How to Start the Wedding Planning Process

Have you just got engaged at Christmas or New Year? Here’s how to start the wedding planning process!

In a survey organised by Festive Lights, it was found that 33% of people get engaged between Christmas and New Year. I did! Which goes to show the stats must be true. This means that 33% of brides start planning their wedding during the first few months of the year. January, February, and March are then popular times to start viewing venues, looking at churches, and deciding on a date.

So, as a bride to be who is only two months from getting married, I have plenty of tips for you about how to start the wedding planning process. It’s baffling, it’s a bit of a minefield, and there are so many suppliers out there it can be confusing as to what you really want. Hopefully I’ll be able to spread some advice. Here’s what you need to do in the first few months of being engaged.


Start Saving

It kind of goes without saying that weddings are bloody expensive. So if your engagement was a complete surprise, you’ll most likely (like I did) have no savings or a wedding fund whatsoever. Don’t panic!

You need to discuss with your family members about budget. It’s important for you to know how much your parents and your partner’s parents will chip in. Then you can work out how much you and your partner need to save on top. You cannot start saving for a wedding if you don’t know what your estimated budget it. How can you book a £10,000 venue, if your total budget is £12,000? It’s unrealistic. I understand you might feel awkward about asking your parents if they’re planning on helping you out, but it’s normal nowadays.


Top Tip!

Set up a wedding account email, e.g. You can give this to all your suppliers, keeping all wedding emails in one place.


Book planner with highlighted dates

Sort your venue(s)

Choosing a venue sounds easy, but there are a lot of variables you have to consider:

  • How many guests you’re having (an estimate at this stage is fine)
  • Your budget
  • Your theme
  • Whether you want a church and a venue, or just a venue for the whole day
  • Location

You need to decide on all of these things before you can choose a venue. Try not to get all excited (LET’S GET MARRIED IN MARRAKESH IN THE DESERT) too quickly. What if your partner wants a family church local to where they grew up? Make decisions on all of the bullet points above, which will then narrow down the venues you can actually get married at. This will make deciding much easier.

Deciding on a venue should be done within the first couple of months of being engaged so you can book the date you want. You can have a date in mind, but don’t set your heart on it as the venue might not be able to accommodate. Especially if you’re booking with less than a year’s notice. If you’re not too fussed about a particular month, you can ask what the venue has available. This works well if you want to get married quickly.


Sort other important suppliers

Once you’ve booked your venue, you officially know the date of your wedding. This means it’s time to book important suppliers. The photographer and videographer are the most important. They’re usually one of the biggest expenses (after the venue and catering) and you want to spend money on them to get someone good. You don’t want to regret your wedding photos for 50 years after the day, and wish you’d paid more for better photos.

Other important suppliers include the florist, caterers, and live entertainment. You should plan to spend more on these than things like the makeup artist or cake. Though these things are equally important, they’re not where you should prioritise your money.


Once all of the above are clarified, confirmed and booked, you can relax for a little bit. My biggest tip is start the wedding planning process early. The time you’re engaged goes so quickly. Don’t let time run away with you. I’ve been engaged for 2 years and 2 months. I booked my venue nearly two years ago, in March 2016.

The first year of wedding planning was mainly booking suppliers and paying deposits, whereas the second year has been spent organising the smaller details: stationary, lawn games, cake design, etc. Remember to enjoy your wedding planning, no matter how long you’ve got left.


*Information provided in a press release from Festive Lights

Choosing your wedding jewellery

If you’ve found this post, you might be getting married yourself and want some advice on choosing your wedding jewellery.

I know that when I’ve looked at a bride in the past, I focus on her dress and not much else, but there are so many decisions and accessories that have been thought about to complement the dress. I didn’t realise this until I became engaged myself and went to my dress fitting. Once you’ve chosen the dress, there’s then the veil and headpiece decision, the underwear decision (will the bra you’ve bought show over the top of the dress neckline?), the shoes decision (height, style, colour, material) and finally, choosing your wedding jewellery.

The decisions seem to be endless, and everything has to tie in together. The veil can’t be cream with a pure white dress. You can’t have silver crystals in your dress and rose gold crystals in your shoes. This makes finding your accessories so much harder than you thought it was going to be. This post should help you when choosing your wedding jewellery on what to go for and how to style it.


Bold and Beautiful

Some brides don’t want any accessories to detract from the dress, but what they don’t see is that they can accent it more. If you have a plunging or a sweetheart neckline, you can absolutely get away with a slightly bolder necklace that will fill the space below your neck perfectly.

If your dress has a low back, you can get some beautiful necklaces from somewhere like Lace and Favour that hang behind you rather than in front. Don’t forget that when you’re getting married, the back of you is what the congregation will see most!


Jewellery box from Lace and Favour


Classy and Simple

Simple jewellery always works well with a detailed dress or a plain one. Whether you’re wearing satin, lace, chiffon, and whether it’s fishtail, boho or princess, simple jewellery will set your dress off perfectly.

