If you can, spend some time just being engaged. There’s a lot of planning ahead so this could be the last time for a while that you can just be together without the pressure of planning your wedding.
With This Ring
Before you get stuck into planning the wedding, take some time to Insure your engagement ring. Whether it’s a family heirloom or a brand-new sparkler, for a lot of people it will become a prized possession so it makes sense to protect it. Give yourself peace of mind by adding it to your home insurance, or look into getting it insured separately with a dedicated jewellery insurer.
Prepare To Plan
Pick one day a week to focus on wedding tasks and try not to let it take over your whole week, at least in the early months of planning.
As the wedding gets closer flip this around and make sure there’s one day a week that you keep wedding free. Go on a date together and do not talk about the wedding. Give yourselves a breather from it and you’ll be reinvigorated for the final stages.
On the subject of planning, it’s important to share the tasks. If your marriage is going to be equal the wedding planning should be too. Just remember to play to your strength’s and be prepared to make some compromises along the way.
For Richer or For Poorer
If you haven’t already set one up, start a wedding savings fund. Make sure that you both agree how much you’ll put in, and how often, and refer back to your budget so you can keep track of how much everything is costing.
Decide what your budget is for the big day and while you’re doing this consider whether you’ll also have a big meal the night before, or a day two celebration the day after. If you decide to go with either, or both, of these options, don’t forget to factor them into your budget and planning.
The early planning stages are one time where you can let your imagination run wild and really dream big. Write down everything you think you want and then work backwards to see what you can realistically achieve within the budget you’ve set for yourselves.
One recommendation is that couples make these wish-lists independently of each other. As well as, hopefully, being a fun exercise, use it as a way to check and see if you’re both on the same page about the style of wedding you want. Do you both want the same size wedding? Are you in agreement about where you’d like the day to happen and who you’d like to be there?
Lots of couples will already have discussed these things before getting engaged but it’s a good opportunity to make sure nothing has changed. In some cases, you might find that your ideas have shifted, or that friends and family have been contributing some ideas, so be prepared for negotiating.
Try to keep things balanced so that if one person has their heart set on a certain aspect of the wedding that there’s some give and take in what you agree. Remember that it’s a day to celebrate you as a couple and should be representative of both of you.
Your Wedding Party
As you choose the people who will be part of your wedding party take some time to think about how important they are to you. These are the people who are closest to you and your partner and the ones who’ll be there for you as you plan and put together your big day.
It’s up to you how many, or how few, people you plan on having in your wedding. Enjoy picking your party whether you decide to go for a full party of maid of honour, bridesmaids, best man, groomsmen and anyone else you want in your wedding party or a smaller affair with just two witnesses.
Be Our Guest
Drafting your guest list is a lovely opportunity to think about all of the people who are important to you and your partner, as well as being a practical exercise in helping you to get a clear picture of your numbers on the big day.
On This Date, I Thee Wed
When it comes to choosing your wedding date it’s worth taking a look at the calendar to see how your preferred date lines up with things like bank holidays, sporting events, holidays and family occasions. Weddings Online have a great resource for dates in 2018 and 2019 that you might want to take a look at before you commit to any dates.
If you have a particular day in mind that’s sentimental to you, but find that it falls on a Wednesday when you really want a weekend wedding, you might need to rethink your date. The sooner you find this out the faster you can pick a new date!
Where in the World?
Choosing a venue for your wedding is one of the biggest tasks to tick off your wedding checklist and will help you to make a whole host of other decisions. There are lots of factors to consider when it comes to picking your venue with everything from the county, or country, that each partner is from coming into play. Our civil ceremony blog has lots of great advice for you about what to consider when you’re booking a venue so be sure to give it a look.
Preparation, Preparation, Preparation
Once you’ve booked your venue, draw up a timetable and work backwards filling in each of the milestones that you need to meet; try to build in as much contingency time as you can as you do this.
Wedding planning almost always takes longer than you expect, communications between you and vendors can be slower than you’d expected, deliveries can take longer to arrive than you’d anticipated and life happens alongside your planning so there are sure to be unexpected delays.
Organisation is key to helping you keep track of everything so make use of tools like Google docs, Dropbox, Pinterest or one of the many wedding planner apps available.
It Takes a Village
A wedding is a big undertaking with lots of parts so take some time to think about your circle of friends and family and how they might like to be involved. People are quick to offer their help if they have skills that can be used so you could find yourselves with anything from someone offering to bake the wedding cake to singing or playing music, to taking photographs, arranging flowers or even making bridesmaids dresses. These offers can help to make your wedding feel really personal and can show that everyone supports you and your partner as you embrace married life.
As kind as these offers are you might prefer to keep your friends and family as guests and leave everything else to professionals. There is no right or wrong in either case; weddings are incredibly personal so make sure that your choices are the right ones for you and your partner.
Say Maybe To The Dress
Dress shopping is meant to be one of the most fun parts of wedding planning but not every bride relishes the prospect of trying to narrow down hundreds of choices to just one dress, especially when faced with a sea of creams, whites, ivories, satins, lace and tulle. Take some time to research different styles, shapes, materials and colours before you make any dress appointments so you’ll have a better idea of what you’d like.
That said, be prepared for the assistants to hand you something that may be out of your comfort zone. Just remember that they do this every day and their job is to find a dress that you feel amazing in. Trust them enough to try their suggestions and enjoy dressing up but remember that the final decision is yours.
You may not be able to get everything you want so be prepared for small disappointments. Maybe the flowers you thought you wanted aren’t going to be in season, maybe that band you liked are already booked, maybe the car you wanted to arrive in isn’t available but none of those things should stop your wedding from happening. Having contingencies and second choices ready to go, should you need them, will ensure that you’ll be able to carry on planning without any major delays.