How to plan your wedding!
A guest blog by Andri Benson, from Always Andri
Wedding Planning: Getting Started!
Hi I’m Andri Benson of Always Andri, London based boutique wedding planning company. I specialise in creating distinctive weddings and inventive celebrations. I’m delighted to be here sharing some wedding planning tips with you all.
Wedding planning can be a minefield, with so much to do and all the expectations that surround weddings I hope my advice can go towards making it a little less daunting.
In that first flurry of excitement when you’ve just been proposed to and are officially engaged it can tempting to go headlong into wedding planning with no real plan but I ask you to stop and consider these 5 important questions that will help you get on the right track from the start.
I like to think of wedding planning as a big chain that interlinks, each link having a bearing on the next so knowing the answers to these questions will have a bearing on all your plans going forward.
Q1. What kind wedding do you want?
As every couple is unique so are weddings, so don’t think you have to have the big white wedding with all the traditional trimmings.
Would you like to have a formal black-tie affair with all the gentlemen kitted out in tuxedo’s and ladies in long evening dresses with some bespoke cocktails on the menu in an elegant city wedding venue? Or do you see yourselves just wanting a relaxed get together with family style dining, pretty summer dresses and an industrial style warehouse venue?
Do you want a church wedding, a non-religious civil ceremony which will give you a lot more flexibility in venue choice or for complete freedom to be married by an independent celebrant?
What’s most important is that you think about the vibe you want for your day and how you want your guests to feel celebrating the day with you? Try to narrow it down to a few key words that describe this feeling and vibe and keep these in mind throughout the planning.
It’s your wedding, don’t be swayed by what you think is the right thing to do; you want it to be a personal reflection of you as a couple.
Q.2 Who to invite?
You want to share your day with people that mean the most to you both so don’t feel like you need to invite everyone you’ve ever met. Make a provisional guest list as soon as you can, there’s no point looking for venues if you’ve no idea how many are coming.
Split your list into groups, family, friends- school, university, work, and within each group list in importance. Grouping at this stage will also help if you eventually decide to do a seating plan.
This is also a good time to decide who you want to play key roles such the best man and chief bridesmaid; your bridal party will play an important role not only on the day of the wedding but also in the planning so consider how supportive they can be when choosing them.
Q3. What’s your wedding budget?
Weddings can cost as much or as little as you want; it really comes down to what your priorities are but you need to know how much you are willing to spend. Will you be self-funding the whole wedding and/or will you have support from family? Rather than picking a number out of a hat so do a little research into the cost of weddings.
Q4. When to marry?
Is there a time of year that holds a special significance, an anniversary of an important date in your relationship or do you want a summer or winter wedding? Your wedding budget may have a big effect on when you choose to get married because if you have to save you will need to give yourself long enough to do so.
If the budget’s tight you may also want to consider getting married out of season i.e. not in the summer or think about a mid week wedding. Unless you’re having the most intimate of weddings or are willing to be incredibly flexible with dates you should ideally give yourselves at least a year to plan the wedding.
Q5. Where to marry?
The location of your wedding will play a large part in your planning decisions. Do you want to marry close to where you both live now or perhaps you’ve always imagined returning to where you grew up to marry?
If you love traveling or always pictured yourself marrying on a beach, then a destination wedding would be a great option and by making a holiday of it you’ll get to spend a lot more time with your nearest and dearest.
Finally - What is important to you?
Decide together what aspects of your wedding will have the most importance. Make a big list of all the things you think you would want at your wedding then number it by importance to you both and don’t be afraid to cross some things out completely. Focus on the top 3 items first.
Think about they style and approach you want to take with your wedding so you can plan your order of the day, and think about how the day will flow so you get the most out of it as well as the guests! Thinking early about your wedding styling and decor is also really important so that you can create the overall vibe of the day that you have been dreaming of.
If you both love good restaurants and want the food & drink to be at the top of your list, then you can make it so. Maybe you met at a music concert and feel a live band is key. You love photos - your home is covered in photos of family and friends; then a great wedding photographer will be key to giving you images from the day that you can look back on for years after.
Don’t be swayed into having something because you think you “should “- it’s your wedding day. When you know your priorities, you can decide where you want to spend time and money on when planning your wedding.
Andri Benson is a leading London wedding planner, specialising in creating distinctive weddings and inventive celebrations.
If you are looking for bespoke signage and decor for your wedding, Rosie & Steve would be delighted to have a chat and discuss your requirements. Drop them an email to get in touch.