After you’ve announced your engagement and decided to get the ‘wedding planning ball’ rolling, it’s time to sit down with your fiancée and share ideas about the kind of day you’d like to have. Allow yourself to be creative, but with the sensibility to stay within the bounds of financial reality. Think about the style of your dream wedding, and decide on the ideal season or month you’d like to get married in. The cost of the wedding will likely be determined by the size of the wedding party and whether travel will be involved, so it’s helpful to come up with a rough number of guests to start off with.
A useful way to manage your budget is to get a notebook (or an Excel spreadsheet if you’re a technical whizz!) and separate it into sections for each budget category. You can list the amount you want to spend on each area (dress, suit, venue, flowers, photography etc.) and note your expenditures as you go along. This is also a great way to figure out where you can reduce costs later on in the planning process.
Scope out the suppliers you want to provide services at your wedding. Ensuring you build in the ‘must haves’ from the beginning, means you avoid any unexpected surprises at a later date.
Always ask yourself; do you really need this? Will you loose sleep over not having it at your wedding? If the answer is no – save the money! We can easily be attracted to the constant flood of new trends that appear within the wedding industry, so stick to the list.
Get bidding on eBay! Second-hand items doesn’t mean it doesn’t look good. Your guests will never know the difference, but your wedding budget will.
The ‘M’ word can sometimes be a worry, but rest assured – there is something for every budget. Give yourselves plenty time to save up and it will be SO worth it.
Finding the Perfect Venue
If you’re religious, a place of worship is usually the preferred choice for the wedding ceremony. However, many couples are choosing to be married with a civil ceremony these days, which ultimately allows you to wed pretty much anywhere you like. What a luxury! Couples are getting married in all sorts of locations; barns, gardens, rooftops, converted warehouses… (hint-hint). This also means that the reception and the ceremony can take place in the same venue. Great news for your guests; as this keeps travel, costs and logistics down to a minimum for them, making it nice and easy to attend your special day. Great news for you also, as there is less to think about. Choose a venue that pulls your entire day together and makes it run seamlessly.
Most venues have catering onsite, allowing you to book the venue, food and drink all in one go. If you wish to provide your own catering, whether it be for religious reasons or personal preference; it’s important you check your venue allows external catering within their premises. Additionally, you must check your chosen caterer can provide their services at your selected venue – the two must go hand in hand.
Never book a venue without seeing it in person, and try to visit as many potential venues as possible. Its important that you walk into a venue and be able to imagine every element of your wedding day there. After all, it is one of the biggest days of your life.
For couples who want to embrace the proud history of Manchester and utilise a stripped back, industrial aesthetic; our iconic warehouse is the ideal location for both ceremonies and receptions. From start to finish, we can host every component of your day and wow your guests with our unique building and modern approach to a wedding day.
Hiring Your Team
Once you’ve booked your venue and organised your catering requirements, you need to start deliberating the other essential aspects of your day.
Start with the basics. There are five staple suppliers you will most likely need to build your day; photographer, wedding attire, venue dressing, cake and entertainment. All other additions are more of a luxury, and can be added in at a later stage if the budget allows it. If you have family or friends that could help with things such as the cake baking or entertainment – it’s a great opportunity to save some money. It’s all about who you know these days…
The best photographers and videographers are usually booked up months, sometimes years, in advance; so make sure you contact them as early as possible. Ask friends for recommendations, browse portfolios, and decide on the style of pictures you’re most interested in.
Alternatively, you might want to provide guests will instant cameras (polaroid or similar) so they can take their own shots of the wedding, and you can collect these very personal snaps into an album later. More recently, couples are asking their wedding guests to take their own photos on their phones and uploading to the internet using a personalised hashtag. For example; #mrandmrshughes2019 or #thesmithwedding19. This allows you to browse the photos the next day and instantly save the ones you’d like to keep. Magic!
If you’re interested in having live music, always arrange to hear musicians play before you book them. Listen out for recommendations; because if they’ve already rocked someone else’s wedding day – the chances are they’ll rock yours too.
Table arrangements, bouquets, and centrepieces can be decided on once you’ve booked the venue, as the kind of space you’ve chosen will have an impact on how much decoration it needs. Sometimes venues speak for themselves, and this may mean you don’t need to spend as much money trying to decorate it.
Get handy! A bit of DIY can save you a pretty buck, and can be extremely satisfying when you do the job yourself.
Keep Calm & Enjoy It!
It’s so important to enjoy the entire process. These things can fly by. Stress and anxiety can take all the enjoyment out of the wedding planning and make it more of an unpleasant chore. You want to be able to look back and treasure the memories of the journey, as it can be such a rewarding experience when you do it all yourselves.
Investing in a wedding notebook can work wonders. Jot down all your ‘to do’lists, budgets, ideas, colour schemes and upcoming appointments to keep your planning on-track. Try keeping it with you at all times as a constant reminder of what’s coming up. You’ll find yourself remembering or thinking of things at the oddest times; so simply grab your notebook and scribble away.
It’s also a good idea to buy a box; for all those important letters, price lists and torn out magazine inspirations. Then you know where everything is, and its all in one place.
Finally, ask for help if you need it. Don’t be afraid to reach out to loved ones, work colleagues or social media pages for advice and recommendations. As the famous saying goes, “if you don’t ask, you don’t get”. Simple.
Good luck – you’ve got this!