Getting started with planning your wedding

Bride and groom kiss

We wanted to share some helpful guidance with our lovely readers when thinking about planning your wedding. Of course getting engaged is the best feeling in the world – for many it’s a total surprise and sweeps you off your feet. Make sure you take time to enjoy getting used to the fact that you’re planning on spending the rest of your life with your other half. You’ll be smiling for ages, so enjoy that feeling because dependant on the wedding you both wish for, there’s a lot to do!

There’s an old myth that “planning a wedding and moving house are two of the most stressful things you’ll ever do”. Well, they’re wrong! Moving house is horrific – however a wedding is by far the most amazing occasion you will be involved in and you’ll love planning it (just like we do!).

What type of wedding do you want?

Let your imagination run wild and write down all the ideas that appeal to you. Whether that be the fairytale castle or the far-flung beach with bespoke dresses and suits. Nowadays there are so many venues to choose from, from big country hotels to intimate, secluded beaches. Whatever you decide, make sure it reflects you as a couple as this is what matters most. Don’t focus on finding “the perfect venue” straight away – take a look round and do plenty of research about what you’ll get for your money.

Location, location, location

Where do you imagine would be your ideal location for getting married? It could be in a city, within the countryside or even abroad. Are you both from the same local area, or same country perhaps? Traditionally, weddings would take place in the bride’s county however with modern weddings taking off in the last few years, this tradition doesn’t appear to be as important now.

Some couples choose a location which holds a sentimental value to them; a first date, a particular anniversary or a memorable day out. You’ll need to consider travelling time for your guests too so don’t rush any decisions and think about all eventualities.

Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter?

Planning your perfect day can take anywhere from 3 to 12 months to prepare, however it isn’t uncommon for some weddings to take longer than this. With some venues booking up to 3 years in advance, it’s never too early to consider when you want to get married.

When you arrange to get married you should consider size, cost, complexity and individual choices. For instance, a wedding in December based on a Christmas or winter theme would require thought about availability of items bought out of season, which may increase costs. Whereas a Summer wedding will cost more than any of the other seasons, this purely due to the time of year and it being well into the ‘Wedding Season’ which is from April-September. That being said – there are some fantastic venues and offers on venues that can be snapped up!

Say it quietly… Budget

A word many will not like, but it holds the most significance and controls all of the decisions you make, so don’t shy away from this. Turning a blind eye will result in lots of unnecessary costs!

Although not fun, it’s essential you plan towards an estimated budget (and add 10-15% on top of this figure as a buffer). When collating costs from suppliers check prices to confirm if they are inclusive of VAT. It can often be unclear if VAT has been added, and we’ve heard of couples who have become stuck having to find additional finances to cover the cost of unexpected bills.

Who’s on the guest list?

The overall number of guests you have at your wedding will determine the venue you choose. It goes without saying that you’ll want your guests to feel comfortable and at ease rather than tripping over each other. You won’t want a venue to look empty, so a good place to start is to write down between you a list of everybody you want to invite.

At this stage don’t discuss reasons for inviting them, but you just want to get an overall number. Once this is done, work through your guests and add them into one of these groups: must invite, want to invite, would be nice to invite and do not invite. It’ll feel pretty weird at first to be ruthless in whittling down your guest list, but it’s so important to do this to make sure you’er comfortable with the number of guests attending and the associated cost.

Get yourself through these five areas we’ve outlined and you can then start the fun part of sourcing a venue!

Where it all started…

If you follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram you’ll have seen us posting about our new wedding planning business venture for the last few months. We’ve been working hard for a while and we’re so pleased that we’re getting ourself recognised and that word is beginning to spread. You’ll be seeing lots more from us in the coming months!

So why Ever Ever After? In the early stages of our relationship we both spoke about how we would love to be wedding planners and run our own business. At that time there was no hint of our own marriage on the cards! As part of a birthday present James made me a mix CD with a handful of songs, one of them being Ever Ever After from the film Enchanted, sung by Carrie Underwood. It’s basically about a fairytale and how we all want our own storybook ending… Awwwww!. It was the song we had played as we walked back up the aisle after being married – and then a confetti canon being let off shooting red hearts into the air – fairytale enough?!

So Ever Ever After had to be the name of our team!

We rarely stop and we’re always on the go planning something, which is why wedding planning comes naturally. We both pay a huge amount of attention to organisation and detail – which are obviously qualities you’d expect in a wedding planner!

In July last year, we got engaged in a secret garden within a country house hotel. But I won’t say too much about that now, as I’ll tell that tale in more detail another time. We had said we wanted to enjoy being engaged and not rush into planning, but just three days later we were both eager to research and find venues – and there we began the very long process in planning our wedding!

We’ve had the best year ever (well, about 10 months) planning our own day so we knew it wouldn’t take us long to organise. With us being so organised we had plenty of time before our wedding to get things going with Ever Ever After.

So that’s it – we’re doing what we absolutely love to do and we’re officially open for business.

Having planned our own wedding, there really is no better training than organising your wedding to show those you love how passionate you are. We loved every single second and would (and will!) enjoy planning many more weddings. Having comments such as “best wedding ever” and “you thought about every single detail” really is music to our ears!

Did we get the wedding blues? Of course we did! It’s impossible to organise such a momentous occasion and to not miss it once it’s over. You soon realise just how much time planning takes over in your day-to-day life.

We’re extremely excited about the future and everything it holds – including some fantastic content for our blog!