What We've Learnt In A Couple Of Weeks Wedding PlanningTuesday, January 12, 2016
Over Christmas, Henry and I finally sat down in the midst of Christmas films and sweet wrappers around us that it may be time to start planning our wedding. When we got engaged back in August, we'd decided (well Henry had sensibly said this whilst I sulked) that we put off wedding planning till we'd moved back to our hometown. That was way more important and once we'd settled then could we start looking at things for our big day. So with the move over, and us slightly more settled, it was a case of then looking at each other with a look of 'what now?'
I have had a lot of requests to blog/vlog our wedding planning, and that I have decided to do. I think it's nice to look back on, and so far I've vlogged us looking at venues and talking about them, and then I'll add in a little bit about our plans before uploading it, but today I thought I'd write about the general issues of when you first start looking at planning your wedding and some stuff we've learnt already in this short time.
Work Out Your Numbers:It seems that the number one advice you are given when to start wedding planning is to pick a venue, however before that I would totally recommend making a draft guest list just so you get an idea of numbers, and then think about what type of wedding you want. We made a guest list so we had an idea of numbers, it's not a definite list, but every venue we've been to so far, like to do you a bespoke quote, so want to know an estimate of how many guests you'll have. We've also only looked at venues so far that we know will fit within our theme of our wedding. Theme wise, we knew that we didn't want anything too traditional, we want it to be different and unique. We're not traditional people, we don't like fancy food, or anything really formal and your wedding day has to suit and represent you.
Google Is Your Best Pal: I don't know how people planned weddings without Google y'know, it's been my best mate along with Pinterest for finding answers to wedding related queries. It's been great for finding venues, I have been searching with words like 'pretty wedding venues in (location' 'unqiue wedding venues' etc... this has helped to narrow down results so we could go look round places. We've looked at four different venues so far, and each one was completely different. I've also scoured through wedding blogs for weddings in our area to see if I could find any cool venues, and also on Facebook too. It's also worth asking people you know, as sometimes some wedding venues are known through word of mouth. So this weekend we looked round four venues, each were beautiful and each would hold an amazing wedding, but we're not sure if we've found 'the one' yet.
Working Out Your Budget Is Essential: We had a ballpark figure of what we could spend, then we started to look round venues and we were almost hitting that figure instantly. It's given us a bit of a shock and now we're going to go back to the drawing board to see what we REALLY want for the wedding day. Venue wise so far we have one possibility, a pretty village hall and field which is on our maybe list. This would be great for a budget idea, and could be decorated very prettily. We're not 100% sure yet if this is the route we want to go down, but it's on the list for sure, we need to check if this is something we could do and if we could rope enough people to help us with the decorating/clearing up.
We thought we'd found the venue this weekend, it was a gorgeous big house which you hire for the whole weekend. It was what dreams were made of, we kept mouthing WOW at each other whenever we went into another room. I was besotted. But we sat down and thought about it, and it was ultimately at the top of our budget. We worked out exactly how much we'd need to save each month just for the venue and marquee (not even thinking about food/drink and the rest) and it was just too much money. We could stretch ourselves and not have a life, but is it really worth it? I know I'd be stressing about paying it off rather than looking forward to getting married. You have to be sensible sometimes and we've learnt that pretty quickly.
You Will Feel Like Everyone Else Is Planning Their Dream Wedding: When we decided to say no to the dream venue, I felt sad, because I feel that everyone else I know who's got engaged are able to just start planning their wedding straight away. It's like everyone else has got their life sorted, and I feel we're counting pennies wondering how the hell we're going to have this dream wedding (cause you want the day to be perfect and fit what you're got in your head) when we don't have a lot of money. It's tough, and you feel like you're a failure cause you're struggling. We have a lot going on right now, Henry's changing careers, we're only in our house temporarily, we want to buy a house, everything is up in the air and it's scary. But when you think about it, it's like most things in social media, you never know what's going on behind the scenes. You don't know who's paying for the wedding, or what's going on.You just focus on you.
If you do feel like I do, that everyone else is planning weddings and has everything sorted and you're the only couple who doesn't- do not worry. I'm in the same boat and I'm sure a lot of other people are too. We will all get there, whether it's next year or the year after, whether we DIY our wedding, or not, we will all have a perfect wedding that we will look back on and cherish for years to come. Do not stress (this is me talking to myself right now too) Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will our weddings. Okay? :)
You Will Forget What It's All About: You get stressed thinking about will everyone have a great time, will this be the greatest wedding of all? The answer is yes it will be, it doesn't matter where it is, it will be a great day. When I felt a bit sad about what we could afford and what we could have for the wedding, Henry turned to me and said ' at the end of the day, all that matters is that you're there.' And he's so right, it only matters that we're together getting married, becoming the united team that we want to be, it doesn't matter about having a luxurious house to stay in for the weekend, or that we can't have a three course wedding breakfast. That stuff is irrelevant and I think it's very easy to get wrapped up in wedding mania.
Don't Think Too Much About Everyone Else: It's very easy to think about will this please everyone? How will people get home? Will Grandma like this food? The thing is, it's one day. It's a wedding and people will get around things, after all they are all adults. They're not there for the food/drink (well maybe some people are) but the majority are there for your wedding. So stop thinking of everyone else and think of the two of you and what you both want. We have been way too guilty of doing this, we decided that ultimately like most things in life, you can't please everyone. You obviously have to keep in mind certain things that people will need/want, but don't base every decision on everyone else. After all it's YOUR wedding day at the end of the day, and it will be a great day. We have decided that the most important thing is that we love each other and we're getting married, everything else is regardless.
So this is where we're at with wedding planning right now. This weekend we are going to make a list of things that we want at the wedding and go through the exact costs. After having a bit of a shock looking at venues and then adding up all the costs, this will give us a better idea of what we can afford. Also just a long shot, but anyone knows of any pretty/unique wedding venues in Shropshire that aren't a small fortune please let me know! We want to have a really special day, that we will remember for years to come and represents both of our personalities and love for each other. But I am sure that we will get there, we don't have to plan the wedding RIGHT NOW, we still have plenty of time.
I'll be doing some blog posts soon about some of our inspiration at the moment for our wedding, and let me know if there's any other blog posts you'd like to see! :)
But that is what's going on right now inside my wedding planning head, it didn't even cross my mind before how many things there are to consider and just how expensive everything is. But I am sure that we will get there, and we will have the perfect wedding whether we're on a budget or win the lottery.
I also just wanted to write this post, because sometimes I feel like the only bride to be who has obstacles with their wedding planning, if you feel like this too, don't feel alone. We've got this.
Do you have any wedding planning advice?
* Just a little note- I know that I am incredibly lucky to be engaged and to be planning our wedding and I hope that it doesn't come across that I don't know this, this is just a little post on some things we have learnt so far and even though there have been a couple of teeny tiny hiccups, we've enjoyed every minute so far :) I think it's unrealistic to enjoy every part of it and not find any of it stressful, so just wanted to say that in case this post makes me sound a bit like a bridezilla haha. I always get super paranoid about how your words can come across, so just wanted to add this little note as I'm a paranoid Patricia.