Weddings can be a very stressful affair. What should be a dream day can quickly turn into a nightmare. With so many things to organise, how do you manage to sort everything before the big day? What should you sort out first? Wedding car hire? Venue?
It's important not to rush into the planning stage. Sit down with your partner and look at things in logical manner. To start with, look at the wedding from afar; it's important not to get bogged down with the 'frills' at this stage. Here is a list of 5 things to sort out first.
- Ceremony — What type of ceremony do you want? Will it be a civil or religious ceremony?
If you opt for a religious ceremony you will need to check with the religious leader that the building is free. You'd be surprised as to how many different organisations may use them and their facilities, often booking months or years in advance. If you decide that a civil ceremony is best for you, your options are either a registry office or a venue that has been approved for civil ceremonies. Choosing this latter type of venue could alleviate further stresses, as they may also be able to host your reception.
- Budget — How much can you afford to spend?
Was the proposal a surprise? If this is the case, you may not have that much saved and having a longer engagement may be the best option, as it will allow you to save for the big day. Now would also be the best time to assess your expenditures and see if you can cut back on certain luxuries for the duration of the engagement. If your parents are contributing or you've been saving for a while, cash flow may not be much of a problem.
- Style — Will your wedding be a low-key affair, or something formal and grand?
This will be greatly affected by your budget. If you have a small budget it would be silly to plan a large wedding.
- Who to invite — There's very little point in looking for venues without knowing how many are on the guest list.
Again, this another factor affected by budget. The more you invite, the more you will need to spend.
- Venue — With the type of ceremony decided you can move on to the venue.
Popular reception venues are often booked years in advance, so have a few preferred dates in mind and be prepared to move outside of these if necessary. Once you've pencilled this date in you'll need to check that your wedding venue can also accommodate you on the same day. If you are having a church service you will need to check with the church leader that the church is free. Obviously, a change of date at the church could lead to difficulties with the reception but somewhere along the way things will balance out and you will have finalised the date for your wedding.
This is by no means an exhaustive list but it will hopefully help you on the road to a well planned wedding.