Planning a wedding… how hard can it be?

That’s what most couples think as they excitedly start to plan their big day and for many it is a wonderful time.

For others though, the realization of all the work that is involved can come as a bit of a shock and the joy can be replaced by stress and worry.

Today’s “average” wedding can take 250 hours to organize, that’s over six weeks of full time work!

There are so many elements to think about and as most of the brides will tell you, they want it to be perfect.

As a couple, it is very important to talk about expectations and priorities for the day at the beginning and it is something I advise all my clients to do.

If often teaches an important lesson for marriage too – compromise!

Firstly, most couples focus on finding their perfect venue. You may have your heart set on a castle, a grand stately home or something more understated but one thing that will affect them all is the number of guests you want to invite. It is a good idea to find out what the venue’s maximum and minimum numbers, that way you can tailor your guest list to suit. Then, of course, you need to check availability of the venue, bearing in mind that the most popular venues will be booked one – two years in advance for Saturdays between May and September.

If you decide you would like a civil ceremony make sure the venues you look at hold a civil license and check that the Registrar is available on the date you would like. Or, if your heart is set on a church wedding and you are thinking about getting married outside your local parish, then you will need to find an accommodating vicar who is prepared to allow you on to their parish register. For this you usually need to habitually attend (once a month) for six months. If in doubt talk to the parish priest, they are normally more than happy to help. Depending upon your faith the rules can vary, so it is best to check this out before you commit to a venue.

Then there is all those suppliers to choose from. Which one is the best? Some venues will have a recommended list – be aware, though, that they may not be recommending them because they are great suppliers but because they may get commission from them. You also need to be very aware of your budget when looking at suppliers – you may quickly realize that you have set an unrealistic budget for what you want and they all cost a lot more than you have allowed. Wedding magazines are useful for giving you guidelines on this.

The look and feel of the day is often a high priority for couples and there are a lot of elements to consider. I advise brides to start collecting pictures of flowers, cakes, dresses and colours they like as soon as possible.

As the day draws nearer, everyone involved from the venue to the photographer is going to want to know what is happening and when, so it is a good idea to prepare a timeline for the day. Then, before you know it, the big day has arrived and there is so much to think about – is it all going to happen as you planned?

Doesn’t sound quite as easy now does it? That is why an increasing number of couples are turning to professional wedding planners. A wedding planner doesn’t need to organize the whole day; many can just take on the elements that concern you the most. Whether that is finding the right venue, sourcing a few key suppliers or just being there on the day so that all of your close family can relax, knowing that someone else is going to make sure everything happens as it should. We worry so you don’t have to!

Words by Andrea Swift, Fabulous Day.

Leave a Reply