So it has now been almost two months since we got engaged, not sure where that time has gone? I definitely don’t want to be the kind of girl who talks about it non stop, however I am the kind of person who loves following peoples planning journeys, I was like this even before we got engaged! So, I thought I would share our own little journey, mainly for me to look back on, but also in the case of someone else being a interested!
When we first got engaged we both said that we wanted it to be as chilled and as fun of a process as possible, neither of us want it to be stressful or be wishing for it to be over. We have both always known what time of year we wanted to get married, this had been discussed even before we were engaged and as I am studying at the moment, we knew it wouldn’t be a 2020 wedding having got engaged December 2019, so both felt we could have a few months of just enjoying that engagement bubble and not really deciding on anything yet!
Oh how we were wrong… when we first saw any of our families after getting back from Paris we were actually all together as I had planned for them all to come over for a Christmas get together (good timing, Matthew) and both of our Mum’s mentioned that we should actually think about looking at venues even though we knew it would be 2021 as with weddings people do book in advance, and they were definitely right!
So, so far we have a venue and a photographer! We actually only ended up looking at one venue. Again, we both had our hearts set on the venue we have chosen before even being engaged. So I contacted the venue to book a viewing and also contacted the Reverend of the church as it is really important to both of us that we marry in a church. Before going to the venue we also wrote a rough guest list to get an estimate on the number of guests we would have as this does make a difference to costs.
We went to view it once just the two of us, and this gave us an opportunity to ask all the questions and really get a feel for imagining our wedding day here. When we left Matthew said it was almost too nice, as we honestly could not find one single fault with it, which was definitely a good sign! Before booking we decided to scour the internet for any other venues, just incase. And we also decided to take both of our parents to have a look around as their opinion really matters to us and they know us really well. We also thought they may pick up on anything we may not have thought of. Needless to say they absolutely loved it too and could see exactly why we had fallen in love with the venue.
So we ended up booking the only venue we had viewed! But trust me when I say I had read countless wedding brochures and scoured the internet for hours upon hours before we completely trusted that there really was no other venue or area of the country that we wanted to get married. So venue booked!!
The second and only other thing we have booked at this point, is the photographer. One of my lovely school friends got married last July and I was in awe of the photos the moment I saw them and knew that if I was ever lucky enough to get married I would love to have the same photographer. Matthew was in agreement after I had shown him her work and we had had a look at different photographers online. We also both really liked the fact that I had had met her previously, so know how lovely she is. With a while to go I thought that I was being super organised in contacting her very early, but actually it turns out that that little push from both our Mums to think about getting stuff organised sooner rather than later was necessary as our photographer is already almost booked up for 2021, glad we got in there when we did! And just proves how good she is! Click to view our photographers instagram and website.
So now we have two of the main things booked, we feel SO excited for the rest of the planning and for the countdown. We have really enjoyed the excitement of organising just those two elements and cannot wait to get really stuck in to the next phases of planning.
I think the next step for us is booking a caterer, as we have the choice of caterers rather than an in house caterer at our venue. I am really excited for this part, as we both absolutely love food so it is quite an important part of our day. Besides this, I think we will take a bit of step back and just book things as and when we feel necessary or things crop up.
Get a notebook/planner
Straight away my Mum bought Matthew and I each a dedicated notebook so that we could keep them forever and be able to look back at all the little notes and thoughts we had and jotted down throughout the process. She says she still has a little box of when my parents planned their wedding and I think it is so lovely that these memories can last forever. Besides the memories, it really is a good way of just getting all your thoughts and ideas out and not forgetting any ideas you may have. There really is a lot to think about when planning a wedding, so having one place where all the info is kept together is really useful.
Set a budget
Finally, having a clear budget from the outset and what you expect to spend on each aspect really helps when researching to book suppliers and so on. Without that, you could honestly spend an endless amount and never stop. This way it keeps things realistic and ensures no overspending. We have an excel spreadsheet, sounds a bit extra, but it is helping to wrap our hands around the overall cost already and where we plan to spend our money. You can find a lot out about average costs of each aspect through a simple google!
Chat to friends and family
Sounds so obvious but I have found it really useful just chatting about it. Obviously I am very conscious about not going on and on about it to the point that people just want the event to be over and done with, ha! But actually going over your thoughts and ideas to friends and family gives fresh perspectives and ideas you hadn’t even thought of yet. I am careful about not giving too much away as well, but I think one of the nicest parts of the process is the excitement that friends and family share with you anyway, so it is definitely lovely to have people who are showing an interest and ask questions.
Another thing that I feel so grateful for is being engaged to someone who cares about it just as much as me. I never wanted this wedding to be all about the bride, but more about the reason for this whole process, which is ultimately that Matthew and I want to marry each other. Yes, it is a great excuse for a huge party and I am SO excited to get all of our family and friends together in one room, but no matter what the end result will effectively be the same and I am glad we are both adamant we won’t lose sight of that!
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