Let me guess…

You’re here because you’ve just gotten engaged, but you’re not really sure where to start with planning a wedding. Well, first things first… congratulations!! The most important thing I want you to do right now, and I say this all the time, is to enjoy your engagement. Diving into wedding planning straight away will most definitely take away some of the excitement that you can only experience now. So take advantage of it!

The main point of confusion that I hear my clients talk about often when they reach out to me is that they’re super overwhelmed and have no idea where to start with planning a wedding. Some struggle with being creative, which is totally understandable. For a lot of people, there is a limit to putting together an entire wedding no matter how easy those Pinterest inspo pictures you’ve saved in your wedding board may make it seem. So in this blog, I’m going to list out 5 steps you can follow to get you on the right track of your wedding planning experience. 

Where to start with planning a wedding STEP 1:

Step away from Pinterest, for now

Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore Pinterest (duh). But think about what you actually want, what’s important and what isn’t, what you’re willing to sacrifice. Take time to sit down with your partner and list these things out before going onto Pinterest. Being on the same page with what you and your partner want for your day will get you on the right foot of your wedding planning process, I promise you!

Top tip: If you’re on the hunt for more modern wedding inspiration like this one below, look to Instagram – (why?) I actually don’t know. I think maybe because it’s just more up to date and things take longer to get to the top of a Pinterest feed? More suppliers use IG too. Maybe this is something we can make a post about though.

Where to start with planning a wedding STEP 2:

Budget and guest list

Work out which one is more important. If it’s more important to have everyone you want, write that list first. If it’s more important to not spend more than a certain amount, work out what that amount is. These go hand in hand and will influence a lot of things. From the size of wedding venues you want to be looking at to what kind of food you want served at your wedding.

A black and white wedding photographer of a bride and groom who didn't know where to start with wedding planning, on their wedding day dancing together.

Where to start with planning a wedding STEP 3:

Research & book venue

Guest numbers and food service style will have a huge impact on choosing your wedding venue. Once you have a general idea on those things, you can now go ahead and start researching! In my opinion, the best place to start in terms of wedding venue hunting is Coco Wedding Venues. This is a super easy-to-navigate wedding venue directory with tons of stylish, unique venues to fit all needs and budgets.

Once you’ve had a look and made a list of potential venues, it’s time to go and actually see them! Whenever I go to site visits, I always, always take videos instead of pictures. It’s extremely helpful to be able to visualise yourself in the venue as well as to get a feel for the atmosphere of the place later on when it’s time to make the final decision, or maybe when you want to show your friends and family for a second opinion.

Where to start with planning a wedding STEP 4:

Invite some people

There are two ways to go about inviting your wedding guests. You can either manage it all online or find a stationer. I recommend Joy for digital invitations because they make it super easy to alert your guests to any changes or updates regarding your wedding. A very valuable feature for weddings amidst COVID-19.

And for stationers, start on Instagram, Esty or Papier.

Where to start with planning a wedding STEP 5:

Find suppliers

Instagram is a great place for visual suppliers like photographers, videographers, stationers and so on. It’s a good idea to find 2-3 suppliers that you love and enquire about all of them, just so that you can compare the costs & services. For location-based suppliers, consider using hashtags like #surreyweddingphotographer, #londonweddingcake .

Consider using a planner as they have lived experience of working with people. A common mistake that I see my clients make is that they rush to book suppliers before taking time to consider what’s actually available and what they actually want. Speaking to a professional planner can help open your eyes to options and possibilities which are much more suited to what you want, that you may not have even known was a possibility. It’s our job as planners to take what you say that you want and translate that into practicality. To give you an example, I’m currently working with clients who started by loving Claridges, and are now looking at getting married on a boat. Two very different things, right?

A couple who didn't know where to start with wedding planning, on their wedding day under the confetti.

And Voila!

You’re well on your way to planning your wedding!

Now that you’re close to the end of this blog, I hope that you feel less overwhelmed. Bonus points if I was able make the initial stages of your wedding planning seem more do-able & enjoyable.

Finally, as someone who’s planned more than 25 weddings during COVID-19, I do want to give you some words of wisdom on what I think you should be prepared for regarding postponements and supplier availability. I’m hoping it won’t be an issue moving forwards, but insurance is still difficult to get from a reputable supplier in my opinion. So, it’s important to make sure that each individual supplier has ample terms for postponing or rescheduling. Don’t think it won’t affect you, likelihood is it won’t. However, I’ve seen people sign awful terms thinking they won’t be affected, then being screwed a year later.

Please book a call with me if you would like any further advice on where to start with planning a wedding or are interested in working with me. I’d love to hear more about your plans!

Love Rebecca x

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