How to Start Planning your Wedding
Make sure you have actually talked about the wedding and agreed:
- what you’re going to spend;
- whom you want to invite; and
- how much you expect your families to contribute.
As soon as you decide to get married set a provisional date for the wedding and tell all the important people in your life about it. Make the basic decisions about what sort of ceremony you want:
- A religious ceremony or a civil one?
- If it’s a civil wedding, do you want to have it in a register office or a licensed venue?
- If you go for a licensed venue, which one do you want it to be?
Get in touch with the appropriate people about your ceremony:
- provisionally book the register office;
- find out how much notice the superintendent registrar will need to attend a licensed venue; or
- contact your chosen religious organisation.
Check the legal requirements for your type of wedding ceremony, including:
- residency; and
- documents (birth certificate, decree absolute certificate, etc.).
Start talking to anyone other than the two of you who might want to help pay for the wedding – your parents, for example. Make a tentative guest list – this has a bearing on the kind of venue you choose and it will affect your budget. Agree on the budget. Check out the reception venue you want (unless it’s the same as the venue for the ceremony). Some reception venues are booked years in advance, especially for Saturdays in summer. Think about whether you want to arrange it all yourself or whether you’d like a wedding co-ordinator (this is an expensive option).
Plan your honeymoon – if you’re going abroad you can often get much cheaper deals by booking well in advance.
Provisionally book your first-night hotel room or bridal suite. Take out wedding insurance before you pay any deposits. Suppliers and even venues sometimes let you down, and finding last-minute replacements can be expensive.