Getting Started!

Getting Started!

We’ve been toying with the idea of starting a blog for a while and finally have decided to go for it! While there are lots of wedding blogs and websites out there, some really great ones too, which we will refer to from time to time, we think we have some unique points of view too and together with our couples, partners and suppliers, we will look to bring you regular insights and information and share some real weddings with you too. 

If you have any suggestions or requests on blogs you would like to see, please do let us know. 

So… first things first… let’s talk about how you get started when planning a wedding. 

There are loads of great planning tools out there (see below), however, not all of them will work for you, particularly if you are planning more of an outdoor or casual wedding (good chance of that if you are here to visit us). The timelines are also largely based on around a 12 month planning period, but after the last couple of years and the impact of the pandemic, we would advise getting all of the big things done between 18 months and 2 years beforehand, especially if you have your heart set on specific dates or suppliers. 

But where should you start?

 

Six steps to get started: 

  1. Celebrate!
    Congratulations, you are engaged! 

Before you get into the wedding planning haze, make sure you take some time to celebrate with your nearest and dearest. Whether that’s finding fun ways to tell them about the news, meals out or even having an engagement party. Do whatever makes you feel good 

  1. Brainstorm 

It is really important that your day is all that you want it to be. There will be plenty of opinions from others on the way, but if you cave to all of those, you will definitely have regrets after the big day has come around. We are not saying you should totally ignore everyone, especially if any family members are contributing to costs, but just stay grounded and remember how you feel yourselves. 

Have a bit of a chat together and figure out what kind of vibe you would like you day to have:

  • Indoor vs outdoor
  • Sit-down meal vs food trucks or bbq
  • Rustic vs festival 
  • Big affair or intimate gathering

It’s also a good idea to talk about the ceremony part, not just the party. Is it important that you legally marry and party on the same day and in the same place? Doing a registry ‘do’ separately and using a celebrant on the day opens up a world of possibilities [note: many people do not realise that in England, you cannot legally get married unless a venue is a registered premises]. We will cover more on this in another blog and also hope the rules will change soon! 

  1. Budget

It’s quite hard to know where to start with this if you’ve never planned a wedding before and you certainly don’t always appreciate how much everything costs with the word wedding attached to it! But setting yourself a rough budget can help to kick things off and can also help to set the date as you may need to plan how long it will take you to save the amount you need for your dream day. 

We will cover this in detail in another blog, but to get you started have a think about:

  • How much can you afford to save in a year? Two years? 
  • What is the maximum amount you’d want to spend on your wedding? 
  • Other than the venue, what are the most important things to the two of you – that you may wish to splash out on (food, entertainment, dress & suit)?

Be realistic that as much as you try, your budget is likely to run over, so allow some buffer too. 

Note: the average spend for a wedding for 2021-22 in the UK is £20,000-32,000 (depending on which survey you believe)! This didn’t mean people never get married for less than £20k, they absolutely do, but this is the average figure and not a bad number to put against a wedding that isn’t budget-tight but not overly lavish either. 

  1. Cover yourself

This one is quite hard in the times of the pandemic as so many wedding insurers have disappeared or are not offering wedding insurance. Hopefully, this will all change again soon as life slowly begins to move on. 

Why do you need wedding insurance? This hasn’t always been a thing, so many people don’t know it exists or why you would do it. But just think about it this way… would you drive your car without insurance – no? Not just because it’s a legal requirement, but likely because you can’t afford outright to cover the damage to your car if you or someone else damages it. The principle is the same. If any of your suppliers were to go bust (sadly a more common occurrence since the pandemic) or cause any kind of issue to your day, then wedding insurance can help to cover this. Most policies will also cover if any damage occurs on the day, so if you or a guest were to cause damage to a venue’s property (or tipis), this can help you to be covered too. 

  1. Set the date! 

You can pick an exact date or a rough date, but as soon as you start speaking to venues or suppliers they will be asking this straight away, so good to have something in mind. 

Be aware that most traditional venues, and some marquee suppliers (not us) may charge you higher rates for peak season (May-Sept) and for weekend weddings. In the same vein, you may get better prices for out of season or weekday weddings – you could go totally out there and have a Christmas wedding (I’m seeing furs and lace in a tipi vibes) but there could then be additional charges for heating or bad weather backups. 

  1. Visit

The best way to get more of an idea of what you want is to get out there and visit places. Try to visit a variety of venues, even if you think you know what you want. This helps to round out your ideas and inspire you in ways you don’t even know about yet! 

Also worth checking out a few wedding fairs too as there is a concentration of wedding suppliers in one place to have a chat to (visit us at Chelmsford City Racecourse on 13th & 14th November). 

Things they are likely to ask you at venues or wedding fairs: 

  • Do you have a venue booked (not likely at a venue, they will assume you are there to consider them of course)?
  • How many people do you have coming (day and night guest numbers if you are splitting the day)?
  • What does your day look like (sit down, time of day for ceremony etc)? 
  • The date(s) you are looking at

Our next blog will look at what important things you should get booking first, once you know what vibe you would like and what your budget looks like for the big day. 

 

Other great resources: 

Hitched – an online directory and planning tool (we are featured here)

Bridebook – an online directory and planning tool (we are featured here)

An Essex Wedding – specific to the Essex area, online directory and printed magazine for wedding inspiration (we are featured here)

Rock My Wedding – online directory and resources for alternative weddings (we are featured here)

Bad Ass Brides Club – run by talented planner Beckie Melvin of Bad Ass weddings, a forum for wedding planning and inspo, her wedding checklist can be found here

 

Please do let us know if this blog has been helpful and whether you have any blog requests for our series! 

Bryony @ Hullabaloo Events x

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