- Wedding

Did you get engaged this Christmas? Discover your first steps of wedding planning.

Did you know that Christmas is the most popular time of year for proposals? There must be something about the twinkly lights, the hint of magic in the air, and the upcoming dawn of a New Year that makes people think of their future. 

If your other half proposed to you over Christmas, then you’re not alone. Bridebook previously reported that as many as 100,000 engagements happen over Christmas, with as many as 40% of those proposals taking place between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day. 

We know that you’re likely super excited to get started on the wedding planning. We also know that it can be overwhelming – after all, where do you start looking first? There’s so much to think about! 

Here at Inspired Occasions, we’ve helped happy couples with their wedding planning, from organising engagement parties to offering help and advice on theming and venue choices. We can help you with your wedding plans here in Devon as well as other locations across the UK. We can even help you plan a destination wedding – giving you the day that you’ve always dreamt of. 

There’s something really special about hearing from you for the first time, picking up on that excitement in your voice and getting to know what your vision is for the big day. 

So, to get you started, here’s a quick rundown of how to get started with your wedding planning. 

Congratulations on your engagement – what next?

Once you’ve shared the happy news with your family and friends, you might be wondering how to get started with wedding planning. 

After all, if you’ve never done it before, planning a wedding can be a bit overwhelming. 

– Should you choose a date first of find a venue and work around their availability?

– Do you immediately ask all of your best friends to be part of your wedding party?

– When do you start shopping for your dress?

We understand that getting started with wedding planning can feel a bit complicated, but don’t worry. 

That’s where we’re here to help you. 

As wedding planners in Devon, we know how to organise your thoughts and help you articulate your vision for your big day. Some happy couples may have been dreaming about this moment their entire lives and have a clear idea of what they want. Others may be a little unsure of what they want and need some help to work out what their budget should be. 

A simple wedding planning checklist to get you started

We’ve pulled together a free wedding planning checklist to help you think about some of the crucial decisions. It’s important that you talk to your fiancé about your vision so you can compromise and work together to create the big day that suits you both. 

Your wedding planning should be enjoyable, and with our help as experienced wedding planners UK, we can simplify the process, allowing you to really enjoy your engagement. 

Why not read through more of our wedding planning articles, or follow us on our social media pages – Facebook and Instagram, to get some more inspiration? If you have any specific questions about how to choose a wedding venue or how to negotiate with suppliers, please get in touch. We’ll always be happy to help. 

Here are a few of our tips to help you get started. 

Make some of the big decisions before you begin your wedding planning

This may sound counterintuitive, but some of the critical decisions will need to be made before you even start your wedding planning. 

These will be the basic questions that you need to ask yourself. 

– Do you want a UK wedding or a destination wedding?

– Do you want your wedding date to coincide with a memorable date for you (such as an anniversary?)

– Who do you want at your wedding? This doesn’t have to be on the entire guest list, but an idea of who the non-negotiable guests are that you know have to be there on the big day. Knowing a rough estimate of guest numbers is helpful before you begin searching for venues.

– What time of year do you want your wedding to take place? Summer months are the peak time, and many venues or suppliers may be fully booked up for the forthcoming year.  

Once you’ve answered these questions, your initial wedding planning can begin. 

Wedding planning checklist: How to create a budget

This is the (literal) million-pound question that no one likes to ask. 

“What is your wedding budget?”

It’s a question that’s almost impossible to answer at first. After all, when you’ve not yet begun your wedding planning, how will you know how much you have to spend, especially if you don’t know how much things cost?

We know that this seems a huge amount, and surely there must be more affordable ways of cutting back.

Well, it goes without saying that this is just an average figure. Some couples will spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on their weddings, while others will have an incredible day on a shoestring budget. There’s absolutely no right or wrong way to plan a wedding. 

To help you get started, your wedding checklist should include a budget breakdown. 

We recommend that you should ask yourself the following questions. 

– Will you be relying on existing savings, or will you need time to save up?

– Will you need to take out a loan or reply on a credit card to pay the bills?

– Will you be given any financial support (perhaps from parents)?

– Are you planning a honeymoon – if so, are you adding those costs to your budget?

– Are you saving for anything else (e.g. a house), or do you have student loans or other debts to repay?

– How many people do you want in your wedding party? Will you be paying for their outfits, etc?

– How extensive is your guest list? With the average wedding breakfast costing £70pp, could you cut numbers to save on finances?

It is crucial that you talk to each other openly about your financial situation. Lavish weddings create incredible memories, but it’s also essential to stay within your budget. By answering a few of these wedding checklist questions, you can start to establish where your priorities lie. 

Wedding planning checklist: Which suppliers to search for first

Once you’ve got an outline idea of what you can afford, the fun part can begin!

We always recommend getting multiple quotes from suppliers because you might be surprised by how the costs may vary. Here at Inspired Occasions, we have a network of trusted suppliers across the UK, and we can negotiate prices on your behalf to save your costs. 

Search for your wedding venue first. Not only will your venue be the most significant financial outlay, but it also impacts other suppliers. Once you’ve booked your venue, you’ll have your date confirmed. This will make it easier to find the rest of your suppliers because they’ll know when and where they need to go.

Book your photographer. You need to think about what type of photography you’re looking for – do you want a reportage/candid style or a classic portrait style? Maybe you like the posed editorial style images that feel like they could fit straight into a bridal magazine, or if your venue is in an area of outstanding beauty, a landscape specialist may be better suited.

Allocate enough time for your dress. After you’ve booked your venue, we recommend searching for your dress. That’s because most wedding dresses are made to order. You’ll need to allocate enough time for the dress to be made, as well as for dress fittings and alterations.

When you’re creating your bespoke wedding checklist, we always recommend breaking down each supplier into its own area so you can really drill down into the intricate details to find what you’re looking for. You may be surprised how this can help with your decision-making. 

If you need us to create a personalised wedding checklist for you, please get in touch

As soon as you start booking suppliers, find your wedding insurance.

We recently wrote about the importance of wedding insurance – it may feel that this is something that you want to save costs on, but if your engagement is likely to last 12-18 months, a lot can change during that time. Wedding insurance will make sure that you are financially protected against any loss of income (e.g. redundancy), cancellation caused by severe illness, or even a failure from a supplier to provide the goods provided. 

We highly recommend taking out wedding insurance as soon as you begin your wedding planning journey. 

Inspired Occasions are experienced wedding planners UK

We want you to have the day that you’ve always dreamed of. With our help, we can create a vision of something spectacular that genuinely captures you as a couple. 

Our work as wedding planners is to help you minimise your stress levels, allowing you to enjoy your big day. We may be based in Devon, working with couples across the South West, but we regularly plan weddings across the UK. Our vast network of reputable suppliers means we know who to call wherever you’re based. Whether you need us to arrange your entire wedding from start to finish, just your engagement party, or perhaps your destination wedding, we’re here for you. 

Getting started with your wedding planning in 2024 is just a phone call away.

So what are you waiting for?

Call or email us to find out what we can do for your wedding. Alternatively, if you need any inspiration, why not head over to our Instagram or Facebook page.


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