Congratulations, you’re engaged!!!!
I know that’s how I felt once we had to sit down and work out where to start with our own wedding planning!
It can easily go from excitement to overwhelm. With so many wedding suppliers to choose from, tons of wedding inspiration at your finger tips, it’s easy to feel clueless and not know where would be the best place to start!
So with this wedding blog I thought I’d draw on my own wedding experience as well as over 10 years of being a wedding videographer. My top tips that have helped my couples over the years too!
After all, it makes life a little easier if you can get a head start with advice and recommendations during your own wedding planning doesn’t it?
Where To Start – Stress Free Wedding Planning!
What should you start with when it comes to wedding planning?
Well firstly, my best bit of advice is to enjoy it! Make an excuse to have an evening together with a brew (or something stronger) and chat about your wedding ideas together.
Maybe like me you love traditional wedding magazines and looking through physical inspiration? I have a great list of magazines at the bottom of this post!
What Will Your Wedding Look Like?
Are you feeling drawn to rustic barn weddings and hand tied bouquets?
Or maybe grand, historic country houses and perfectly manicured gardens are where you see your wedding day?
Will it be all about how it looks and the little details?
About the guests and ensuring they have a great time?
Creating a wedding experience over a few days, not just the one day?
Or maybe you like the idea of a smaller wedding, even an outdoor elopement just the two of you..?
Not only can it help you work out your wedding ‘style’ but it can also help you get an idea of what style of supplier you’d like.
Are you leaning towards more natural and relaxed vibes for your wedding day?
Or maybe love the more traditional, elegant weddings you’re seeing?
Time To Set A (Flexible) Budget…
A lot of blogs and wedding guides state it’s vital to set your wedding budget first.
I agree, it’s good to have an idea of your finances and how it’ll be spent on all the different parts of your wedding.
However, my best bit of advice is to ensure your wedding budget remains flexible to allow you more freedom when planning your wedding.
Whether you class yourself as having a small budget or a big budget, the flexibility allows you to spend a little more on the things you fall in love with that may not have been a ‘priority’ for an average wedding budget checklist or planner!
I speak from experience as a couple who spent double on their wedding photography and video due to a very low ‘average’ budget we based it on!
Deciding On Guest Numbers and Who To Invite…
The first steps to help you set an ideal budget is working out your numbers.
Not only financially but also guest number wise! Who would you love to invite to your wedding day?
Numbers can not only influence the budget but can also dictate where you can get married as a lot of venues will have guest limits or restrictions depending on the space.
In my experience, try not to people please here and invite who you really want to be there. Not who you ‘think’ should be invited based on family politics or past weddings…
When You’d Like To Get Married…
Be it seasonal or looking ahead 2-3 years to allow you to save more for your wedding budget, it can sometimes be hard to decide when to actually get married.
Do you love the idea of a summer wedding in the Lancashire countryside?
Or maybe a winter wedding in the city with a more urban landscape to play with?
A lot of decisions get based on weather. As an August bride I can confirm in the UK there is no guarantee of good British summer weather (it rained on our August Bank Holiday wedding!). Just as a December wedding may not mean snow!
Having a midweek or winter wedding can sometimes mean better value with some wedding venues too.
A little note to add that if you love the idea of a winter wedding you will lose light earlier so it’s important to consider photographers and videographers who work well with low light. It may look beautifully romantic to our eye but you’ll need skill and experience to capture that in photos or video! Ooh, and you’ll also have more chance of a stunning sunset! Yey.
The Perfect Wedding Venue and Wedding Suppliers…
Once you’ve taken the time to figure out your numbers and what styles you’re drawn to you’ll find you have a better understanding of what type of venue and wedding suppliers you’ll want too.
If you’re still on the search for the perfect wedding venue for you I have a curated a list of the very best wedding venues in the North West to help you find the one for you. Not only are they beautiful wedding venues around Lancashire, Cheshire, Liverpool and the Lakes but they have great reputations and really look after their couples. Read it HERE.
As for styles, for a laid back, rustic wedding it would suit finding suppliers that add to the relaxed vibes too.
So a wedding photographer and videographer who captures a wedding in a natural, un-posed way would work well for a laid back wedding where you want to capture natural moments over anything staged.
A more cinematic or even traditional photographer and videographer may suit your wedding if you’d like something to capture the details and your love story in a really stylish way.
Would you love someone who seems as excited and passionate about your wedding as you are?
Or would you prefer someone who takes a hands off approach?
