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Planning Your Wedding: 5 steps to get you started

Just engaged? Here is some handy help and advice on how to get started on your wedding planning! It can seem so overwhelming knowing where to start: colour schemes, table plans, bridesmaid dresses, DIY… stop pinning and set yourself up for stress free and successful planning by following my handy tips below.

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1. Celebrate your engagement!

Forget the planning and pop some champagne and celebrate with those closest to you. Have an engagement party or a small gathering. Spread the happy news, show off your ring and make the most of what is an exciting and amazing time.

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2. Pick a budget

Having this set early on will help you made decisions quickly further down the line and stop you from falling in love with things that are beyond your budget. Do you have a firm budget or is there wiggle room? Are you able to get help from your families or are you paying for everything yourself? I would suggest leaving an amount aside for unforeseen costs, if you end up not needing it you can use this money towards upgrading your honeymoon.

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3. Decide on what kind of wedding you want and pick a venue

Think about what kind of wedding you want. Do you want to have it local or in a far flung destination? Do you want a more traditional wedding at a church or something more quirky and unique?  Even if you have a dream venue in mind you may need to compromise on dates if they don’t have availability.

There is so much choice out there: church, hotel, registry office, barn, farm, live music venue, castle, country estatetheatre, on a beach or up a mountain! With a humanist ceremony your choices are limitless and many humanists will be happy to be as adventurous as you are.

Pick a location, pick a style of venue and start researching venues in the style you want to go for. Making these decisions now will help you narrow down venues to view to make a final decision easily.  There are so many wedding venues out there no matter where you choose to get married, for example within an easy drive from Edinburgh Airport: Jupiter Artland, Carlowrie Castle, Kirknewton Stables, Norton House, Dundas Castle and not to mention many churches and hotels.

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4. Choose a date

If you both have your heart set on a special date you may need to compromise when it comes to choosing a venue depending on the availability. If you can be more flexibly narrow it down to a season, do you want a spring wedding, summer, autumn or a winter wedding? Can you pick a window of 4-8 weeks? This will help give you more chance of securing the venue you want. If you have a dream venue in mind do they offer a discount for a mid-week wedding or off the popular summer season. Being more flexible could help you when planning your budgets.

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5. Pick your wedding party and your guest list

Have a think about the most important people to you both and make a decision on your wedding party. Once you have this in place made a decision on the number of guests you can afford to invite based on your budget and venue capacity. Make two lists – on the first list make a note of people that are on the “must invite” list and those that are on the “could invite list” and work out a way to make things work. Do you have the budget and venue capacity to allow a +1?  Do you want to invite children or make it an adults only wedding?  Remember to make a decision for yourselves and not because your friends and family have made you feel like you have to.

Remember, the closer your venue is to your home the larger number of guests that will be able to make it to the wedding.

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Bonus tip – Have an engagement shoot

Why not celebrate your engagement with a fantastic engagement photoshoot? Having an engagement shoot will help you to relax in front of the camera. It also gives me a chance to get to know you  as a couple and me and for you to get to know me and me to know you as a photographer. I will coach you through tips and tricks for looking your best in photos. You can dress up to the nines and go more laid back and casual. Whatever suits you as a couple!  You can use the images to announce your engagement, for invitations, save the date cards, signing boards or guestbook at your wedding or just have some nice photos of you together as a couple.

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I hope my hits and tips help you get started with the wedding planning. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think. Wishing you all the best of luck with your wedding planning and get in touch if you are looking for a photographer!