If you’re reading this blog, chances are you said “Yes!” to THE big question over the holiday period. You’ve celebrated in style with your nearest and dearest, you can’t stop looking at your engagement ring and you’re completely loved up.
With the festivities over and the New Year resolutions in place, it’s time to gently bring yourself back down to earth and address the serious business of getting organised! But before you dive headlong into planning your wedding, just stop for a moment. Whilst many of us have at least thought about (if not completely planned) our dream wedding from when we were little, do consider your fiancé and their dreams for their BIG day as well!
Photo credit: Weerayut Janthai
So first things first, sit down with your SO and have a real and meaningful discussion with them. A wedding is about two people and you both need to be open and honest about your expectations not only of your wedding day, but also your ensuing marriage; after all that’s the important bit. Communication is key to any relationship, so kick start this next phase of yours with a no-holds bar discussion so that you’re both singing from the same song sheet.
Next, start discussing roughly when you want to get married. Do you have a particular season or destination you’d prefer? Are there any dates in your lives that you’d rather avoid? Also take into account any family or friends’ events coming up in the next couple of years – their weddings, big birthdays, special anniversaries, holidays and baby arrival dates. Don’t forget to check with each other if there are any annual family traditions that you need to avoid as well.
Of course, you can’t plan for everything, but by factoring in all the things you’re pretty sure about, you’re more likely to find a date that suits, with a minimum of fuss. Do try to be flexible with your preferred date as you still need to factor in venue availability; have a couple of alternative dates to give yourself the best possible chance of getting you and your nearest and dearests all together at the venue of your choice.
If you know you’re planning on a destination wedding, check out the public or religious holidays for that country as your chosen time of year may clash with a big festival or a popular holiday time that may impact your finances, as well as your choice of venue and vendors.
Our lovely couple, Jiajing and Xinxin tying the knot in paradise
You then need to decide how much you’re willing to spend on your wedding. Do some initial research to get an idea of the budget you’ll need to finance your wedding. Be realistic about how much you’re both able to spend – don’t forget that whilst your wedding day is a key milestone in your life, it is just one day.
Financing your wedding will vary by couple: the bride’s family, the groom’s family, contributions from both families, you and your partner alone, or perhaps a loan of some sort. Talking money with loved ones can be tricky. Don’t automatically assume that the bride’s family will be footing the bill – times have changed. If your parents or other family members are contributing, it’s usual that they’ll tell you straight away (if they haven’t already). If you find yourself in the situation of having to ask if they’re planning on contributing, whilst you may feel awkward, it’s better you know now, rather than find out later on that you’ve got a shortfall in your budget.
It’s at this point that many couples look into the option of employing a wedding planner. Let me guess – your first thought is that this is just an extra cost – think again! Using a wedding planner, whose sole job is to plan weddings, will help to focus your vision and, more importantly, will save you time and money.
White and greenery table setting, Monkey Flower Villas, Koh Tao
Check out a couple of wedding planners in your chosen locality as they’ll be better positioned to provide you with inside knowledge on your chosen venue or destination. Select the one who responds to your questions directly, makes practical and sensible suggestions and who immediately gets you and your vision for your wedding day. Go with your gut – your wedding planner is going to be your new best friend!
Overall, what we’re really trying to say here is that communication is paramount; have that key conversation with your other half early on in the process, so that you both know what you’d like and what you definitely don’t want for your BIG day and for your marriage. Check out and agree a date for your wedding, but don’t be surprised if you end up changing it. Get your budget secured, and be realistic about what you can achieve with it and stick to it!
Nikki and Jeff travelling in style! Koh Tao Elopement - Photo credit: Aidan Dockery Photography
Finally, do remember to take the time to enjoy your engagement, your love for one another, and try not to get too lost in the wedding plans!
If you are considering a destination wedding in Thailand, download our FREE GUIDE full of hints and tips to help you on your planning journey!