You said yes! Congratulations, you’re engaged! Time to start organising and planning your dream wedding. Which steps should you take first when planning your wedding? Where do you start when planning? Wedding planner Sophie Ickmans from Art of Events lists her 5 ultimate tips for a smooth start in planning your wedding.
1. Determine your date
First things first: decide when you want to get married. Are you going for a winter wedding or would you rather get married in the summer? Sophie says: “Fixing your date is definitely step one. As soon as you know this, you can start contacting your other wedding suppliers and you can start designing your ‘Save the Date’.”
2. Plan a wedding brainstorm
Is your date (roughly) set? Great! Sophie continues: “In order to work together towards what will soon be your most beautiful day, it’s best to schedule a moment with your fiancée for a good brainstorming session around your wedding. Start from what each of you feel is important so that we can then define the common denominators. For a woman, the visual ‘picture perfect’ picture is often important; for a man, the music band, or the choice of wine. Think about the atmosphere you want to experience on your wedding day, what types of venue you like, and what kind of schedule you would have in mind.”
3. Determine your budget
Not so romantic, but necessary when planning your wedding: determining your budget. Sophie often tells her clients: “Setting a realistic budget is the third step. Couples are often surprised when they start adding up all the amounts of all the cost items. But do you know what? Then I often say – in a manner of speaking – “The view is also beautiful halfway up the mountain. You really don’t need to be at the top and have everything ‘super’ and ‘top’ in order to enjoy a truly beautiful party.”
4. Make an (initial) guest list
A guest list is crucial in determining your scope and organisation. You may want to invite ‘as many people as possible’, but this comes at a price. Sophie explains: “It is important that you start determining how many guests you would like to invite. Bear in mind that it’s best to make a distinction between people you would like to invite all the way, or only for the reception, dinner or dance party.” The number of guests on your guest list will also determine the size of your party room or marquee, for example; all the more reason to get this clear from day one.
5. To wedding planner, or not to wedding planner?
If you no longer have an overview, you can also call in a wedding planner. Their specialty: making sure your most beautiful day runs smoothly. Sophie’s advice is: “If you choose to work with a wedding planner, it’s best to involve them in your story as early as possible. If we contact them quickly, we can work very efficiently, and get the most out of your briefing and budget. Because then we have a lot of time to get to know you as a couple, to understand your tastes and choices, and to work optimally towards the date of your choice!”
About Sophie Ickmans
Since 2006, Sophie Ickmans runs her weddings & events agency Art of Events, specialised in the most beautiful weddings, parties and events.