Well hey there!
I’m not entirely sure where the start of this year has vanished too, anybody else feel like January lasted FOREVER whilst February vanished in the blink of an eye? It’s been seriously busy at One Curious Dream HQ as we gear up for an insane wedding season and such a pleasure to welcome some awesomely cool new couples into the fold following a ton of Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s engagements.
With so many of you starting out on your planning journey, it seems apt that we share some ideas to get you off to a great start – by no means an exhaustive list, here’s just a few things to consider at the very beginning of your planning journey.
YOUR DAY YOUR WAY
Whenever I meet new couples, the very first question I ask is “Tell me about your perfect wedding” – whilst lots of people will have been dreaming about their fantasy wedding for years and years, many other couples simply know what they don’t want – with lots of our weddings, our couples want to lose the formalities and create something super laidback, fun and relaxed, for example.
A good starting point is to discuss how you see yourselves spending time across your wedding – perhaps you fancy a 3-day affair with rehearsal dinners, post-wedding bbq’s and friends and family gathered to spend time and share the love (somewhere like Elms Barn or Voewood would be perfect), or maybe you prefer a single day that’s full of elegant details that offers your guests a more luxury experience (check out Oxnead Hall and Hengrave Hall).
In terms of style, are you going contemporary, traditional, romantic, rustic, vintage, boho, luxe or mega glam? Do you want something stripped back and casual or highly formal, embracing all the classic traditions?
Narrow down and agree on the direction you both wish to take as early as possible as this sets the tone for the rest of your planning journey.
Turn the traditions upside down
Don’t be afraid to shake off the traditional – don’t want a first dance? No problem. Want to walk down the aisle together? Go for it. On the flipside, fancy having your dog deliver your rings during the ceremony? Yes! Fancy having pizza for your wedding breakfast? Do it.
It’s your day, nobody else’s – so go with whatever makes your heart sing.
Dollar dollar bills
This one is obviously critical – what cash do you have to splash? Doing your sums before you undertake any planning activities is so important, you really don’t want to set your heart on the perfect venue or supplier before realising the pennies won’t quite stretch that far.
If you are lucky enough to be receiving a financial contribution from family members or any third party, it’s really really REALLY important to establish what their expectations are (if any) in return. If, for example, parents who are injecting funds expect to add an army of people to the guestlist, but you have an intimate, close friends and family celebration in mind, accepting the cash without having the conversation about your vision will only lead to drama further down the line. Be clear and concise about what leverage those funds unlock and to what extent and where you are prepared to compromise.
Whilst there is no doubt that you will be inundated with people asking whether you have ‘set the date’ the minute you get engaged, setting a realistic timescale is so important. If you are paying for your wedding yourself, perhaps you would like longer to save the funds required or maybe you are keen to just crack on and look for some late availability deals with your ideal venues. Having a rough timescale in mind will enable you to check availability with both venues and suppliers.
Also think about the season you wish to marry in and give consideration to any specific family gatherings, national holidays or even sporting events you wish to avoid clashing with – not many people would fancy their guests being distracted by a footy derby after all!
The bare necessities
Next, it’s time to determine what’s really really important to you both and where your budget should be primarily allocated. As an example, one of our couples who is getting married at Barn Drift are total foodies and have decided on an 8-course luxury tasting feast prepared for them by Oystercatcher Catering.
The essence of you
Think about what you love doing together as a couple – if you enjoy going to gigs and dancing the night away, allocating budget to great bands, DJ’s (Try DJ Paul Allen or Epic Sounds ) and musical entertainment will ensure you capture the essence of how you have fun and what you are about as a couple.
Assemble your tribe
Identify, early on, who are going to be the key people to help you through the planning experience. Whilst naturally we would impress the value of hiring a wedding planner (shameless plug, right there!) knowing which resources you have available to help will make your journey smoother.
Many of our couples bring family members and bride tribes to their appointments, which is great as you will always have other ideas and input when making your decisions. Don’t be afraid to tap up your contacts for support either, if you have really creative friends, for example, ask them for suggestions regarding styling and décor. If your aunt is a whizz on a sewing machine, why not get her involved with making runners, napkins and bunting, if that’s your vibe?
Now you’ve established the key criteria for your wedding, here’s a couple of speedy tips:
- Get your engagement ring insured
- Set up a wedding only email address. Ensure everything wedding related stays in that inbox for ease of reference in the future
- Buy wedding insurance and consider opening a wedding only bank account
- Set up a wedding Pinterest board to gather your ideas in one place
- Consider using a wedding website to help you stay on track (Hitched Planner is useful)
- Tricky one – consider whether you need a prenuptial agreement! Chat to team at Steeles Law, should you have any questions about prenups or other legal woes.
Whilst this list may seem daunting, always keep in mind that you’re planning the ultimate connection and commitment to the one you love. Make sure you keep the conversation open, honest and transparent and don’t forget to have FUN!