After getting engaged, we had less than 24 hours to visit our nearest and dearest to break the news before heading off to Iceland for a week! As you can imagine, it was a busy, emotional day! It was very exciting telling our news and seeing how people reacted. Seeing our closest friends and family genuinely happy and excited for us gave us yet another boost, putting us even higher on cloud 9 than we were already!
There was one big surprise though!
WHEN’S THE WEDDING?
As we started to spread the news, the first question we received from multiple people was ‘What date is the wedding?’ My reply was – I DON’T BLOODY KNOW?! We had only been engaged a matter of hours so I was still in a bubble and had not even told everybody yet, let alone knowing when the date was! This reaction really surprised us but I have seen other newly engaged couples experiencing the same!
After a fantastic week in Iceland – read all about it here – we returned ready and raring to go with the first stages of wedding planning. In fact, we did spend 1 rainy afternoon in Iceland beginning our plans.
THE FIRST STAGES OF PLANNING
We knew straight away that we wanted to get married in 2019 if possible and have a short engagement. So, in reality, there was no time to lose. Part of my job covers the wedding industry so I know first hand that venues get booked up pretty quickly, especially for summer Saturdays. So, the first things we did were:
DRAFT OUR GUESTLIST
We actually started this on the aeroplane! Knowing that certain venues have limited capacity, I sort of categorised into 3 lists:
- I am literally not getting married without this person present!
- This person will definitely be invited, but venue may dictate whether they can attend all day or in the evening only
- I would love this person to come if budget and venue allow it, but we know we have to make the cut somewhere! 🙁
It was actually surprising how quickly we both wrote our lists and how they were not as long as we expected. We were expecting to struggle to keep our numbers under 100 for the day time but we kept it to approx 85 with a further 40 in the evening. And, if some guests can’t make it there are evening guests that we will ‘bump up’ to become all day guests.
LOOK FOR A DATE
We knew that this might not be easy. James is in the military and his timetable can often be last minute, so, we first of all wanted to be 100% sure that he could actually attend his own wedding, ha ha.
My cousin is a wedding photographer so he too had multiple dates booked for other weddings in 2019. We needed to get these from him before we could start choosing dates! (He is not actually doing our photos though. We are really close so we decided we don’t want him to ‘work’ at our wedding, we want him to be able to relax and enjoy the day).
Once we knew that the Groom and other busybodies were available at certain times, we managed to find about 6 possible dates between June & September 2019.
Getting married locally was important to us and we shortlisted 5 venues within about half an hour from home to view when we returned to the UK, first making sure that they were available on at least one of our possible dates.
We ended up totally falling in love with the first place we visited! However, we did make sure we still visited 3 others to reinforce our opinion and to make sure we didn’t rush into what is one of the biggest wedding decisions. But it turned out we were right. We STILL love it! And I can’t wait to show you it!
We soon decided that we wanted a traditional church wedding, and there is a beautiful little church on the site of our venue, so that was perfect. With our possible dates having been wittled down to 2, we then put these dates to the vicar. On the first date the church was only available at 3:30pm which was too late, so by process of elimination we had found our wedding date!
We will finally be Mr & Mrs in August this year!
Look how adorable the church is:
So, those were our first steps in the planning stages.We soon found out that there are WAY more things to think about and organise than you realise, and fast forward 5 months and we are now the proud creators of a mammoth 12 tab Excel spreadsheet (which is totally essential to keep on top of things!) More of that in another post!
Did you read our engagement story? Find out what happened here