PLANNING A WEDDING DURING LOCK DOWN
First of all, the BIGGEST of congratulations on your engagement! I hope you’ve had the most fabulous of times celebrating over a glass of bubbly and sharing your wonderful news with friends and family (albeit via Zoom given current circumstances). As a UK Wedding Planner I understand that now the dust has settled, you’re probably wondering (and quite possibly feeling quite overwhelmed) as to how to plan a wedding during lock down, and have probably spent endless hours pouring over wedding blogs wondering where to start! I have been wedding planning in the UK for a number of years now here is my advice on how to plan your wedding during lock down.
Please remember that the Government advice is constantly changing, so please check carefully before booking anything.
YOUR WEDDING BUDGET
The first item you need to consider when planning a wedding is your wedding budget! Lock down or no lock down, the very first thing you absolutely have to consider is how much your wedding might cost. Without having a realistic idea of how much you have to spend, it’s almost impossible to begin planning your wedding. Many couples book their wedding venue without having a true understanding of the costs involved. Do your research at the very beginning and ask potential suppliers for an indication of costs, particularly if you are hiring caterers. Generally speaking, your wedding venue and catering should take up around 40% of your budget.
Once you’ve decided on your budget, you can decide how many people you’d like to invite. Be realistic when deciding how many people you’re inviting to your wedding and compare it to your budget. This will also be helpful when it comes to deciding your venue! At the moment, it is tough to know what weddings will look like over the next 12 months and whether guests will be able to travel from abroad. Make sure you have a clear idea of your venue’s terms and conditions when it comes to confirming the number of guests.
Deciding on your perfect venue is one of the toughest parts of your wedding planning journey. There are so many gorgeous venues to choose from and it can be hard to pick the right one for you. Consider what is important to you about your venue and don’t forget the details! Would you like a venue that gives you complete flexibility to chose your suppliers? Is your venue licensed for civil ceremonies? Many venues are now able to offer virtual showcases so that you can see everything that the venue has to offer. If you’re working with a UK wedding planner, they will have visited many wedding venues and with an extensive network of contacts, be able to recommend the right wedding venue for you.
If you’re planning a civil or non religious ceremony, then you will need to check that your venue is licensed to accommodate this and contact your local registrar to ensure they are available. If you’re planning a church ceremony, then don’t forget to allow time to get from the church to your reception venue! If it’s neither a civil or religious ceremony that you’re planning, then consider hiring a celebrant instead! Please bare in mind the current restrictions on ceremonies under lock down rules.
Researching your suppliers is a key element in planning your wedding and is very important to consider in your overall budget and requirements of your venue. Spend time investigating different wedding suppliers. Zoom calls are a great way to speak to potential suppliers and find out more. Contact a few suppliers in each categories for quotes to see how costs and services compare. If you have chosen a dry hire wedding venue, then there are likely to be a lot more suppliers needed for your wedding over a hotel venue. Ensure that you are clear on the suppliers cancellation terms and what happens if you have to move the date of your wedding.
An essential item is wedding insurance. Now more than ever it is vitally important that you protect yourself from financial loss should your wedding not be able to go ahead, or should any element of your wedding not go to plan.
Pinterest and Instagram are great places to look for inspiration and ideas on how to plan your wedding, but be careful not to fall down the rabbit hole! It is easy to fall in love with beautiful images from wonderful weddings across the world, but you do need to be realistic. Is the same look achievable at your venue and within your budget? Who is going to coordinate the design of your day and pull all of the elements that you need together?
IT’S YOUR WEDDING
It is your wedding, and you should do things exactly as you wish! Individuality is key and ensuring you have lots of personal touches are what makes your day special and unique. While it’s lovely to include traditional elements to your day, consider what you can do to make your day a true reflection of who you are.
As an experienced UK Wedding Planner I always remind my clients that they should enjoy themselves! Planning a wedding can feel overwhelming at first, but tackling each part of the planning month by month will make it a far more enjoyable experience. It is your day, take things at your own pace and enjoy the moment.
HIRING A WEDDING PLANNER
Hiring a wedding planner is a great idea for many couples struggling to know how to plan a wedding, particularly if your wedding is taking place over a number of days and you have a lot of logistical elements to consider and suppliers to manage. A wedding planner is an expert in all things weddings and can guide you through what can be an overwhelming process. They will assist in finding the perfect venue for your wedding and sourcing the very best suppliers for your day. They will help you to coordinate your budget and remember key dates in your wedding planning process. A wedding planner will also be there on the day of your wedding, regardless if there is already a wedding coordinator at your venue or as part of your catering team; they will be with you from the very first moment on the day of your wedding through to the moment that the very last guest leaves. If you are considering hiring a UK Wedding planner then I’d love to hear all about your ideas. You can contact me here.