Planned to Perfection – a monthly column by Bijou Wedding Venues.
Bijou’s expert advice is sure to come in handy if you’re facing this big decision. Before you know it, you’ll be posting your ‘save the dates’.
It’s safe to say that when anyone starts planning their own wedding, it can all seem a little overwhelming, especially when one of the first choices you’ll need to make is as important as choosing the right date. From our experience at Bijou, we know that we can create amazing weddings any day of the year, but we also know that every couple is different, and your decision has to work for you. To make the start of your wedding planning experience easier, we’ve compiled 8 top tips which break down that all-important decision into something far more manageable.
Tip 1: Think about how much time you need to plan your wedding
With our busy lifestyles, it’s important to realise that wedding planning will inevitably vie for your time. Writing a guest list, shopping for dresses, choosing your music – the list goes on, and these all need considering alongside you and your partner’s other commitments. Depending on your work/home/family balance, make sure you leave enough months to be able to enjoy the planning process – it doesn’t have to be stressful and, after all, it is in preparation for the happiest day of your life.
Tip 2: Work out how long you will need to budget
Nowadays, more and more couples are rewriting the rulebook when it comes to who pays for what at the wedding. Whatever you choose to do, it is imperative that you know exactly when you’ll need to be making any payments to your chosen wedding venue or suppliers, as this will affect any saving plans. It may be that postponing your celebrations for a year or two will allow you to save for longer and afford those special extras you’ve always wanted. Conversely, if you’d be willing to book a sooner date, always ask if there are any late-availability offers to take advantage of.
Top Tip: Find out if your venue has different instalment options, such as quarterly or monthly and work out what is best for your finances. Always check if any of these options incur a surcharge.
Tip 3: Imagine which season would suit your ideas the most
The British weather can never be relied upon, so try not to choose a date in the hope that your day will be drenched in sunshine. Instead, think about your broader vision for the day. Do you have a theme in mind, and are there any seasons which would suit this more? If you dream of an intimate family celebration, it may be that a winter date, in a venue with cosy fireplaces could be perfect. The summer months are an ideal fit for a fun, festival themed wedding, and an elegant pastel hued wedding works beautifully in spring.
Top Tip: When you visit a venue, ask to see pictures of the venue at different times of year and ask if the grounds are manicured all year round. Always check if there is any permanent decoration displayed throughout the festive period, especially if you are considering a winter date.
Tip 4: Consider mid-week vs weekend dates
The day of the week can be the single-biggest factor affecting the cost of a particular wedding date. There tends to be a general fear of mid-week weddings amongst engaged couples, based on the assumption that your guests won’t be able to attend. However, from our experience, this simply isn’t the case, as long as you send out Save the Date cards nice and early, your guests should have plenty of time to plan ahead.
Tip 5: Look at when national holidays fall
Get to know the calendar for the year you wish to get married, including when the bank holidays are. Be considerate of certain National holidays; you know your guests, so you’ll have the best idea of whether a Christmas celebration would be ideal, or an intrusion of their own festivities. Bank holidays offer a useful extension to weekends, but be aware that there may be a premium price for booking these. If you’re a fan of particular holiday, such as Bonfire Night or Halloween, why not consider adding a unique holiday-themed twist to your plans?
Tip 6: Decide if you’d like to celebrate your wedding on a significant date
Picture the two of you in a few years’ time. How do you imagine celebrating your anniversary? Some couples choose to get married on the anniversary of their engagement, or even when they first met (if you can remember!). While we love an excuse for another celebration, you may want to double up your celebrations with a big birthday, or another annual event that suits your ideas, such as the summer solstice.
Tip 7: Bear in mind any guests who you may need to take into consideration
Weddings are the best excuse to bring together family and friends who rarely see each other. If you have guests travelling from abroad, you may want to discuss with them a suitable time to accommodate their travel time and expenses. Additional guests who may deserve consideration are those who are teachers or other public sector workers who may struggle to get time off work. Always have an open discussion with them before making any commitments.
Tip 8: Don’t forget to factor in any honeymoon plans
After tying the knot, your honeymoon is the time to spend some well-deserved quality time with your new husband or wife, so it deserves equal consideration when choosing your date. If you have a dream destination in mind, you may wish to research the best times to travel, especially if you’d like to jet off on your honeymoon immediately after your wedding. Remember that you can always have a mini-moon if there are too many factors impacting your choice of date – we love an excuse for another holiday!
Who are Bijou Wedding Venues?
Bijou own and manage a collection of luxurious, exclusive use wedding venues located in Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire and North Norfolk. All of their wedding venues offer complete exclusivity for 24 hours, along with exquisite grounds, a five-star service, an in-house catering team, use of a proprietary online planner and more. Visit bijouweddingvenues.co.uk to find out more.