Congratulations! You're engaged!!! Now what...?
10% of marriage proposals happen between Christmas and New Years… which is why I thought it would be a good time to put down in writing a few bits of advice I have for couples looking to get married.
Wedding planning is overwhelming, to say the least. You’re about to spends hundreds or thousands (or maybe hundreds of thousands?) of dollar’s darrrrling and you want to make sure that your get it right. That you’re hiring the right people, for the right price, and not going over budget.
Coupled with this is the pressure you might be feeling from your parents or another significant person in your life (that’s not your significant other) about creating a day that meets their expectations, and not yours. You also want to make sure that what you are creating is right for you and your partner. This is a lot to deal with, especially if it’s your first time planning a wedding.
My advice to all my couples is this.
Sit down with your partner work out what your budget is. I always recommend getting a soft budget (aka, the ideal amount of money you’d like to spend) and a max budget (aka, anything about this amount is a hard and fast NO!).
Relax and enjoy!! You’ve just gotten engaged!!! And unless you’re planning on getting married in the next 6 weeks, you definitely have some time to chill out and enjoy the champagne. Your partner and you have decided to spend the rest of your life together - that doesn’t happen every day so please please please take a moment to enjoy it.
Then, when you’re ready to start planning, each of you should write a list of the three things about your wedding that are the most important to you - your non negotiables as it were. You might want a free bar, a confetti moment and a really great ceremony, whereas your partner might want a great photographer, an outside ceremony and a guest list of under 20 people. Whatever it is - this is what you’re going to spend your money on first.
Then you want to book in your Venue, Celebrant and Photographer first. There’s a few reasons for this, firstly these are the three vendors that can’t be in the same place at the same time. A caterer can often provide for two weddings on the same day, a florist can even do three or four weddings on the same day, but a Celebrant can’t be in two locations at 4pm on a Saturday on a bank holiday weekend. We just can’t. Well, not until cloning becomes a thing.
Then figure out what one of these three is the absolute most important, because this will help you pick the date of your wedding.
After this your wedding will start to take shape in your mind and will start to plan itself. How you might ask? Well…
Once you have the venue you’ll have an idea of the theme (a barn is always going to lend itself to being a more rustic wedding, likewise a winery will often be more boho, just as an industrial warehouse in the inner city will be a little more chic). You’ll then know what type of dress or suit (if that’s what you want to wear) will work with the venue - top tip, a big princess dress doesn’t fair so well with a beach wedding.
And so on and so on.
The only other thing I would add here is, if your parents (or a parent-like figure) are contributing some money and if you have room at your venue, think about letting them invite a friend or two. It’s likely that your mum’s best friend was there listening to her and helping her through the first years of your life, or maybe your Dad’s mate was the one he turned to for advice when he was raising you, you get the idea..