Did you become engaged over the holidays? If so, huge congrats!
I hope you have real fun with planning your wedding in Jersey.
What an exciting time you have ahead.
So, now that you’ve descended from the ceiling, told all your family, wowed your mates, showed off the ring (oh please – I’m sure you have) perhaps you’re starting to think about planning the big day. Yup, I know you’ve probably been planning it since you were 8 years old, but I’m talking about the real decision making as opposed to the daydreams.
When I talk to couples at the outset of their wedding planning, I have a handful of helpful suggestions both on the ‘go for it’ side and the ‘think before you leap..’ side of things, so I thought I’d share a few of those here, along with some images from a couple of my 2017 clients’ weddings…
What is the overall picture in your head?
..and really importantly, are both of you visualising the same? There are some fundamental decisions which need to be made jointly, right from the outset, including … Religious or Civil Ceremony? When? How big? How much?
No, I’m not trying to be a party pooper, but until the big questions are answered and agreed by you both, it’s hard to get going.
Who will be involved in the planning?
When you’ve answered at least the first three above, think through exactly who you would like involved in the planning. Don’t laugh, but people have lots of preconceived ideas about the extent to which they will be part of a child’s, friend’s or sibling’s wedding planning and you need a team around you whom you trust.
This may include a professional wedding planner or it may not, but either way you need someone who will be overall manager of ‘project wedding’: someone strong enough to ensure all stays on track and other contributors do their bit.
If, as is often the case, you have a number of people making financial contributions, we would suggest you allocate each contribution to something specific. This way each contributor will do some work on the element/s they are paying for and enjoy doing so.
If all contributions are ‘thrown into the pot’ you can find yourself with the whole team expecting a say in every decision: this can be awkward, frustrating and unbelievably time consuming.
Agree your budget
Working together to set, and stick to, a budget is a great way to begin your life together.
Start with an overall figure and, I suggest, keep 8-10% of it as contingency (which usually means dress and shoes!).
Divide the rest into a small number of headings (Ceremony, Venue, Food and Drink, Attire, Photography, Flowers, Entertainment, Cake, Other for starters) and allocate a proportion to each.
As you get going in your planning and become more confident in your understanding of what each part will cost, these figures can be moved around, but everyone needs a starting point.
As you book suppliers, perhaps add an ‘Actual’ column in your budget spreadsheet, allowing you to see the difference between what you anticipated and the actual cost.
Read the Small Print
Before you sign anything, with any venue or supplier, make sure you get a number of quotes to compare, and read the fine print.
By doing this, and asking absolutely every question which arises from doing so, you are far more likely to get what you want and not miss important terms and conditions, such as minimum numbers, when amplified music must be turned off or the number of hours your suppliers will attend on the day.
I have a lot of lovely couples ask me, of my own services, ‘can I just check that..’, ‘sorry if this sounds silly, but..’
Remember, the only silly question is the one you didn’t ask! Good wedding suppliers will be enthusiastic about your wedding and never backward in coming forward to answer your concerns and queries.
I hope this helps you kick off your planning a Jersey wedding and wish you happy planning!
If you need help planning your wedding, whether you’re based in the island, in the UK or elsewhere, don’t hesitate to contact me for a free consultation or just a quick chat.
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Happy planning all!