What are the steps to planning a wedding?
So, I have photographed hundreds of weddings in my decade of being a wedding photographer, I’ve seen it all, so what are the steps to planning a wedding?
Outdoor blessings to festival field parties, Italian destination weddings to traditional English village church ceremonies, stately homes to rustic barns. I can also see what a massive difference even a little bit of planning ahead can make to the enjoyment of your wedding for you as a couple and everyone you invite.
I am a natural organiser, but I know not everyone is, which is why I love to help my couples as much as possible in the lead-up to their big day so that on the day itself you can relax and enjoy it all as much as possible.
What is the first thing to do when planning a wedding?
Money money money – set a budget
Is it fun or pretty? No. But before you go diving into wedding blogs and Instagram, and start planning a Pinterest perfect sunkissed ceremony, start thinking about how much you are willing to spend. Have those awkward conversations with anyone else who might be contributing from the start, so you can have a (slightly more) realistic head on when it comes to setting out what you want from your day.
Looking for more advice about wedding budgets? Check out my blog post here.
Don’t go cheap just because
I’ve seen it happen before, people go for the cheapest option because money is tight, and I get it. Weddings can be expensive and it can be hard to decide on what to spend your budget on. But there are ways to cut back without going for the cheapest. For example, don’t scrimp on your photographer (of course I may be a tad biased here). But you do want to make sure you book a quality photographer who knows what they’re doing. You won’t regret spending the money because you’ll have the photos to look back on for the rest of your life.
Plan how you want the day to go, this can help you decide where you invest and where you can save. Get some ideas on making the most of the time you have on the day with my wedding day timeline advice (trust me, you don’t want to leave everything spontaneous!)
Take it one step at a time
It will be very tempting to dive in to everything and get quickly overwhelmed when you’re thinking – argh, what are the steps to planning a wedding?! You can start by thinking about where in the country (or indeed the world) you’d like to get married, and then the type of venue (Google is your friend here), and then the type of photographer you’d like of course. Once you get these 3 things nailed, then start looking at any other professionals you’d like to get involved like a videographer, a cakemaker, a florist, an on the day coordinator (if you’re not hiring a planner I recommend doing this!), hair + makeup, and of course the fun stuff like dresses, suits, etc.
Looking for professional help? Check out my blog post about wedding planners vs wedding coordinators and how they can help you plan your wedding.
You don’t have to have the most expensive item at every turn, nor do you have to do what anyone else says you ‘should’ be doing. This is your day and it’s all about you, celebrating you two as a couple. Aunt Sue may well have an opinion about sitting on hay bales for your rustic barn ceremony but you can put down blankets so her dress is protected.
Want to hear from a real couple I worked with on how to stay stress-free whilst planning a wedding? I asked them to share their top tips.
Remember what’s important
There will be moments where you may have tricky conversations. Where one of you believes something is a priority, and the other disagrees. That is completely normal. I highly recommend having date nights where you keep the entire day / evening wedding chat-free so that you remember what it’s all about.
Plan your day your way
There are lots of ways to personalise your day to suit you both. You could add details to the table decor, the altar, to your bouquet, to the stationery. Lots of couples find it simplest to personalise by choosing their favourite desserts or flowers.
For more details on how to personalise your wedding click here and how to make sure your wedding is as unique as you are.
The point is, when you’re thinking – what are the steps to planning a wedding, there will be lots to consider but hopefully with this advice at hand, you can’t go wrong.
If you have any questions or want to check if I’m free for your wedding date, then do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for popping by