Where to start planning your wedding
Oooooweeee, you're engaged. Congratulations, this is going to be awesome!
When it comes to planning your day you have probably got naff all clue where to start. Although I haven’t yet been engaged myself, I’ve had plenty of experience in seeing couples (and my friends) panic, usually because they have so many people telling them what they should (and shouldn't) be doing the second they get engaged. But wedding planning doesn’t have to be that way (and I promise I'm not telling you what to do).
With that said... you could....take a moment to savour your engagement. You don’t need the venue booked, outfits chosen, and everything wrapped up in a neat bow overnight. If you want to be in a newly engaged bubble for a while that’s perfectly ok. With any luck you guys are only going to be doing this planning once, so take the time to celebrate that fact.
When you’re ready to come out of your prosecco induced engagement party bubble, you can start to think about the big day…and if that's right away that's cool too!
Why not use some of that pre-planning time to look at a load of wonderful weddings? Check out wedding blogs that suit your style. Mr & Mrs Unique, The Unwedding Blog, and Rock and Roll Bride are just a few of the awesome alternative blogs out there that you can use for inspiration. You can also check out Pinterest, but read my blog post all about that first (if you are anything like me you'll get pin happy and totally overwhelmed).
What kind of wedding are you planning? Something fun and relaxed, something a little untraditional? A festival wedding? Does a casual wedding in your local pub sound more appealing? Do you want a humanist ceremony? I’ve photographed total DIY weddings in fields with ceremonies conducted by friends to stunning all in one wedding venues where everything is organised for you. Whatever your ultimate wedding day dream is, you can make it a reality.
Where + When
You’ve decided on what, now to decide on where. There is so much flexibility these days. If you’d rather do the legal bit with just the two of you, and then have a celebrant ceremony, just do it! Check out a few blogs for inspiration on the style of wedding that you are after. You can also use blogs to search for venues or suppliers, such as tipi hire, for those wanting to go DIY.
You might have an idea on when you want to get married already. Often though, the wedding date is dictated by your preferred venue and their availability. When booking a wedding in the winter months, remember that it gets dark sooner, so I recommend starting earlier in the day.
The wedding suppliers that you will need really depends on the kind of wedding you are having. You could require the services of caterers, party decorators to dress the room, florists, a bespoke cake maker, and of course, a photographer! As a photographer I tend to get booked up around 12 months in advance, so bear this in mind when searching for your fave suppliers!
A budget may be boring but it’s a necessity. Once you’ve researched what you want, it’s time to work out costs. Check out this great guide on wedding budgets from Rock and Roll Bride.
It’s best to include wedding insurance within your budget. No one wants to think about things going wrong, but it’s really important, when parting with so much cash, to purchase wedding insurance to keep you covered.
One of my biggest tips is to make sure that you both take some time for yourselves, so that you can enjoy the planning. Try not to sweat the small stuff. As one of my couples once told me, “No one cared what colour our napkins were. They just cared about us.” That’s golden!
I'm a Birmingham based photographer offering alternative documentary wedding photography. Covering Warwickshire, Cotswolds and Shropshire, as well as the rest of the UK. If you are looking for fun photographer to photograph your relaxed wedding then I'd love to chat to you.