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You've just got engaged! Now where to start...

Getting engaged is one of the most exciting times of your life, and there’s nothing more special than sharing the news with the people you love. One thing you might notice though is you won’t be long engaged before the questions start rolling in. Where are you getting married? What band have you picked? What date? and so on.

It can be very overwhelming but hopefully this post will help make that a little easier as we discuss some tips on where to start with your wedding planning.

The first place I always think we should start is with finances. We all know weddings are expensive, and when we browse Pinterest and Instagram we begin to get really carried away with our vision, suddenly we have a wedding to rival a Kardashian.

Before writing up a budget, I would suggest getting to know your spending habits. If you’re someone who’s very organised and tracks your finances well, this step can be skipped, and you can go ahead and write up the budget. However, if you are anything like me, and love to treat yourself, then this part is very important.

Write out everything you spend in a month, right down to your .99c iCloud subscription. This will give you a realistic overview of where you need to cut back, and what costs are necessary.

Once you have an idea of what you realistically can save a month you can pick a rough date because you’ll know how long it will take you to save up a certain amount.

The next step after this is to put together a rough guest list. It doesn’t have to be the final list, but it will help you make a more realistic budget and understand what kind of wedding you’re going to have. We were set on a small wedding, but when we did the list we realised we had over 200 people.

This also made it easier when choosing a venue because we could see if they had any minimum or maximum numbers.

With an idea of numbers, the next step is to list out every single wedding related item you can think of, regardless of whether you plan on using them or not. Start with the obvious options like venue, photographer, videographer, band, florist, cake, music, ceremony location etc. and then go into the nitty gritty details like bridal and bridesmaids’ accessories, shoes, thank you cards, bridal pyjamas and anything else that comes into your head.

Now you can start crossing items off the list and prioritising based on what is important to you. For us, food was one of the main factors when deciding a venue, we are both foodies and wanted our guests to experience a beautiful meal. We were willing to put more money into our venue and having extra canapés but knew we would have to sacrifice somewhere else.

This makes the budget side of things a lot easier, you now know roughly the number of people and what’s important to you for the big day. It’s time to start shooting off emails.

One website I must recommend at this early stage is WeddingAvocado will cut out all the messing when it comes to the back and forth with suppliers. You can simply search by location, category and date and it will list available suppliers and vendors for you. Along with that it shows you a rough idea of their costs, a gallery of their work and reviews from past clients. Rather then hours of googling and emails it has everything you need on one website. Plus, if you decide to book you pay your 10% deposit upfront and you’re done. There’s no charge for signing up.

Now you’re started it should be a lot easier from here! Being organised is key. If you’re not already, make sure to follow @theirishbride on Instagram for more wedding planning tips and check out my other blogs too.

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