Thursday 5 January 2012

Where to Start Planning Your Big Day

Christmas is a time when lots of people get engaged, so many congratulations to anyone reading this who has recently given or acquired a gorgeous sparkler. Here's a few tips on where to start planning your dream Wedding.

The first step should be to draw up a rough guest list so you know if you have 50 people or 150 to invite. This will affect your venue choices and budget so it's a good place to begin. Next sit down and have some honest conversations about finance. The average Wedding costs around £15,000 but you can have a fantastic Wedding for a lot less, but you may need to incorporate a lot of DIY touches and avoid grand venues to make a smaller budget work.


Talk to family to see if they want to contribute a set amount or pay for something like the dress or flowers. It's great to get financial help from family but sometimes it does come with certain conditions, such as input into the planning or inviting certain guests so there are pros and cons to paying for the day yourself.

Next begin to look at venues. Bristol and the surrounding areas are packed full of gorgeous Wedding and reception venues. You can choose from farms, barns, hotels, restaurants, boats, country estates and even the zoo so do lots of research online and then make some appointments to view venues.  You can get some great prices by choosing a week day or Sunday or marrying out of the traditional summer Wedding season so don't feel you need to stick to a Summer Saturday. The image below is from the Riverstation, which is ideal for a contemporary Wedding.


One final very important tip is to ensure that you have Wedding insurance in place before paying any deposits as sadly several local couples have lost thousands as local venues have gone into administration. Sadly this is becoming more common and any money you have paid will be used to pay creditors and not returned to you.

If you need some additional guidance, why not consult a Wedding Planner for a free consultation. They can help in lots of ways and often their fees will be absorbed by the savings they negotiate and they ways they can suggest to cut your budget without compromising on style.

Words by Stephanie Allison, Wedding Planner and owner of How 2 I Do Wedding Planning. Steph would be delighted to offer any guidance to newly engaged couples. Visit her website for more information.

Photo Credits How 2 I Do and Howard Wedding Photography

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