It’s time to start planning your big day! But if the biggest bash you’ve ever thrown was a house party during your uni days, then the thought of organising a wedding extravaganza for your nearest and dearest may well be creating a little bit of rising panic. Well fear not, because we’ve got you covered with our top tips to kickstart your planning and a series of fabulous articles to guide you through pulling off the most incredible wedding celebration.
Start on this page with our top tips on the basics before getting stuck into our expert guides and planning downloads below.
What kind of wedding do you want?
I get it, this is a pretty epic question to face at the start of your wedding planning, but it’s one that’s so worth answering with a bit of digging into who you are as a couple and what’s important to you about your wedding day. So, before you rush into booking your venue, ask yourselves:
Do you see yourselves having a casual or formal day, an intimate affair or lavish celebration?
And what vibe do you both want? Are you more of a city chic or classically elegant kind of couple?
If you’re struggling to pinpoint the type of wedding you want then try getting some inspiration – hit the web, pick up some bridal and fashion magazines, and take a peek at the eight style categories on Coco Wedding Venues to see which venue vibes you’re feeling! You could also look at your home as a style indicator – venues with a similar aesthetic are likely to feel more you.
Getting clear on your overall vision at this early stage will ensure that your wedding is a personal reflection of you as a couple, and ultimately make your decision-making process easier in the long run. Hell yeah to that!
Work out numbers
A simple way to whittle down your options is to start by drawing up a rough guest list and getting an idea of numbers – capacity can suddenly start to rule out certain venues.
If you’re looking for an intimate ceremony for ten people you don’t want to rattle around in a hall fit for 100. Similarly, if you have your heart set on a big, lavish wedding, you can safely rule out venues that can’t accommodate your guest list.
Draw up a budget
Most of your plans will take their lead from your wedding venue, but before you can commit to booking somewhere, you need to know how much you can realistically spend.
Start by making a list of your incomings and outgoings and work out how much you can (and want to) save. If anyone has offered to contribute to your wedding, now is the time to nail down the details! Calculate your total projected savings plus any gifts from family, and you have your big day budget.
Deciding how much of your budget to allocate to your venue is another dilemma, and will depend on a lot of other factors, so you’ll need to start prioritising early. This will mean sitting down as a couple and making some tough calls – which aspects of your wedding are most important? The food, the location, the venue, the music, the décor, the details… What’s essential and what’s just nice to have?
List your venue requirements
With lots of practical considerations, finding the perfect wedding venue is just as much about ticking logistical boxes as it is falling in love with the vibe. So, before you start to shortlist, ask yourselves these questions to narrow your focus and make the whole process easier!
(And once you’re ready to start viewing, check out our run down of the essential questions to ask your venue and top tips to help you get the most out of your venue search.)
That’s a lot to think about, I know, so I feel like now is a good time to give you a gentle reminder that planning your wedding should be a fun and enjoyable experience! If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed by it all, just take a moment to look at the big picture and break everything down into manageable chunks. And take yourselves off for a date night once in a while so you get a break from talking about the wedding!
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