Delighted to invite back the lovely Julie – The Wedding Genie – today for a guest blog about how to go about your wedding planning … honestly if you’re planning a wedding this is going to be invaluable!
Wedding Planning Know How!

If you read last weeks blog I asked you to take some time to enjoy your engagement and then to think about what you actually want from your day. If you did your homework and started to think about the areas we discussed you will certainly be clearer in your mind about what you want, where and when you want your wedding. Now the areas below will make sense and you can start to assemble your task list.

If you are still worried about the whole prospect of planning your wedding, read and follow these tips and you will be on track with your wedding plans in no time at all. Wedding planning is easier if you cut it up into bite-sized chunks, tackle these key areas first and you will have an excellent foundation. On big tip is not to make a list of absolutely everything, it will overwhelm you and you will keep putting everything off because it appears so daunting.

Follow these top tips for wedding planning utopia.

• Prioritise

• Set the Budget

• Set the Date

• Determine Your Guest list

• Choose your Venue & Style

Forget about all the little details, (for the moment) I promise if you use my tips you will have plenty of time for all the unique little touches to make your wedding day stand out, and to celebrate your style and personality. Concentrate on these key elements first then you can consider the details later. Wedding planning is a bit like a jigsaw, putting the right pieces in the right places will enable you to fill in the rest of the picture. So these areas are the framework for your wedding picture.

Lets Talk Priorities

Make a date with your fiance, pour a couple of chilled glasses of wine and curl up on the sofa. Decide what you really must have for your wedding no matter what and then make a list. The dress, venue and flowers may be really important for you and perhaps photography is something your fiance is passionate about. Talk now, your views may be different and it’s an excellent time to listen to each other so you end up with the wedding day that is truly perfect for you both.

Setting your priorities is key to successful wedding planning. Do this right and everything else will fall into place.

Now you have a clear idea of your priorities you can think about your budget!! Oh no! you groan. I want to think about dresses, venues and food! Well stop! Decide how much you want to spend and then apportion the budget according to your PRIORITIES. That way you will be sure you spend your money on what you really want and not the incidentals that add up and are not necessary. Remember it’s your money and you can spend it how you like.

Think about how long you have to save for the wedding and if your parents are contributing. Many couples pay for their own weddings these days and their parents like to pay for perhaps the cake or the dress or photographs. However your budget is made up you need to be sure it will be in place in time for deposits and final payments.

Start a simple spreadsheet, or purchase The Wedding Genie Wizard tools. They will help you plan your budget, alert you when you spend too much and track all of your details. Once you see the figures in black and white this really focuses your attention. Don’t add it up in your head and think it will be fine.

I guarantee you, if you don’t set a budget right at the beginning you will start to run up your own national debt! Getting married is about declaring your love for each other and not about seeing who can max the credit card first! Just being creative and thinking things through will ensure you wedding day is totally spectacular. You can wake up the day after knowing you had the best day of your life and you won’t be paying for it for the next five years. For more help on budgeting click here.

Set The Date and Choose your Style

Do you want a winter wonderland wedding, a springtime treat, English tea party or BBQ? Whatever you choose the date must coincide with the style you have in mind. It’s also a good idea to think of your honeymoon destination, this may impact the time of year you travel. You don’t want to be there in the rainy or hurricane season! Take into account bank holidays and major events such as the Olympics! These times may make effect travelling and people’s availability.

Guest List

Who do you really want to spend your day with? Friends and family make your wedding special so be sure to check their availability. The amount of guests will also affect your budget. Choose wisely remember you can’t please everyone but please yourselves. Weddings are very emotive and you will have to make some hard decisions. Remember for every 6- 8 guests that’s another table, more decor, more stationery etc. It really adds up. If you invite children count up how many extra that means? If you don’t invite them please make sure you stick to the rule for everyone.

The Venue

Now you have an idea of your guest list, budget and of course your priorities you can book your venue. Do this early, especially if you have your heart set on somewhere popular. If you want a civil ceremony, check to see if the venue is licensed to marry you. Please don’t book the venue until you have made sure the registrar or priest is available. If marrying in a civil service then go and give notice. You need to do this but you can only do it 12 months before. It’s good to get it done early.

Wow! if you work your way through these priorities your wedding planning will be off to a flying start. No confusion for you just a clear way forward. Just keep remembering!

The Rules!!

• Set your priorities. Write them down and keep close to hand.

• Having a clear idea of what kind of day you both want from the start will help you focus and stay on budget.

• Remember it’s your wedding and you can have what you want!

• Don’t sweat the small details yet.

• Tackle planning in bite sized chunks. Make small lists, big ones will just overwhelm you.

• Take time out – make sure you have wedding free evenings or weekends.

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