Congratulations! You’re engaged! This is such an exciting time for you both as a couple and there is so much to organise. Knowing where to start can be a bit bewildering, but hopefully these tips will point you in the right direction.
- Telling the world
First things first, tell your family and then your close friends. If you can’t visit them because they’re too far away then perhaps a FaceTime call or at least a phone call. They are going to be super excited for you and it will be lovely to see their faces when they hear the great news. Sending an email, or announcing the news on Facebook may be ok for acquaintances but loved ones want to hear the news from you. Don’t forget to ring the older generation too – I remember how thrilled my grandmother was when I told her my news.
Next it’s onto the engagement ring selfies to tell the rest of the world about your great news. Remember as with all selfies you need decent light, especially if you want that ring to dazzle! My top tip would be not to bother looking for Pinterest inspiration in this instance – just do something that’s really you for this one.
Some will go crazy in their celebrations and some will enjoy a quiet meal for two, but however you do it enjoy your time together as you celebrate this momentous occasion.
- The perfect fit
If your ring is a little tight or a little loose make sure that you go to the jewellers and have it resized so that it’s the perfect fit. There would be nothing worse than it rolling down the plughole… and whilst you are at it, I would recommend that you put it on your insurance too. I know someone who nearly lost their wedding ring in the shower on the first day of their honeymoon!
The Bridebook app is a great resource for wedding planning; full of inspiration, checklists, budget planning and supplier lists. In fact 2 in 3 of the 250,000 couples who get married each year in the Uk use the app. Another top inspirational planning blog is WeddingWire. Don’t forget to make yourself a Pinterest board. Just so that you can start gathering all of your ideas. You might want to start considering which is your favourite season, colours, flowers, are you an indoors or outdoors kind of person, the type of venue that you’d love to have and so on. Keeping a visual record can help to find a common theme and bring your ideas together.
Before you begin visiting venues or making any solid plans you need to sit down and discuss this together. Will either set of parents contribute towards the cost? Do you have savings? Once you know your overall budget you can then start to allocate your funds. It would be a pity to see a dream venue but not be able to afford it, better to know the realities before you visit.
- Wedding fairs
Look online to see where there are fairs in your local area. They are a great source of inspiration for you to go and visit venues, meet different wedding suppliers and ask lots of questions. Prestige wedding fairs and PMN wedding fayres both cover the south of England. You will find everything from flowers, cakes, photography, videography, venue décor & styling, jewellery, transport, menswear, wedding dresses, health & beauty and more.
- Visiting venues
This is the first thing that you need to book; for both the reception and the ceremony. Fridays and saturdays are considered peak days, with Sundays to Thursdays being off peak. Certain months are cheaper, as is late availability, all facts to bear in mind if you need to stretch that budget. For more information on what to ask wedding venues I wrote another blog post last year.
- Dress shopping
The excitement is palpable! This advice comes from a couple of different bridal shop owners that I know:
- Visit 3 or 4 different shops.
- Take just 2 or 3 people with you.
- Be openminded and try on lots of different styles.
- Remember it’s your day and you can wear what you want.
- Booking the photographer
This is something that I suggest you do fairly soon after securing the venue. Your photographer will be able to help you with your timeline and with recommendations for other wedding suppliers. You want to make sure that they are someone that you like, after all you are going to have them around all day from bridal prep right through to the first dance. Ask your photographer about an engagement shoot too, if you need persuading why this is a good idea, read this blog that I wrote.
- Enjoy the journey of wedding planning
Even if you love making lots of decisions and organising events, there can be times when wedding planning is stressful. It might be a good idea to plan a weekly date night with your fiancé, time just to relax and have fun – it could become something that you carry on into married life 😜
I wish you all the best as you make your plans. I am a Surrey wedding photographer and also cover Hampshire and Berkshire. If I can be of any assistance please get in touch