Planning a Wedding – Where on Earth do you Start?

So congratulations you’re engaged!!

He got down onto one knee (maybe, although Mr W didn’t but that’s another story), popped the question, you cried, laughed, eventually said yes, told all your nearest and dearest then felt like you were having a heart attack with shock for about 3 weeks! – no? Was that just me and all the coffee I had been drinking at work then!

But now what do you do, where on earth do you even start to plan a wedding and how much is it all going to cost? This was something entirely new to me and probably for you too!

So my first step, along with probably every new bride to be was of course to buy every single glossy wedding magazine I could find on sale in the WH Smiths near work and lug them back to read for ideas on my lunch. Glorious pages of things you never even knew existed or was even wanted needed for a wedding and limitless ways to spend money you don’t have.

I actually however did find the handy wedding planning pull-out guides with budget tips, planning and timing tips really useful, oh and approximate costs of everything to blow the minds of all budding wedding planners – well it certainly did for us and our imaginary budget soon became a complete fantasy for what we liked.

Swiftly all those glossy magazines were left to gather dust under the coffee table and instead oh dear I turned to Instagram and Pinterest to fill my head with inspiration for colour schemes, flowers, table decorations, LED dancefloors, cheese towers, fairy light canopies, hand written gold foil calligraphy, mother of pearl heeled shoes, butterflies, sequins, sparkles, cakes, flying unicorns (you get the gist)– anything and everything a bride-to-be could ever literally dream of – so long as their budget is around oh say £1 million!!

After establishing I was just ever so slightly short £1 million short of my Pinterest planned dream wedding I soon realised we had some serious researching to do to establish what it was we really wanted and most importantly how much we actually had, or could realistically save, for our wedding.

So we sat down and before we had even been to see a venue or anything we wrote down all the names of who we wanted to be a part of our day. This for us was the best thing we did, from day 1 we had a rough idea of how many guests we would have which made getting near enough exact quotes easier from the start.

That’s what we then did and got a rough (very rough) estimate of costs and set up a spreadsheet with lists of all the different elements of the day we could think of from the venue to the stationary, the photography, flowers, food and drink packages, suits, dresses . We missed loads of small details in the start but added them all in, everything including pens and the stamps for the invites – don’t forget them!!

It was the number of guests and what we decided would be essential elements to our day that kind of set a budget for us, plucking a figure out of the air we thought would cover it just wouldn’t have worked for us!  If you are on a really strict budget then having an absolute maximum you can afford to save is a good place to start.

We then set up a separate joint account solely for wedding saving. We opted for the Santander 123 account because the monthly interest (3% AER (variable) payable on the entire balance when you have at least £3,000 in your account) was perfect as there was going to be a fair chunk of money going into that account and it was better than most saving or ISA’s accounts would give us.
NB – You do need to set up direct debits to get the interest on the balance so check out the T&C’s! check out a 123 account here

We then agreed how much each of us could afford to put away into savings each month towards the big day – and we stuck to it.

We had all our wedding savings in one place, we always knew how much we had and could easily track how much we had spent. And the spreadsheet was religiously updated with every single purchase. For us this was the best way to get ourselves organised right from the start.

Organisation really is the key from the start and being strict with savings if you want to have the cash by the time the big day arrives. I won’t lie it wasn’t easy, we saved hard for 13 months, we didn’t have nights out, we sacrificed certain things (mainly it was work clothes for me and I felt like I looked like a homeless person in the office some days) but it was definitely worth it – and just think how rich you’ll feel after the wedding!!

I’m enjoying that part at the moment and splurging my wages to excess for the first time in ages!

So get planning, get saving and save a bit more!

Bye for now! Xx

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