January 3, 2021
Firstly lets say a HUGE congratulations on your engagement! It’s an exciting time, but I’m guessing you’re a little overwhelmed at where to start when in comes to planning the wedding. I know it’s easy to say but try not to panic and remember it is just one day of what will hopefully be a long and happy marriage. Hopefully this little guide can help you with what to do first BUT before I start, you should know that I am ridiculously single and I have never planned a wedding, therefore feel free to ignore my advice. However over the years I have been to A LOT of weddings, so I think I can offer some good suggestions on planning an alternative wedding.
Overall my main advice would be to not be afraid to try something new and try not to care about what people think. Be brave, if you both love dinosaurs why not have a blow up dinosaur on the dance floor? Or dinosaur table decorations? Who gives a stuff what Aunt Mavis thinks!! This is your day, don’t feel the pressure to conform. Although you should get organised! Your to-Do list will feel a lot more manageable if you break it into smaller chunks, like those outlined below.
Sorry, I know this isn’t the most exciting thing to think about when you first get engaged but unfortunately it is a harsh reality of the suckyness that is adult-ing. Initially it’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of planning however you don’t want to get your heart set on something only to find out you can’t afford it later. Remember it’s not worth bankrupting yourself for one day. You’ve decided to make a commitment to a life together and you don’t want the beginning of that to be spent raiding piggy banks. Work out what elements of the day are the most important to you and prioritise your budget around them.
DECIDE ON WHAT TYPE OF DAY YOU WANT
I touched on this a little earlier, is your wedding going to be religious, civil, big, small, DIY, chilled or packed full of activities? There really is so many types of weddings you can choose from. Personally I find sites like Pinterest a little overwhelming so I recommend looking for inspiration from blogs and magazines. I love (and have every issue of) Rock n Roll Bride magazine, I have even been lucky enough to have be featured in it!! Wedding Fairs can also me helpful for not only sourcing suppliers but for finding inspiration, I currently only exhibit at the Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza in my home town of Birmingham and cannot recommend it enough if you are planning a unique alternative wedding.
Everyone you speak to will have an opinion on how your day should be however don’t get bogged down with ideas of how a wedding should run and only stick with traditions that mean something to you or that make you happy. Your wedding doesn’t necessarily need to have a theme, it could simply be a mood like fun or relaxed. Yet it’s worth sitting down and thinking about what makes you click as a couple, what do you both enjoy doing and seeing if you can base your wedding around what you both love.
GUEST LIST & SQUADS
Don’t forget you will have to pay for every single person that you invite to your wedding. There is nothing wrong with being cut-throat with your guest list and you shouldn’t feel guilty about deciding not to invite certain people. I always say if you wouldn’t pay for a meal for someone usually, why would you on your wedding day? This is the same when it comes to picking your bridal party, they should be your squad, the people that will have your back and that will support and help you in the run up to the wedding, not add unnecessary drama. Again try not to feel pressured into asking people because you are worried they will be upset if you don’t.
WHERE & WHEN
Now you have your final number of guests you can think about where to have the wedding. This is probably going to be your biggest expense and therefore maybe the most stressful. I recommend trying a venue finder such as this really helpful and easy to navigate one from Coco Wedding Venues. I’ve shot weddings in Barns, fields, warehouses and even on the top of a cliff, I love them all but it’s worth considering the venues ceremony licensing, whats included in the price, catering, venue exclusively and corkage.
BOOK YOUR MAIN SUPPLIERS
Some of the bigger suppliers can get booked up quick so its worth considering your photographer, videographer and caterer asap so you can avoid disappointment and also so you can budget. These are big expensive decisions, so take your time and shop around, make a list of requirements and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Be clear on what you get for your money and check the company’s ethos matches your own. When booking a photographers/videographers check for consistencies and feel free to ask for examples of full galleries.
Again one of those cr*ppy adulting things, but when you are forking out so much money it’s always best to get yourself covered just in case.
THE GOOD STUFF
EEEEKKKK finally the fun parts, time to get the dress, decorations, invitations and all the fun stuff. Go wild and get creative! If you are DIYing alot of elements for the day, make sure you give yourself plenty of time and get your bridal party to lend a hand. Personally at the moment I am digging brides in Leather, Neon lights, Cacti & Succulents, Smoke Bombs and textured, colourful walls.
Enjoy it!! It will bloody be stressful, there’s no avoiding it. But try and swerve those bridezilla tendencies by remembering why your planning a wedding in the first place, to celebrate committing to the person you love with all your closest friends and family.