You’re engaged! The countdown is on and you’re oh so excited! But where do you begin? Which things do you need to do straight away and which can wait? From my experience of planning my wedding there’s a few things I did too early.
When you get engaged it’s so very exciting & I certainly felt like I wanted to do as much as possible as soon as possible but even with 9 months to go there’s some things I wish I’d waited on because I’ve since had second thoughts.
I wish I’d waited to send save the dates. Your guestlist will change, ours certainly has and now that I’m more organised I think it would have been nice to have a stationary theme. I was desperate to start thinking about the guestlist and send the save the dates out and I do love them but I wish we’d waited because we’ve had to reduce our guest list dramatically and relationships can change so much in a year/year and a half. I also wonder now whether save the dates are a bit of an unnecessary expense. If you send your invites out in a reasonable amount of time, are they even needed? anyone who’s important to you will want to know the date in advance anyway!
Leading on from my point about relationships changing, I wish I’d waited to ask my bridesmaids. It’s a tricky one. You want your nearest and dearest to support you in the planning but their real importance is in the build up much closer to the wedding and I wish I’d thought more about logistics on the big day (having eight bridesmaids it’s going to be expensive and time consuming to have everything the way I want!) If I’d given myself more time to think about it, I would have realised that I didn’t have to have everyone as a bridesmaid to show them they were special to me. I also wish I’d thought more about the day and the timings and more than that, I wish I’d thought of more special ways to ask my girls to be by my side.
We got our bridesmaid dresses straight away and I don’t regret that for a second, it helped with the theme of the wedding hugely but I think that’s a personal opinion. I’ve gone for something very classic & neutral but I made one of my bridesmaids try on a lot of styles and colours, so I know I’ve chosen what’s right for me.
One thing that’s important to decide on as soon as possible is the venue. This is really the only big one. Get a date in the diary. Take your time to look around places and don’t be afraid to change your mind (read more about this in “Finding the venue”) It felt very early to be looking around venues, looking in June 2017 for a November 2018 wedding, but I don’t think it was. It gave us lots of choice for the date and meant we had something to aim for. That’s about it.
Your venue will also be able to give you a list of recommended suppliers for the other big decisions you have to make.
A lot of things start to fall into place once you’ve decided on the venue and obviously you have to bear in mind things like the fact that if you’re having a dress made for you it’s advisable to start looking at least 9 months before to leave time for alterations and as everyone will tell you – it’s important to book the people that can’t be in two places at once to avoid disappointment. We were lucky and our venue offers a great caterer and gave us reccomendations for important people such as our decorator and DJ but if you’re having to find these people yourself, you may need to give yourself more time. Personally though, for things like that when you’re just hiring the person and decisions can be made later, I would recommend doing it as soon as possible. Everything else can wait.
You can still be excited about your big day without sending out save the dates and making all the decisions at once (as tempting as it is!) Themes will evolve as you begin to make plans and you don’t want to be in the awkward situation of wanting to get rid of a bridesmaid or not invite someone you sent a save the date to! Nor do you want to waste money on decorations you won’t use or a dress you no longer want to wear (wait for my wedding dress story! I’ve bought three dresses so far… Mum, if you’re reading, don’t worry! I won’t change my mind again!!)
I hope these little tips of mine will help those of you who have just got engaged or are just beginning to wedding plan. I’m by no means an expert, I’m just speaking from my own experience and from the heart. We’re all in this crazy, stressful world together!
Love, Anna xox
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