You're Engaged...What next??
First of all CONGRATULATIONS.
Secondly, give yourselves time to just ENJOY being engaged! If like me, and you have waited over 10 years to hear those 4 magical words, then trust me, you deserve to be spoilt by the ones close to you.
So first things first... A couple of days after the engagement or once the hang over has disappeared, (I promise you, this requires a clear head) sit down with your other half and discuss what it is you want from the day. Again, if you are anything like me, 5 minutes after he proposed you were mentally making lists of everything you needed to do, categorising them in order of importance and then panicking about how much it is all going to cost!
Budget - who is contributing? Are you going to ask for help? If the answer is yes, sit down with everyone and try and formulate a budget.
WARNING: If you are asking for a contribution from your families, they may feel entitled to have more of a say in the wedding planning and who can be invited... So don't say I didn't warn you!
According to Bridesmagazine.co.uk the average amount that their readers spend on their big day is a £30,111. Their break down is below:
Wedding venue: £2,790
Reception venue: £3,919
Attendants' outfits: £436
Mother-of-the-bride outfit: £349
Groom's outfit: £439
Engagement ring: £3,037
Wedding rings: £809
Other wedding jewellery: £176
Gift List: £2,400
If this has brought you out in cold sweats, don't panic, this price is not a definitive number. There are definitely areas where you can cut costs especially if you are happy to do a little DIY!
If you are on a tight budget though, you need to prioritise what aspects of the day are most important to you. Is it the food, music, your guests experience, the dress....? Once you have decided on this it will be a lot easier for you to allocate your budget and see where you can save and where you can splurge.
Next draw up a rough guests list - The way we did it was to separately draw up a list of who we wanted and then we asked our parents to do the same. Then sit together and decide if that Auntie who isn't really an Auntie really needs to come for the full day. We made a point of saying if the people on our parents lists didn't know us as a couple they were not on the list! Once you have a rough estimate on numbers this will help considerably when picking a venue.
wedding dates - Choose potential dates or if you are flexible then the perfect season for you - remember if you have your heart set on a venue you may need to be flexible on this (blog coming soon). It's also worth noting that it's not just the venue which you have to check the availability of, you need to make sure the registrar is free too!
This is also a great time to think about asking the 'chosen' ones to be your bridesmaids / groomsmen - if you fancy it, get creative! notonthehighstreet.com has some great ideas! Make sure you pick wisely, these people are your support network for the coming months. Reliability is key!
There are some great online tools out there to help you budget and plan your big day. I love lists and schedules (and I mean love) so the free wed happy app was perfect for me.
Something New xxx