Something sparkly under the Christmas tree or did one of you get down on one knee over the New Year celebrations?
Congratulations! Festive and New Year engagements are wonderful and the most exciting way to start the New Year is by taking the first steps towards planning your wedding. Whether you’ve done it before or not makes no difference. This is your love story, your life together and your very special day beckons. But where to start?
First steps …
Your ring is sparkly and bright and a constant reminder of the exciting time ahead and a beautiful symbol of the hope for your long lives together. You’ll have taken some snaps and selfies. You’ll have made your announcement to your family and closest friends and perhaps on social media.
If you’d like to live in the moment of your engagement a little longer before making plans how about an engagement shoot? A photographer will happily arrange to meet you in one of your favourite places and capture some special moments between you and this can also be a useful way of getting to know the photographer who will, after all, play such a big part in your wedding day. Building that relationship with your wedding photographer helps them understand you both and start to build a picture (see what we did there?!) of what you’re hoping for from your wedding photography.
Next steps …
It isn’t only your wedding photographer who will play such an integral part in your big day. Each and every one of your wedding suppliers will come together to create what will be one of the most memorable 24 hours of your life. Setting your date as early as possible to ensure that the suppliers you want to be part of your big day are available is so, so important. There might be a date that means something to you, such as the date you first met, the date of your engagement or a special family date that brings other memories.
You’ll only be able to set your date once you’ve decided on a venue and found out if that venue is available on your big day. There are some amazing wedding venues in the South East and the Home Counties and it’s worth sitting together and brainstorming what sort of venue would suit you. Are you after a slick hotel wedding? A more fluid, relaxed affair … in a field or an outdoor venue? A castle? A registry office? A country house? Working out what venue style says ‘you’ is the first step to setting your date and booking it in.
Moving forward …
Once you’ve decided on your venue focus on your main wedding suppliers. A budget checklist can be helpful at this stage and then smaller, finishing touches can be those that you spend time on later – especially if your wedding is 12 to 18 months away – but the suppliers who most couples will view as essential will get booked up well in advance.
Wedding fairs are a great way to meet a good range of suppliers all under one roof and soak up the atmosphere with a glass of bubbly, sampling cake as you go! Florist, venue stylist, photographer, wedding cake and DJ all need ticking off as quickly as possible as there will only be so many bookings they can take.
Visiting a wedding fair, if you’ve not done so before, can be a bit daunting but the suppliers are all there to meet you and find out if they can help you. Not all suppliers will be for every couple – it’s all about finding suppliers who click with you both, who you can get excited about your wedding with and feel that they’ll listen to your visions and hopes and truly care about your wedding. If you can smile and laugh with a supplier you’re onto a winner … you’ll then be smiling and laughing all day on your special date.
Use your mobile phone to help you remember the stands you visit and the names of the suppliers. You might get given a goodie bag with cards in but by the time you get home you probably won’t remember who was who. Take pictures of the stand, anything in particular that you love about the supplier’s offering and maybe make a few notes when you sit down for a coffee. Many suppliers will do show offers so ask if there’s anything that is an added extra if you book or make a commitment to book within a certain timescale.
Enjoying the planning …
Once you’ve got your main suppliers booked in you can actually start thinking hard about how you want your wedding to feel, look, sound and … taste.
Your carefully selected suppliers will help you with all of this. Your venue stylists will encourage you to think colours, styles and themes to set the scene. Building Pinterest boards and screenshotting what will then go to building up the style for your wedding day is an exciting part of wedding planning. These can then be shared with florists who will help you with discussions about seasonal flowers. You’ll have an initial meeting with your photographer and a one to one with your wedding cake designer to tie in the cake to your theme, colours and style. Your DJ will be keen to meet and discuss ceremony music, must have and must NOT have tracks and that all important first dance.
Planning a wedding should be fun and not stressful. At Diamond Circle Weddings, venue stylists throughout the South-East; London and the Home Counties we pride ourselves on the support that we give our couples, not just with their venue styling but an ear to bounce ideas off and troubleshooting in advance so that you are happy and confident that all will go swimmingly on your big day.