Firstly, CONGRATULATIONS!!! You are now in the official Bride or Groom-to-be club and wow are you in for the best time of your life. There is nothing more exciting than preparing for both of you saying ‘I DO’ and having a party with your most loved.
As I write this, of course we are going through a pandemic and that must be very daunting for newly engaged couples as everywhere you turn there is a lot of chat about how Covid 19 has messed with many weddings. What I would say is, Park all Covid thoughts and just enjoy your planning journey.
You’re probably wondering where to start…..
I look at starting the wedding planning process, I think of three waves:
- Big Picture
- Shop Around
- Shop & Contract
Before you pick up a phone to a supplier or starting throwing deposits around the place, I strongly advise that you sit down together to start mapping the day you both want and look realistically at budget. Those first few engaged days can sweep you away and you may end up going down various rabbit holes only to be disappointed.
When you sit down, you both need to decide:
- Time of Year
- Home or Away? (I have a complete list in my book).
The big piece is that you both agree your non-negotiable pieces. By this I mean, one might be dead set on a particular band and another of a season (e.g. Christmas). Once both of you get your piece in and can agree funds and numbers then you are ready to take the step of engaging with suppliers.
Once you define the numbers of guests, you are going to be multiplying this number by the venue price per head as this is going to be the main bulk of your costs. If you are looking at a venue that charges €99 per head and your numbers are 100, straight away you are hitting €10,000 without adding on the other pieces. The average cost of a wedding is between €24,000 to €30,000. You will need to have a straight conversation about how you will fund this. Some of you will have savings already sitting there and others will have to save. Some parents may assist but ultimately you need to know how you are going to fund and be clear on what both of you need to bring to the table. When you start to look at suppliers, now knowing what it is you are looking for and how it all feeds in to the end result you have in your mind, it will be time to shop suppliers prices and packages. One thing i really urge you to do is, even when you are blown away and swept up with your venue or other provider, DO NOT show too much enthusiasm as it will put you at a disadvantage if you need to either negotiate price down or get some added value. Keep it very business like. Also remember, every single thing you book for your wedding will be exciting, beautiful and magical but you still must shop around as the main questions I get is from couples 6-8 months in to their planning wondering if they made the right decision as they rushed in. Always shop an alternative to even put your mind at ease.
Shop & Contract:
Once you have decided on your vendor partners or items, check all of the contract and ask the person issuing it to explain everything. Don’t assume anything until you read that. Also, always get what was agreed for you case in writing.
I have a section within my blog for couples starting out and you can read through the posts that will help you at the earlier stages. On top of that, I offer two downloads – A budget template and a check list. My ebook is €4.99 and hard back is €15.99 and all of the above will keep you on the straight and narrow as you plan the biggest day of your life.
I hope this was helpful xx
Tune in to my Instagram where I regularly do Q&A’s and Lives to help you on your journey.
Good Luck xx
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