1. Figure out the basics
Before you start planning your wedding and choosing venues it is ideal to figure out the very basics. For example, your maximum and minimum number of guests, your ideal date, year (or at least season) in which you want to get married. Don’t panic, you don’t necessarily have to have the exact details but at the initial enquiry stage when approaching venues, without these guidelines it can make things a little trickier to get a quote for your big day.
Emily Mills, Dine Sales Manager
“At the initial enquiry stage you’re probably going to approach several different venues so if you don’t have these specifics then the information that you get you can’t compare like for like necessarily. When gathering lots of information, it helps if you have your ideal numbers, date and a budget that you want to spend. Venues can then say – yes we’ve got that date available, yes we can fit that amount of people in the venue and yes we will fit within your budget.”
2. Set Your Wedding Budget
Your budget will be the driving factor for the majority of your decisions, so it’s wise to decide this first. Don’t begin spending your money until you’ve set an ideal budget. For the set budget to work well, it is essential to think through every detail (it’s common to overlook the extras). Don’t forget to account for costs such gifts, beauty expenses and dress alterations – they all add up!
Harriet Ashton, Dine’s Senior Events & Development Manager
“Be prepared that it is likely you will go over budget, it’s a really good idea to keep everything tracked on excel sheet so you can monitor your budget more effectively ”
3. You get what you pay for
“Weddings can be costly and everybody knows that. The cheaper option can always be appealing but it’s not always the most suitable option. It is the best day of your life, do you want to look back and remember that one of your suppliers was late, or look back and remember that everything went smoothly and all your guests enjoyed themselves? If you go for the cheaper options you have to accept that sometimes you might not get the best results.”
“Think about the contrast of paying a bit more and someone doing it for you or a DIY wedding which will undoubtedly cost less but can be very time consuming especially if the bride has to put décor out or make stationery.”
4. Guest List
Organising exactly who you want to attend your wedding early on is important so that you can focus on finding the perfect venue that will cater for your selected number of guests. Costs per head is often one of the biggest expenses. It’s the main and toughest decision in the planning process, but remember that it has to be you and your partners decision only.
Think about the style of photography that you want from your wedding day. Choose your photographer wisely and make sure that you have a good look through their website and social media channels to see what they can achieve. Your wedding images are how you’ll re-live the memories of your day, so don’t underestimate the significance of an experienced photographer. Do your research and find someone who recognises exactly what you and your partner want.
“It is important that you have a wide variety of different shots on your wedding day and some venues can only have 2 or 3 different areas. Rise Hall for example is a perfect venue for this – you’ve got the library, the gallery with the beautiful ceiling, outside areas, the staircase, the ballroom, the swing on the tree outside or the fire-pits – there are so many different opportunities for beautiful shots. For many, the photos are a key part of the wedding day because that’s what you’re going to keep forever, so if its important to you that it’s varied then that might be the key thing to think about.”
6. Decide what’s most important to you
Figure out anything that’s non-negotiable for your big day – is it really important that you have high end food? Or is is that you’re looking for a really stunning venue with amazing photo opportunities? Do you want it to be child friendly? Do you want it to have outside grounds? Work out what’s important to you because not all venues can do everything.
If you can figure out the non-negotiables, then also make a list of things that you are willing to compromise on, you’ll have a better idea of which venues are going to work for you.
7. Food – Choose wisely
Arguably one of the biggest talking points at any wedding is the food. Avoid skimping in this area and make sure to cater for all guests!
In 2020 this almost goes without saying but full vegetarian and vegan menus are becoming increasingly common. Whether for environmental reasons or simply because the choice of delicious dishes is now so extensive and creative! We usually recommend starting with a menu that both of you enjoy and then working out from there.
Take a look at our options for food on your big day for inspiration https://www.dine.co.uk/menus/
8. Decide your bridal style/select a theme
With so many places for inspiration, it can be a tad overwhelming trying to choose your wedding style sometimes. Find a few key resources you prefer – whether it be Instagram, Pinterest or blogs find what works for you and start exploring!
Whether it’s particular colours, style inspiration, or a certain theme, it is always helpful to pick a concept to create your big day around. Once you have this idea in mind, it is easier to make design choices, and generally, everything look more consistent.
“Lighting can really make an event/wedding – this is what I would spend my money on.”
8. Relax before your wedding
It’s easy to get overwhelmed before your big day so make sure you take time to find ways to relax. Look after yourself so you feel refreshed and get the best night’s sleep possible.
9. Have Fun
By the time your wedding day rolls around, try to relax and enjoy all of the special moments with your loved ones.
10. Don’t forget what’s important
Wedding planning can be hectic but if you find yourself getting too caught up in the small stuff, take a step back and remind yourself of what is really important and what your big day is really about – marrying the love of your life!
Or if you’d like to get in contact to discuss how we can help you plan your dream wedding don’t hesitate to call us on 0345 450 4545 or email firstname.lastname@example.org