Five things to decide before you start wedding planning

01 Dec 2017

Excited to start wedding planning? Make sure you’ve decided these five important things first

Photo: Charisse Kenion / Unsplash 

With New Year’s Eve and Christmas coming up, the next month promises to be filled with engagements and proposals galore. While it can be tempting to immediately begin planning your wedding, there are several factors you need to decide before you start booking venues and sampling cakes.

1. Guest list and size of wedding

You should decide on the maximum amount of guests you want at your wedding before you begin planning anything else; the easiest way to do this is to come up with a rough guest list that can be amended later on. The size of your wedding will dictate so many other things, including your budget, venue, cake size and more, so it’s so important you figure it out first. You don’t want to hire a venue you can’t fill, and similarly there would be nothing worse than hiring a venue too small to accommodate your guests.

2. The year and month

Before you start searching for a venue, decide how long you want your engagement to last. Do you want a long engagement with lots of time to plan and save, or a short engagement? The month in which you want to marry will also massively impact your planning. If you get engaged in December 2017 and want to marry in the summer of 2018, you’re going to find it difficult to find venues and suppliers that still have dates available. If you’re truly determined to get married within a year, consider looking at off-peak availability such as weekdays and winter dates. Otherwise, you will be better off planning something for the following year. The time of year you choose will also influence your budget, as summer weddings tend to be more expensive than winter ones.

3. Rough budget

As with the guest list, the budget should be the top of your list of things to decide before you begin planning. This can be a tricky element to work out, because it depends on so many variables; how much can you save before your preferred date? Will your parents or your other half’s parents be contributing any money and, if so, how much? It is so important to decide on a rough budget before committing to anything else, however, otherwise you may end up spending far more than you can realistically afford. Nobody wants to begin their marriage with mountains of debt.

4. The type of wedding you want

Once the above decisions have been made, begin thinking about what type of wedding you want. Would you prefer a formal, traditional affair or an outdoorsy festival-style wedding? Your preference will make narrowing down suppliers and venues much easier, as you will have a clearer idea of what you’re looking for. It will also mean you can start planning your decorations, outfits and any DIY elements you want to make. Your budget might also dictate the type of wedding you are able to have, as traditional ones will inevitably cost slightly more whereas low-key, rustic celebrations will be a little bit less expensive.

5. Location, location, location

The location of your wedding is another thing that will make a big difference to your planning journey. You need to decide whether you want to stay local, marry in another city, or even go abroad for your big day. There are lots of factors that can influence this, such as the location of your family members and friends. It’s also worth taking into consideration the fact that certain areas of the UK are more expensive than others; for example, a wedding in the capital is likely to be significantly more expensive than one held elsewhere.

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