SAVE THE DATE?
So you’ve said YES! Congratulations!!! You’re just getting your head around it all, basking in the excitement and all anyone seems to want to know is… “Have you’ve set a date yet?” It’s one of the first questions people ask and you’ve not thought much past wanting to tell everyone you know that “I GOT ENGAGED!” So should you be worried about telling the world to “Save the Date”?
I would say, unless you’re planning on getting married this summer then Save the Date cards can wait. Enjoy the moment. It’s a wonderful time being engaged. Being married lasts a whole lot longer so enjoy being a fiancée for a bit. Drink champagne and celebrate with friends and family and if they ask if you’ve set a date yet, feel confident in the fact that there is no rush at all.
So what comes after all the celebrating?
There’s a general order in which you might want to consider planning what will be THE BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE. Regardless of how much you’re into weddings trust me having a day celebrating with everyone you love really is one of the best days you will ever have. So here’s a good place to start…
Work out roughly how many guests you would like to invite
This number may change but if you each write a list of “must be there” and “would be nice if they were there” friends and family then you will have an idea what size of venue you will need. Until you book a venue you won’t know for certain if they have your date available and you can’t book a venue if you’re unsure if it will accommodate all your lovely guests.
Work out your budget
Whether big or small you need to know how much you’re willing to spend. Both in total and for each element of your wedding. This will also help you choose your venue so you can get that date set in stone.
Now you know how many guests you’d like to have at your wedding and how much you’d like to spend on your venue, you can start shopping around. It is super exciting seeing potential venues where you could be saying I DO. By all means have a date in mind when you go venue shopping but if you find a venue you absolutely love you may need to be flexible. Some venues book up years in advance so if you have your heart set on a date you may need to widen your search.
BOOK THAT DATE
Once you’ve chosen a venue and paid your deposit your date is set! Have a celebratory drink and get a little bit excited. You have a wedding Date!
Save The Date
Next you want to be sure everyone you want at your wedding can make it. So you need to ask them to Save the Date. This is especially important if you’re getting married over the school holidays as families tend to book holidays well in advance. I learnt this lesson the hard way when one of my oldest friends booked her family holiday literally 2 weeks before we booked our wedding venue.
Revisit your list of potential guests and consider how you’re going to ask them to Save the Date. Some people choose to send a text, email or Facebook event, while others prefer to start styling their vision of their big day. You can send beautiful save the date cards themed to give guests a hint of the style of wedding they can expect. Maybe you have colours you love and absolutely know you want to feature in every aspect of your wedding. And who doesn’t love receiving gorgeous things through the post? In a day of overflowing inboxes, some tactile beautiful paper can be beautifully refreshing.
TIP: If you are sending paper save the dates your won’t need the same number of cards as you have guests. Many families and couples will only need one card between them (it’s a common mistake to make).
So you have a date and a venue, what’s next?
There are two other elements of your wedding day that will book up way in advance. That’s your photographer and your band/DJ. Wedding photographers can book up 1-2 years in advance so do some research of photographers in your area and ask friends for recommendations. You will probably need to pay deposits to secure your date but it’s a good feeling to know it’s a major element of your wedding day sorted.
And then the dress
I was completely caught out with this one! You need to go looking for wedding dresses well in advance of your wedding day. Like at least 6 months in advance. It takes that long for them to be made and shipped to the UK. I thought I could always find one off the peg somewhere but when it came down to it I didn’t like the styles that season. So I ended up in a bridal shop giving the owner a small heart attack when I said I was getting married in 4 months. You’ll usually end up with several fittings after the dress has arrived so put dress shopping up near the top of your list.
Everything else can generally be done whenever you can fit it in. Enjoy the planning and the tasting sessions and the shopping. It’s a once in a lifetime experience and so so much fun.