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Engaged! what next?!


If you’ve clicked here I’m guessing you’ve recently become someones fiance!!! Wow how lovely does that sound! I hope it was a beautiful proposal and everything you hoped for! Please send in your engagement stories as we LOVE a good love story over here at Bride Academy.






So . .you’ve visited or face-timed your loved ones, flashed your sparkly ring to your girlfriends and are wondering now what? Well, not to burst the engagement bubble but if you’re hoping to marry within the next two years then girl you’ve got some work to do!! The best bit? I’m here every step of the way.


You’ve covered the first step (getting engaged!), so you’re probably feeling incredible right now, maybe you’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time or maybe it’s come as a complete surprise but the first and foremost step is to celebrate!! This is a monumental, HUGE moment in your life and the start of your lives together. So i’m here to tell you not to skip the fun bits, rally your girls over or throw a lavish party for your nearest and dearest, just make sure the first track to be played is Beyonce ‘Put a Ring on It’.







Once you’ve celebrated now we can look at the next steps! And those that know me will know I’ve loved preparing these easy to look back on flow charts for you all!






Right, let's discuss . .


Priorities:

Firstly, I recommend sitting down (preferably with a glass of bubbly) and discussing both your priorities when it comes to your Wedding Day. This is the time to discuss what you both want from the day, what you are both willing to compromise and not compromise on. Discuss what you have loved from other Weddings you have been to, but it’s also important to discuss what you don’t want or can’t envision yourself having. You may find you are mutually in agreement when it comes to everything you’d like but this is a great time to listen and learn each-others boundaries when it comes to planning such an important day.


It’s far too early to go all Bridezilla (or even Groomzilla) at this stage but another topic to discuss would be who will take the role of the main planner (if there is to be one) and what elements of the planning you each would like to have. This differs couples to couples and it’s important to get these topics out the way now to avoid clashing later on down the line!


Budget:

We get it,  no one and I mean NO ONE likes talking about money, it’s a bit scary and icky but it is imperative you discuss this element of the wedding as early as possible, I agree it is boring but important! You simply cannot plan a wedding without knowing your figures.  Discuss whether you wish to use some savings or set a timeline in which you will be able to save (this makes deciding on a date far more simple too). Might you have family who wish to help you? 


The reason why budget is so important is that it will open the opportunities in terms of what suppliers you have for your Wedding. Once costings are finalised you can then start venue hunting within your budget, choose flowers, entertainment, catering the list is endless! The trick is to work backwards once you have a final number and decide between yourselves which proportion of the costs can be allocated to where.


Guest Numbers:

Have you thought about whether you want a huge guest list or does the idea of a micro wedding appeal to you? Put pen to paper and each write your ideal guest list and then discuss! This will have a huge impact on your budget as well as venue. This can also be the time to sit down and think about who it is you would like to be part of the bridal party - if you even want one!


Once you have your final number you are one step closer to securing your perfect venue. This is your day and you want to invite the people you love most in the world, granted this can be a bit of a tricky subject with family members so the earlier this conversation is had the better!


Feeling a bit better and less overwhelmed already? I sure hope so, let us move on to the next one . . 







Type of Bride / Groom:


Understanding what type of Bride or Groom you are is more important than it sounds! I’ve narrowed this down to  three types for you to work out which category you fall in:


The Pro Planner! 

Maybe at work you are a project manager or your background is in events but you have been patiently sitting on your hands waiting for the green light to get started! You are the Monica of the Wedding World and your fiance doesn’t know what’s about to hit them when the scrap book comes out from under the bed and the pinterest board alphabetised and split into sub-categories!










The Empowered Bride/Groom! 

Here you are watching a video on how to plan your wedding, so I’m going to guess the majority of you fall under this category. You’re new to this, but you want to do it well! You like the sound of planning your own wedding and you actively seek all the tools and resources to do so.  It’s an on-the-job training role and you’re determined to give it your all.









The Busy Bride/ Groom!

The idea of having to take on yet another task is enough to give you a migraine. Whilst the excitement is still there this is slowly being replaced by the sheer horror of volume and extra workload you have added to your already increasing list of things to do this month.


Deciding who you are outlines the roles that you are likely to play in the planning stage and subsequently brings you one step further into the planning of your Wedding Day. Now we can look at important things like the where and when? Hopefully by this stage you’ve not got into any pre marital arguments and we’re all on the same page!







Location

You might have a dream location saved in your instagram that you categorically know by any means is the venue for your Wedding, but the majority don’t have a clue and find this stage one of the most overwhelming. Understanding your wedding location is the first step before confirming a venue, does a destination wedding appeal to you both or are you likely to have it closer to home? 


Having an understanding of where in the world you wish to get married is going to have an effect on who and who cannot attend, what suppliers you will have access to and whether you need some extra help (ie an abroad wedding where you may come across language barriers).  It ultimately narrows down your search too, so whilst you might be planning your dream English Garden Wedding in the countryside, think of this stage as a filtering element to where you can get viewings booked in.


When

Are you a sun worshipper or lover of the cooler seasons? Does the idea of wearing a Wedding Dress on a warm summers day fill you with dread or maybe you see yourself as a December bride? Here in the UK at least, the changing of seasons plays a huge part in choosing what time of the year you would like to say ‘I do’. Some people have important dates that they wish to shine a light on or if you are a teacher for instance you need to be committed to school holidays. 


There is ‘out of season’ months to consider too, typically October - March and peak Wedding Season falls between the months May - September. With these options come different costings too, for example having your Wedding fall between a Sunday and Thursday may cut costs significantly in comparison to a Wedding on a Friday & Saturday.  When looking for our Wedding venue over 9 years ago we were given just one option in the following September (this was 14 months prior to that date!) so dates get booked up fast which is why getting to this stage following the above steps is crucial guys.







Promise you the serious behind the scenes stuff is almost over but now that we’ve established some roles within the planning, you’ve discussed what you want from your Wedding, when you are hoping for it to be and roughly where it will take place now is the time to get prepared. I’m talking organisation! Those that are regulars to my page will know that for me, organisation is key and I love nothing more than a highlighter pen, divider and folders but these alone will not get you far when beginning to plan your Wedding.


You will need somewhere to hold and keep safe all your planning information, spreadsheets, diary, media, contacts and files  - not to mention important contracts that can easily be found. All you pro planners I suspect have got this part covered but for the rest of you, our Digital Wedding Planner is an absolute game changer for brides to be!


I hope you have found this helpful and I’ll see you soon for my next steps!


Happy Planning!


Lauren xx



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