Posted: Thursday July 09, 2015
Planning a wedding is often the biggest task that couples have ever or will ever take on in their lifetime, and it can seem really daunting. But with some careful planning and a good grasp on your budget it need not be such a mountain to climb. Before you start to plan the details we recommend you ask the following five questions:
1) What’s our budget?
Although lots of people don’t like talking about money it is essential you get this right at the start of your planning, long before you visit any venues or deciding on a guest list. Every decision you make about your big day will be affected by your available budget so make sure you know early on how much you have to spend.
If family are giving you money towards the wedding or are paying for some or all of the big day, ensure you know, understand and agree to any strings that may be attached to that money and manage expectations.
2) What’s our personal style?
Whatever you do on your wedding day, make sure you be you! If you want a low key day with a small guest list and an informal meal, make sure that’s what you get. If you want a formal event with a sit down meal and all your friends and family around you, go for it. But it is important you know what sort of day you want before you start planning as this will impact on your venue choice, guest list, catering… your whole day.
3) Do we have any must haves / absolutely don’t want?
Before you start to plan, write a list of your 'must haves' and 'don't wants'. Do you want to get married and hold your reception in the same place? Do you want accommodation at the venue or nearby for your guests, are there certain people who absolutely must be there? What about entertainment? Not all venues allow live bands or fireworks so if these are an absolute must for you it’s essential you know this before choosing a venue.
4) Do we have a date in mind / any dates to avoid?
Do you have your heart set on a summer wedding or do you want a festive celebration near Christmas? Is a Saturday wedding a must or are you flexible? Are you looking to be married in the next six months, or nearer 18 months? All of these will affect your venue choice, caterers, entertainment etc. as many are booked up months, or even years, in advance for Saturday and summer weddings.
Are any of your friends or family getting married or celebrating another occasion in the year you are looking to get married? You may need to avoid these dates. Also, do any of your “must have” guests have holidays booked in advance? If you know you really want them there you will need to take this into consideration when choosing a date.
5) Church / religious wedding or civil wedding?
It’s really important that you and your partner decide early on whether you want a religious / church wedding or a civil wedding. Like venues, churches, register offices and registrars get booked up far in advance so they will need to be booked at the same time as booking your venue.
If you are planning a civil wedding you may want to find a venue which can host your ceremony as well as your reception and this will affect your choice of venue. If you have specific religious ceremony needs, for example you require a mandap, you will need to find a venue, such as Braxted Park, which can accommodate this.