First of all, CONGRATULATIONS! You’re about to set off on a journey you will remember for the rest of your life! Now the work really begins, and to make sure you and your groom-to-be have the wedding of your dreams, it’s a good idea to start thinking about some of the basics as soon as you reasonably can.
Here are the 10 most important things you need to do to really kick off your wedding planning.
1. If you haven’t already: Tell your parents first
Before you update your Facebook status to ‘engaged’ and post a ring selfie, remember to get straight on the phone to your Mum and Dad. Telling them first will mean everything to them.
Unless you want to get married right away, there’s no need to rush. Simply savor the bliss of engagement. Enjoy a date night with your husband-to-be and go out for bubbles with your girlfriends – they will want to know all the details!
3. Insure Your Ring
Whilst the natural thing to do is to never want to part with it, if something happened to it you’d never forgive yourself. So get it insured! Talk to an insurance company about coverage in case your ring or its stones ever need to be repaired or replaced. You might be able to add it to your contents insurance.
And, if it needs resizing, it’s best to do it now: otherwise you’ll panic about it slipping off your finger for weeks.
4. How are your hands? Get a manicure to show off your sparkler!
Your hands will be in the spotlight for the next couple of weeks – take a look now, what do they look like? In need of a moisturise and mani? Get yourself booked in!
Stuck on the right colour to really make your sparkler gleam? Keep it simple with a glossy nude polish if your ring has coloured stones. Or, if you’re a diamonds-only girl, off-set it with classic red nails or even a darker burgundy hue.
5. Set a Date – even if it’s not the date
The minute you get engaged, everyone will be asking for your wedding date. You won’t be able to set an exact date until you have made other big decisions (like finding your venue) so start with determining a range of dates that’ll work for you.
Do you see yourself as a summer bride or are you dreaming of a winter celebration with all the trimmings? The season will not only dictate the style of wedding you have, it will also have an effect on what is available. Summer is still the most popular time to get married and some venues are likely to be booked up several years in advance. If you do have a particular place in mind, you might have to be flexible and consider marrying at a different time of year, but the sooner you figure this out, the phone calls can be made and you can find out if your dream venue is available when you want it.
6. What’s your wedding budget?
It’s very easy to get carried away when planning your dream wedding, and before you know it you’ve spent a small fortune. Before you commit yourself to anything, sit down with your fiancé and work out what you can afford to spend, what your priorities are and where you could cut costs if necessary. If either set of parents is contributing, it makes sense to involve them in the discussions too from an early stage. It can be an uncomfortable conversation, but it’s better to get it out of the way now.
Wedding costs can quickly escalate, so it really is important that you keep track of your costs and quotes, if you over spend in a certain area (which is fine) it’s key to know where you can trim some costs of the plan.
7. Who’s making the cut? Draft a guest list.
You don’t need to have the names finalised but it does make sense to work out exactly how many friends and family you want to invite. The size of your guest list has a huge impact on where you can marry and how much it will cost (thinking per head costs for food and the bar!) If you’ve set your heart on tying the knot in the local village church near your parents’ home but it only holds 50, you’re going to have a re-think if a rough add up of guests is nearing 150.
Likewise your choice of reception venue and the type of function you have will be determined by the number of guests – a sit-down do at your favourite hotel might be perfect for 80, but with a cocktails-and-canapés party it might accommodate 120.
8. Choose your Wedding Party
How many do bridesmaids and groomsmen do each of you want? And are odd numbers OK or is even numbers on each side a must for you or your fiance? Decide on your bridesmaid and ask them to be part of your big day – remember, the earlier you ask, the sooner you can enlist their help.
9. Book a Venue
Your reception venue will set the tone for the type of wedding you will be having as well as a be the backdrop to most of your wedding photos. The venue will effect your budget, guest list and catering.
Before you book make sure to visit the venue, go through the menu (even if it’s not the final) and make sure you know exactly what is included in your final price. Shop around and visit other venues to make sure you are getting exactly what you want. Once the venue is booked you have your official wedding date!
10. Start looking at wedding dresses (yay!)
Set up a wedding dress Pinterest board, look through bridal magazines and do your research.
Before you even try on a dress, think about what sort of bride you would like to be and the venue where you are getting married. Think about the moment when you walk across the dance floor for the first time with your now husband and think about how you would like to be remembered. What is your dress saying about you?
Would you like to be remembered as a sensual bride or a demure bride, a traditional or a modern bride? Once you know the appeal of the dress it is much easier finding the right one.
Read Caroline’s tips on finding your designer wedding gown here>
Why not come and see us? We would love to help find you the perfect dress for you big day! Book your appointment for our Knightbridge flagship store here>