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Weddings carry an array of emotions. You have the excitement, nerves and yes, a degree of stress leading up to your big day and then on the day there is the love and eager expectation for both the future and what the rest of the wedding day will bring. Weddings take a lot of time and effort to plan, whether you are having an intimate ceremony for 20 or a lavish affair for 200.

There are lots of things to consider and so I’ve summarised my top 5 tips to bear in mind when planning your own big day.

1.Set a budget

  • For most in these uncertain financial times this is an absolute necessity, but even for those fortunate enough to have the cash to splash it still makes sense. Although not the most romantic of topics – when you think ofyour wedding plans as a whole – it makes sense to think this through at the beginning. This will save you the stresses of starting your married life wondering just where your money went.
  • One things for sure as soon as you mention the word ‘wedding’ you can almost see the pound signs flashing in bright neon lights. What might cost £££’s less for another function suddenly costs a whole lot more for your big day. Not every supplier is the same though and indeed weddings do involve a lot of work, more than the average party for example, but I remain resolute that if you have a budget you will be more inspired to shop around and get the best quotes and suppliers for you.
  •  Not forgetting the creativity this may inspire-handmade touches to your day not only help to save those all important £££’s but create something intimate and unique to you

2-Guest Lists

  • Who to invite and who not to invite is the big wedding debate facing most couples before their big day. Indeed I spent many sleepless nights before my own wedding narrowing my guest list down.
  • There’s all sorts of rules and etiquette that come into play but ultimately it relies on your budget, which is why it makes sense to set that first. One suggestion if you simply cannot reduce your guest list down is to divide it into who will come to the ceremony and breakfast and who will come to the evening do. Whilst this too is a tricky choice, the way to look at it is that at least you can still have the people you want, sharing a part of your special day.
  • It helps sometimes to take quite a level headed approach-are you really going to want to spend all that money on a three course sit down breakfast along with the evening buffet and wine, for a work colleague that you barely know?

3-Suppliers –

  • One thing I can honestly say is that I have met some wonderful wedding suppliers both through launching my business and through my own big day. I have always been one to say trust your gut instinct and this couldn’t be more relevant. First impressions speak volumes after all the way a supplier presents themselves and their work is a telling sign as to how they will treat your wedding.
  • One thing I would say is don’t be afraid to ask suppliers questions and lots of them! I know of too many people who have been stung because they assumed certain elements were included in the price they paid, only to find out later on that there was an additional cost for them.
  • Whilst it helps to have even the teeniest of ideas as to how you would like your wedding, when meeting with suppliers they can often provide some amazing inspiration through their experience.
  • Wedding fairs are a really good way to meet suppliers and see examples of their work. My tip is to always take a notebook with you to jot down the suppliers that catch your eye-you’ll be surprised how they all blur into one by the end of the fair!

4-Venues –

  • Whether you choose to hold your whole wedding at a venue or just the reception you’re spoilt for choice.With each day comes yet another venue that can cater for weddings so whether you fancy your big day in a grand historic castle or a wedding on a beach there’s something for everyone.
  • The venue is one of the first things that needs to be secured, both for availability and also because the rest of your planning will slot around your venue choice. Your venue may also be key to your wedding theme so it helps to do your homework.
  • Every wedding is unique and it’s important to consider this when looking at venues. It’s lovely when venues hold their open days as you get a real feel for how your wedding could fit in but as hard as it is to do, particularly if you have fallen in love with a place, you have to remember your own wedding needs. If you have guests with specific requirements (dietary or mobility related for example) can they be easily accommodated? Can outside suppliers be used? Can you supply your own wine and be charged corkage?What’s the latest the bar stays open to? When does the venue have to be vacated by? All these and more are valid considerations, dependant on your plans.
  •  Weekday weddings are often cheaper than those at a weekend and this is often reflected in some supplier costs also. Whilst you may wonder how many guests will be able to make it, with sufficent notice you’ll be surprised how many people will enjoy the extra day off work to come and share in your big day.

5- Memories –

  • Investing in a book to keep all of your wedding plans in, serves two purposes. From your engagement through to the wedding itself there are so many things to consider and there undoubtly will be an array of ideas that you will have, that keeping them all together in a book helps to keep you organised. Not only that but when your wedding is all but a distant memory, you can look back on the build up to your big day and relive the excitement and buzz surrounding it.
  • I hear this a lot and couldn’t agree more – ultimately enjoy the build up and planning to your wedding because you really will miss it when it’s gone.

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