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Planning your wedding - where to begin?

We know that for newly engaged couples, the idea of diving in to your wedding planning can be a scary one! There are so many questions flying around, and not so many answers!

Florals by Blume Lifestyle, stationery by Wonderland Invites, cake by Stick Fingers Cake Co.

Image by Love That Smile Photography.

So, we spoke to wedding stylist & co-coordinator Laura Celiz, from Rock the Day Styling, and got her insider tips! We also asked brides what they were completely confused about when they started planning, so, before we dive in to Laura's pearls of wedding wisdom, here are the most common call outs and our opinions on your worries –

When do I send my save the dates and invites?

For Save the Dates, four months’ notice is standard for a local wedding. Invitations should be received 6-8 weeks in advance. If you’re planning to bump up any evening guests to day guests in the event of ‘No’ RSVPs, then aim for 8 weeks, so that you can send out the second round of Day-invites in enough time.

Do take the date of your wedding in to consideration here; if you're having a bank holiday wedding, then give a couple of weeks additional notice, to avoid your guests making other plans first!

If you’re having a destination wedding, your guests will need plenty of notice; go for 8-12 months on Save the Dates, so everyone has plenty of time to get time off work and to plan their travel. Try to be as clear as you can on the dates you're expecting your guests to be celebrating with you as early as possible; if guests want to book a holiday around your wedding then they’ll want as much information as they can. If packing all that in to a Save the Date sounds messy, then keep them classic but send your wedding invites nice and early; 3-4 months should do.

Do I send save the dates to evening guests?

Stationery by Wonderland Invites. Image courtesy of Rock the Day Styling.

No. Having 6-8 weeks’ notice for an evening is plenty of time, and someone who receives a save the date is more than likely to assume they’re coming for the whole day and then be disappointed when they evening invite turns up.

How much alcohol should I provide?

Laura covers this in her top tips later on in this post!

Can I not invite kids?

Of course – it’s completely your choice if you want to have a child-free wedding, most people will understand and even be happy to have a child-free day!

(Adult) guests enjoying Faye & Brad's wedding at TOPR. Image by Matt Ethan Photography.

One thing though – try to keep it to one rule for all. If your sister’s just had a baby, then fair enough, but if you let your boss bring his child after your cousin’s paid out for a baby sitter, you could be in hot water.

Now for some top tips from Laura

at Rock the Day Styling!

The Old Parish Rooms styled by Rock the Day Styling. Image by Love That Smile Photography.

First thing’s first….

When it comes to booking venues & suppliers, the good ones are usually booked up in advance so check availability before setting the date. Something couples often don’t consider is that registrars can be booked up too, so always check that they are free before you make the commitment!

How much will our guests drink?

At Rock the Day, we suggest allowing one drink per person, per hour - and we do raise this slightly during the summer. One bottle of wine usually serves around 6 partially filled glasses, and one bottle of champagne fills about 8 half glasses.

Most venues will let you buy on a sale or return basis, which means you only pay for the bottles that get opened – so, if you’re concerned about the booze running out too early, over order by a few bottles (but request that the servers don’t see it as a challenge to get through everything you have on standby)!

Top tip - get married on a Sunday; people have to get up for work the next day and tend not to drink as much! And remember, you can always introduce a pay-bar at some point in the evening, once the meal is over.

Food for thought...

The food really does depend on what kind of day you’re having – traditionally, the earlier in the day the celebration, the less formal it can be. Here are my money saving tips around food:

  • Have a lunch rather than dinner; people tend to eat and drink less earlier in the day

  • Cut out the first course and serve canapes instead

  • Skip dessert and serve wedding cake as pudding

  • Choose affordable house wines and don't serve liqueurs

  • Serve fruit punch, rather than cocktails

  • Put jugs of iced water on each table, rather than bottled water

Florals by Blume Lifestyle, stationery by Wonderland Invites. Image by Love That Smile Photography.

If you have any more burning questions, then please let us know! We'd love to help answer them!

Love, TOPR x

With thanks to -

Rock the Day Wedding Styling – www.rockthedaystyling.co.uk / @rockthedaystyling Love That Smile Photography – www.lovethatsmilephotography.com / @magdalenmahdy

Matt Ethan Photography – www.mattethan.co.uk / @mattethan Wonderland Invites & Design – www.wonderlandinvites.com / @wonderland_invites

Blume Lifestyle – www.blumelifestyle.com / @blumelifestyle

Stick Fingers Cake Co. – www.sfcakeco.com / @stickyfingerscakeco

#Planningawedding #Weddingplanning #OldParishRooms #Essexweddingvenues #Intimateweddings #Intimateweddingvenues #Essexweddings #Bohowedding #Weddingideas #Weddingplanner #Weddingtips #Professionalweddingtips

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