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Newly engaged and haven't a clue where to start.

(21 Posts)
dolallymum Sat 13-Sep-14 16:29:52

I have no idea where to start with wedding planning etc. and would really appreciate any advice/suggestions on where to start.
Thinking of a summer 2016/17 wedding, depending on how much we can get saved up.

AuntieStella Sat 13-Sep-14 16:33:06

You need to start by booking th legal ceremony, by before yo do that you need to think about whether church, registry office or other venue and roughly how many people you might want it to hold.

Awakeagain Sat 13-Sep-14 16:42:09

I would have a look at venues first, look at price/options/dates etc and work out what you like
Then what you need to save

LilacCroc Sat 13-Sep-14 16:48:18

Date and Venue (for the wedding and reception).

We decided the venues we wanted first - the Church and a particular Hotel.

Then we decided on a rough date - we wanted a Sunday in June or July. Then I phoned the Vicar and Hotel and got a list of available matching dates, when they were both free. Decided between us the best one and phoned the Vicar and Hotel back to make a booking and pay deposits.

There's not really much point in planning anything before you have a date and venue. Then you can start the savings budget (if not already), send out save the dates, and slowly start on the rest.

pinnercull Tue 16-Sep-14 11:07:10

Newly engaged, Congrats! First of all the best wedding planning is when you have prior bookings of everything like dresses, venues, food, bands, invitations. If you have an advance booking you will always have a plus point. Secondly, while advance booking you cannot hurry up. You need to analyze your budget and requirements. That means what are you going to buy, when to buy, where to buy? A correct wedding supplier will surely help you to gain the best. take advice from married friends and relatives. They are experience holders they will surely help you and guide you for the best.

dolallymum Tue 16-Sep-14 18:42:01

Thanks everyone

ThinkIveBeenHacked Tue 16-Sep-14 18:44:56

We sat down with our incomings and outgoings and worked out exactly how much we could save each month. Omce we knew that, we set a date well past the date when we would have the rough estimated amount.

Next we decided whether we wanted evrrything in one venue or a registry office then onto a reception venue. This narrowed down our search pool.

Finally we decided what was the most inportant aspect to us as picked a venue that suited that best. Booked the date that was available at the venue closest to the time we would have saved the right amount.

Everything else just got sorted along the way.

kaykayblue Fri 19-Sep-14 14:16:33


First thing you should start with is...


Seriously, don't even think about trying on dresses until you know how much you have to spend on the wedding!

Some people get financial help offered by parents. I fell into this category, and will be forever grateful for it. However, do be warned: my parents have been extremely reasonable, and only insisted (non directly) on one very small issue (invitations), and not given any other opinions unless directly asked. However, many others on the boards have complained about parents viewing the contribution as a ticket to control the wedding in some way or another.

Figure out which category your family would fall into. If uncertain, make your assumptions clear from the get go.

Second thing - which I had done this way, way earlier actually, is...


I recommend sitting down with your partner, and on separate bits of paper, writing down everyone from your side that you want to come to the wedding. If you both write the same friends down it doesn't matter. But you need an idea of how many people you are going to invite, and to work out how one side won't swamp the other.

I had no idea how many cousins/uncles/aunt's my fiance had before we wrote our lists out. I was like "....who the fuck is this?". You don't need to QUESTION who is being written down, but obviously you need to know numbers, and who they actually are.

Doing the guest list early also means you can contact any very key people you definitely want to be there, and run some dates past them to check they are available.

Leading onto the third/fourth thing, which is.....


I chose my venue first, then picked one of the dates it was available. Be warned that 1st April to 30th September is high season, so everything effectively doubles in price.

This is also why the guest list is so important. One of the key issues about venues, aside from their gothic panelling or 16th century fucking portraits or whatever is......THEIR MAXIMUM CAPACITY.

There's no point looking at a venue which only holds 50 people max, if there are 120 people on your draft guest list.

