Part 1 – Wedding Dreaming
In this series on wedding planning I will be delving into all facets of the journey from the tentative first steps to the arrival of the big day.
- The early stages of wedding planning are all about communicating with each other as well as with family and friends to explore the options and decide on what you want as well as what you can afford. This is the time for grand plans, deciding on themes, values and the overall feel of the wedding.
- The aim of this stage of your wedding journey is to gather a list of potential venues that have availability and suit your values, theme, guest numbers and budget.
Tips from the Experts
- This is the time for you both to come together and talk about your wedding and all that it means to you. Too many times I hear of couples complain because one of them is deeply involved in wedding planning while the other seems to care a lot less about their big day.
- There could be many reasons why this divide happens. For example, it can be difficult to express how important this day is to you and the other person might not realize the gravity of it or how much it means to you. On the other hand, it can be easy to accidentally exclude the other person from planning which will just make them feel more and more removed from the experience.
- This division can be avoided by sitting down and talking honestly about how important the wedding is to you both, about what you would like to do, what you can do and what needs to be done in order to plan your wedding.
Some Early Steps
- This is a list of the early stage wedding tasks. As mentioned above, this stage in the wedding journey is all about choosing themes, deciding on numbers, budget, values & feasible dates and using this to decide on your venue, wedding date and what kind of wedding it will be.
Decide on your budget…
- This should be the first thing that you do because it will determine how much you can spend on your wedding and what, if any, choices you must make based on this.
- If you are working on a smaller budget, you could opt for a better value wedding location, hold your own reception or rent out a space and have separate catering or alternatively choose a smaller, more intimate wedding at a luxury.
Decide on your values…
- What matters to you for your wedding in terms of ethics? Is it important that your wedding be sustainable? Inclusive? Use ethical products? Will it be vegan or vegetarian friendly? What are your ethics and how will these be reflected in your wedding journey?
- This is also the time to discuss your beliefs and how these will be part of your wedding. Will you be having a religious ceremony? A humanist wedding? Or a civil ceremony?
Choose your Theme…
- Your wedding is an expression of your lives and relationship. The theme that you choose is very personal and it’s a good idea to take time to consider this. For some couples it’s obvious to them what kind of wedding they are going for, but for many people this process of pinning your day to a theme can be tough.
- What are examples of wedding themes? And what is a theme, anyway? Well, you can think of your wedding theme as an overarching, cohesive design or backdrop to your day that can permeate as much or as little of it as you wish. Themes include traditional, casual, vintage, rock, alternative, boho, hippy, modern, minimalist, rustic, urban, floral and decorative, whimsical, romantic and beach weddings.
Choose a date…
- for your big day. Better still, select a range of dates that would be suitable so that you can book your ideal venue. Depending on where you plan to hold your reception, it could get booked up over a year or two in advance, so it’s good to be flexible and book early!
Choose a Venue…
- Using all the information you have gathered above, prepare a list of venues that match your requirements. Most importantly, you will need a venue that caters to your budget, estimated guest numbers and one that is available on a date that suits you.
- If you are opting for a separate location for your ceremony and reception this will also be a massive factor as you’ll have to find two places which are relatively close by and if they are further than walking distance, consider organizing public transport such as a wedding bus for your guests.
- Beyond this your venue should meet your wedding values, theme and above all else be a place that you are happy with. Once you start gathering a list of potential venues, the next step is choosing your ideal venue and getting your wedding party, ‘Save The Dates’ and major supplier list ready.
By Laura Cavanagh