Just Engaged? What now……

Just Engaged? What now……

I am often asked by brides when they get engaged what to do next. It is such an exciting time when you get engaged. I can still remember it 22 years ago. The excitement, telling friends, family, the endless parties to celebrate and clinking glasses with more champagne. It was all so much fun. Wearing a gorgeous sparkler on your finger. All fresh with no scratches and looking very shiny indeed. The new diamond on your finger is so much fun and brings so much joy! You’re getting married!

Then its time for the next question to be answered. Have you set a date? This is the very first step to arranging things as nothing else can be done until you do this, so the big question is what type of wedding do you want. Do you want a classic English summer wedding in the countryside or an Italian wedding on a Tuscan hillside, or maybe a chilled boohoo beach wedding? The choice is both of yours to make. Yes, you do include your partner in this decision! Or maybe you want a winter wedding tucked up in a beautiful castle with autumnal leaves in full glory.  All of these things decide the look and feel of what you will do next. I do say to brides to be, enjoy being engaged for a bit. Don’t worry about planning and enjoy the moment of being engaged.  

Next when the date is set it starts of, the roller coaster of wedding planning. As a bride, most have generally has not done this before so it’s time to think about what to look at first. The most important things after setting the date, is a venue to perform the wedding, a church, civil service and the people involved need to be booked. Then, a venue for after, and the allocation of food services and potentially music. These are the key big ones. I think wedding planning is one step at a time. Do it logically. 

It helps massively to set up a Pinterest board of what you like and the feel of what you love. In line with this a rough overall budget to allocate to the different areas. Today it is possible to get married in a very low key way and also to go all out with a lavish wedding. You can decide what that is and go from there. I think it’s important to remember this, when getting married. Parts of a budget can have areas where allocated funds go over or under and one can decide where to do this. 

I got married in Ireland many moons ago and it was so important for us to have all our friends there. We didn’t want them to have to incur excessive amounts of money to come to our wedding. We picked a central Dublin location so it could offer a wealth of accommodation and travel options to all our guests. Its so nice when couples think of this. Often couples are young and starting out. It’s generally a time early on in friends’ careers and thinking about houses etc. So, it’s nice to consider guests. Of course, this may not be an issue and dream big and go all out. Taking over venues can be an incredible way to have a gorgeous private wedding and house all your guests at the same time.  

After that I think one can breathe a bit and enjoy the journey to planning. Of course, you may have the finances to get in a wedding planner and this is great as its money well spent and headache avoided. Research them first as they vary greatly. I once had a client who on the face of it had such a lavish wedding and all the Instagramable details etc. but she was so wrought up and stressed by it for the whole lead up to her wedding. I have seen brides who have asked their friends to do so much of the detailingorganizing, and clear up on their wedding day that it turned into a working day for the guests in high heels and the men running round exhausted. Not fun! Your guests need to be looked after too. 

When you get to this stage enjoy it. Planning is fun. Yes, it can be tricky to decide on suppliers etc. so get recommendationsDecide what you can take on and what is best not to do with the budget you have. It doesn’t matter how big or small your budget is. It is all allocated and spent in the same way so decide how you want to do it and what time realistically you can give to it. 

Some great suppliers come to the fore in unusual places. They at times can be the small ones who offer unique and incredible service. I love recommending using local florists for a venue as it is very supportive of the local community and always worth doing. Going to Wedding Fairs is a great way to meet and collect suppliers and see what they all do under one roof. It is a great chance to mingle with your fiancé or friends and see what you like and also have some fun at the same time. It’s also lovely to have a special day with your Mum so she feels involved and have a girlie day out. 

On a very practical note at this stage it is really important you think about wedding Insurance. You could say why. For many reasonsYou’re spending a large sum of money for one day and whilst we don’t want things to go wrong sometimes, they do. Illness, accidents, venue problems any host of issues could arise. We insure a car all the time and for weddings we can spend some very large sums, a bit like car and we would never not insure our car, so most definitely insure your wedding. It’s a no brainer! In my nearly 25 years of seeing brides it is always the last thing they think about but I recommend. I have seen it being utilized and I have also seen the Thanks later for the advice. 

During all of this process the next bid big one is the DRESS! Where do you start and where do you go? Well I am going to deal with all of this in my next blog. So, watch out for it. I will be giving you my top advice as a dress designer and my inside knowledge on what’s available out there from all areas in the market. Definitely one to read for all your gorgeous brides. Hope you enjoyed my little imparting of my advice. 

Sharon X

All rings by Sara Hartley.