What is that bright, shiny object on your finger? Oh, an engagement ring, how exciting!!
You’ve said “YES” to the Big Question – there have been celebrations and many chances to show off that glinting diamond ring, but what happens next?
Now comes the serious business – getting organised and planning a wedding. Hang on a moment though, while you may have been planning your entire dream wedding from when you were a little girl, it’s not just your wedding day. Consider your partner and what they’ve always envisaged for their BIG day. Whilst we all love to watch ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’ through laced fingers, it does go to show just how a couple’s vision can differ… time for communication and possibly some compromise!
Communication is the name of the game, and is key to any relationship.
So first up, have an open and meaningful discussion with your partner. A wedding is about ultimately about the two of you and you both need to be honest about your expectations for the day as well as your life-long marriage, that’s what’s most important after all.
So kick-start this next phase of yours with a transparent discussion so that you’re both on the same page.
Ok, next up is to talk about when you want to get married. There are a few factors to take into consideration.
Do you have a particular season or destination you’d prefer? Are there any dates in your lives that you’d rather avoid?
Don’t forget about important dates in the lives of your family or friends over the next year or so – maybe there are other weddings, big birthdays, special anniversaries, holidays and baby arrival dates.
You absolutely can’t plan for everything, but by factoring in the essentials, you’re more likely to find a date that suits with the 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 ready to give yourself the best possible chance of getting you and your nearest and dearest all together at the venue of your choice.
If you’re dreaming of a destination wedding, check any public or religious holidays as this may affect the availability of your vendors. In some countries there may also be religious observations that prohibit the sale of alcohol on certain dates, so be sure to check! Also do some research on the best season to wed, both in terms of weather and the cost of travel and accommodation.
It’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty of planning a wedding – the budget!
First, look at location and venues. Decide on the general theme and narrow your choices down to two or three venues/locations.
Next, do some more detailed research to get an idea of the investment you’ll need to finance your wedding for the number of guests you intend to invite. Find out exactly what is included and what you need to budget for outside of the package price.
Finally, make a list of your ‘must-haves’ and your ‘nice-to-haves’ and slot the most important items into your budget.
There are a few factors to take into account about budgeting and financing your wedding.
Contributions may be offered from the bride’s family, the groom’s family, or both families, or you may decide to finance it totally by yourselves.
Talking about money with loved ones can be tricky. Please 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, they will probably tell you straight away. If you find yourself in the situation of having to ask if they’re planning on contributing, you may feel awkward, however, it’s better you know now, rather than find out later on that you’ve got a shortfall in your budget.
Another aspect to consider when planning a wedding (especially in current times), is to check cancellation policies for flights and deposits on accommodation, venues or wedding planning services. Many may not refund a deposit, although are happy to reschedule.
It’s often at this point that many couples begin to look into the option of hiring a wedding planner.
I’m guessing your first thought about this is – oh, that’s just an extra cost! However, I’d like you to think further about this!
A wedding planner, whose sole job is to plan weddings, will help to focus your vision and most importantly, save you time, money and stress.
Take the time to check out a couple of wedding planners in your chosen location as they’ll be better positioned to provide you with insider knowledge on your chosen venue or destination. Select the one who you best connect with, responds to your questions directly, makes practical and sensible suggestions, and who feel can deliver your shared vision. Be sure to check their reviews too!
It’s so important to go with your instinct on this – your wedding planner is going to be your new best friend!
Yes, we’ve circled back around to communication again. Overall, communication (and compromise) is paramount! Have that key conversation with your other half early on in the process, so that you both know your likes, your dislikes, and what you really don’t want for your BIG day AND for your marriage.
Agree a date for your wedding, and have a couple of back-up dates.
Get your budget secured – set reminders for when any large payments are due and be realistic about what you can achieve. A wedding planner will be able to ensure that you get the ‘most bang for your buck’, without compromising quality.
Finally, do remember to take the time to enjoy your engagement and your love for one another. Try not to get so caught up in planning the perfect day that you forget what it is all about!
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!