A Wedding Planner's Wedding Planning Process.
He just proposed. What do I do now?!
So, back in March my wonderful boyfriend whisked me down to the seaside (the beach my family used to visit when I was a kid, as my Grandpa lived nearby). After a picnic in the rain (God, we’re British and proud!), we went for a drizzly walk through the pebbles along the beach. Despite moaning most of the walk, somehow this amazing man still loved me enough to ask me the biggest question of our lives.
“Will you marry me?” He said, with the cutest, shyest smile on his face.
I SCREAMED HIS FULL NAME. And after declaring that if he ever changed his mind, he had to tell me straight away. I muffled a ‘Yes’ through tears, smiles and the best cuddles, where you just don’t ever want to let go or forget that feeling. The best kind.
He’d even asked the parents, and been passed my Grandmothers solitaire diamond ring to give me. The happiest moment of my life, in my happy place, just made me even bloody happier.
Champers, phone calls to family and friends followed whilst we enjoyed our little cloud 9 bubble by the sea.
But then. We went home, back to reality. ‘Have you set a date yet?’, ‘I bet you have it all planned already, coz you know, you’re a wedding planner. You must know all the best people’. ‘Think of all the discounts you can get’.
Cue: Anxiety attack.
No, I haven’t set a date yet – I literally said yes 48 hours ago.
Yes I am a wedding planner.
However, I may be a wedding planner, but that doesn’t mean I know what I want for my own wedding.
Nope, I certainly don’t have it all planned out. It’s not just MY wedding.
Yes, I am lucky enough to know some incredible people in the industry. It doesn’t mean I can afford them though!
No, I would NEVER ask them for a discount. Just because I KNOW someone, does not give me the right to ask them to provide me their services at a discounted price or reduce their profit margin. If they offer a reduced price themselves, that’s completely their prerogative, and perhaps I might be able to help them at a later date with my services.
Don’t get me wrong, I have been imagining my wedding day since I was about 3. I literally used to clip a pillow case to my head, wrap my duvet round my torso and totter down the hallway in my mum’s high heels (sorry Mum). The groom was anything from my fave teddybear Oscar, to the boy down the road, to my pet hamster. (He kept hiding in his house though, should have taken the hint).
When I met Mr B, (and realised on our second date that he was The One) I imagined our future together, and walking down the aisle to him but I’ve never really imagined what our wedding would look like. I didn’t let myself. I didn’t want to tempt fate, or imagine something I could never afford, plus I strongly believe that a wedding should represent both partners.
So, on copious car journeys, or over dinner, we would discuss what we both wanted from our wedding day. We didn’t see eye to eye on everything, and so we compromised and found common ground that we were both happy with.
The results: we want to share our day with as many of our nearest and dearest as possible, we would like it to be affordable for us and for our guests, we don’t want to spend a fortune and we want everyone to enjoy themselves. Oh and there needs to be cheese. And Drum & Bass. And Prosecco. Lots of Prosecco!
We also had a brief discussion on price points for our entire wedding budget.
Mr B: How much is an average UK wedding?
Me: Approx average: 30k. Depending on where you are. London weddings are higher.
Mr B: Falls to the floor.
Me: Are you still alive??
*After about 20 mins of fanning him*
Mr B: HOW MUCH?!
Me: Vegas elopement??
My advice to other brides to be.
Don’t panic. You’ve got this. Between the two of you. You’re a team, and this is just one little challenge within a whole wealth of others that you will face together. Embrace it, talk about it, figure it out together.
Take your time, do not be pressured into making rushed decisions. There are so many incredible suppliers out there, you’ll find the perfect one.
Discuss. Communication is key. Decide what your priorities are, how you see your day, what your priorities are and what you want from your wedding.
Decide on a budget and don’t be afraid to stick to it.
Decide on a rough guest list so you have an idea of numbers for venue hunting.
Think carefully about your bridal party. Try not feel obliged to ask certain friends or family members. Your bridal party should be there to support you, be trustworthy and helpful.
Social media communities – I have joined a few Facebook groups of brides to be. It’s so reassuring to be able to talk through issues and worries and see that others are going through the same thing as me at the same time.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether that help comes from a professional wedding planner, or from talented friends and family members, utilise their talents and expertise.
Research your suppliers. Don’t be tempted to go for the cheapest option. Remember what your priorities are, what you want from your suppliers and what they are offering. Look at their previous work, does it suit your wedding style? Look at their reviews. Are they an expert in their field? Look at their website and social media feeds – are they active, are they interacting? Have they been featured on wedding blogs or in wedding magazines?
Terms and conditions – read them carefully and query anything you are not sure on.
Don't become wedding-obsessed! If you find that you and your partner are ALWAYS chatting about the wedding, try and implement 'no wedding chat' days. It's so easy to get carried away, particularly the closer you get to the day itself.
If you've found your way here, chances are you're planning your big day. I love chatting all things weddings, and would love to discuss your wedding with you. Here is how you can get in touch with me.
Average wedding cost: