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Weddings are wonderful, whether you’re the bride, groom or one of the guests. However, the process of preparing takes some planning. And it starts as soon as you announce the engagement. These 10 steps will help to ensure that you have the perfect big day.

  1. Keep control of the finances. Set a budget and stick to it. Make sure it’s affordable so that you don’t have a financial wedding hangover once you’re husband and wife. You don’t have to spend a fortune to have a great day – some of the best weddings are more about creativity than cash.
  2. Make a guest list. If you’re on a budget then be realistic about who you invite to keep numbers manageable. Decide whether to allow guests to bring a plus one and whether you want to have different invitees for the day and the evening.
  3. Set a date. Check it with the people you really want to have there first and then send it out to everyone else. Remember that summer weddings tend to be the most expensive and the hardest to schedule.
  4. Find a venue. As well as the budget and availability you need to consider whether a venue is appropriate for guests. For example, is it child friendly and accessible? Does its suitability depend on the weather? Is it going to be easy to get to and is there plenty of parking? Most venues need to be booked at least a year in advance so it’s important to do this early on in the process.
  5. Look into a wedding planner. If you’re on a tight budget a professional could help you get what you want on limited resources. If your wedding is going to be huge you may need the professional support just to stay on top of everything.
  6. Decide on a theme. This could be something as simple as a colour you love, an aesthetic such as vintage or a place that inspires you. Creating a theme and sticking to it will help you to maintain consistency, from the food to the flowers.
  7. Bridesmaids and Best men. Make sure your bridal party is well aware of the date, arrangements and what they need to do (e.g. organising a hen party) well in advance.
  8. Order the outfits. Many dresses and suits are custom made, unless you’re lucky enough to find samples or sale sizes. So, you’ll need to leave plenty of time to ensure these can be finished and ready for the big day.
  9. Book a photographer. Wedding photos will be your record of the big day and you simply won’t want to be carrying your phone around with you during the event. Book a professional photographer with a style that appeals.
  10. Focus on the food and drink. Catering is essential for weddings, not just to ensure consistency with the theme but to make sure your guests are satisfied too. From canapés and champagne to buffets and burgers there is plenty to choose from – and don’t forget the cake.

Weddings don’t need to be stressful if you’re well prepared.

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