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How to start planning a wedding

Starting to plan a wedding | BGS 

Step One, get engaged. Step two, find out how to start planning a wedding…

Yayyy! You did it! You agreed to spend the rest of your life with the person you love. Now you have to plan the party to celebrate it. This blog is a light hearted guide to what you should do next, with some important things to think about thrown in.

Weddings – where to start planning?

Have a chat with your partner, agree that you’ll disagree, agree that one of you is likely to get a bit crazy about something to do with planning the wedding, but ultimately, you definitely still love each other, and compromise is key – apart from the invitations, they definitely have to be that way.

I do see the irony in the next statement; but try not to read too many things, especially things which tell you what to do. If you take anything from this blog on how to start planning your wedding, then let it be this: do what you want.

That is, it’s your day, no-one else’s, not that random blog you read which told you that you have to have a chocolate fountain.

I can’t stress this enough, the best weddings I’ve worked at have been the ones where the couple have put their personalities into them: their hobbies, their loves, what’s important to them. 

Planning a wedding should be fun! If you’re constantly saying to each other that you need to do something because of something someone said, or wrote, it will not be fun.

Make a plan, set a budget

“Plans are useless, planning is important”

If you’re going to get through this, you definitely need to make a plan.

I love me a plan; my notes app is literally full of half finished plans… 

They are really important though – the process of making the plan will focus you both to decide what’s most important to each of you for your day. One of the first things you need to do is work out what’s affordable, and how much you’re willing to spend on your day. 

Everyone’s different, don’t compare yourselves to other people. I’ve worked at £1,000 weddings, I’ve worked at £30,000 weddings – both were great, because the day is about people sharing it with you.

What is important for your wedding?

There are many, many, (many), things which make up a wedding, some things are definitely more important than others, and each of those things are different for everyone. When you imagine your wedding, what’s the first thing you think of?

Boom! That’s your priority. See, that was easy.

Once you have your priorities you can then allocate your budget towards that and maybe see where you can save money on things which aren’t your priority. 

“oh my god Barney, there’s so much to do, where do I start?”

Well, that’s a very good question. I would say coffee. Make a coffee, that’s always the answer. 

Natural wedding photography is best

“documentary” [ dok-yuhmen-tuh-ree, -tree ]


1. Also doc·u·men·tal  [dok-yuh–men-tl]. pertaining to, consisting of, or derived from documents:

2. MoviesTelevision. based on or re-creating an actual event, era, life story, etc., that purports to be factually accurate and contains no fictional elements.


To me, the most important part of that above definition is “contains no fictional elements” – so, if a wedding photographer asked you to stand on some rocks, look lovingly into each other’s eyes, place one hand on his lapel, place one hand on her waist, turn the left hand so you can see a ring and set up 14 flashes around them – they wouldn’t be a documentary wedding photographer. There’s nothing wrong with images like I’ve described, if you like them then I can recommend loads of really great people who do it. But, it’s not what I do. There’s no fictional elements of your wedding photos, just natural moments which happened, documented.

Alongside having real memories, on the actual day itself you will be able to enjoy YOUR wedding, as YOU planned it. I won’t be bossing you around, telling guests to move, rearranging furniture or any of that nonsense; just looking for the moments which happen throughout the day.

Click here to read more about why you should book a documentary photographer.

Start Planning a Wedding Date 

The first thing you probably should sort out is your date. Without a date you can’t really start booking anything else. Your date also has an impact on other things such as the colour scheme and general feel of your day.

For example, your day might feel cold in November.

Choosing a wedding venue

You probably have a good idea of what venue you want, but you should definitely take a look at a few, get a feel for the place, they’ll probably give you a free coffee while you’re there too, so that’s always a bonus. Think about how you want the day to be, is there space for your guests to relax in the day? Can the room where you eat be laid out how you want it? Do they serve the sort of food you want? Will it look good in the pictures?

Take a look here for some good options for Rutland Wedding Venues.

Start Planning the Wedding Details

| invites

People definitely want to come to your wedding, but they’re also pretty busy; you should probably start planning the wedding invites now, ready to send out around 4-6 months before the big day. That should be plenty of time for them to organise a dress and that.

You should probably also include any special information; things like timings, a map, accommodation nearby etc. are always pretty useful and will probably save you some stress in the long run.

| flowers

Flowers make such a difference – whether it’s the button holes, the bouquet or the table arrangements, they are a great way to show your style and to represent your colour scheme throughout the day.

