How To Plan Like A Planner
Planning a wedding can seem like an overwhelming task and if you have never planned an event before then knowing where to start can be equally as stressful.
I have 3 things that I advise couples to start with before they commit to any suppliers or venues and I know that this way works because it's how I approach planning an event.
Hopefully, by outlining the below you will see how starting with these things will keep it as stress free as possible for you both, especially in the first few months of planning!
Savings instead of Budgets
So many planning tools talk about creating a budget and breaking down costs for different suppliers but I always speak to my clients about what they can physically save as a starting point.
Look at your finances and discuss how your current savings are going, do you think that you are putting away as much as you can? Are there places you could cut back on your spending? Once you have evaluated how comfortable you are with your current financial situation then you can figure out how much you actually have to spend on a wedding.
With this in mind, I always urge clients to take into account these 3 things:
- Don't be so tight on yourselves with savings that it will mean you can't do what makes you happy. As an engaged couple there will be times when it's stressful and you will need some extra cash for a night out or a weekend away. The end goal is to have a great wedding but you want to enjoy being engaged as well!
- Don't count bonuses and cash from family in this savings plan straight away. Remember, a bonus is just that and can't always be relied upon and circumstances with family can change so it's best to know what you can do on your own at first and go from there!
- Consider cash flow! When planning a wedding there can be numerous bills due at similar times and that's when managing your spends can become hard. Remember that a lot of the balance payments for suppliers will be due 6 weeks to 1 month prior to your wedding date so managing the actual cash flow is just as important.
What Do You Really Want
One of my favourite parts of helping couples plan their wedding is watching their faces light up as they talk about their day and all the things they want from it.
I urge couples to sit down (perhaps with a bottle of Champagne... just because!) and write down the first ideas that come to mind when they imagine where they will be when they get married, what the venue is like, the weather, the décor, perhaps they want to do a lot of the decoration themselves, perhaps it's at their home?
There are so many options but it's best to build an idea as a couple of what you are actually trying to plan and then you have it to refer back to and as a focus throughout your planning - trust me, there will be times when you need it!
The Guest List
It's no secret that writing the guest list is a difficult part of wedding planning and it can be the element that causes the most tension amongst couples and families. It can take a great deal of understanding when one of you (or your parents) want to invite a distant relative or old friend that you may never have met but this is where compromise comes in!
The way I advise clients to start their guest list is as follows:
- Start with immediate family (parents, siblings, nieces and nephews etc)
- Move on to your closest friends
- Then think about people who are in your circle of friends (sometimes scrolling through your phone to see who you message the most can help with this!)
- Consider cousins, aunts & uncles and friends that have perhaps moved overseas or that you may have lost touch with but are still important.
- Finally think about work colleagues and friends of your parents that they may want to come
I would also recommend that you tag whose side each guest is on, also include their partners names and decide if children are welcome to attend (if so, add them in). Doing this will give you a worst case scenario type of list and you can then go through and re-evaluate it.
Do not let this list stress you out, there are no rules when it comes to who to invite to your wedding, you can do things your way!
By writing these names down it may help you understand a bit more about what you don't want for your wedding (perhaps a big grand affair isn't your style) and it will help to highlight where a lot of your precious budget is going to be spent and it will more than likely dictate what sort of venues you can consider.
What doing all of the above will definitely teach you is that a lot of planning is a process of elimination.
If not spending outside of your means is important then you won't have a problem narrowing down your choice of venue and removing people from your guest list.
If having a small intimate ceremony and dinner in Italy is what you imagine your day to be like then you may be happy to only invite immediate family and your closest friends.
If including everyone that you know and love is of utmost importance then your venue and your savings plan will need to take this into account.
What is most important though is that you focus on what you know you really want for the day and that way you will end up with the wedding you both dreamed of!
The Art of Eloping.....