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Newly engaged? Where to start planning your dream Wedding.

I am overcome with love and warmth as I scroll through my feed to see so many sparkling rocks adorning hands grasping a glass of champagne. It really is true what they say – love isn’t cancelled.

Christmas is one of the most popular times to get engaged, and having got engaged on Christmas day myself I can certainly vouch for how magical a Christmas proposal can be. Congratulations to you!

The most common theme amongst those of you who are newly engaged, and something which I could relate to, was knowing where to start. It’s difficult enough to start figuring things out without a global pandemic to consider, so I thought I would give a few of my top tips on how to get started.

01. Don’t rush into anything

You may have been waiting for the opportunity to finally get stuck into planning your wedding for real (not just on Pinterest!) for some time. But first, make sure to take the time to enjoy your engagement and soak up the excitement of announcing it to friends and family. Once you feel ready to embark on your wedding planning journey, even if you think you know exactly what you want for your wedding, allow yourself the freedom to explore other ideas. With your budget in mind, be open to things which you may not have considered – you might just find something even better. Whilst it is true that supplier diaries are getting filled up with so many postponed weddings, it’s vital to get the right team on board even if that means waiting a little longer in order to have your dream wedding (and more time = more time to save and have the suppliers you really want on board!) Most suppliers diaries will be extremely limited, if not completely full for 2021, so do take this into consideration when setting a date for your wedding. For me, the biggest reason not to rush into many any big decisions right away is that it’s important that you first consider what type of wedding you want. I’ve spoken to many brides-to-be in the past who tell me they want an elegant and traditional wedding, yet have gone on to book a rustic barn venue. They then end up spending a large proportion of their budget trying to turn the venue into something which it isn’t. It’s important to first consider the overall style of wedding you’re looking to achieve, and the best way to do this is to research and explore! Pinterest and Wedding Blogs are a great place to start, as well as Instagram and traditional magazines. Also consider how you want your wedding to feel. Are you dreaming of a small, intimate wedding with just your closest friends and family, or a more traditional big white wedding? This will impact greatly on your budget, and ultimately where you end up getting married and the suppliers you have on board.

02. Research your dream team of suppliers

Many blogs will tell you to first book your venue, but this isn’t necessarily true. Perhaps you’ve fallen in love with a particular photographers work, or maybe you’ve come across the most talented floral designer and no matter what, you have to have them for your wedding. If that’s you, then you might be better off reaching out to them first to find out some more details and most importantly, when they are available. When researching your dream team of suppliers, I would advise taking your time. There are so many ways to locate them and where you look will impact on the type of supplier you find.

Places to search for your suppliers:

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Wedding Magazines
  • Online Directories such as Hitched, The Wedding Secret, Rock My Wedding’s ‘The List’, Love My Dress’ ‘Little Book Wedding Directory’…
  • Wedding Blogs
  • Google Search

When you come across a supplier whose work you like the look of, take the time to read about their approach, how they work and their testimonials. Write down 3 suppliers per element which speak to you. Here is a list of the main suppliers to consider:

  • Venue
  • Stylist and/or Planner
  • Photographer
  • Videographer
  • Celebrant
  • Toast Master
  • Stationer
  • Cake Designer
  • Florist
  • Caterer
  • Prop and Décor Hire
  • Entertainment – fireworks/DJ/Band/Magician/Dance Floor etc.
  • Dress
  • Bridal Accessories – veil, headpiece, shoes, jewellery
  • Groomswear
  • Bridal Party Wear
  • Transportation

Most suppliers will offer a complementary initial consultation, or at least be open to answer any questions you may have ahead of booking. Make sure to take this opportunity to ask about their policy regarding postponements/cancellation etc. particularly in light of the pandemic.

03. Book your suppliers

After making your enquiries, hopefully amongst them will be some who you have really connected with and trust to bring your vision to life. After your initial consultation , try to let them know within a few weeks in order to ensure that their quotation is still valid and they haven’t already been booked up! When selecting your suppliers, really make sure that they are the right fit for you and your wedding. Every supplier will have their ‘niche’ which they will excel at, for instance, not all florists are the same. Some specialise in wild, handtied bouquets using seasonal flowers whilst others may specialise in more traditional bouquets. Make sure you select the right supplier for you and try not to just be led by the price!

Always contact suppliers whose services you’ve decided not to pursue, just so they can open up their diary again to other enquiries. It can be a little awkward but they would much prefer to know than be left in limbo! A friendly email will suffice.

04. Say yes to the dress

I’m not sure why it’s often said that the first thing to do when planning your wedding is to buy your dress. I can’t say I wholly agree… Whilst it is true that many bridal designers (particularly the good ones!) will need several months (sometimes even a year) to make your bespoke dress, chances are you will still have plenty of time to figure this out even if it isn’t the first thing you do. Hopefully you’ll have done lots of research and shortlisted your favourite designers. You’ll want to research where these designers are stocked locally to you and arrange an appointment to try on some dresses. Every bride is different, but as much as it might be tempting to bring your entire bridal party along, I would actually advise against inviting too many. Not only may there be restrictions on the number of people you can bring with you, but too many opinions can actually be quite counter productive. Remember, this is your wedding day. A good bridal boutique will have in house experts to help you find the perfect dress to suit you, so make sure to keep an open mind when trying dresses on. As I said above, you might just surprise yourself and come away with something even better!

How will you know it’s the right dress? When you know, you know.

Image: Jennifer Jane Photography | Dress Boutique: Carina Baverstock Couture

05. Streamline your styling vision

Now it’s the time to really think about the details and how you want your wedding to look at a closer glance. Hopefully, you’ll already have a good idea of the sort of wedding you’re looking to achieve and now is the time to communicate that vision to your chosen suppliers so they can bring your vision to life on the day. The best way to do this is to do as much research as possible and translate this into a mood board or vision board to hand to your suppliers so they are on the same page.

06. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Somewhere along the way, it’s inevitable to feel a little overwhelmed with planning your wedding. Sometimes you just need someone to help guide you through the process, making sure you ask the right questions and book the right suppliers. As a Wedding Stylist, I work with couples who are at various stages of their wedding planning journey. Whether you’re just getting started and need help finding your dream venue and dream team of suppliers, or you’ve got all of your plans in place and need someone you can trust to set everything up for you on the day, I’ll be your sounding board, your impartial second opinion and your trusted guiding hand.

To find out more, get in touch to arrange your complimentary discovery call or take a look at my services.

Leanna Elizabeth Weddings offers luxury and bespoke design, sourcing and styling to passionate souls dreaming of an elegant, romantic and whimsical wedding. From elaborate marquees to historic castles and country estates, Leanna approaches each wedding with the utmost attention to detail and creative flair. 

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