consider that weekday weddings are becoming more popular and can often save you a small percentage (a small percentage can be a large figure when talking wedding costs!). Also think about the location. Do you want to get married close to home? Or maybe on some exotic, far-away beach? Do you want to have your whole day in one venue? Does it have enough rooms to facilitate that? For lots of tips and advice when it comes to choosing your venue, have a read of How to choose the perfect wedding venue.
How to plan a wedding – Step four: Book the must-have suppliers
Do you know what the biggest regret is for newlyweds?
Not having their wedding day filmed. You can avoid this by booking your videographer as soon as you have your date and venue confirmed!
A film offers you the chance to watch your precious day over and over again. You’ll be able to spot the details that you missed first time around, hear those hilarious, yet moving speeches and see the proud looks of surrounding family as often as you like. Sitting down to watch your wedding again and revisit the feelings and emotions of the day with your husband/wife, always makes for a very special anniversary too.
Here is a sneak peak of Will and Laura's recent wedding. Though it's just a short, one minute film (couples love posting these on social media), it shows you the details, the joy amongst the guests and most importantly, the love between this incredible couple.
Photography is also very important for preserving all the special moments of your big day. Highly-regarded videographers and photographers can be booked years in advance. Take the time to choose professionals with impressive portfolios and get them booked!
Consider booking a film and photo package. You’ll know you’ll have a team who will work together to capture all the raw emotion of your day, as well as those all-important moments and carefully decided, personalised details.
More high-priority suppliers
· DJ/band/musician/ Entertainment
· Stationer (aim to have invitations sent out 6-9 months before the big day)
· Venue Dresser
· Hair dresser and makeup artist
· Cake Maker
Decisions you can make nearer the time:
Save a few things for you to think about closer to the time. It will help ease the long wait after the big decisions are made.
- Outfit and accessories – shoes, hair style, nail design etc
- Bridesmaid dresses - give yourself a couple of months before the big day to have these sorted, but don’t go buying dresses 2-3 years out. Too much could change in that time frame, from styles to dress sizes and even the number of dresses needed!
- Favours – a nice decision that you can take your time over. Especially if you’re drawn to edible favours that might not last too long.
- Last minute decorations
Top tip when planning your wedding
Enjoy it! Most people will only ever plan one wedding. Whilst it may feel all-consuming at the time, you’ll miss it once it is over. Enjoy the VIP treatment, swoon over pretty ideas online and try to remember; it’s a happy occasion, not one to stress over!
As a West Midlands-based wedding videographer, covering the UK as well as destination weddings, I’d love to hear your plans. Get in touch for a friendly chat about your wedding videography. Or check out some of my wedding films here.