You’ve said yes, taken your engagement photos, and told the world you’re getting married. Now it’s time to start planning your big day in Gloucestershire. It can feel like an endless mountain of to-do lists, timelines, and expense charts. Planning a wedding can be stressful – whether you’re hosting 50 guests or 500 guests.

The trick to making your wedding planning less stressful is to get started early, create a budget, and break it down into manageable steps. We’re breaking down the first 10 things you should do when you’re starting to plan your wedding.

1.  Describe Your Dream Wedding

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you start wedding planning. Take a step back and look at the big picture. What type of wedding do you want? Once you start planning, you’ll be juggling a budget and other people’s expectations of your big day.

There are a few things you want to have as non-negotiables for your big day. These aspects will feed into the big decisions you’ll have to make, from the time of year you get married, to the sort of wedding ceremony you want, and overall feel. You’ll want to decide early on whether you want an intimate wedding day or an all-out Gloucestershire extravaganza.

You might have your dream wedding already in mind. If not, there’s a world of wedding planning to explore through Pinterest, TikTok, and Instagram. You can hear from everyday couples through our wedding planning series.

2. Set a Budget

One of the most daunting aspects of wedding planning is also one you want to tackle early. Setting your budget. You can’t start making decisions on your dress, venue, or Gloucestershire wedding car hire without having a budget in mind. Your budget is what will automatically dictate most of your decision-making, including the number of guests you can invite to your wedding ceremony and reception.

Sit down with your partner and their families to decide if anyone else is going to financially contribute towards the cost of your wedding. Settling on your budget early on will make wedding planning less stressful and help you narrow down your venue and wedding vendor options.

3.   Set a Date

Once you have your budget and overall wedding in mind, it’s time to start considering the date. We recommend having two or three dates in mind to give you options if your dream wedding venue is unavailable. Peak wedding season during the summer months can be extra tricky for getting your ideal date.

The season of your wedding will feed into decisions on things like transport, flowers, and food.

4.   Find Your Venue

One of the first big items to get ticked off your wedding planning to-do list is finding your venue. You want to book your venue at least a year in advance, if possible, even longer if you’re looking at a popular venue for a summer wedding. Your venue will serve as the backdrop for your wedding and determine what wedding vendors you work with.

5. Explore Wedding Vendor Options

There are certain wedding vendors you want to book ASAP. Photographers, wedding transport, and cake decorators can all book up face – especially if you have a popular one in mind. Many of these wedding vendors will open their diaries a year in advance.

You can attend wedding fairs to meet local vendors or get recommendations through social media, including Facebook groups and Instagram pages. Makeup artists, videographers, and florists can also book up quickly. Booking your wedding vendors early will give you time to work with them on design ideas and other aspects of your big day.

6.   Start Your Guest List

Once you have your budget and venue in place, it’s time to start working on your guest list. Check with your venue to know their capacity, as well as the capacity for your wedding ceremony if it’s being held in a separate venue.

You may decide to split your guest list up between ‘day guests’ – who attend both the whole day – and ‘evening guests’ who only attend the reception. Lowering your number of day guests can help you budget as catering is one of the most expensive costs associated with wedding planning.

7. Wedding Registry and Website

It’s a good idea to get started on your wedding registry and website before sending out your invites. Your wedding registry can double as a gifting list for your engagement party or bridal shower. It’s never too early to get started on your wedding registry.

Couples are also choosing to have their own wedding website as an extension of their invitations. It’s a great way to provide further information relating to the venue, travel arrangements, and accommodation suggestions.

If you’re hosting a larger wedding, you may want to add a FAQ section to cover the dress code, whether children are invited, and other common questions you receive.

You can also use your wedding website afterwards to share pictures and videos with your friends and family.

8.   Get Wedding Insurance

One of the practical things you might forget about in the early stages of planning your wedding is getting insurance. You’ll find specialist wedding insurance that you can use to cover anything that might delay your big day. One type of insurance you’ll also want to invest in is jewellery insurance for your engagement and wedding ring. It’s worth checking if your homeowner’s insurance covers these high-value items or if you need specialist insurance. You’ll feel better with the extra peace of mind.

9.   Choose Your Bridal Party

After you get proposed to, it’s time for you to pop the question to your bridal party. It’s best to choose your bridesmaid and groomsmen as early in advance as possible. When your friends agree to be part of your wedding day, they’re taking on a massive financial and time commitment in the process. Asking them early will give them extra time to save and plan to help make your big day extra special.

10.                      Don’t Forget About Your Honeymoon

All the focus on your wedding day can make it easy to forget about your honeymoon. Don’t forget to start researching destinations and decide how soon after your wedding day you want to jet off. You’ll want to account for your honeymoon in your budget and booking early can get you access to deals and discounts.

Use these 10 steps to start planning your wedding as stress-free as possible.

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