I’d be lying if I said I didn’t immediately start thinking about planning our wedding from the day we got engaged. Nothing too intensive but naturally, I couldn’t help but picture what our special day might look like. We’re now over six months on (!) and it’s safe to say I’ve already learnt quite a lot from planning…
I genuinely don’t know how people handle planning weddings in a short amount of time. We were in no particular rush to get married ASAP so have booked our wedding for Spring 2021. I really want us to be able to enjoy the process from start to finish and I have friends who have found the whole thing incredibly stressful and while I’m aware stress comes with the territory, I want to reduce it as much as possible. Being able to spread out the cost was also a bonus for us as I hate the thought of us being totally consumed by the cost of the wedding, especially if you’re doing everything in such a short amount of time. It’s always going to be pricey but it feels a lot more manageable now. When we paid our deposit it felt like the date was ages away and now it’s already less that two years away. Time is going very quickly.
I think we are all perfectly capable of having different opinions but knowing not to publicly share this opinion, especially when it’s on a topic that someone is currently in the thick of and more importantly, isn’t particularly helpful in the slightest. Since being engaged, I’ve found myself around people who like to scoff about weddings being a waste of money and it only being ‘one day’ in front of me. Perhaps they are trying to be reassuring but I find this pretty frustrating when you’re planning a wedding and feel like your experience is being diminished in some way. Nobody should have to feel rubbish because god forbid, they want to spend their hard-earned cash on some giant light up letters, however silly it may seem to you. For me personally, I am aware that the costs of a wedding can quickly get out of control and I’m determined to keep a rein on things, refusing to allow this one event to financially take the rest of our lives hostage for two years. But at the same time, I also know how short life is. How money is there for spending, not taking to the grave. And if I want to throw one hell of a party for our family and friends, I’m sure as hell going to do it. I’m just not going to let it financially screw us other. Ultimately, a wedding is about celebrating two people who love each other but all the other bits? They’re pretty nice too. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting them either.
While I had a fairly good idea of the venue I thought we’d like the most, we took the time to book in and visit a few different options so we could be completely certain. We tried to see a few different types of venues to cover all bases and it really helped us to work out exactly what we wanted. And actually, for me, visiting venues is a really lovely way to spend a day! Once we were fairly set on a venue, we then took our family to an open day of the potential choice. Not only were we able to see the venue dressed up as it would be for a wedding (and get lots of ideas in the process) but it was a lovely way to involve our parents and get their opinions and suggestions. I’d thoroughly recommend seeing your desired venue a couple of times too so you can be completely certain.
Bridal magazines and Pinterest are a dream when you’re planning a wedding but I also think they can be slightly dangerous too. I’ve found that while great for inspiration and getting you excited for the big day, they can make you want the most ridiculous things that you don’t need or actually really want but magically become convinced you do, thanks to a few alluring photos. Unless you’ve got buckets of money, it’s not realistic to be able to have everything and compromising is gonna have to happen. Luckily, I think when push has come to shove and we’ve had to make decisions based on our budget, what we really want and what really matters to us always come through. And unfortunately, it’s not a flower wall. Sigh.
Having never planned a big event before, the money side of things felt really daunting. Even though (as above) we’ve deliberately given ourselves a long engagement, I’m well aware that time soon slips away and before you know it, there’s only a matter of weeks to go. Something I’ve found really helpful is to secure as many suppliers by paying as many deposits as possible. Venue and catering aside, other supplier deposits feel a bit more doable compared to when you look at the total cost of everything and you want to have a little cry. Sure, you’re still going to have to pay that total amount eventually but it buys you a bit of breathing space in knowing your desired vendor is booked and also helping you work out a saving/payment schedule to work towards.
Now I’m not sure if it’s because we went to our first wedding fayre fairly soon after we got engaged (what can I say, I was excited!), but rather than feeling excited about the prospect of getting married while there, I felt incredibly overwhelmed. Now don’t get me wrong, everyone seemed nice enough but the set up was simply not something that sat well with me. I didn’t enjoy wandering around the stalls, vendors trying to catch your eye. I wanted to look and get ideas, sure, but I didn’t (and this makes me sound awful) actually want to talk to people. Maybe this says more about me and how I prefer to do things but I definitely enjoy being hunched over my laptop for hours, visiting websites and Instagram, pouring over reviews and other peoples weddings, losing myself in an endless hole of wedding research. While I understand fayres are a great place to find local suppliers, I still can’t help but feel this is easily done online and is even easier when you find a venue who often have a list of recommended suppliers local to your venue.
Have you planned a wedding or are you in the midst of doing so? I’d love to know what you’ve learnt in the process as well as your biggest tips. Let me know in the comments!