Planning your wedding: where to start?

With so many aspects to think about and decisions to make, not to mention suppliers to find, planning a wedding can sometimes be a little overwhelming. However, it doesn’t need to be. All you need to do is break it down into bite-size chunks. Once it’s broken down, you’ll soon find it’s actually an enjoyable process. There’s nothing more rewarding than arriving at your wedding and seeing your dreams come to life.

On that note, the Guides for Brides team have put together some top tips to help you get started on your wedding planning journey.

1. The Budget

 Allocating a budget should ideally be at the top of your list, giving you a clear idea of what to work towards as you start shortlisting your favourite suppliers. If you’re working with a strict budget, take some time to discuss your priorities as a couple. Break it down into 2 categories; absolutely essential and nice-to-have negotiables. This is a simple way to help you focus on elements of the day that are most important to both of you and finding areas where you can compromise.

We would also recommend assigning 5% of your budget for unforeseen extras. There will always be something that costs a little more than expected or you hadn’t considered, and you don’t want to end up out of pocket or unnecessarily stressed.

2. The Guest List

We all want to celebrate our wedding day with our closest friends and family, but they are expensive. Cutting down your guest list by ten people could easily save you more than £1000. Break your guest list down into the essentials, the nice-to-haves and the maybes. Space and budget can be limiting, especially if you’ve chosen a smaller ceremony venue. Don’t forget to consider the children that come with each of those guests and how you feel about having them around during your day.


3. Don’t underestimate the Wedmin

 It can take around 250 hours to plan a wedding, so think carefully about your wedding date. Consider how long it gives you to plan and how much time you can realistically dedicate to planning around your everyday schedule. It’s always worth calling on friends and family to help, visiting a wedding show together so you can tackle a lot of the planning in one day, or employing a wedding planner to do some, or all, of the work.

4. Choosing the right helpers

 Your friends and family will likely be happy to help with your wedding planning, whether it’s arranging the hen do, making favours or helping out during the day. Take them up on their offers where you can and unload some of the to-do list. Just make sure you think carefully about the tasks you assign to them and how well they will manage. The last thing you want is someone leaving something to the last minute, leaving you in a panic.


5. Booking suppliers

Wedding suppliers often get booked up well in advance nowadays, so the sooner you make decisions on these the better. Make sure you book them in the right order, for example, don’t book the musicians until you have your venue secured. Guides for Brides offer a free online wedding planner for couples with a handy checklist to keep you on track – we’re all about the lists!

6. Make friends with your spreadsheets

The easiest way to keep everything recorded in one place is in a spreadsheet. You’ll need to record absolutely everything that happens from now on, including checklists for each supplier as well as a guest list with individual details and requirements (the Guides for Brides Online Wedding Planner is perfect for this). Most importantly, keep notes of conversations you’ve had with everyone that you can refer back to.


7. Trust in your suppliers

You’ll be employing around 30 suppliers to bring your perfect day to life. Choose people that you can rely on, that you enjoy working closely with and that you can trust to do the job. Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or other suppliers you’ve already booked. Meet up or chat to them a few times beforehand, listen to their advice and talk openly with them about your vision. They want your day to be as special as you do, and their knowledge of the industry is invaluable to giving you the smoothest experience.

8. Make a timeline for the day

Not only will a timeline make your planning, supplier and guest communications a lot easier to manage, it will also help you relax on the day. Take advice from your suppliers on wedding timings (particularly your photographers – you want to make sure you capture everything and everyone you want!) If you’re planning on creating a wedding website, you can even pop your timeline on there so guests have plenty of time to see the order of the day.

Lastly, enjoy it! Wedding planning is supposed to be fun and you’ll miss it once it’s over, so make the most of every minute!

With thanks to Guides for Brides for these top wedding planning tips. Check out their website for more wedding planning tips >