The dos and don'ts of wedding planning
10 May 2017
Don't know where to start with your wedding planning? Here's a useful guide to set you on the right track
Image: Tom Pumford
When your date has been set and you look ahead to a long road of wedding planning, here's a helpful breakdown on how to make a start.
Set up a Bride account
Sign up to Bride and input your wedding information to get your account up to date. You can then start using the comprehensive suite of free planning tools to get your wedmin well and truly underway.
Consider wedding insurance
A key consideration, wedding insurance will protect you (and your expenses) if anything doesn't go to plan. By setting it in place from the outset, you can rest assured that you and your wedding are covered.
Allocate your budget
A top priority, a budget is needed before proceeding with any wedding planning. Use Bride's Budget Tracker to input your final budget and start allocating the costs accordingly.
Involve your friends and family
Turn to your friends and family for their ideas and hear them out. Even if your invite to share their thoughts delivers a host of unwanted opinions, they should feel valued enough that you gave them the time to listen.
Delegate some jobs to your partner
Don't leave your partner out. While some may be happy to leave it all up to the planner in the relationship, it is important that your other half feels as involved as you do.
Create a master spreadsheet
One central spreadsheet which details everything you and your partner needs to know will pay dividends. Add columns for payment dates and budget allocations, using Bride's online planning tools to help you decipher the information required.
Book your first wedding dress appointment
There's no time like the present and booking your first wedding dress appointment will set the wheels in motion to finding your dream dress. Consider the time needed for fittings and alterations to ensure you leave plenty of time for shopping around.
Sign up to Pinterest and Instagram
Awash with inspiration and ideas for your wedding day, these social media platforms will make easy work of your wedding planning. Create moodboards early on so that you can show your vision to your suppliers and easily communicate exactly what you want.
Draw up your guest list
The sooner you can draw up the guest list for the ceremony and evening reception the better. This will determine the prices for your catering, the amount of tables (and table names) to plan in, and the number of favours to order or create.
Speak to suppliers
It's never too early to start making contact with prospective suppliers and gathering quotes to help you formulate your budget allocations. Use Bride's Supplier Finder to connect with wedding businesses and receive quotes from the comfort of your home.
Set up a wedding email address
A dedicated email account will allow you to sift through all your supplier quotes and queries, as well as guest RSVPs (when you get to that stage). Your wedding email address can include your soon-to-be newly acquired surname or just firstname.lastname@example.org, for example, will do.
Whether your wedding is three years or three months from now, there is no point in panicking when the real work hasn't even begun. Enjoy every moment for what it's worth and don't let impending deadlines or opinionated family members spoil your fun. Take each task at a time and complete each thoroughly, leaving no room for error.
Make impulse decisions
You've been waiting for the moment to start planning your big day since you were five-years-old and it's easy to rush in to the decisions that you thought you'd made years ago. Pace yourself, keep calm and carry on.
Dish out diva demands
Before your inner Bridezilla comes knocking, make sure you think before your speak. Delegation can serve to ease the pressure on the primary planner, but it isn't always necessary. Put things in perspective and remember that while your nearest and dearest may be happy to help out, they shouldn't feel overwhelmed.
Focus on the detail
...not yet anyway. When you start wedding planning, you should look at the bigger picture and slowly hone in on the details. Make the decisions that will take up most of your budget first, then plan in the details with the leftover funds.
Make decisions without your partner
A wedding is about the union of two people and that should be reflected in all aspects of planning, bringing you together to make decisions as one and where you disagree, compromising to reach a mutual agreement. Listen to one another and be open and honest in your views, beliefs and opinions. Transparency is the key to a happy relationship and likewise, a successful wedding.
Let it take over your life
It's very easy to get caught up in wedding planning, after all it's the biggest day of your life. However, when it starts to put pressure on relationships or begins to take its toll on your social calendar then it's time to take a step back. Assign yourself a few hours each week that you can dedicate to wedding planning and give yourself the best balance.