• Zuza McKen

Wedding Planning Hacks - how to plan a wedding

Updated: May 16, 2020

You said YES! But what next?

You have the picture-perfect image of what your wedding should be like, but when it comes down to planning it, it can seem a bit daunting. Where to start? How much will or should your epic day cost? (Average wedding in the UK is around 25-30 grand). What venue to choose and why? City or countryside? What shall the theme be? Who will you invite? Will you be able to dedicate over 200hrs of planning to pull it off? (Yes, that is about how long it will take you!)

It’s all doable of course if you put your savvy head on - didn’t mean to scare you.

Here are some planning hacks to get you started:

1. The Budget

It really is a no brainer that the budget should be first on this list as it determines what kind of do you can get for your buck.

These are some of the important things you will need to budget for:

  • The dress

  • Bridesmaids dresses

  • Grooms suit

  • Rings

  • The venue

  • Catering

  • Drinks

  • Florist

  • Decorations/props

  • Furniture (if it’s a dry hire)

  • Props

  • Lighting

  • Crockery & glassware

  • Photographer

  • Music

  • On the day coordinator (aka me!)

There is no point calling around asking for quotes if you don’t have a firm budget set in your mind (and in your bank). And of course, stick to it no matter what. You will find that if you don’t, the cost can easily run away with you. If you find the whole thing a bit “don’t know where to start”, don't fret.

I offer a FREE wedding planning checklist on this super helpful planning tool called Trello. Go and have a look, save it as a template and adapt it to your needs (at the moment, it has absolutely everything in it that I could think of - better safe than sorry!). You can then sync it with your calendar and have reminders popping up when needed. How cool is that?!

Free Trello wedding planning checklist

2. Number of guests

Of course, the budget will determine how many guests you are able to invite. For example, catering is calculated per head, and venues have different capacities, etc.

One of the tricks to lower on cost is to divide guests into full day and evening only. Then you get to party with everyone.

3. The Venue

This is often a personal one for couples. Some couples want to get married somewhere they have a romantic connection to (mine was Dubrovnik), some want to be close to home and want a cool urban setting (easier to stuff all your tipsy pals into ubers at the end of the night), some always dreamed of a Boho festival woodland or “running through the fields barefoot” kinda do. I think both are rad.

But let’s see how they differ:

There are a few things you might want to consider when it comes to city versus country. City venues might be more pricey but are more practical.

Country venues could be cheaper but logistically a bit more complicated. You will need to think about your guests' transport and accommodation for example. How will you meet the vendors, supervise all supplier setups, end of night clear up, etc.

Do you have time to go and have a rehearsal walk-through in the country, meet all suppliers to talk logistics, and do a tasting? Will you miss anything when booking the barn or tipi? Imagine you realised on the day that you didn’t order enough lighting or a second generator for example? Yikes!

This is when I can come in, check nothing has been missed, take over the wheel and drive it smoothly over the finish line.

4. The Date

Sometimes this will be determined by the venue availability. I would advise that as long as it’s as close to your imagined date as possible it’s totally fine. Especially now when all the weddings have been postponed till next year and most of the prime dates are already booked up. You wouldn't want to miss out on your dream venue just because your exact Saturday was booked up already. I predict that a lot of mid-week weddings will be happening next year and that’s totally fine. Your besties will be there no matter what. If you’re struggling to find a venue, I know of some amazing places I could recommend for you. Just another of the little extras I offer to couples. If you're struggling, give me a bell.

5. The Theme

This should totally represent you guys. Do you want it to be super elegant, over the top crazy, boho romantic, cool minimalist, fun & relaxed? What kind of food do you want and how do you want the meal to be served? Canapes and full service? Or do you want your guests to help themselves from a lush grazing table (super popular for some time now) or have dinner platters on tables (requires less serving staff)? What kind of seating plan will go for? Round tables or trestle tables, swanky or rustic? What kind of chairs are you after? Do you want to have a sweetheart table (my fave) for just the who of you or a head table with the in-laws and best man/woman etc?

The same goes for the crockery, glassware, flowers, lighting, props, music - you get the gist. Write down all you have managed to source, suppliers' names, numbers, cost and come back to it over and over again in case you missed something or changed your mind.

If you need help with checking everything, I offer a wedding consultation where we go over your list and if I will spot anything, I can flag it up. I can also recommend the suppliers if you can't find the right one.

And remember, it takes couples over 200hrs to plan a wedding from start to finish, so don’t leave things too late (this is when my helpful Trello checklist comes in handy). And if you did, you can call on me to change up gears and sort it all out pronto.

I cannot wait to talk to you about all things wedding.

Love Zuza x