Guest list, wedding dress, wedding breakfast: the average English wedding has one thousand separate decisions.
The first decisions:
The first decisions you will be making for your wedding will be when and where. What time of year do you want to get married, where do you want to have your wedding ceremony and reception? Do you want a civil ceremony at your reception venue? Will you be having a church ceremony and then head to a reception venue?
First write down some words that you associate on with your wedding on a piece of paper, and ask h2b to do it too, that way you can make sure that you share the same vision. Some of the words I wrote down were when I was thinking about my wedding were happy, bright, sunshine-y, lilac, traditional, luxurious, beautiful, big party, flowers. These were the words I associated with the idea of my wedding. My h2b wrote party, next chapter, party, p**s up, commitment so it’s clear what his priorities were.
Then we set a date. This was another huge decision as we wanted to make sure everyone who wanted to come would be able to come, and we also wanted to make sure that it was affordable. I also wanted sunshine, which in the UK is not a guarantee. After some fairly awful summers, I decided that Easter school holidays would be a good idea. If I wasn’t a teacher, I would have chosen June but I am restricted by the holidays.
Fantastic! The one of the biggest decisions made! Next: guest list. I have posted before that the guest list is THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF THE WEDDING, for me at least! Making a list is easy, making all the people on the list fit in the venue is very difficult!
So now that you’ve chosen your date and you know roughly how many guests you’re going to have it’s time to book venues! Are you having a church wedding or a civil ceremony? Are you having your civil ceremony at the same place as your reception venue or will you be travelling? What time of day would you like to have your wedding? What is your budget?
Unfortunately, the budget comes first. What can you realistically afford to pay? Will anyone be helping you pay for the wedding? Money is a cold hard but realistic part of a wedding and as much as we hate to think about that part, it is important. I have made some free to download spreadsheets to help with the organisation of the budget, but there are also many available on the internet. It’s important to get an idea of how much everything is going to cost so that you know how much you need to save. A lot of my friends have been paying for things as they have come up so a budget sheet can help to keep track of how much you’ve already spent.
Budget sheet set, it’s time to track down some venues! Civil ceremony, church ceremony, reception venue; we’ve all got our own ideas of what we’re looking for and what our budget is going to be, so make some decisions!
- Bride’s wedding dress (or two or three)
- Groom’s suit
- Bridesmaid dresses
- Usher’s suits
- Mother’s suits
- Bride’s transport from where ever she is to the venue
- Do you want to provide transport for your guests?
- What kind of bouquet are you going to have?
- Buttonholes? How many and which flowers?
- Bridesmaid bouquets?
- Flowers for the mothers?
- Hen party
- Stag do
- Gifts for the various people who got involved in your wedding
- A little something extra to add a bit of wow and sparkle to your wedding
Each decision sparks hundreds of other little decisions. On the food alone, we want to offer a choice menu which means we need to make a decision on two starters, three main courses and two deserts! Those are seven separate decisions! Also, what time is the food going to be served? Are speeches going to be done before, after or during the food? Are you going to have a receiving line as this will also change the time of when the food can be served.
Hundreds of other little decisions sparked from one small item. Use a to do list to keep track of everything you need to do and be firm with your decisions. It’s your day and it’s going to be fantastic!