Author Kerry Jackson-Rider
Many congratulations if you got engaged over the holidays! I am sure
you are super excited and keen to tell all your friends and family. The
next thing excited Brides to Be tend to do is to head straight for the
internet and start to Google every conceivable element of décor,
favors, bridal gowns, shoes, hairstyles….. they start to create
hundreds of pages of ‘mood boards’ and frantically pin everything that
pops up on Pinterest. This is all good fun and may be useful in the
long run BUT my advice to you would simply be to SLOW down…. there I
said it! Don’t go off at a tangent before you have taken the time to
really consider the most important pre-planning stages of your wedding
with your fiance and your parents if they are helping you with the
budget and therefore will be having quite a big say in how your Wedding
day will take shape. It is really important that you sit down together
and carefully consider the following four steps which will provide you
with a strong foundation and shape the way your wedding planning moves
1. Work Out Your Budget.
You must first of all work out how much you can afford to spend and
then agree what you actually WANT to spend on your wedding – the two
may not be the same amount at all. Let’s say you agree you want to
spend a maximum of $30,000 as a guideline you would then estimate your budget spend as follows:
- Ceremony, venues, food & beverages, wedding cake (50%) $15,000
- Photographer/ Videographer (10%) $ 3,000
- Florals (5%) $ 1,500
- Bridal party attire, shoes, accessories, wedding rings (15%) $ 4,500
- Décor, theme, lighting (5%) $ 1,500
- Entertainment (5%) $ 1,500
- Stationery, favors, other extras (10%) $ 3,000
Of course this is only a guideline and starting point as every couple
will have their own priorities and areas where they are happy to
‘splurge’ or ‘save’.
2. Your Guest List/ Number of Guests. Sit down together and draw up a draft guest list – this will give you an immediate idea of the numbers you will be accommodating both in terms of the ceremony, the reception and, if you have guests who are traveling for the wedding, the quantity of accommodation you will need to be able to access and book. Aside: I have had a couple who booked a venue they liked on a whim, and paid out a sizable deposit, before realizing that they had 100 or so traveling guests and there was nowhere in the locality for them all to stay...... trust me, you really don't want to be in that position. Remember guests means expense so, unless you have a limitless budget, keep your numbers as low as possible. Estimate your expense at $100 per guest, again a guideline but a good starting point, so that 100 guests = $10,000 representing 50% of your budget for ceremony, venues, food & beverages and wedding cake. So if your budget is $20,000 this is do-able.
3. Choose a Date. Most couples will have a special date in mind for their wedding i.e. The date they first met, their engagement date or other personal anniversary. Consider also seasonality implications for venues, churches, flights etc. including public and religious holidays. Many couples choose Summer weddings which are great especially if you want an outdoor, festival or marquee wedding. Winter weddings are also stunning and it really depends on what your VISION for your wedding is – whether it's strapless flowing dresses with bright floral displays and your guests basking in the sun whilst drinking Pimms through a candy striped straw OR if you prefer the cozy atmosphere of big fires, candles, lanterns and furs to keep your guests snuggly whilst drinking mulled wine around a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. 4. Choose your Location and Venues for your Ceremony & Reception. Consider where you would like to hold your wedding and the practicalities of doing so. Many couples hold their ceremony at the family church or the local register office. Some couples prefer to hold both the ceremony and reception in a nice hotel where most of the guests can stay and where everything is accessible. This is certainly the way to get the best value for your money as most things you will need are already in place including staffing, furniture, linens, table top, entertainment, accommodation etc. You may choose to get married local to either one of your families or somewhere quite different. Many couples choose to have a Destination Wedding as this can often be more cost-effective and is a great compromise if you have family and friends traveling from around the world. Top Tip: Before booking a venue always check that your date is available with your church or register office for your ceremony even if you are having a civil ceremony in a hotel as the Registrar has to be booked by you and not the hotel. Always provisionally book or hold things for a couple of days while you tie both elements together.
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Author Kerry is the founder and owner of Kerry Jackson-Rider Luxury Wedding Planning and is a leading UK & International Wedding Designer and Planner.
With over 10 years experience in Wedding and Event Planning.
Tagged: after engagement, beginners guide to wedding, engagaed what to do now, first steps to plan a wedding, how to plan a wedding, planning a wedding, wedding guide, wedding preperations, wedmepretty, what to do after engagement
Date: March 17, 2015