The time of year you get married will often dictate the flowers which are in season, your local supplier will be able to offer you loads of advice and options.

Hair and Makeup

Guest Written by Liz Staniland; www.lizstaniland.co.uk

If there’s any one day in your life that you want to feel absolutely beautiful, it’s going to be your wedding day.

When looking for a hair and/or makeup artist it’s so important to have a trial before the day, massively important to check that you’re not allergic or sensitive to any of the products being used but also that you like their style so you’re not worried that you won’t feel comfortable on your wedding day.

It’s also important that you have a good relationship with the artist who is going to be in charge of your face. You want to feel comfortable with them and confident enough to tell them if you want to make any changes. Honestly, we don’t mind if you decide you’ve changed your mind on the lipstick colour – please don’t feel like you can’t tell us, it’s what we’re there for!

If you don’t wear much makeup on a regular basis, your wedding day is probably not the best day to start experimenting…

I always think that brides want to be a polished version of themselves so that your husband to be still recognises you.

My biggest and most important tip is to test everything out before the wedding day. Don’t have eyelash extensions or your eyebrows waxed for the first time in your life the day before your wedding, and stick to your usual daily skin routine if it works for you.

There’s not a lot we can do with an allergic reaction or swelling on the face or eyes; whereas spots and dark circles can easily be covered with the magic of makeup

I always hear my brides tell me that the day went too quickly and they wish they could do it all again.

Keep calm, enjoy the day, soak up all the compliments and feel beautiful! 


Styling advice

| decor and styling

Breaking Down your elements will allow you to create a plan of action. When we think about décor & styling we look at colour, theme, flowers, linens, tables and chairs, lighting, food and accessories.

| trends

A great place to start is to research current trends, but also you should go back in time and see what was popular throughout the decades, as you will find old fashions become new again!

| start planning wedding themes

With a wide selection of themes to consider; traditional, vintage, festival – you have lots of choice. A vision board is a good way of helping you to picture how you want your wedding to look. Or, create your own theme, after all, it is your day!

Key Styling Tips for your Wedding

1.    Vision Board – Create a Vision Board with images, fabrics, colours to help you bring together your design ideas.

2.    Colour – Select your colours wisely as they will set the mood and tone of your wedding.

3.    Reception Layout – Consider your floorplan and other activities taking place, ensuring you and your guests have enough space to move freely throughout the day.

4.    Lighting – With lighting being an integral aspect to your day, think about your floorplan areas and activities inside & out and consider each FUNCTION. Asking yourself what type of actives will be taking place. It’s important to choose the right type of lighting and placement to achieve your goals. 

5.    Finishing Touches – Your wedding day is about celebrating your love with family and friends. Add some personal touches incorporating this such a family tree, guest message board and fun games to bring everyone together.

Wedding Cake

Guest written by Michelle, Love Life Eat Cake

Apart from the photography, the dress, and venue decor, the wedding cake is one of the most important elements at a wedding. It will be a focus point for the room, and will feature in lots of pictures. What’s worse than a gorgeous couple next to a naff looking cake? No! Not on!

Firstly, research wedding cake trends. This doesn’t mean you can’t personalise your cake, talk to your wedding cake designer as they will be able to suggest how you can incorporate your personalities into your cake.

Book early! I can never say this often enough. Every time someone asks me ‘How much notice do you need?’ My answer is always as soon as possible.

If you come across a cake maker at a wedding fayre and you like them, you like their work and you like the taste of their cakes, their prices suit your budget…..BOOK THEM STRAIGHT AWAY.

Most wedding cake makers give you plenty of time to decide on the final design. The important thing is to reserve the date then worry about the look and design later. More often than not, you secure their current prices and would avoid any increases they make nearer to your date.

Thanks for reading, Michelle

Done! Your wedding should now be planned

Obviously, there’s a lot more to planning a wedding than what is contained in this guide. But still, hopefully, it will have answered a few questions you may have, possibly made you laugh, as well as introducing you to some local suppliers who are awesome. You should also have a clearer idea of how to start planning a wedding.

I really would love to have a chat about shooting your wedding, if you’d like to arrange a time to grab a coffee and have a chat then get in touch with me.

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