1. What do we do first?
The first thing to do is to have a good chat with your partner. You need to know how you both imagine your big day to be before you can start to plan. Get the basics agreed first and then it’s onto the next wedding planning phase.
Image courtesy of Marius Muresan
2. How much should we spend?
The only sensible answer to this question is – no more than you can afford. Work out how much you can realistically afford and there’s your budget. Only include contributions from your family in this figure if you are absolutely sure they’re happy to contribute, otherwise you could find yourself spending way too much!
3. What do we have to include?
The only thing a wedding really needs is a ceremony, after that, it’s all extras. Yes, it’s nice to include entertainment, decorations and an amazing dress, but none of these are a necessity. Wedding planning is all about prioritising and when you know what’s important to you, it’s much easier!
Image courtesy of Clem Onojeghuo
4. Who should be on the guest list?
Think about who you really want to share the day with. Don’t invite people because you think you ‘should’ and remember that you don’t have to include ‘plus ones’ or children if you don’t want to.
5. How do I keep everything organised?
Some people love a spreadsheet and others are all about apps. There’s no one right way to do it but whatever you do, make sure that you have somewhere to keep an eye on everything.
Image courtesy of Studio Rouge
6. Do I need a theme?
No, you don’t need a theme for your wedding. That said, a theme, however loose, can be really useful to help you narrow down your options. It could be as simple as a colour or a feeling that you want to create and remember, themes work when your guests can link them to you. Don’t choose something ‘just because’.
7. When do we send out our invitations?
Traditionally six weeks before was plenty of time but now, we suggest sending out your invitations much earlier than this, particularly if you’re getting married in the summer. If guests might need to book holiday and make travel arrangements, the more notice they have, the better.
Image courtesy of Summer Lily Studio
8. What do we do about social media at our wedding?
Again, this is up to you. More and more couples are asking guests to put their phones away, but if you’re happy to allow it, use social media to your advantage with a hashtag to help you see everyone’s photos in one place. Whatever you decide, make it clear to your guests with signs or a note on your invites.
9. Are winter weddings really cheaper?
Off-season weddings can be cheaper but this isn’t always the case. For example, flowers are even more expensive around Christmas and Valentine’s Day, so before you book a date hoping it will be cheaper, do a bit more research with suppliers too.
10. Do I have to have wedding insurance?
It’s highly unlikely that your venue or any of your suppliers will ask if you have insurance but wedding insurance can be a good idea. If the worst happens, you’re covered and you won’t lose out financially.
11. Can we ask guests to contribute to our honeymoon rather than giving us gifts?
Definitely! There are lots of ways of doing this and gift list companies such as Prezola have a dedicated honeymoon gift list option. Guests just want to give something useful and if they’re able to contribute to a once-in-a-lifetime experience, they are often really happy to do that.
Image courtesy of Yomex Owo
12. How can we save some money on our wedding?
Easy ways to save money include looking at out-of-season or weekday dates, cutting back on your guest list, choosing a gown and/or bridesmaid dresses from the high street, looking at decorations that can be reused through the day and even making some decorations yourself. Be savvy with your shopping and always look for discounts and promotional offers before you buy. Even the smallest savings will add up and make a difference.
13. What do guests really care about at weddings?
Guests will always notice the food and drink and they’ll certainly notice if they’re hungry. The biggest thing that guests notice is the atmosphere. A happy, laid-back atmosphere will always be a winner and that’s all about you, not how much you spend.
For more unmissable wedding advice, take a look at our guide explaining how to stay focussed while wedding planning.