For many of my couples they tell me it’s about trusting their gut on a lot of things.
They may have the perfect shortlist of wedding suppliers and struggle to narrow it down. Taking the time to find out more about each supplier, how they work with their couples and how they may work with them helps them understand who could be perfect for them and their wedding.
Trusting Your Wedding Instincts When Planning
It’s easy to be led by budget or price with many things, after all we all have a wedding budget to work with.
However, one thing many of us who have gone before have learnt is that it’s important to invest in the things that you’ll want to remember about your day!
So ensuring your heart leads on the decisions that will go on to have a greater value to you after the wedding. Like having your memories in photos and video after the day. Or a bridal bouquet that will look beautiful dried out and inside your home.
For us, we knew early on that food, honeymoon and photography was the most important thing so the budget needed jiggling around to accommodate the suppliers we fell in love with.
Later on however, I realised we may go on to regret not having our wedding filmed and had to make a few last minute adjustments to make that work for us too.
Keeping your budget a little fluid allows for movement. Trust those instincts on what’s worth investing a little more in when the time comes!
My couples tell me they love stalking…sorry, I mean following their favourite short list of wedding suppliers on the likes of Instagram first.
For those that share to their stories and a little behind the scenes it really helps them get a feel for them as a person as well as a wedding supplier!
You may also spot some of your favourites collaborating and working together too. Below was an incredible shoot for the front cover of the latest Little White Books Magazine…
Prioritise Your Wedding Must Haves and Would Like to Haves.
So this is where lists come in handy! I LOVE a list, especially when wedding planning!
Make a date to enjoy a night together working out what is important to you as a couple.
Think post wedding, what things will have meant the most to you?
What would you like to remember from your wedding day?
Is it things to keep and help you remember your big day?
How things looked during the wedding?
The rings? Photos and Video? Decorations?
Is it things to wow your wedding guests? Entertainment? Amazing food?
Having your list written down to compare and look back over during your planning can really help you with a ‘plan of action’ and a proper tick list to keep your wedding planning fun and prioritised!
Getting Wedding Supplier Recommendations
It can be really hard to know where to start wedding planning if you’re completely new to it.
You’ll be pleased to know the wedding world is a really friendly and helpful place. Many wedding suppliers LOVE sharing their own trusted tips, advice and recommendations to help take away some of the overwhelm that can come with wedding planning!
If you have friends and family who have been married and have suppliers they would love to rave about it’s always worth reaching out so you can take a look for yourself.
If you’ve already booked some of your favourite wedding suppliers I’d encourage you to reach out to them too to get other talented wedding supplier recommendations.
They may have people they think will be perfect for you, suppliers they love working with, and you could end up with your very own dream team of wedding suppliers without the overwhelm of trying to start from scratch researching yourself!
If however you feel they’re not ‘the ones’ for you, that’s okay too. It’s a good starting block to work out what you do and don’t like!
Wedding Planning Do’s and Don’ts….
There’s no right and wrong, only working out what’s right for you! Honestly! Take your time and have fun. Trust that doing the proper research and enjoying the process will mean you’ll find the things that you want to invest in for your wedding.
I hope this wedding planning blog has helped you rid the overwhelm and create a list to get you started on your wedding planning journey.
If you’d love even more wedding planning ideas or wedding supplier recommendations I’ve curated an list of epic blogs, websites and even good old paper magazines that you will love.
Below I’ve listed a few of my favourite places for inspiration to get you started.
There are SO many different styles of blogs here so it will help you quickly spot what you love and would love to inspire your own wedding planning…
Inspiring Wedding Blogs
Love My Dress
Rock My Wedding
English Wedding Blog
Rock n Roll Bride
So You’re Getting Married
Whimsical Wonderland Weddings
Brides Up North
Love Gets Sweeter (obv)
Plans and Presents
Bridal Chic in the City
The Liverpool Wedding Blog
Before The Big Day
Helpful Wedding Directories and Planners
The ‘Traditional’ Wedding Magazine
Every day gorgeous inspiration…
If you head over to my page Love Gets Sweeter Weddings you can see plenty of inspiration on my feed but also feel free to stalk who I’m following too!
Has all that got you excited to get started?
Find Out More About Me
Wedding Videographer based in Lancashire
Find Out If I’m Free For Your Date
I would love to hear more about your wedding plans so far!
See More On The Wedding Blog
See more Real Weddings, Planning Ideas and Inspiration on the blog!