Depending on your personality type, planning your own wedding could be your idea of a militarily-precise heaven or your ultimate logistical nightmare. But as with most events, the most daunting part of planning a wedding is usually deciding where to begin.
We always advise our clients to ‘begin at the beginning’ – but where exactly is that? Here are 3 practical places to start when planning your big day.
Set Your Budget
Knowing exactly how much you have set aside for your big day can help you decide on the size of your guest list, which venues to consider and how many extras you’ll be looking into – the big things that will really shape the course of your planning process.
Make a list of all your necessary spends and allocate a portion of your budget to each. For example, how much are you willing to fork out for your dream venue, catering and music? This way, you won’t waste time looking through thousands of optional extras that you haven’t allowed for (if only it was that easy!) or agonising over price lists if money is no object.
If you’re planning a low-key, handmade-style wedding be sure to factor in enough time in your planning schedule for putting things together like seating plans, crafty centrepieces and handwritten place cards.
Pick Your Theme
The low-key, vintage wedding is a timeless wedding theme that’s been very much in-vogue recently. It’s a great way to give your big day a quaint, intimate feel without blowing the budget. But, unless you’re handing everything over to a local events company, these things take time.
When choosing your theme, first ask yourself this: “What do we want our wedding to say about us?” Many couples prefer something traditional or low-key – and that’s absolutely fine – but if you want to throw a superhero-themed reception or a roaring 20’s Gatsby-esque ball, then deciding on your theme will help you decide which invites to send, how to arrange your venue, whether to have a wedding band or hire a dance floor and even what will be on the menu.
It’s easy to see how choosing your theme quickly throws up your next set of ‘to-dos’.
Choose Your Venue
Not married to a certain theme, date or budget? The location you choose can go a long way to shaping any event. An outdoor wedding in July might lend itself perfectly to a BBQ followed by a barn dance, whereas a lochside wedding in November will call for a cosy, inside space for your meal and reception.
You might love the idea of tieing the knot on a sandy, Caribbean shore – but can you realistically expect all your friends and relatives to get there? Considering the logistics of the trip for your guests will avoid undue stress and aggravation down the line and help ensure that those close to you are able to share your special day.
If you’re getting married abroad, this is a good place to start as you’ll need to secure your venue in good time so that travel arrangements can be finalised in advance.
Any good wedding planner will offer you an initial consultation at the venue you are interested in and be able to talk you through your options and give you ideas. If you are flexible when it comes to dates, you can often secure a winter-deal on some of the country’s most exclusive wedding venues, too.
Our most important takeaway for would be wedding planners is this: Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed! There will be lots to decide on, but everyone has to start somewhere. Take time to think about what’s most important to you (that could be budget, theme, venue or location) then let this shape your next steps, one at a time.
If you’re looking for a helping hand in planning your big day, our friendly team are always on hand with help and advice on everything you’ll need – from choosing from some of Scotland’s most beautiful wedding venues to putting those finishing touches to your wedding marquee.