Before you get carried away with hiring a pair of flying doves, a horse-drawn carriage, and ordering gold embossed wedding linen, here are our top tips on what to consider at the start of your wedding planning journey.

1. Most importantly, ENJOY your Engagement!

Be present in the moment and feel the love—you’re getting married it’s a magical time! For the sake of your own sanity, make sure you schedule some time for the two of you to just be together and do anything just enjoy this momentous part of your life. Questions will be fired your way like when, where, and how are you getting married. Don’t rush into any on-the-spot decisions like choosing your groomsmen and maid of honour or promising invites to your big day straight away, instead share the excitement of your engagement story.  As you start to plan, keep your eye on the end goal, and try to use your energy positively and productively. Staying mentally and emotionally well at this time is vital, start married life as you mean to go on.

Most importantly, ENJOY your Engagement

2. Communication is Key

Don’t feel like you’re in this wedding planning process alone. Consult with your partner along the way, their opinion is bound to be invaluable and even if they’re only involved in some aspects it makes wedding planning that much more fun when you can make decisions together. Working towards a common goal not only further bonds you and your partner but also helps you grow as a couple with every issue you tackle as a team.

Sit down with your partner and have open discussions together on the dreams and aspirations you have for your big day, after all the wedding is about the both of you (even if sometimes you might think the day is just for you!). It’s most likely that before getting engaged you’ve mentioned aspects of your dream wedding whether it a passing comment on how much the family church means to you or even your thoughts on a friends wedding day but now is the time to sit down, reflect and listen to both of your ideas. Prioritise those details and be willing to compromise on the rest. This will help you stay within your budget and help you focus your efforts on what really counts.

Communication is Key

3. Talk Money

Before you get carried away with all your wedding planning admin, you need to both agree on a final total budget for your wedding day. You might think this is a bit difficult before you start getting venue or supplier quotes but you must do this beforehand. Differing reports will state the average UK wedding spend is anywhere from £12,000 to £30,000. Once you have agreed on this final figure, make sure you re-visit it at every decision-making wedding planning stage. Don’t forget to build in a 5-10% “splurge cushion” for those unexpected costs or urges that inevitably arise. Once you’ve got that magic number, stick to it!

4. When to get married

This year, next year, the year after or in five years? Narrow down between yourselves the desired year and month. Then Choose a few ideal dates and try to be flexible, if possible, so you’re not constrained when attempting to book the wedding venue and vendors. Take into consideration external factors like wedding season is typically May to September but a date out of season can help save on your budget. If you have your heart set on an outdoor wedding, summer months are clearly best suited, or if you want a destination wedding it may mean only some months may be appropriate, do your research. Consider work commitments, will you or key guests be able to get suitable time off work, or choosing your sister’s baby due date or best friend’s 30th is probably not wise!

5. Start working on Your Guest List

Making decisions about the guest list can be a complicated process and one that will depend largely on your venue and budget. Sit down with your partner and key family members to put together a wish list of wedding guests. Chances are, you’ll need to make some cuts. You will also need to decide whether you’re inviting children and who will be allotted a plus one. Start by creating a list of who has to be at your wedding no questions asked, who ideally you would like there, and additional guests who would help to create the party atmosphere. It’s amazing how a guest list of over 70 can be quickly collated when you originally thought a maximum of 50 would be sufficient. Work through your lists together until you come up with a final estimated guest number.

Wedding RSVP

6. Wedding Inspiration

Having a good sense of the type of wedding style will help immensely once you start meeting with potential vendors. Don’t overwhelm yourself with all the wedding inspiration that’s out there. Creating one or more Pinterest boards or even a vision board will help you to figure out what sort of look and feel you really want and keep you aligned with your larger vision. Think about what makes you happy, and what helps you center your thoughts: it might be bridal inspiration like; Pinterest, Instagram, magazines, trusty bridal sites, just start researching.

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7. Get out there as a Bride & Groom-to-be

Visit wedding fairs, sip the VIP champagne, buy the fancy wedding magazines, sign up for useful newsletters and begin to enjoy this new stage in your life. Time flies by so quickly and the memories of the initial buzz and excitement of wedding planning will be ones you treasure forever along with your wedding day.

Good luck with your planning and don’t forget to visit our BIE Wedding Planner full of inspiring ideas from exciting suppliers featuring the most incredible Real Weddings.

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