Planning for a wedding can be quite stressful, especially if left to the last moment and people from outside your usual social sphere become involved. Some of the most immediate and most important matters to address first call upon determination, working out costs and organisational skills.
Your wedding is meant to be the best day of your life, you are agreeing to spend the rest of your life with someone that you love and the wedding is a celebration of this. With so many things to plan, you’ll find great benefit by planning for the big day as early as possible.
A Wedding Marquee Venue
A venue should be one of your first and most immediate priorities to resolve and the hire of a marquee can make a wonderful day truly memorable. Being prepared for the event will help relieve any stress come the date of the wedding.
Once all agreed on time, location and numbers you can then discuss the venue for the after-party celebrations. We would find a summers day in the beautiful English countryside difficult to beat, and luxury wedding marquee venues provide excellent facilities for a wedding party. Marquees provide fantastic facilities even during winter months with sophisticated heating systems, wooden floors and interior fittings that wouldn’t look out of place in the swankiest of hotels.
Once you have committed to your venue, take a look at our free online marquee space planner. You can plan the entire floor plan for your wedding party now online with us.
The Big Day Plan
To help with your wedding planning here is a brief guide our team have helped put together…
Firstly, think long and hard as to whether realistically you have the time?
Wedding planning can take up a lot of time; you need time to check out the venue and the dress and you spend half of the time on the phone sorting things out. If you have a demanding job or you work full time and then have to look after your family you may want to consider hiring a wedding planner. They handle all of the time consuming stuff for you and all you have to do is turn up on the day and get married.
Type of wedding
Another major decision relating to your wedding plan should be the type of wedding you wish to have. If you are religious, you may wish to get married in a church, so you’ll have to speak to the vicar as soon as possible as churches get booked up fast during certain times of the year. Sometimes you will be required to attend a certain number of Sunday services to show your dedication to the church and prove that you are not just getting married there so that the wedding photos look good. Non-religious people generally get married in a registry office but it is also possible to be married in a hotel, on the beach, or at sea, as long as the person performing the ceremony is licensed to marry people.
What’s your budget?
Weddings can be expensive; you have to pay for venue, dress, suits, travel, accommodation (if your wedding is not local), decorations, bridesmaid and page boy outfits, flowers, hair and makeup, a venue for the reception and catering and of course, a hen and stag do.
Be realistic when starting to make your wedding plans when it comes to the finances. Big churches and extravagant wedding dresses don’t come cheap, make a few calls to gauge costings before making any commitments.
Set a date
You’ll get a good idea of available dates for marriage when you organise the ceremony and reception venue. However, it’s up to you during which season you want to get married. Summer tends to be the busiest time of year for weddings due to the better weather, so bear that in mind when you choose a date.
Save the date
It is customary to send out save the date cards to all of your guests, usually around six months prior to the big day. Organising save the date cards to be printed professionally can save you money as you’ll be ordering in bulk.
Initially we would recommend considering the venue. The place of choice for your big day could very much be swayed by the time of year you’re planning on having the wedding. Obviously, setting the date is the first thing to do, of course, but when done consider the environment in which you want family and friends to gather.
Do you like the outdoors on sunny days, or are you more homely and like open fires with cosy and yet extravagant décor? These considerations require thought and discussion so you end up both feeling happy about the place you will wed.
Guest list & Numbers
This is the part when couples generally start to come to disagreements. It is up to you as a couple, how many people you want to invite. Some couples prefer the idea of a small gathering, with only close family and best friends, whereas others like to invite everyone they know. Remember that your wedding is personal to you, so do things your way to make the day special for you both.
Are you expecting legions of family members and friends to rock up or are planning for a small crowd of close relatives and friends? A small venue with a close bunch shouldn’t need too much planning whereas a grand ceremony shall.
The number of attendees will also dictate how soon you should send out your invites. If you have family scattered across the globe then a ‘save the date’ invite with plenty of time warning of the impending big day should be put together. Friends or family flying in across from the Atlantic, or wherever will have to consider holidays from jobs and their own other family commitments. Personalised invites are great and we would recommend them, they can become an unexpected expense if you have a few hundred to produce though, so bear this often overlooked detail in mind. Getting the word out for your big day and how you go about doing it sets the tone for guests to your wedding.
Food & Beverages
Once you reach the point of menu and drinks selection you’ve almost completed all wedding plans. Location and time of year can have a direct impact on food selection. Will caterers be brought in, will they be on the premises already and included in the venue or are you bringing in a team of chefs?
The hospitality at weddings can be varied and going away from the traditional two choice menu is becoming more
common as newly-weds look at new and varied ways to make their big day at little more memorable. Hog roasts, extreme buffets and varied menu selections add a little more to the average big day.
So you sent the ‘save the date’ cards a while back, but you still have to send out formal invitations too. Remember to address each invitation to all of the guests, for example, to Jane and Steven, rather than, to Jane and boyfriend. That way there will be no doubt as to who is invited and it adds a more personal touch.
You’ll also have to make the decision about who is to be the chief bridesmaid, any other bridesmaids you wish to have (usually sisters and best friends), and your groom to be will have to choose his best man.
Every bride wants to look beautiful on her big day, so it’s worthwhile shopping around and trying on plenty of wedding dresses to determine the best one for you. Take along your chief bridesmaid, your mum and your mother-in-law to be as they’ll be able to give you their views.
Now we come to the little extras that make your day even more special. They can also add considerable cost to the overall price of your wedding however, so if you have a friend who is great with photography, you could always ask them to do some professional shots on the day to save a little money.
There’s always the option of hiring a DJ or band to play live music at the reception, but many people nowadays choose to make a playlist of all of their favourite songs to keep everyone dancing all night long.
Planning a wedding can be extremely stressful, there is so much to think about and organise that it can be very overwhelming. If you have never organised an event or a party before and you have no idea how to go about it then maybe a wedding planner would be a good choice for you. That way you won’t have to worry about making mistakes and you know that everything will run smoothly. However, many couples go it alone and it is a great idea to ask your friends who have already got married for tips and advice. Most importantly, make sure you enjoy your wedding day.