Recently Engaged? Written by Craig Lander (Premier Wedding's Team)

We know that the beginning stages of planning your wedding day are very exciting but can be quite daunting at the same time. There is a lot to think about initially before you even begin booking anything. We all have those elements of a wedding that we have been dreaming of all of our lives but first we need to work out how realistic those ideas are. It is good to work out what you will need against what you like, it is important to differentiate between the two!

Budgeting is the most important part of the wedding planning process. Before you start spending the money, you need to work out how much you have to spend and what it will be allocated to. A great start in this process is to work out what your dream wedding looks like. Creating a Pinterest board is a perfect way of doing this. At Premier, we use Pinterest a lot when creating mood boards for events to show clients what we are envisioning as this may not be something we can initially show them. Once we have a slightly better idea of what it is that the client is looking for we can often create a 3D design that shows them exactly what they are going to see on the day.

Once you have created your dream wedding mood board you can then start to look at the budget and what that is going to cost. The average UK wedding cost has risen to a whopping £25,000 with most engagements lasting on average around 2 years. Decide at this stage what time of year you would like your wedding to be at? Have a few dates in mind, there is nothing worse than coming across your dream wedding venue and it not being available on the one date you have chosen. Give yourselves a couple of options so you aren’t disappointed.

Approximately a quarter of your budget will be spent on your venue and catering so this is definitely something worth spending the time getting right. A great tip to view a wedding venue is to go to a wedding showcase, you will get to meet wedding suppliers that work in your area as well as seeing what your venue looks like. Most will dress the venue up to look as though there is a wedding going on, you might not see this on a normal day viewing the venue. The photography and entertainment and make up another larger portion of your budget so definitely worth doing a bit of research to make sure you are getting someone you know will do a good job.

So, you’ve created your dream wedding vision, you know what you want your big day to look like and you’ve decided how much money you have to spend on it. Your next decision is to decide whether you want to hire a wedding planner to help you with this process? Many brides and grooms decide that they want the fully immersive process of planning their wedding day but we understand that for others this might be a lot to take on. This is where a wedding planner is a great addition to your day. Taking some of the stress away so you can enjoy the fun of picking what you want without dealing with any of the logistics.

At Premier, we have over a decade of experience when it comes to planning weddings and have various different options when it comes to wedding planning. Whether you wedding will be large or small we offer a boutique style service, with your own dedicated wedding planner, supported by our in-house designers, coordinators and experts that enable us to make your perfect day a reality. Whether you would like a complete wedding planning service or just a safe pair of hands to help with one or two aspects of your big day we definitely have the skills and knowledge to make your day a massive success.

If having a wedding planner isn’t something you are thinking of going for, you still shouldn’t’ rule out Premier. We still recommend coming in and having a chat with us or giving us a call to discuss your wedding. We have some amazing wedding décor options that we are always more than happy to provide a quotation for. If you have seen or dreamt of something but can’t find it, chances are we can either find it for you or create using our in-house production team. At this point sending us your wedding mood board is a great way for us to envisage your wedding in the way you have yourself. You know they say a picture speaks a thousand words. If you can’t make it down to our offices to see us, a mood board and a chat over the phone does just as well. Plus, we always love looking at pictures of weddings.

The next aspect to consider is the guest list. The average number of guests for a wedding in the UK is 77. The numbers don’t need to be finalised at this stage but you will need to have an idea of how many people you will have at your wedding and how much money you have to spend per head? This will affect which wedding venues are appropriate. You don’t want a venue with a massive capacity for a smaller wedding or a venue that is too small to hold the number of guests you will have in attendance. If finding a venue is something you are worried about, we do offer a venue finding service. As you can imagine in over ten years of weddings we’ve come across a lot of different venues from the traditional to the obscure. We can also help with marquee and tipi weddings if this is something you’re interested in. Once we have had a chat with you about your wedding, we can pull our resources and come back to you with a short list of suggestions that fit the bill perfectly. We’re then more than happy to come with you when you have a look around them, we have some great tips and tricks for show rounds and questions you might not have thought of!

Make sure you know what your venue hire includes. We have come across many couples that have booked then venue and then realised that there is something that isn’t included in their price and ends up being an extra cost. We have also come across the opposite where the couple haven’t checked what is included and have asked for quotations for something they have already paid for with the venue. Make sure if there is something that comes in a venue package that you don’t want that you aren’t paying for it. For example, many venue packages come with a DJ included. This might be something you want to do some research on and sort out yourself so make sure you know exactly what you are paying for before you sign the dotted line!

Once you have the budget, date and venue sorted it is now time to pick the fun aspects to the wedding that make it unique to you and your partner. The invitations, colour scheme, table design, favours, music, venue décor etc. If you haven’t made the decision to have a wedding planner, spreadsheets will become your new best friend. With all of the suppliers and guests with various needs; keeping everything together in a spreadsheet is a great way to stay organised.

If you haven’t already booked a meeting with us, please do so. All you need to do is send us an email or give us a call and we will get you in the diary. Even if you have already had a quotation from us but you’d like some further guidance, we’re still always happy to help. We like to think of ourselves as somewhat of a one-stop wedding shop, so if you need it for your wedding, we probably have it at Premier!