Getting married is one of those milestones in life that you want to be able to remember forever. Your wedding day might seem a long way off, but you can never start your planning too early. Here are five critical steps in the planning process that you’ll want to take care of between now and the big day.
First things first – how much do you want to spend? Without an idea of what you have to spend, you’ll find it hard to plan anything else. With the average wedding in the UK costing in excess of £18,000, you might feel under pressure to spend a fortune – but don’t. A £2,000 wedding can be just as romantic, as long as it’s been planned with thought and feeling and is a true reflection of the two of you.
If you don’t think you have enough in savings, you can try talking to family members to see if they will chip in. Be aware, tradition has somewhat gone out of the window and in many families, it is no longer the father of the bride who pays for everything! Be prepared to go and get a low rate bank loan as a last resort if you need to, but make sure the repayments are affordable.
Venue hire: One of the most exciting parts of wedding planning is finding the perfect place to be married. You can choose from traditional churches for the ceremony, followed by a reception in a hotel or hall somewhere, or if you prefer there are many country houses, castles and other unique venues now licensed for marriage ceremonies.
Guest list: Once you know where, it’s time to decide who. Make a list of everyone you ‘might’ want to invite and add them all up. If there are more than your budget or venue will support, start to prune off the ones you wouldn’t miss so much until you are left with the perfect number.
Shopping: As well as the dress, you’ll need to shop for shoes, accessories, rings and if you are having them, bridesmaid dresses too. If you’re on a tight budget, you could ask your bridesmaids to choose their own dress (in a colour that matches your theme) and offer to pay towards them.
Insurance: No matter how much you’re spending on your wedding, it makes sense to have a comprehensive policy to protect all the investments you’re making right now. Some venues will not allow you to make your booking until you have the proper public liability insurance in place, so check this out and make sure you’re covered both before and on the day.
Now it’s time to start organising everything else. By this stage you’ll have the ceremony and the reception sorted, as well as something to wear, so even if you did nothing else you could still get married. However, as you want to make your day extra special, now is the time to decide what ‘extras’ you’re going to have. You could consider: