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London Wedding Planning Guide
Description: You want every detail to be perfect for your wedding but it can be overwhelming and stressful if you are unsure of where or how to start planning it. This article will give you the information and the inspiration you need to not only plan your wedding but to turn it into a memorable success.
A wedding in the countryside, for instance, has to be planned differently from a wedding in London simply because just about everything will have adjustments: there may be less paved roads to transport guests on, catering might require ingredients unavailable in the area or the weather could be warmer or cooler. That is why planning a wedding requires much assistance as you can get.
From creative themes to marvellous style ideas, you will need to make decisions on which caterer can accommodate your preferred menu for the number of guests that you have and what colour and style of bridal gown you will wear from amongst several wedding dresses to choose from, and the like. You will have to go over flowers, cake, photography, stationery, music, décor, reception favours, and many more details.
Brainstorming with your Fiancé Helps
You can get started by making your announcement. As much as possible, you and your fiancé should tell your respective families first before friends, co-workers, or business associates. You may want to do this during an intimate dinner with both sets of parents or setting aside a lunch in which you and your fiancé can tell your parents and then another lunch when both of you inform his parents.
Brainstorm with your fiancé about the kind of wedding both of you would like to have. Whether the theme is some kind of beach bash during sundown, a formal sit-down evening affair with a ballroom setting or an outdoor mountaintop or hillside ceremony at sunrise, you and your fiancé should discuss the pros and cons of your particular choice this early. Financial talk will come in later; right now, the important thing choosing the kind of wedding you both want.
The Best Time for a Wedding
If you and your fiancé have yet to come up with a wedding date, you can discuss the season you want your wedding to be so you can include details pertinent to it. For instance, if you have decided on a winter wedding, it is best to do it indoor rather than outdoor for obvious reasons. Spring and autumn weddings are good choices because the weather is not too warm and just a tad bit chilly, respectively. Get organised; separate a notebook into several sections according to your budget’s categories.
Have one section for flowers, another for catering, rentals, etc. and write down how much you are willing to spend for each item; take note of your total expenditures. This will make it less difficult for you to figure out how you can cut down costs as you near the limits of your budget. And then you and your fiancé should talk money. It is kind of rare today for the parents of the bride to pay for the entire wedding but it is up to you and your fiancé if you want to follow this route or split everything 50-50.
The Guest List
The wedding size also determines how much you have to spend per guest. Create your guest list early; ask your fiancé as well as both of your families. You can always cut the lists to size until you come up with a final one that is agreeable to all. The size of a wedding determines where the reception should be because you have to ensure that all your guests fit in comfortably.
A wedding reception has to be booked early on, so if yours is going to be held in a hotel’s ballroom, for instance, you should already be making phone calls and doing ocular inspections of possible place three to six months before the actual date. Wedding venues in London are especially hard to book during the traditional “marrying months” of June and December.
“Importing” People for a Wedding Alters the Budget
The price of having your wedding videotaped, for instance, will depend on where you are getting married. If your wedding and reception will be in the Scottish Highlands, the cost will include transporting the videographer and his or her crew and/or arranging their lodging for the night if your wedding is to be the next day. As to your photography requirements, it will obviously be cheaper as well if you get married in the city since your wedding photographer in London would not be required to do any travelling and would therefore not need any lodging.
Wedding videographers and photographers have to be booked early, too, especially the ones who are in-demand. Still, just because they are not in the league of Mario Testino or Tony Armstrong-Jones does not mean you will not get somebody who takes excellent-quality photos and make BAFTA-calibre videos but is not that popular. Look at photos and videos that they have done including those of other weddings before you sign the contract. Good videographers and photographers will be more than willing to give you a glimpse of their portfolio.
About the Reception Venue
As mentioned earlier, book your chosen reception venue early. This is simple enough to do if you settle for some quaint hotel that has a spacious courtyard or an outdoor wedding in a friend’s vacation home’s garden. There is a plethora of unique wedding reception venues on the internet such as the Chelsea Physic Garden, Stationers’ Hall, and Lambeth’s The Museum of Garden History.
Check out bridal magazines and wedding websites and then start your visitation of those places you have on your shortlist. Bring your fiancé, if possible, or take photos, if you are visiting the venue alone, so he has an idea of what the place looks like. If you do find the venue, book it early after finalizing negotiations regarding the price, catering costs, rentals, décor, etc.
Your Budget’s Bulk Goes to Catering and the Bridal Gown
The bulk of a wedding reception’s budget goes to catering. If you the caterer you have in mind is a popular one, see him or her early, preferably within the time frame of your venue visiting schedule. This way you can close the deal and start the food tasting of the items on your reception menu.
Remember to consider your guests and their particular dietary requirements when you discuss the menu with your chosen caterer. These considerations include any food allergies, religious restrictions, medical conditions like diabetes, and lifestyle differences (vegans and vegetarians).
The second recipient of the budget’s majority is your wedding gown. If you have a rather tight budget, stay within it and be practical in your selection. Remember that if you a keen eye for style, no one will be the wiser as you walk down the aisle in a wedding dress from a rental or second-hand shop.
If, however, you are willing to scrimp on the other wedding details such as musicians or opting for a cocktail reception so you can invest the funds in a more intricately-done gown or have a bigger budget especially allocated for your gown, go ahead and get it from a bridal salon or speciality boutique.
A Sample Wedding Budget
Here is a sample of a wedding budget that you may want to consider:
Reception catering: 40%.
Wedding gown: 14.5%.
Videography and photography: 7%.
Engagement and wedding rings: 6%.
Flowers and other décor: 5%.
Miscellaneous expenses: 10%.