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What, when, why - Your First 3 Steps into Wedding Planning

by Faye Purver

"Where do I start?!"

This is often the first question that begins to run through your mind after the excitement of engagement has settled - and it's absolutely right that it should! A wedding is a complex and detailed event to plan, and unless you're a pro it's going to be absolutely normal to experience feelings of overwhelm, confusion and not a little anxiety. So let's take a few first steps together to get things underway and start to enjoy your planning journey...

1. Budget

Not just the 'best' or 'most memorable' day of your life, your wedding is likely to be one of the biggest financial investments you make, therefore it's best to get to grips with your budget early on so that you can enjoy planning with confidence!

According to wedding-planning app Bridebook; the average wedding costs couples £16500, rising to just over £20000 with honeymoons and engagement rings added to the total..

Understanding your budget at the beginning of the process will help you narrow down your choices across the board from the start.

2. Venue

Your venue is likely to be the biggest part of your wedding cost, especially when food and drink is included. Choosing the right venue can seem daunting, but there are some easy ways to get started:

Location: Think of places that have meaning for you as a couple or individuals, and consider whether your Most Important People will be able to access your venue easily - whether via travel, nearby accommodation or basic accessibility such as stairs and lifts.

Team: Meet your wedding planner before you decide on your venue - this is the person you need to have confidence in for helping you plan and realise your dream day. If you don't have trust and confidence in them from the start it can be a warning sign of trouble ahead.

Budget: Be sure of your budget and don't look at venues that are unrealistic. Budget is closely tied to guest numbers and seasonality, so there are ways of making savings but you'll have to be certain of your priorities.

Don't forget to download our Venue Questionnaire to make sure you get the right information when meeting your venue's wedding planner!

Image by Jonnee Shek

3. Suppliers

After your venue is secured, you'll want to start researching and booking key suppliers who are going to bring your dream day to life, and record it beautifully for you. We've listed key suppliers based on their integrity to most wedding days and how far in advance they are booked:

Registrar: Not always an obvious one, but your registrar or church's availability is the most important part to secure once you know where and when you want to hold your civil ceremony or celebrate your wedding reception!

Photographer: Your wedding photographer is going to be with you and your guests all day, capturing private moments and the joy of the celebration, so choosing the right person to work with is as important as the beautiful images they produce. You'll want to secure your photographer as soon as possible after you have your venue/date set.

Florist/stylist: another key person that will help breathe life into your dream wedding day and allow you to get creative with expressing your personalities is your florist/stylist. While many remain strictly floral-focused, we're seeing more branch out into more general venue styling and they can produce really cohesive, beautiful decor in the most neutral of venues. Speak to your in-house planner for recommendations that match the venue and your vision, or hit Instagram and wedding platforms like Bridebook or UKBride to find your perfect match!