Planning – the BIG decisions :-)

There are a few BIG decisions that will have a profound effect on your whole wedding – it is important to make your minds up about these before you book things or start spreading the good news.

One of the biggest ones is a combination of your overall wedding ‘vision’, as well as the time of year (and thus length of engagement), feel of wedding (formal/non-traditional/relaxed?) and so much more. For example, when you picture your wedding what do you see: a cool, refreshing summer’s day with strawberries and cream, bunting and the palest of pink peonies? Or do your dreams centre more along the lines of roaring log fires, deep red roses and sparkly icicles? Clearly setting the date is one of the first BIG decisions that you need to make. The season you choose to get married in will not only have an effect on the style of your wedding say but also on the budget and what is available. Summer (the months of June, July and August) are the most popular times of year to get married and as such many venues are able to have higher summer prices, some venues even get booked up years in advance for these popular dates! You may find that you have to be willing to be flexible to get your dream venue on your realistic budget.

The venue will have just as much of an effect on the overall feel of your wedding (and more of an effect on your wedding budget) as the season. When it comes to finding a venue don’t taunt yourself by visiting places that you know are going to be over your budget, instead focus on exploring all the possibilities within your budget – you may be surprised at what you find. If you have a low budget look into local halls (many churches and villages have lovely halls), restaurants and interesting buildings (such as a victorian school building or warehouse space) – some of these can look fantastic with very little effort on your behalf.

The venue may also have an effect on what type of ceremony you have. For example you may want a religious ceremony in a church, chapel or synagogue or prefer a civil wedding ceremony or a ceremony outside. If your venue does not have one of these options on site then you have to consider the fact that guests will need transportation between the two venues. Also if the venue you choose is far away from where many of your friends and family live then think about the fact that you and your guests will need to pay for overnight accomodation which can be very pricey.

Another BIG decision is your guest list and this will ultimately effect every aspect of your wedding. When in this intermediate stage you don’t need to have a finalised guest list but by working out a rough number of family and friends you want to invite you can work out the implications on your other choices. For example you may want to have a sit down meal at your local hotel but if their function room only fits 80 people you aren’t going to be able to have those 200 people on your guest list. Or you may have decided on a gorgeous venue where the price per head for the meal is £35.00 – this is fine if you have a budget of £3,500 and 100 guests but what if your catering budget is half of that?  Mr.I and I decided that we would rather have less guests and a better wedding than try to accomodate hundreds of guests and have to serve substandard food or scrimp on our other priorities. Some people have weddings with less than 30 people, others decided that it is important to them to have 300, whatever you decide you need to be realistic and stick to it!

Once you have made the big decisions you can get down to the fun part – to be honest its these big decisions that can prove extra stressful, particularly when you have family members ‘helpfully’ giving their opinions and subtle reminders that you ‘really should invite great uncle gregg’s cousin twice removed’ – just remember that it is YOUR wedding and you should have the wedding of your dreams whether or not it is what other people want!



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