How to plan your wedding – a simple guide for couples

Helpful Guides

To many it’s a daunting task, but planning a wedding doesn’t need to be an onerous one! Your wedding should be a celebration of you as a couple, your union and the coming together of your friends and family. In this article, wedding planner Michelle Miles from Fusion Live Events takes us through a simple guide on how to plan your wedding and take the stress away from everything!

Enjoy being engaged!

First of all, you’ve just got engaged, shout about it! Celebrate with friends and family, plan romantic trips and enjoy being together. Being an engaged couple doesn’t last forever so live in the moment. One of the most important elements to consider when thinking about how to plan a wedding is how you will get on with each other! Celebrating every step of being engaged will help you to enjoy the process much more.

Rule #2 of how to plan a wedding – write it down…

Buy a planner/wedding notebook. I know it sounds obvious, but having one place that you can write everything down, is a must. If you prefer to use a digital list then you can, but personally, and what I always recommend is, a physical book planner. You can take it with you to meetings with suppliers and save and stick in samples.

Sit down with a glass of your favourite tipple and think about how you want your wedding to look and feel. When I’m working with a couple I go through a detailed questionnaire, asking them about who they are individually, as a couple and what floats their boat. Do you want your wedding to be romantic, fun, boho. Think about the words that would describe your day.

Set the date

Before setting a date you first need to think about the time of year you’d like to get married. The four seasons bring different pros and cons, and some seasons will suit you as a couple more than others. Think about what you want from your day, do you want an outdoor ceremony? Or spend the night dancing away under the stars? The season you choose can heavily influence the style of wedding dress that you want to choose for example so this is an important step when thinking about how to plan your wedding.

Once you’ve decided on a season, look at the months within it and narrow it down further. Are there any bank holidays? Is there one month that stands out? Then think about what day(s) you’d like your wedding. A weekend or weekday?

It’s always best to have a couple of date options, as when looking for venues, if you have some flexibility you’re more likely to get your preferred one.

If you need some help working out which season might be the right one for you, pop over to my latest article on finding the right season for you to get married

How to plan your wedding without stress – get budgeting!

It’s now time to think about the finances. It can be confusing and the costs overwhelming. It’s important to sit down together and have an honest conversation about what you want to spend on your wedding. It is also important to understand over what period of time you’ll spend it.

Create a supplier schedule while your budget, so once you start to talk to suppliers you can build a payment timeline so that you know what needs to be paid and when.

Include a contingency fund! As in life, expect the unexpected. We advise couples to try to build in an additional 5-10% just in case fund. If it’s not used, then put it towards an even better honeymoon or 1st anniversary holiday!

In most cases your budget will form many of your decisions and allow you to start your venue and supplier search.

Who are you going to invite?

Next on the list is the guests… who are you going to invite and what role will they have in the wedding? Start with the immediate wedding party first and foremost. Then close family members and friends, then other friends, work colleagues etc. 

Weddings come in all shapes, sizes and durations. And although the average number of guests attending a wedding was 80 (in 2019), smaller weddings are becoming more popular. Partly of course due to the imposed coronavirus restrictions which looks to affect weddings in 2021 (and even beyond). An important aspect on how to plan your wedding effectively is planning any modifications that may be needed.

What type of ceremony would you like?

In the UK there are lots of options for choosing the right ceremony, and they vary between nations.

In England, a wedding ceremony must take place at in a licensed space, in a registered location. You can’t just get legally married anywhere. If you’re looking to have a civil ceremony, you have two options.

1 – Get married in your local registry office, which is often the more affordable option, but depending on your location, it might not be the most romantic of places.

2 – A venue with a licensed ceremony room. The benefit of a venue is that you can often have the wedding reception in the same place, meaning you and you don’t need to travel between venues on the day.

You can also have a wedding ceremony, in a religious registered building. Not all religious buildings will hold a wedding license, so it’s always worth checking! If they don’t hold a license you could have a civil ceremony first, and then a blessing.

If you’d like to have a celebrant led ceremony, this can take place in a venue of your choice (indoors or out) but it wouldn’t be a legal ceremony. You’ll need to have your legal ceremony either before or after at a licensed location. 

#Essential for how to plan your wedding – research your wedding suppliers carefully!

Now you know your ideal dates, budget and guest numbers you can start researching your key suppliers.

Start with the venue as this will determine what other suppliers you’ll need. For example, many venues have in-house catering.  The will also have a preferred supplier list that can help you look for local suppliers that have worked at the venue before. Be aware though, that suppliers recommended by venues often pay the venue to be part of their list. That can mean that they aren’t always the best supplier for you.  

With something as important as your wedding dress, it is important to factor in getting the right vibe from your bridal boutique. Sarah and the team at Ivory & Lace give 5 star service to every bride and have a gorgeous range of dresses available.

Want to know the key secret on how to plan your wedding without the stress? Get help and support!

Although a wedding is all about you, no couples plans their wedding alone, they get help. And there is lots of help available depending on your needs: Professionals, trusted website and inspiration guides, and friends and family that have been through the planning process.

If you’re a busy person, don’t know where to start, or need some advice and guidance, think about hiring a professional wedding planner.  They are experienced and have a wealth of knowledge covering all aspects of the planning process. As an experienced wedding planning service , we love talking about all things wedding and would love to hear your story. Get in touch today, and we can arrange a free consultation.

Michelle Miles is a leading wedding planner based in the Home Counties and surrounding areas. Specialising in creating ethical and sustainable weddings, Michelle will help you to bring your dream wedding day to life – and will support you when you are considering how to plan your wedding day! Check out her website for more information and to get in touch

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