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Congratulations you're engaged! Here's my top tips to help you plan your wedding

You've got the ring, you're engaged, but what happens now?

We've all been there, within days of being engaged your loved ones are most likely giving you all questions, ‘where are you getting married?’, ‘have you bought your dress yet?’ Preparing to marry the love of your life and best friend is going to be the best moment of your life so far. It can however be overwhelming, particularity if you have family and friends that think they know you better than you do. Research what you like, decide with your partner what you both want and then time to get wedding planning. Not sure where to start? Here’s some tips to get you started! Pause and soak it all in!

This may seem odd when you haven’t even got going yet but take time with your fiancé to just soak up the sheer joy of this moment. You only get it once so enjoy every single second, you and your fiancé will no doubt be in a bubble of happiness so revel in it! Wedding planning can wait, allow all those ideas to just swirl around in excitement. Image credit – The Knot

What’s your budget? I’m sure you’ve heard it before but weddings can be pricey. It really does add up very very quickly so I recommend you do some research and make a budget for each area of the wedding. The earlier you start the budget the easier this will be, don’t book a supplier until you’re sure your budget will go far enough. Top tip – invest in a good photographer, you will treasure those photos forever. Celebrate! As weddings can take some time to plan it’s likely you will have at least a year if not more to enjoy your engagement, so why not celebrate with family and friends and throw an engagement party. Engagement parties can often be inexpensive and a great trial run for the big day. If you’ve got the time and budget to celebrate draw up the guest list, send out some invites and pick a fabulous outfit…. also another excuse to put on a white dress! Save the date! Is there a special date you’d like to get married on? Maybe an anniversary or your parents anniversary? The traditional wedding season is May-September, although many couples get married out of this time now with Autumn and Winter creating wonderful opportunities for something a little different. Popular wedding venues get booked quite far in advance so if you do have a special date make the venue your priority so you don’t miss out. If you don’t have a specific date in mind then start by selecting a season you both enjoy.

Top tip – Sending out save the dates will remind guests to keep the date free. People book holidays far in advance and you don’t want those special people to miss your big day. If you are having a destination wedding this also gives people lots of time to save!

Image Credit – Notes Studio Get on Pinterest!

Image Credit – Rock my wedding Now you have an idea on how far your budget is going to get you it’s time to get on Pinterest and plan those gorgeous details for your big day. This is the fun bit!! Pinterest is a great way to collate all your ideas in one place and to get some incredible inspiration. This will really help shape the style of your wedding and the overall vibe of the day. Top Tip – Will you be having a wedding planner? I would really recommend if you’re getting married abroad. Choose your bridal party. This might be really easy for some and really tough for others. You don’t need to ask your special ladies and guys right away….. you may even want to find a special way to ask them. But have a think about who you might have in your party, this may also help with your budget. There’s the good old debate about whether a bridesmaid should pay for her own dress or if the bride should pay. It’s totally down to you, there’s no right or wrong but just think the sooner you have your maids in place, the more help you’ll get with the wedding plans! I always suggest maybe waiting until about one year before the wedding, friendships change and its quite common to hear about brides asking a bridesmaid to step up or down as life changes.

Image Credit – Buy a wedding magazine! This is one of the best keepsakes, I know magazines are a bit of a step into the past but a wedding magazine is a right of passage. It’s also a really helpful wedding planning tool, they have some really useful tips! It’s time…. wedding dress shopping! Around 12-18 months before your wedding day you want to begin looking for your wedding dress. Every bride is different and we embrace this. Brides today have such a great choice, the variety is incredible! Do a little research on Instagram, maybe find a couple of designers that suit your ‘vibe’. How do you want to look on your wedding day? Find the boutique that suits your style and screams ‘you’. A couple of boutiques should be enough, you don’t need to visit every shop. Most bridal boutiques have a ‘bride’ that they cater for so find that ones that grab your heart and you’ll find something fabulous.

My final tip….. being engaged is huge milestone, as is getting married. Don’t rush through it, be present in every moment and enjoy. Take a moment to stop and think how happy you are and how magical this time is. So many couples speed through wedding planning and forget to absorb it. Remember there is no order you need to follow, make sure to tackle the immediate priorities at least one year before you get married – the venue, the photographer and the dress. This is going to be the best time of your life, I promise!

I can't wait to help you and be a part of your wedding journey

Sam xx

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