Planning a wedding is one of the most fun, exhilarating and frustrating things I’ve ever done.
It’s both stressful and rewarding at the same time. When you think about it, planning a wedding is basically planning a party for over 100 people. Which is probably something you’ve never done before.
There’s so much to think about, but before you can start shopping for your dream dress on Pinterest, you need to think of the depressing stuff.
Everything about your big day comes down to the budget. But you need to know your budget before you can start looking at venues. You can’t have a wedding on a £10k budget if the wedding venue costs £8,000. It’s impossible to do the rest of the wedding on a £2k budget, unless you want one candle, a £20 cake from Tesco and some sausage rolls to feed your guests. If that’s what you want, then perfect! But make a realistic budget.
Some people think my wedding planning spreadsheet is a bit much, but not when there’s so much to organise!
It’s split into small sections. I’ve estimated the amount I will spend in the left column, and then tracked the actual amount I’ve spent on the right. The above example is the Decor section. I also have Apparel, Reception do, Photos/Videos, Ceremony, Stationary and Miscellaneous.
It then adds the whole spreadsheet together to give an estimated vs. actual total.
The location is the next most important thing to think about, because it sets the tone for the whole wedding. I’ve gone for a traditional manor house in Cheshire but this means I can’t really go for a beach theme as it won’t suit. Think about your style and whether you want classic or modern, traditional or not, formal or informal, etc.
Obviously, all of the three priorities above link together. If you have a very large family, and want a large, traditional location, you’ll need a very large budget to match. If you go for a grand manor house, but only invite 50 guests, the place will feel empty. Work out how many people will be attending before you start planning the wedding. And then work out the cost it will take to feed them. I was SHOCKED at my catering bill for 80 people in the daytime, and 130 at the evening do. If you can’t afford to feed them all, you can’t invite them all.
A smaller number of people works well in a hotel or barn. For lots of wedding guests, go for a manor house or a large marquee.
And talking of feeding guests, it’s worthwhile thinking ahead to what you will feed them. Many people these days are choosing the informal buffet or hog roast option because it’s cheaper. However, I wanted a traditional 3-course, sit down meal. These sorts of choices all come back to budget, but also what you want.
P.S. Remember that children cost a LOT less.
Theme, Style or Colours
These three depend on your venue. As I said before, you can’t really go for a manor house wedding and then choose to have a beach theme. Well you could, technically you can do anything, but would it work?
You should choose these well in advance. Colour can affect the type of flowers you have, the bridesmaids dresses, the colours on the invites or on the cake. It’s also best to pick a style for this reason too. Otherwise the invites will go out in a lace style, and then you might end up with no lace on your wedding day. It’s a minor point, but one to think about.
So there’s my long list! Wow, that was a long post. I hope that helps anyone currently planning a wedding.
Is there another priority you would add to the list?