It all started with a 'Yes'! - Getting the wedding planning fundamentals right

It all started with a 'Yes'! - Getting the wedding planning fundamentals right

Marcia Wilson

It all started with a 'Yes'! - Getting the wedding planning fundamentals right

Marcia Wilson

Welcome to my new blog!  My name is Marcia Wilson and I am passionate about weddings.  My love affair for ‘the Big Day’ began as a child and led me to become my Mum’s right hand lady in planning for a huge range of weddings, spanning cultures and styles. I am delighted to join the regular columnists and am looking forward to taking you on the wedding planning journey! My blog will follow the planning path from saying, ‘Yes!’ to ‘I do!’.  Join me every month for fun, informative and helpful tips to help you realise your wedding dreams….

You said “Yes” and the budget has been agreed, it’s time to get planning! Before you get lost in the creative details and disappear amongst the magazines and Pinterest boards, there are a few key fundamental tasks to complete, which will influence both the overall design of your wedding and the budget:

-Set a date and time – It goes without saying that this requires careful thought.  Date selection impacts the type of wedding, location, dress and cost. There are many factors to consider:

-Do you have a preference for a particular season?  Have you dreamt of getting married in the sun or have you always yearned for the autumnal look, full of bronze and copper hues?

-Are you working to a tight budget?  Weekday weddings can be more cost-effective than the traditional Saturday timing, but don’t forget that your guests will need plenty of notice.

-Are there family birthdays or anniversaries that you need to work around?

-Do you have specific prior commitments to consider?  Perhaps you have already agreed to be somebody’s bridesmaid or there is an annual work event that demands your attention and attendance?

-It’s a touchy subject, but if you or your fiancé have a huge passion for a sport, clashing with the FA Cup or the last Grand Prix of the season will not make for a happy home life!

Weddings can be expensive!  If you need to save for your wedding, ensure that you give yourself (and your families) the necessary time to reach your budget goal.

Selecting a time for your wedding has significant impact on many areas of your planning, from practical logistics to the cost.  If you get married at midday, your preparations will need to start early in the morning.  If you are not a ‘morning person’, don’t put yourself into immediate discomfort by enforcing a time that requires a make-up artist at 6am!  An early ceremony will also influence the budget as you could be catering for a wedding breakfast, or buffet during the day, and an evening reception, potentially doubling your cost. The wedding time will also impact the venue selection process – many hotels will give preference to couples who hire for the whole day versus the evening alone, in order to secure the highest revenue.  You may also note that the standard hire rate may be increased for shorter hires to protect the venue from revenue reduction.

  • The all-important invitation list - a crucial decision often wrought with challenges, including the balancing of parents’ and in-law’s expectations plus you and your partner’s views.  How many people should you invite?  Who takes priority - family or friends?  Who should you invite to the ceremony versus the evening reception only? Just like the budget itself, in order to navigate this political hot-bed, this too will involve a full and frank conversation between you, your fiancé, parents and in-laws to-be.  Have these conversations as early as possible in the process so that any disappointments can be dealt with quickly, well before the wedding itself.  Remember that you will need to cater for each attendee, and the associated costs will take up a considerable amount of your budget. My advice is to set a number for the day and evening and stick to it!

These outlined areas and important decisions are the underpinnings for a less stressful wedding planning experience, for you and your family.  Once you have decided upon these areas, you will be in a position to shortlist potential venues more easily, both in terms of what you can afford and how many people they can accommodate.

I would strongly advise that once budgets, guest numbers and dates have been decided, that you should book your venue as soon as possible.  Most wedding venues are often booking up to 18 months in advance, though some may have a few last-minute dates available, often at a considerable discount, so this may be an option if you are targeting a simple ceremony and looking to stick to a tight budget.  There are wedding options to suit all pockets and tastes, so do your research and don’t feel obliged to sign up for extras that you don’t really want or need.

Once these tasks are completed and your venue is booked, let the wedding planning commence!  Bring on the magazines, wedding shows and Pinterest!

Marcia is the founder of Marry Mi, a new and exclusive wedding directory and web portal for Berkshire brides, connecting brides with local, independent suppliers.

Find out more about Marry Mi at www.marrymi.co.uk and follow us on Facebook and Twitter and join the conversation!

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