If you’re planning a Wedding in Brighton, we want to help! We’ve combined our vast experience of weddings to give you some tips for the very early stages of planning a wedding, where do you start, what do you do when, and how do you make your dreams become a reality?
Make the announcement.
Some couples just don’t feel right if anyone knows their big news before their parents and other close family members do. If possible, tell both sets of folks in person. If your parents don’t live nearby, put in a special phone call. After telling your folks, it’s time to tell everyone! Most of the time people do this on social media, and you can really have some fun with it, but in the past they would send out cards, or even make an announcement in the paper!
Delve into your dreams.
Sit down with your fiancé and discuss your ideas. Think about the style you’d like, whether it’s a beach bash, a sit-down dinner in a ballroom or a ceremony on a mountaintop. Do not talk about money yet, theres plenty of time for that in the future! Enjoy this stage!!
Rough out the timescale.
While you don’t have to set a firm date at the moment, it’s smart to have an idea of what month or season you want to marry in. Then you’ll know how long you have to get things organized. Because your wedding’s size determines where you’ll hold the party, how much it will cost (prices usually rise per guest, along with the season & day of week) and whether travel will be involved, creating a guest list is one of the most important things to do. So make your list; your fiancé and both families should do the same. You can, and likely will, cut later, but this first number will be your base.
Now talk money (eek!)
It’s rare these days that the bride’s parents pick up the whole bill, so decide on your bottom line. Find out from both sets of parents if or how much they can contribute. Work out how much you would be comfortable spending (theres a difference between what you can spend, and what you feel is ok to spend!), both with & without parent/family contributions.
Buy a notebook and separate it into sections for each budget category. This way you can write down the amount you want to spend on the item and then note your expenditures. As you near your limits, you can start to figure out ways to cut costs.
Ceremony – who and where?
Finding an officiant and a ceremony site can be simple — if, say, you wish to marry in your hometown’s church/place of worship, Even if you’re no longer living in the area, you may have family who still are and can help out. Alternatively you may want a simpler affair in a non-traditional setting, or a dedicated wedding venue in which case, you’ll need a registrar – we love the registrars from Brighton Town Hall – they’re always helpful and genuinely care about their couples!
If you want to go the registrar route, you find a venue first to get a date, then discuss with the local registry office to make sure theres a registrar available to perform the legal bit!
Sometimes for the sake of convenience, couples choose a place that’s in between their homes and their parents’ – but when thinking about the location of the wedding; just make sure that everyone you really want to join you and your groom can afford to travel and is able to make it.
The reception venue
Think again about those wedding dreams, and see how they mesh with reality. Perhaps you envision an outdoor garden wedding. Fine, but what if you can’t find just the right place or the weather is an issue? Maybe there’s a quaint hotel (Brighton has some fabulous hotels!) with a pretty courtyard that would suit. Some couples find historic homes in their area to rent. Use local resources to narrow down options: a wedding planner or a recently married friend. Check wedding websites and bridal magazines. Then start scheduling visits.
This should get you upto the stage where you start to decide on the finer details. Up next you’ll want to look into photographers, save the dates, dresses, hair and makeup, your band or DJ, wedding cars, invites, videographers and so much more! But we’ll have more on those in a later post!
We hope this helps with the beginning stages of planning a wedding, a journey that is both stressful and fun – we’ll be adding to this in the future, as well as creating new posts looking in detail at each and every stage!