It’s coming up to almost a year now since Jordan and I got engaged, and I feel as though I have a lot gained a lot of knowledge when it comes to planning your wedding day. I was never one of those girls who knew exactly what they wanted their big day to be like, and I always thought that this traditional view of women was a bit old-fashioned and didn’t take into account what the man wants, as let’s face it, it’s his day too.
I won’t lie and say that planning a wedding hasn’t come without it’s stress; some people are born to plan events, and even though I’m a painfully organised person, there were still points that I found really confusing and a bit stressful, but I think that is only natural when it is such a big occasion and a big chunk of money is involved.
There are definitely ways around it: being organised from the start has helped us upmost, and allowed us to plan the 16 months we were engaged down to a tee, with when payments are due, how much we can save each month, and when to start doing all of the different bits, but you could also hire a wedding planner if you feel your wedding would benefit.
I haven’t been to loads of weddings in the past, but enough to know what felt right to me and Jordan and the routes that we wanted to go down. What I would say is, the more time you give yourself, the easier it all becomes and today I have listed a few of my tips for planning your big day.
When we got engaged, we were amidst a whole host of people who had also thought that around Christmas, which meant that a lot of venues had open days on over the festive period, which was perfect to kick-start our search for the perfect place.
Looking at wedding venues was definitely one of my favourite parts about being engaged. I loved how many different ones that we saw from a barn conversion in York to a manor house in Cheshire; they were all so magical and each offered something unique. I am so happy with the venue that we chose and funnily enough it was the first one that we saw. Make sure you see a range of different ones as I never thought we would get married where we are, which shows that the venues can surprise you.
First things first was deciding what time of year we wanted to get married. We had originally thought that a winter wedding would be beautiful, but after a few logistical reasons, we opted for spring. In hindsight this turned out to be a really good decision for us as it meant more of the summer flowers were in season and more friends we have in Australia could come.
Next came the dress. I started looking at dresses quite early on after only being engaged for a couple of weeks because I had no idea what style would have suited me. Because of the time of year as well, it also meant that a few places had new year sales on which would definitely have helped with the price side of things, as a wedding dress can be a bit of an expensive purchase. What I would say when it comes to the dress is to try on everything because it’ll always be the ones that you never expected that you fall in love with.
Finding a wedding entertainment company that could provide most of the things we needed, but didn’t break the bank turned out to be quite a tough search. There are so many out there that offer some things, but not others, and ones that offered one thing we were after but for a higher price – so it was a bit of a minefield.
I wasn’t sure whether I wanted live music for the longest time, and toyed with the idea of doing a playlist myself and having that playing, but we were also worried that we needed someone to direct people to the dance floor, when it was the cutting of the cake and first dance. We decided to go for a well-known DJ from Manchester in order to build the atmosphere on the day, and I’m really glad we made that decision.
A band is a great way to liven up the party to, or having a silent disco is a new one that I’m seen. Both are really good ways to get people up dancing and having a good time, and the price points can be quite varied so there should be something for every budget.
Jordan and I toyed with the idea for ages about when to go on our honeymoon, and to be honest, we still don’t have a plan 100% set in stone, but as a lover of travel and finding the best deal, I’m not worried that we haven’t booked anything just yet.
Some people make a separate budget when it comes to their honeymoon, as they have something particular in mind that they fancy doing, but for us, as long as we are together, there is amazing food and interesting things to do, I’d be happy going anywhere. One of the things that people have said to me is that if you take your marriage certificate, then people are more likely to upgrade you – bonus!
In the past, people used to jump on a plane as soon as the wedding was over, but I quite like the idea of having something to look forward to later in the year; after all, you’ve spent so long planning the wedding, it would be lovely to have some time to enjoy being married.
For us as well, it didn’t make sense to go straight away as we have people coming from all corners of the world, and I want to spend as much time with them as possible as they have made such an effort to be there. I think it would be absolutely lovely to go away as soon as you’re married, but I think a nice weekend break for the Easter holidays and our honeymoon later in the year will be just right for us.
I hope these points have given you some tips and ideas about planning your own wedding. I know a lot of people say to you when you get engaged that planning a wedding is hard, and it definitely can be, but I have loved every second of it, and knowing that I am going to be a wife to my best friend makes it all worth it.