Finally on the super important things, I would say


Or sorting out your banns, depending on where you are marrying. This is the essential thing that actually makes the wedding legal, but you often need to have confirmed the venue before you can book the appointment.

dolallymum Sat 20-Sep-14 08:20:13

thank u kaykayblue

Madamecastafiore Sat 20-Sep-14 08:24:46

Think about what a wedding means to you. Do you need huge event and the pomp and circumstance or is it about the 2 of you in front of an officiant pledging yourselves to each other then go from there.

jas1978 Sun 21-Sep-14 13:58:35

Well said Madamecastafiore. So much of weddings are about what you should or are expected to do rather than what you BOTH want your day to be like. Think and talk honestly and make your day for you 2. Good luck x

DrewOB Mon 22-Sep-14 12:03:06

Heya! congrats,
same boat here, except I need to go fight with the French embassy first of all.
I don't know if you have access to the new version of Microsoft word, but that comes with a free template of a wedding checklist with timescale etc.

kaykayblue Mon 22-Sep-14 12:42:47

DREWOB - We have been involved with the embassy as well. There should be no "fighting" involved. The only thing you need to do if getting married outside of France, is to send a form to the embassy which publishes your banns. This is the case for ANY marriage outside of France, involving a french citizen. You can normally find the form online, and it's very easy to fill in.

DrewOB Mon 22-Sep-14 13:14:36

Pfeww Glad to hear that kaykayblue! Did you have to import a French family contingent too? I'm at 47 on my side of the family only and panicking :S

BackforGood Mon 22-Sep-14 13:54:12

Congratulations smile

Agree, you need to think first of the kind of thing you have in mind, the rough numbers you feel you want to share the day with, and some really rough outline of budget i the first instance.
Then you need to start getting outline prices for venues (as that's likely to be the bulk of your cost) and see if your original estimates need a lot of re-adjusting. Then you can begin to talk about if it's important that you have all 70 of your relatives there or if it's more important that you have a Saturday (weekdays much cheaper) or if you now think it would make more sense to hire a Church or Community hall and do a less formal do, etc.,etc.

Without anywhere to start, it's difficult to set a budget from the start, or to definitely decide numbers or set your heart on a venue.

dolallymum Wed 24-Sep-14 07:38:18

Thanks everyone.
Want something plain and simple tbh, never been one for a big fuss.
DrewOB and kaykayblue hope you get sorted with the Embassy.

HJBlenkinsop Tue 21-Oct-14 20:00:47


I agree with kaykayblue - budget is so important! With a little flexibility, you can get the wedding you want for a lot less. For example, have you considered a mid-week wedding or an off-peak wedding? Avoid Saturdays and you can save a bundle! Here's a few other ways to save:

jessrabbit3 Thu 23-Oct-14 14:43:21

This has helped cheers ladies!

WeddingTeaTowel Mon 27-Oct-14 17:22:03

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

maggiethemagpie Tue 11-Nov-14 18:49:23

We were in this boat and did nothing at all for the first 6 months. Then I decided to get my arse in gear and started looking at venues. You'll soon find out that the prices on the websites are nothing like the prices in reality, a lot of places will quote a price that is for 50 guests, and then charge more pp. We thought we could get a venue with food for 100 people for around 5k and it's more likely double that. We found somewhere for 8k and thought that was pretty reasonable. It's bonkers money really when you consider it is just for a room and a meal for a lot of people on one day, but as we have a big family and can't really edit the guest list much we had to either have a big wedding or go for a micro wedding abroad or something, which we didn't really want to do.

Also many places book up quickly so the good places may be fully booked for 2016 if you want a summer wedding.

I am just about to confirm my booking and will then feel like the planning has properly started as I will have a date to work towards.

VanGogh Thu 13-Nov-14 22:44:46


I scouted my reception venues and enquired as to availability.
Provisionally booked the church.
Booked the venue
Booked the church.

Engaged September 2014
Wedding August 2015.

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