31 Mar Wedding Planning While In Self Isolation
So you got engaged pre-lockdown and were looking forward to fully immersing yourself in the indulgence and excitement of wedding planning and now… it seems a distant reality. Lockdown needn’t be all doom and gloom however: now could be the time you seriously settle in to planning, organising and making decisions, all from the comfort of your sofa. Here’s just a few tangible things you can do to get the (glitter) ball rolling.
Set Your Budget
Now’s as good a time as any to sit down and properly go through your finances to work out what will be a reasonable and appropriate budget for you. It’s easy to get swept away in a sea of lobster buffets, 1,000-seat venues, caviar receptions and celebrity appearances once you start looking into weddings, but if your budget won’t stretch to it and you’ve not yet won the lottery, it’s best to be realistic from the off. Don’t get disheartened if you find you don’t have as much cash as you’d imagined – aside from the fact that no one does right now, there’s lots of brilliant creative ideas out there to suit purse strings of all sizes.
Pick A Theme
This isn’t Don’t Tell The Bride and you absolutely shouldn’t leave this decision blindly to someone else, even if they are someone you trust (remember the Willy Wonka episode?). Your wedding theme doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to dress up or theme things like a party, but it’s best to agree some basics with your partner from the off. Do you have colours you’d like to include and some you definitely don’t want? Do you want a rustic feel, glittery décor or a traditional aesthetic? Do you have visions of a wedding festival, a plush hotel bash or a simple and minimalist ceremony? Now’s the time to decide and set your foundations to build upon.
Decide On A Venue Hire Type
If you’re not getting married in a traditional church ceremony, the type of venue you get married in isn’t just dictated by location and budget. There are usually two types of hire for weddings: a dry hire, and an all-inclusive. A dry hire is literally the hire of just the room, with nothing else included. This is often the cheaper option but gives you considerably more control over the wedding organisation, as everything will be up to you to organise: the band, catering, decoration, furniture and sometimes even staff. An all-inclusive hire does what it says on the tin: including everything you need on the day within the venue. Whilst this does give you less control, there’s normally still plenty of options for you to pick from, so it lessens the responsibility and workload whilst still allowing you to pick what you want.
OK, so you can’t visit the venues you’d like to at the moment, but there’s no reason that you can’t start planning to! With the time to start looking up reviews, testimonials and photos taken by real people (not the ones the venue uses to promote itself!), you can put together a shortlist of possibilities. It’s also worth noting here that there’s nothing stopping you getting in touch with those venues even if you’re not able to actually go out and see them right now. If anything they’ll be glad for the interest: it’s a particularly tough time for hospitality businesses right now!
Perhaps the biggest downside of the lockdown when wedding planning is that you can’t enjoy samples from catering companies! That doesn’t mean that you can’t make decisions, draw up an idea of what you’d like and start to compare menus. Contacting caterers early gives you the best chance of finding just what you want and gives you time to work with them to create something bespoke – suiting tastes, themes and dietary requirements. Again, this is an industry struggling at the moment, so indicating to them your interest will be very welcome. Some firms may even offer samples by post whilst we’re all still stuck indoors, so don’t be afraid to ask!
If you’re planning on booking a band for your wedding, this may just be the ideal time to do it! Rarely do we ever have the time to listen to all of the bands that fit our tastes, but with time abound, you can tune in to video clips and MP3s for as long as you like. A quick google will bring up local options to you fitting the style you’d like and you can listen away to your heart’s content. Good bands get booked up a long time in advance, so it’s never too early to drop them an enquiry on availability.
Budget Your Bling
Jewellery shops may not be considered ‘essential retailers’ but there’s no reason you can’t shop from afar. The big rock is already done, but there’s more options than you may think around for wedding rings. Research into styles and set an appropriate budget to cover both rings.
The fun bit! If you don’t already have one, sign up for a Pinterest account and start filing your inspiration into areas. Pinterest doesn’t necessarily offer individual product suggestions, but you can draw inspiration from others and help build your own ideal. It’s often thought of as a social network, but in reality Pinterest is a search engine… just prettier! It’s a life saver too for those working with smaller budgets or looking to get creative with their celebrations: you’ll be surprised by just how much you can find and how inventive people really are.
So, that’s it. Pull your socks up, open your laptop and get to it. You’ve got the best day of your life to plan, and COVID-19 isn’t about to wash away your glitter!