So you got engaged last year and are setting the date for this year - congratulations! The first thing on many bride's to do list is invest in some wedding magazines, which make it all look very exciting! I completely understand the need for wedding magazines because they are an item that you just can't buy unless you are definitely going to get married!
However, planning your big day can be stressful too, particularly when you realise what it's all going to cost and how much organisation there is to do. Wedding magazines can be really helpful as they often have good planning and budget guides but to get you started here's how I would go about the initial planning.
Venue and Celebrant
These two are the most important elements and must come first, as booking them will allow you to have a definite date for everything else. When it comes to venues I would look at a few places of a different style but try to stick within your budget. The amount of times I've heard couples saying that they've gone way over budget because they went to see a 'mega expensive venue' just 'out of curiosity' then 'fell in love with it'. Please don't be disappointed if you can't afford castles and peacocks: you may be surprised at how special some budget venues can be.
Venues get booked up very quickly but if you're happy to have a non-Saturday wedding or get married out of peak season some of them will cut you a pretty good deal.
Humanist celebrants also get booked up far in advance, especially for Saturdays in the summer, however we often have the odd rogue day waiting to be filled so it is worth checking with individual celebrants if they're free. If not we'll help you find somebody else, so don't panic. The Humanist Society of Scotland trains new celebrants to meet the ever growing demand of our weddings and it's rare that we have to turn weddings away.
In my next post I'll have some questions you might like to consider if you're not sure whether a Humanist wedding is for you.