This beautiful set from Lace and Favour is the perfect jewellery for any shape and style of dress. It also comes in rose gold and gold if silver isn’t in your colour scheme.


Lace and Favour Belmont Crystal earrings and necklace set


Casual and Boho Wedding Jewellery

Nowadays, more and more brides are choosing to do a wedding on a tighter budget, doing a lot themselves, crafting small items and taking a more informal approach. Your wedding jewellery should demonstrate this too.

You can choose beautiful foot jewellery instead of shoes if you’re having a destination beach wedding. You can have art deco or vintage jewellery to match the boho 20s feel. Choose fun jewellery that isn’t so formal. You might go for a necklace with a coloured, statement flower on it rather than sticking to silver or gold.


Silver, Gold or Something else?

When it comes to choosing your wedding jewellery, you need to think about what suits other people. My bridesmaid dresses have a small jewelled silver detail on the shoulders, so it wouldn’t make sense for them to have a touch of silver, and then me to have gold.

Think about the day as a whole. What colour flowers are you having, and will gold or silver go better with those? For me, there was no option other than silver. It’s always been my favourite jewellery colour and it’s possibly the most popular.


It really is these little details that make a big difference on your day. Not only will you look amazing, but you’ll also feel it which is almost more important.


*Thank you so much to Lace and Favour for gifting me the beautiful earring and necklace set pictured above for my big day. I can’t wait to wear them!

How to Calmly Plan Your Wedding

Planning a party for 150 people when you’ve never even planned one for 20 people before is a big deal. Calmly plan your wedding using these tips and suggestions!

Congratulations on your engagement! Now is for the exciting part: the planning. You’ve got a blank slate, all the suppliers in the world to choose from and a full budget. At first it’s so exciting. But when your florist sells her business, your hairdresser cancels and your vicar announces his retirement you might start to panic (and yes, all of those have happened to me in the last 3 months).


Get organised

I have a wedding folder that is getting larger and larger each month, but without it I’d be lost. It’s where I put any invoices if I’ve paid deposits/the full amount. There’s a lot to remember and things get confusing when you have 15 suppliers. Keep track of what you’ve paid and when to calmly plan your wedding.

To stop you panicking about budget, work out exactly what you can save every month, and how much you’re being given by other family members. You don’t want to run out of budget and have to start applying for credit cards and loans. This will ruin the whole planning process.

Work out your budget and how many people you need to invite. The rest can follow from there.


Keep in touch with your suppliers

Don’t bombard them, but if you have any questions, feel free to email them once they’ve been booked. This kind of contact means they are more likely to remember you and also puts your mind at rest.

Remind them a couple of weeks before an appointment that there is an appointment. I booked my make up trial, and got there only to be greeted by another bride. The MUA had double booked. I’d booked my appointment months before, and the other bride had only booked a couple of weeks before. If you do book something months in advance, phone ahead to remind them and make sure the meeting is still on.


Find all the free tools available to you

You are not the first woman to plan her wedding. There are so many amazing free tools on the internet provided by others who have got married. It’s where I got the template for my budget spreadsheet, where I found some of my suppliers, and also where I got advice. A website such as is full of inspiration, things to buy, planning ideas, local wedding fayres, and even competitions you can enter for free.

Absolutely use this to calmly plan your wedding and help you through those times when you’ve hit a wall.


Do things sooner than you think

I thought organising my bridesmaids dresses in October for the following April was enough notice. But they won’t come in until mid February, leaving not much time for alterations. Always do things sooner than you think.

With items like invitations, it can take a while for you to work out the wording you want. By the time you get them ordered, delivered, put into envelopes and taken to the post office for posting, another two weeks might have gone by. What if there’s a delay or a load of guests don’t receive theirs? Avoid stress by leaving yourself plenty of time.



Calmly plan your wedding with minimal stress using these tips and suggestions!



Header photo credit: Rachel Clarke,

Things to Remember on Your Wedding Day

There’s so much to think about when planning a wedding, but there is a list of important things to remember on your wedding day.

Your wedding is probably going to be one of the best and most exciting days of your entire life.

Of course, that means that it also has the potential to be seriously stressful as well. There’s so much to do and to think about when you’re planning and organising a wedding that trying to stay on top of everything can be pretty overwhelming at times. Believe me, I’m at that stage now. 

There are just so many things that you need to be aware of. It’s hardly surprising that people end up accidentally forgetting about certain small, but pretty crucial details. These are the kinds of things that could easily slip through the cracks, but can end up making the whole day a lot more difficult than it would otherwise be. With that in mind, here are a few things to remember on your wedding day.


How you’re getting there

When people think about their wedding, you think of yourself saying your vows. And why wouldn’t you? After all, that’s the important part of the whole day.

But if you rewind a little bit you need to think about your transport. How are you going to actually get to and from the venue in the first place? Wedding car hire is often pretty simple and easy, as long as you find the right car that suits your wedding theme. However, it’s often incredibly easy to forget about since it’s such a small and seemingly obvious detail.   


