YOU’RE ENGAGED! Now, what next? Part one
You’re engaged! Congratulations! Now, what next? Wedding planning is a huge undertaking and can seem overwhelming. But, don’t worry, Miss Dubai has grilled our very own in house wedding planner to find out the ins and outs of planning a wedding!
First thing’s first: DECIDE “WHEN”
Before you do ANYTHING, decide when you’d “like” to get married. Mostly, just decide a vague date or season unless of course there’s a specific date you want to get married on (this will narrow your search considerably, however). Being flexible with dates means you are more likely to have your pick of dates. Know that the smaller window of time you choose to get married in gives you less chance of having your preferred suppliers and location. 12-18 months is usually a nice amount of time for planning – more than that? You might start questioning some of the wedding decisions you’ve made as more trends come about. Or you are so excited you want to do everything at once and then there’s nothing left to do.
Immediately after: VENUE HUNT
The season you are getting married in can dictate the “type of venue” you choose – a venue with a vast amount of outdoor space or a marquee isn’t quite as appealing in the months where the temperatures don’t allow it (dependent on location, this can mean too hot or indeed too cold). You must also consider whether you want a blank canvas, where venue dressing is everything, or a unique or historical venue with lots of character and minimal additions are needed. Always make sure your venue has a plan B in case of “increment” weather.
ONCE YOU’VE FOUND THE VENUE: Pick your exclusive suppliers
By exclusive, we mean the suppliers who can only service one wedding a day. Florists, cake suppliers, caterers etc can all service multiple events whereas a photographer, videographer, musicians and celebrant can only service yours or very few. This is a job you need to get on straight away the moment you book your venue!
GET A SPECIAL HOTEL RATE FOR ACCOMMODATION
Even if you are getting married somewhere all your friends live, chances are people will want to make a weekend of it. Many venues, if not associated with a hotel, will have preferential rates with nearby accommodation. Send these out with your save the dates so your guests can book their accommodation asap!
SEND OUT SAVE THE DATES
People get booked up quickly – send out your save the dates as soon as you have the date so that no one special to you misses out. This is particularly important for guests travelling from overseas so they can plan the time off. Make sure to include the venue details and nearby accommodation options for guests.
SHOULD YOU GET A “WEDDING PLANNER”?
There’s a wedding planner, and then there’s a wedding planner. If you simply don’t have the time or even if you don’t have the desire to do all the hard work, a wedding planner can come in handy. But be aware, you will sometimes be paying a hefty price for something the venue can all do for you anyway. Our wedding planner says that “often, we found that a wedding planner would simply take the information and the hard work we were doing, put it in their own format and send on to the client with a 20%, or more, mark up”. So, if you have the money to burn, sure, go through a wedding planner – but just know that going direct will often save you money!
Keep an eye out for part 2 where we’ll be talking menu tastings, centrepieces and bridezillas.