Congratulations – you’re engaged…but where on earth do you start with the planning?!
You’re about to start planning an incredible event that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. To make sure you and your partner have the wedding of your dreams, it’s a good idea to start thinking about some of the basics as soon as you reasonably can. Here are our top tips for making the most of your engagement, and getting ahead with your wedding planning…
Tell the family first
Whether or not your partner has stuck with tradition and ‘asked permission’ to propose, before you update your Facebook status to ‘engaged’ and insta the world, remember to get straight on the phone to your mum and dad. Telling them first will mean everything – and the rest of the family will appreciate a phone call, too! *Must resist posting a ring selfie, must resist posting a ring selfie…*
Get a manicure to show off that ring
All eyes are going to be on that ring!!! You’re going to be showing off your diamonds to everyone over the next few weeks, so don’t be embarrassed by scruffy nails!! Keep it classy, nude, French or even a classic scarlet can look striking. This is a great time to start looking after your hands if you don’t already, invest in a cuticle oil and a hand mask and keep them by the bed to give your hands an overnight treat.
Have your ring sized and insured
It may be that your partner got it spot on and that your ring is a perfect fit…but in most cases it will need a little adjustment, going back to the jeweller who supplied your ring will usually mean that this service is free of charge and really shouldn’t take too long at all, so you don’t have to be without it for too long!
It’s not romantic, but it is a very good idea to insure your ring. If you already have home or contents insurance, a quick phone call will allow them to add your ring to the policy – if not, there are plenty of independent companies that will insure your new rock for a good price.
Celebrate just the two of you
The whole engagement itself is such an exciting time but can become lost amid the flurry of phone calls and congratulations cards. Why not take some time to celebrate ‘officially’ with your partner, just the two of you at your favourite restaurant, and relax together.
Treat yourself to some wedmin stationery
Obviously, it’s essential that throughout the next months of planning you have your very own beautiful selection of wedding planning stationary so you can add ideas and capture inspiration whenever and wherever it strikes you. There are some stunning planners out there, and you can personalise them too! Don’t forget your Fluffy/Sparkly pen = essential!
Choose the time of year you’d like to get married
The exact date will come once you’ve made a decision on the ‘where’, but do give some thought to whether you feel summery vibes or a magical winter wedding would be perfect for you. The season will not only dictate the style of wedding you have, it will also have an effect on what is available. Summer is still the most popular time to get married and some venues are likely to be booked up several years in advance!!! If you do have a particular place in mind, you might have to be flexible and consider marrying at a different time of year.
Think about other factors that might influence your date too, do you have lots of guests with young children, will you be inviting them all to the wedding? If you’re inviting people with children you might want to avoid choosing a date in the middle of the school summer holidays when many of your guests are likely to be away, and it’s always a good idea to skip the Saturday of the FA Cup Final if you don’t want some guests sneaking in an earpiece at some point during your wedding day!!
In the early stages you don’t have to set a specific date in stone, it’s just good to have an idea because as soon as you tell everyone you’re engaged their next question will be ‘have you set the date?’…so at least you’ll have an answer!
Work out your wedding budget
It’s very easy to get carried away when planning your dream wedding, and before you know it you’ve spent a small fortune. Before you commit yourself to anything, sit down with your fiancé and work out what you can afford to spend, what your priorities are and where you could cut costs if necessary. If either set of parents is contributing, it makes sense to involve them in the discussions too.
Decide on a budget and then stick to it. If you over-spend in one area, work out how you can economise elsewhere. There are plenty of great ideas out there to help you save money, but don’t skimp on the photographer, the dress or the food…they will be your lasting memories. Your honeymoon is special too, but you can always take that a few months after the wedding to help spread the cost a little. Choosing a mid-week date at your venue can often shave off the £££’s too!
Compile a guest list
Whilst you don’t need a final list until much nearer the wedding, it makes sense to work out roughly how many family and friends you’d like to have there. Because this in itself will affect where you marry. Make your guest list before choosing your venue, otherwise your favourite may not be big enough to hold all your guests and you’ll end up compromising. Decide what’s most important to you first, numbers or the place you tie the knot.
Choose your venue
This needs to be right at the top of your wedding planning list! It will dictate so much about your day, not least when you’ll get married! Think about whether you want a religious ceremony, or if you’d like to get married at your chosen venue, in which case make sure they are licensed when doing your research.
There are so many incredible venues out there now, and in the East of England we’re completely spoilt for choice! Make a list of things you want from your venue if you don’t have anywhere specific in mind, and then hit the internet! Make a short list of those that tick all your boxes (including budget) and book to visit the wedding planners at each of them.
Think about guests who are travelling to join you on your wedding day and where they will stay, is there onsite accommodation or somewhere perfect nearby.
As soon as you start booking suppliers and parting with your hard earned cash, invest in some wedding insurance. It will protect you in the event that any of your suppliers can’t deliver their goods or services and it is surprisingly affordable.
Start looking at wedding dresses
Now obviously this is where we think the fun starts!!! It’s best to start looking for you dress 12-18 months before your wedding and to have made your final decision about a year ahead. Our wedding dresses are all made to order and can take many months to arrive in with us from the designer, so make sure you don’t leave it until the last minute if at all possible. Have a think about styles and shapes that you love, make a Pinterest board (like you haven’t done that already right!)
Google wedding dress shops, visit their websites, insta and Facebook pages, read their reviews, ask for recommendations from friends who have recently married, because all wedding dress shops are not the same, and this is a once in a lifetime shopping experience that you want to treasure.
Think about how you want your wedding dress to make you feel, pretty, sexy, romantic, elegant…yeah we know…you want all of those things eh? 😉
Planning a wedding should be one of the most exciting things you ever do together as a couple, up there with moving into your first home or starting a family, so make sure you enjoy it, don’t stress or argue, compromise and don’t sweat the small stuff! It will all be perfect on the day, you’re marrying your best friend, what could possibly be more perfect.