Ultimate guide to planning your wedding
2 MIN READ
Sara Kennedy, the creator of Irish Wedding Blog, is one of Ireland’s leading wedding bloggers.
With over 15 years of wedding experience, she has worked for some of Ireland’s leading venues and won many prestigious awards.
7 tips to get your wedding planning started
Weddings come with so many different challenges that the question that hits most couples upfront is ‘where do we start?’
This is where Sara’s experience can make a difference. ‘I have broken down each of the items that couples need to organise in the guide,’ she says. Here are her top 7 tips to get you started.
1 Create your spreadsheet
Sara advises couples to create a spreadsheet to keep their budget under control right from the start and includes a sample template in her guide.
She then suggests that couples add to the spreadsheet as the planning progresses.
‘When it’s time to agree your potential guest list, set up an additional tab on your budget spreadsheet,’ she says.
‘You can update it again with the guests’ addresses, whether they have confirmed or not and what gifts they give you.’
2 Bring together your ideas and inspiration
Sara suggests logging all your inspirations and ideas on a Pinterest board so that you have all the images you need in one place so you can brief suppliers.
‘It is so handy when you go for make-up and hair trials,’ she says. It ensures that everything you choose, from flowers to table decorations, fit with your overall look and feel.
3 Agree the date
What time of year do you have in mind? What day of the week? ‘It’s important to a have a rough idea of what time of year you’d like,’ says Sara.
‘You may find price differences between peak times of year and the less popular winter months outside of the Christmas period.’
‘If you are open to a mid-week wedding, you might be able to reduce costs. However, for some couples the day and date are absolutely fixed and they might need to be flexible over the venue to get the date they want.’
4 How many people do you want to bring?
‘Here is where the first wedding quarrel can rear its ugly head!’ says Sara. Do you both want a big wedding or are you happy with fewer guests and a more intimate day?
She suggests that couples start logging the names of all potential guests in the spreadsheet then match them to the maximum number of guests they want (and can afford).
Agreeing on the number of guests will help you with your budget discussions and venue choices.
If you find money chats a challenge then maybe take a look at 5 tips for talking about money with your partner for tips.
5 What type of venue?
When you know the size of your wedding, you can start to rule in and rule out wedding venues.
A wedding for 80 guests may need a very different venue to a wedding for 250 guests.
Most Irish couples get married at a hotel but maybe you have a castle or stately home in mind? Does it have to be in Ireland or are you thinking of a wedding abroad?
6 What can you afford?
‘There’s what you want,’ says Sara, ‘and what you can afford. These are often two very different things!’
It is advisable to agree a total budget, establish what kind of wedding you can have for that amount and stick to it as closely as you can.
For some tips on budgeting, check out this post.
Have you any money saved already?
How much can you save towards your total budget? Do you need some financial support from your families or is a loan an option?
When it comes to buying the rings, you might take a look at this article on buying engagement rings which contains tips that apply just as well to wedding rings.
And, although it’s not very romantic, you might want to check your credit rating, in advance, if you’re thinking of borrowing money for your big day.
7 Go create your wedding
After following tips 1 to 6, you should both have a much better idea of the kind of wedding.
Now you can focus on making it happen.
Planning a wedding can be stressful but, as Sara says, ‘try to not lose sight of the purpose of your special day and make sure to make time for each other.’
Find out more
All efforts were made to ensure that the information in this article was accurate at the time of original publication. The content of this article do not constitute financial advice.
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