If you want to know how to plan the perfect wedding – look no further. Here are five wedding top tips pulled together by our fabulous Wedding Planner, Harriet Weeks.
As a very busy wedding planner in Exeter, as well as being just weeks away from her own Devon wedding, Harriet is about as well placed as you can get for offering the best advice for planning your wedding in Devon. Read on for an insider’s view on how to plan your wedding with minimal stress, plus advice on how to avoid the pitfalls and, low and behold, ways to actually enjoy it!
So first off, congratulations on your engagement! Now is a time to be treasured so make sure you keep the reasons why you’re getting married at the forefront of your mind, and try not to let the planning overtake your love for each other. It should be exciting not exhausting. Here’s how to plan the perfect wedding:
Planning a wedding can be very overwhelming, there is so much choice and so many places to go to for inspiration and advice, not to mention everyone who wants to give their two penneth worth.
At Exeter Golf and Country Club we understand that every wedding is completely different, every bride plans their big day at a different speed and that’s what makes it so fun! Here are a couple of wedding top tips to help you get started on the exciting journey from engagement to the perfect wedding day:
1. What is your perfect wedding day?
Get dreaming…what does you perfect wedding day look like? What style, theme and feel do you want your wedding to be? This is the foundation for shaping the rest of your wedding. Mood boards, Pintrest and blogs such as Rock my Wedding and Whimsical Wonderland Weddings will really tickle your taste buds with the possibilities. Keep an eye on the Exeter Golf and Country Club Pintrest page for our recommendations and things we love! I delved into them frequently whilst planning my own wedding in Devon. Do you want a traditional wedding, a boho wedding, a countryside wedding, a vintage wedding, a rockabilly wedding, a classical wedding or perhaps a beach wedding?
2. Wedding Venues
Venue hunting! Think about how many people you want to invite? How many people can you afford to invite! Whether you want a church ceremony in Devon or a beautiful elegant civil ceremony room in Exeter such as our Topsham Room at Exeter Golf and Country Club? Do you want your guests to have space to enjoy and explore? What kind of backdrop do you want for those all-important photos? What will provide your wedding photographer with the inspiration they need to create the best wedding photography ever? All these questions will help determine which Devon wedding venue is best for you.
Start by making a list of your favourite wedding venues in Devon, find them on the internet and in great wedding magazines such as our favourite, Wed magazine. Next arrange appointments to have a tour and meet the venue’s Wedding Coordinator. It is vital that you get on with your Wedding Coordinator. A really good Wedding Coordinator will take time to get to know you, listen to you and importantly understand how to transform your vision into reality!
Many weddings at Exeter Golf and Country Club are booked on the back of recommendations. As a Wedding Coordinator who is passionate about creating the perfect wedding day, I love getting to know my brides and becoming their right hand (wo)man! I like to know what makes them tick, their relationships with family members, which parts of the day are most important to them and developing a clear picture of what their dream wedding looks like.
Make sure your Wedding Coordinator understands your vision. After all, we are a big part of helping your dreams become reality. The best part of my job is meeting brides, hearing their wedding ideas and making them become reality on their special day. I get to know the whole family and really feel part of the excitement – whatever you do, take time to talk!
3. Wedding Costs
Wedding budget. The dreaded reality check! Every couple has a budget. They are all different and it is important to realistically plan yours. Write down a list of details that are important to you and a list of items not so. Wedding photography is something a lot of bride and grooms try to save money on but my personal opinion is that photos will be with you for life. Your wedding photographs will be happy reminders of the day and moments captured on camera that you simply didn’t have time to see. I believe it is worth investing in your wedding photographer. Your Wedding Planner will be able to give you some recommendations, if you find leafing through wedding magazines for ideas too overwhelming.
Food and the menu is another big part of your day. The wedding food is really at the heart of your celebration and is one of the most memorable parts of your wedding day. We are lucky to have a team of highly experienced banqueting chefs on site who have a fantastic range of seasonal wedding food suggestions but are happy to tailor wedding menus to reflect you and your favourite dishes too.
Wedding table decorations are so easily sourced now and DIY wedding decorations have become big news! Collecting jam jars, re-using Christmas lights and raiding granny’s attic can all be savvy ways to save some pennies! From wedding centrepieces to wedding table decorations, wedding flowers, wedding invitations and wedding favours, you can easily make your own, with a bit of imagination, time and inspiration from Pintrest for instance! Get that spreadsheet started it will be a helpful aid.
4. Wedding photographers, wedding caterers, wedding cars, wedding cakes and wedding florists…who, what, where, when?
Choose your suppliers well…it is important to really look into the range of wedding suppliers on offer to help you with your wedding planning. The best place is to start, cliché or not, is at a Wedding Fayre – take comfy shoes, your bridesmaids, groom if you can persuade him, and an open mind! It is a great way to explore all the options available to you and the variety of quotes they will give, plus you get freebies!
Remember to ask your wedding venue about their regular wedding suppliers. As a Wedding Planner I have a list of suppliers I trust and know will do a good job, turn up on time and deliver their promises. I am always sourcing and enquiring about who is out there therefore saving my brides some of the ground work.
5. Prioritise your wedding planning
Set the foundations early and spread it out. My last tip is definitely something I personally found so helpful when planning my wedding. Start with the big jobs early on, book the wedding venue, wedding caterers and suppliers such as bridal florists and wedding cake makers as these get booked up quickly. Once these parts of your wedding day are planned and booked, it’s time to move on to the most important part of all…your wedding dress! Enjoy this wonderful time – try on wedding dresses you wouldn’t normally go for, try on as many as you can and involve the ladies closest to you – your mum and your bridesmaids perhaps. Once the dress hunt is underway, you can begin on the wedding decorations. Remember to let the groom make some decisions along the way to involve him in the journey as much as possible as the months pass by.
Your wedding plans shouldn’t be rushed. It’s ok to change your mind a hundred times. If you’re lucky enough to have other weddings to attend in the meantime, use them to evaluate what works and what could be improved. Download wedding time frames from the internet and speak to your Wedding Planner if you have any worries.
At the end of the day, if you aim to get most of it completed a month before the big day, you can enjoy the lead up to your wedding day with minimal stress, as time really does fly during the final few weeks.
Lastly – enjoy the experience. Don’t stress over the small details! The brides I see having the best day are the ones who trust their Wedding Coordinator on the day to make sure everything happens at the right time and in the right place. Those are the brides who remember why they are actually getting married in the first place and enjoy their perfect wedding day from the moment they step out of the car, right through to their last dance…
Find out more about getting married and celebrating your wedding here at Exeter Golf and Country Club.