Congratulations on becoming engaged and welcome to our top tips on planning a wedding!
We aim to take the stress out of organising events, and when it comes to stress free marquee weddings we’re at the top of our game. We can’t be there every step of the way (and you wouldn’t want us to be), so we’ve put together our top ten tips for planning a wedding to help you get things off to a flying start.
Know your budget
Number one on our list is setting your budget. Without a set wedding budget it will be difficult to plan anything else. Agree upon a figure that you are both happy and comfortable with spending and set this in stone. If family are contributing then get them involved and make sure that you’re clear as to exactly how much they are willing to throw into the pot.
Create a budget spreadsheet and decide how much you want to allocate to each element – that way you’ll ensure that you don’t go all out in one area and end up having to compromise everywhere else.
Agree your guest list
Ok, so this can be a tricky one. How many people do you want to invite? How many people can you afford to invite? If you’ve followed our first tip by setting and splitting out your budget, then agreeing the number of guests should be simple enough.
It’s your day so just invite the people you truly want to share the occasion with – easier said than done perhaps. With Family politics and friends feelings to consider it can be one of the most stressful elements when planning a wedding; remember to be kind to one another as you work your way through this process, it isn’t easy and arguments may well break out but you’re both entitled to your opinion, you’ll work out the compromises you each need to make and it will all be worth it in the end – you do love each other after all!
Book your venue and suppliers
When it comes to sourcing your dream venue time is of the essence. Don’t be complacent as the most popular venues and the best suppliers are often booked up well in advance. If you’re willing to compromise on your wedding date, or even the day of the week that you hold your wedding, then you’ll most likely find that your options open up a little more. Mid week weddings are growing in popularity and plenty of venues and suppliers are still willing to offer discounted rates for weekday or ‘out of season’ wedding dates.
If, on the other hand, you have your heart set on a specific date, venue or catering company then don’t delay. Make your initial enquiries as soon as possible – you’ll need to tie the dates of availability for all of your dream suppliers together to avoid being disappointed.
The wedding dress is one thing, but don’t forget that you’ll need to make sure that the bridesmaids dresses are suitably in keeping too. Getting your bridesmaids together to discuss outfits, to go shopping and for fittings and adjustments can be tricky so you won’t want to leave this too close to the wedding date.
Groomsmen are a different breed. Keep close tabs on your Groomsmen and make sure that they have got themselves measured up and kitted out well in advance. Most good tailors will be able to keep you apprised of the situation so that you can give the stragglers a nudge.
Arrange an engagement photoshoot
We love this tip! Many photographers will offer an engagement photoshoot and it’s is a fantastic way to find out whether you’ve selected the right person for the job. Think of it as a dress rehearsal and take careful note as to how they manage the shoot. A good photographer should take control, be friendly, make sure that you are comfortable throughout the process and they should, of course, take great shots.
You’ll get to see the images afterwards and if you are not happy with them or the way the photographer worked on the day, then don’t be afraid to say ‘no thanks’ and talk to someone else.
Why not read our blog ‘Ten questions you should always ask a wedding photographer’ for more ideas?
Touch base with your suppliers
Keep in touch with all of your suppliers throughout the entire planning process and then make sure you speak to them a few days before the wedding too. Nothing puts your mind at ease more than knowing that everything is in order and going to plan.
Your suppliers should contact you if any issues arise, however why leave it to chance? A supplier may not realise that anything has gone awry; it’s possible that there could have been a miscommunication somewhere along the line; they may be awaiting an approval from you that has somehow slipped off of your radar. A regular check-in will ensure that you have time to iron out any creases.
Send out your invitations
It may seem obvious, but this is about time management as much as it’s about anything else. You’ll want to get your invitations out as soon as you can so that you have plenty of time to manage the entire invitation process. Your guests will need to RSVP and you’ll want them to do so in a timely manner so that you can understand your final guest numbers. Guests may need to respond with their food options too.
Your guests will need plenty of notice of the wedding date so that they can book the time off of work, make travel arrangements and arrange accommodation. Your venue, caterer and bar supplier will want a final guest count as far in advance as possible too.
As much as they love you, your guests have everyday lives to get on with and it’s easy for things to slip minds – make sure you leave time for chasing people up!
Just relax, try to enjoy the process. It’s rare that a wedding is a complete disaster, even if things don’t go entirely according to plan. At the end of the day you’ll be married to your soul mate and that’s really all that matters.
Considering a marquee wedding?
If you’re considering a marquee wedding then we’d love to speak to you. Just contact us and we’ll guide you through the entire process. We have a comprehensive knowledge of events industry suppliers and will be more than happy to advise you on catering companies, bar suppliers, florists, photographers and more – alternatively, why not visit our comprehensive supplier directory and explore some of our recommended suppliers for yourself?