Where people will be sitting

One of the great things about a wedding is the way in which it brings different people together who might not otherwise spend any time with each other. Mixing your’s and your partner’s family and friends can be great, but it can also end up causing some tension.

Some people just don’t get along that well, and the last thing you want is to end up sitting people next to each other who don’t get on. Make sure that you create a seating plan that avoids creating any unnecessary tension on your special day.


How long things will take

Let’s be honest, there are parts of your wedding that will just be plain boring for guests. You’ll be busy having photos taken for an hour, whilst your guests wait around, starving, for the meal. You should think carefully about how long each aspect is going to take.

The last thing you want is to run into problems because certain elements of your wedding are taking too long and then you have to rush when you should just be enjoying yourself. Creating a clear schedule well in advance can make life a whole lot easier.


Of course, these are just a few of the things to remember on your wedding day that need to be thought through carefully. The best thing that you can do is to create a clear and detailed list of every single thing that you need in order to make sure that your big day goes off without a hitch.


Consider These Little Details When Planning a Wedding

The little things mean a lot, and this is especially the case when you are planning your big day.

Wedding planning is something that can completely consume your life, from the moment the question is popped all the way through to the day itself.

The difficult thing in planning your perfect day is that you want it to be so perfect that there are going to be things that will go wrong. This is inevitable. But there are some small things that a lot of us do not consider when we are planning our wedding. Consider these little details when planning a wedding before you do anything else!


Guest List Above Anything

Don’t rush into organising things too quickly without sorting your guest list first. Not your venue, or your cake, or anything else!

How can you possibly decide on a venue, when you don’t know how many guests you will have?

The guest list is the thing that determines the other aspects of your wedding. It’s not the most exciting part of planning, especially if you are struggling to decide which aunt you want to invite.

If you’d set your heart on and booked a small cosy venue that houses 60 people, but then invite over 200, how will that work? If you’ve paid a deposit, that’s down the drain, which could be a couple of thousand pounds.

Think very carefully about what type of wedding you want. Close and intimate? Or big and bold? If you want a large wedding, pick a big manor house, marquee or hotel. If you want a small and intimate wedding, pick a boutique hotel or a tipi.

These things also tie in with budget. You can’t invite 200 guests if you have a budget of under £5,000. It’ll be impossible. Work out how much you can spend, or are willing to spend.

So sit down, create your guest list and then look at venues that fit the bill.


Doing It Yourself

It makes a lot of sense to take on wedding planning duties yourself, mainly because it’s cheaper.

Some duties may appear simple at first, such as designing the invitations on your computer and then printing them out to mail off to the invitees. But this is never as easy as you first think.

There can be a lot more hassle to get this one little thing done when there are so many other things that are important. By stressing over DIY invites, you might be losing sight of some of the bigger, more important issues that crop up.

So, for things like invitations, place cards, and little trinkets, is there any point in making them yourself, which will be endless late nights, for them to turn out not quite what you wanted? These little details when planning a wedding can turn into big ones!

You’re better going online and finding companies that do wonderful bespoke designs, and you can find plenty on Etsy, but also invitation design sites like Pure Invitation.

It might work out slightly more expensive, but if it saves you precious time and stress, it’s worth it.


Think About The Worst Case Scenario

Most people don’t want to think about the worst case scenario. So they ignore it!

But, anyone planning a wedding needs to understand that there will very likely be some tiny flaws, maybe now, maybe on the day, or maybe all the way through the wedding planning.

When you hit a problem, it can feel like a big deal. The important thing to do in this instance is to stop, take a deep breath, and think about if these things will matter a few years from now?

Will you look back on your big day, on your one year anniversary, and think about how the table linen was white when it should have been off-white? It’s very unlikely!

And on the other end of the spectrum, if there are extreme worst-case scenarios arising, such as the band not turning up, you need to think about a way around it. Contingency plans need to be thought about, because if you don’t have a backup plan, then you’ve got nothing.

So, if the band doesn’t turn up, have a pre-made CD ready.

If the hairdresser hasn’t done your hair perfectly on the day, can a bridesmaid or guest redo it?

If there are concerns with the weather, is there a backup option to have canapes away from the terrace?

There is always a solution to a problem, so make sure you have one in your back pocket. It’s very unlikely you will need it, but it will make you feel a lot better during the planning process.


Not Assigning Duties For The Day

Everything should run like clockwork on the day/ The order of service, the time of the meal, and everything in between and afterwards should be scheduled in. Your best method, rather than doing it all yourself, is to spread the duties.

You shouldn’t give any duties to yourself. It’s your day, you don’t want the stress. Similarly, don’t assign all duties to one person. That isn’t fair, and they won’t enjoy your day either.

If you make a list of duties, and deal them out between 5 or 6 people. This could be bridesmaids, best men, ushers, etc. It’s better for everyone to have a couple of duties which takes the strain off.


These little details when planning a wedding can turn into big problems if not addressed properly. We think we can organise everything ourselves, but this adds more work. Think about the little things way in advance. And prepare for every situation.