So you’ve just got engaged, what next?
Firstly Congratulations! Whether it was a complete surprise or not it is one of the happiest times of your life so have some bubbly and enjoy the moment.
You may have thought or discussed with your partner before your engagement what type of wedding and possible locations you both want, but one of the questions everyone asked us both straight away was ‘have you set a date?’ Like literally we’ve been engaged a few hours and people had thought we had got straight into the wedding planning, ringing around venues and sorting out save the dates.
Saying that though it wasn’t too long before we pencilled in a proposed wedding date. I knew I wanted to plan my wedding leisurely and as we got together on Friday 13th September (and there was one in 2019) that was definitely the date for us, leaving us around 22 months to plan. However with many other couples it may not be as easy as that and would need to be carefully considered.
Now on to the easy part (just joking!) where to get married! As a little girl I had always dreamt of a white wedding maybe in a country house or a church but soon after announcing our engagement to my parents, my Mum asked if we had considered doing it abroad as we didn’t want a large wedding. Much to my complete surprise, my then husband to be was sold with the idea. The more I thought of it the more it grew on me, especially thinking about the chances of sunshine and prolonging the wedding festivities with family and friends.
There are so many thoughts flying around at first. I think its so important to brainstorm early what you want for your wedding and decide early on rough budget, size of wedding and possible locations. If you are seriously considering getting married abroad I would recommend weighing up the pros and cons of getting married in the UK and abroad at this stage. This helped us a great deal and some of the things on our list are below;
Pro’s of UK wedding:
- Transporting wedding accessories is easier.
- Maybe more people may be able to make it (if that is desirable)
- Hair and make up trials can be done in good time prior to the big day.
- More control of planning flowers etc.
- Viewing venues could be easier
- Everyone understands and is fluent in English
- All costs are in Great British Pounds
Pro’s of Abroad
- Often the weather is better (not guaranteed though!)
- Can be cheaper – there are many package deals for wedding ceremony, food, party, accommodation.
- Amazing locations with amazing backdrops for those all important photos.
- It can be more intimate – less people to invite if you would like to have a smaller wedding.
- Did I mention the weather is often better?
- The wedding festivities are often prolonged and many people will be with you to celebrate prior and after the wedding. (It was so surreal wandering around and seeing our family and friends in the same area!)
We thought of destinations in Europe as for us this was more convenient for our friends and family than if we chose somewhere further afield like the Caribbean. We looked at France, Spain and Greece but as we love Italy so much (largely because of the food!) we googled that evening, wedding destinations in Italy. A good tip at this point is to decide on a ballpark figure for your budget and wedding size. I will be talking about budget in more detail in a later blog but each of you need to decide what it should be considering everything (including dress, travel, accommodation etc).
Having a largish wedding 80+ in peak summer on a weekend will often cost a lot more than one mid week either side of summer. Saying that, there are a few venues that the more guests you have the cheaper the hire cost of the venue, however remember to read between the lines and in the small print as a tempting introductory offer may mean you will be paying the difference somewhere down the line. There were many wedding packages available in countries such as Greece, we looked at venues online in Santorini and Mykonos, they looked very reasonable in price and I am sure you could do a wedding on a budget there. For us, although we wanted to keep within our budget we also wanted a little more personalised wedding and were very aware if you wanted extras with a package, those costs soon add up.
Lots to think about, but definitely invest in a good wedding planner book and this will help!