You’re engaged? Congratulations! Now it’s time to start planning a wedding! Most girls dream of the moment their greatest love asks them to be their wife from when they are little girls. But when the excitement of your engagement dies down, and you fire up the computer to start planning your dream day it can be very overwhelming. Where do you start? How do you keep it under control? What should you research first?
Don’t stress, we’re here to help you from the very first steps. Whether you decide to celebrate your wedding at one of our idyllic venues or not, we have a wealth of knowledge to share on where to start and how to keep your planning a wedding under control. So, dive in and get started!
Start with a budget, decide on your guest list, choose your venue, then on to the other stuff.
Before all the fun can really begin, you need to knock over the boring stuff. Sit down with your families or with your partner and figure out who is contributing, how much they are contributing and decide on a total budget. It’s a good idea to set your budget within realistic boundaries, as it’s likely that things will come up that blow it out a little. Katie from Happily Ever After suggests using planning kits and apps to keep track of all your inspirations, supplier details, receipts and bookings throughout your planning journey.
Next step, decide on your guest list. Knowing how many people will be attending your wedding will largely affect all the other decisions you make. Booking a venue with a maximum capacity of 120, when you have a guest list of 180 is never going to work. A key thing to remember is that not everyone you invite will attend, in most cases attendance rates are around 80-90%.
Now onto the venue. Most brides already have a vision or style in mind when they become engaged. Some imagine themselves on a waterfront with the glistening harbour and boats in the backdrop (see here and here). Others are looking for a venue with ultimate opulence and grandeur where they can fulfill their true fairytale dreams (see here and here). To assist you in selecting the perfect venue, we suggest creating a list of possibilities and then ruling them out one by one depending on your requirements and taste.
If you’re considering a civil ceremony, it can be helpful to find a venue (like each of ours) that can cater for ceremonies and receptions. At this stage, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for Wedding Open House events and schedule visits, where you can tour the venues and find inspiration in their wedding set ups.
Decide on a date, engage suppliers, decide on your dress, then all the little things.
It’s about to get real! Once you’ve decided on your dream wedding venue, think of the time of year you prefer, and choose 2-3 possible dates to have your wedding. Venues fill up fast, so it’s important to plan in advance. Work with them to find a date that suits your needs and once the contract is drawn up and signed, it’s official. Congrats!
Now the fun begins. Make a list of all the elements you want to include in your special day and create a list of potential suppliers for each category. You’ll want to act fast as like venues, suppliers are often booked more than a year in advance. We suggest deciding what your highest wedding priorities are (photography, flowers, décor etc.) and taking care of the most important details first. Deciding on a visual theme at this stage is important to ensure the suppliers you engage will work in unison to bring together your ultimate dream. Pinterest and House of Doltone are your best friends!
You’re almost there. It’s time to find your dream dress. Start by looking online at all the different styles and designs that exist and deciding on a particular style. Ball Gown, A-Line, Mermaid, Sheath? Once you have an idea of the style of dress you prefer, it makes the whole shopping experience a whole lot less overwhelming. Make appointments at boutiques that appeal to your tastes and just enjoy yourself! Once you find the perfect one, you will know.
The last steps in planning your wedding are deciding on all the smaller details. You may feel like it’s all coming together, but there’s still a lot of decisions to make. Bridal party outfits, hair, makeup, menus, cake, music, invitations, signage, bonbonniere, your vows. Having a clear theme or style for your wedding day from the initial stages will help you bring together a celebration that is true to your taste and personality.
This April we’re opening the doors to our Hyde Park venue to engaged couples. Tour our elegant and luxurious Ballroom and Manhattan Room, taste canapes from our award winning catering team and take in the styling inspirations put forward by our in-house wedding stylists, House of Doltone. The event is free to attend, but you must be registered. Register today!
If you made it this far, we feel confident that you know where to start for planning your wedding. To get you inspired, jump over to our wedding gallery, subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Facebook or Instagram for our latest inspirations, tips and tricks.