Five top tips to get your wedding planning started

You may be feeling overwhelmed with your wedding planning, especially when it comes to where and when to start! With so many opinions and suppliers to wade through, a helping hand is always welcome. Today we have Sue from Malden and Wilde joining us to offer her top 5 tips on how to start planning your wedding day.

By way of introduction … I am Sue, a florist specialising in silk flowers.  I help couples to realise their dreams through my unique silk designs for their wedding day.  Telling their love story in the ancient meanings of the flowers, to treasure forever. When you start out with your wedding planning, you don’t know what you don’t know, and it can be overwhelming!  So in this post, I will share with you my Five Top Tips on where to start.

Photo Credit: Bailey and Roo

TOP TIP # 1 Your Vision

Decide what sort of wedding you want…. Huge party, rustic romantic, small and intimate, boho and carefree …… your style, your choice! (Friends and relatives will have lots of ideas …. What matters is what YOU want!)

Consider a general time or season – spring, summer, outdoor, rustic or classic … and then the actual date can be settled once you’ve had conversations with venues, church and vicar, or civil Registrar and/or celebrant. 

(By the way – with the post-pandemic knock-on effects, lots of couples are booking mid-week weddings.  How will that work for your guests?  Can you have a small intimate wedding followed by a big bash at a later time?)

TOP TIP # 2 Your Budget

Having a ballpark figure in mind is a good starting point.

  • What is your preferred maximum spend? Have you got savings you can use? Will you need to take out a loan? What repayments can you afford? Be careful about going for the cheapest option on anything – all too often you get what you pay for!  Don’t forget to include registration fees and invitation postage (with RSVP cards pre-stamped to guarantee replies!)
  • What is the absolute maximum you can afford without being laden with debt for the rest of your married lives? (Keep this figure in reserve to mop up any extras that sneak in)
  • Decide how much of your total budget you want to spend on specific areas – venue, catering, décor, flowers, outfits, invitations etc. This is really helpful when getting quotes from suppliers – it makes discussions more focused and saves disappointment later.  As a guide, couples tend to spend 40% on venue and catering, 10% on flowers, and 10% on décor.

TOP TIP #3 Invest in a Planner! 

How organised are you? Do you prefer paper copies of everything? or databases and spreadsheets? And when thinking about planning your wedding, where do you start?

Having hard copies of invoices, somewhere to keep brochures, business cards, notes…. stuff!!! …. is all part of my comfort zone.  I’m not the most patient person with admin, so when I want to find something, I want it NOW. Having to click and scroll to search my computer files or my phone is simply irritating.  Give me a super quick reference that I can put my hand on, like a planner. (My BIG Wedding Planner is available on my webshop and on Amazon.  Just saying….)

However you like to be organised, get it set up in whatever way makes you happy. Then clear the decks and start the fun stuff!

Photo Credit: Emma DB Photography

TOP TIP #4 The Essential Details

I love a list!  Deciding what is most important for the two of you is key.  Everything else, budget allowing, is a bonus.

The essentials are no-brainers, right?  Yep – but you’d be surprised how many couples forget one (or more) important detail.  Listing even the really obvious things is worth it – to keep track of viewings, meetings, orders, contracts …..

For Brides: Gotta have fabulous underwear.  It’s the law

For Grooms: Shoes (I know, I know – but think about the colour that will go with your suit, style … not your well worn comfy work shoes!)

The Rings: Check style, metal (do you or your partner react to certain metals?)

Bridesmaids and flower girls: Keeping things simple can often avoid hissy fits and tears!

Groomsmen: Best man, ushers

Essentials: Bouquets for the bride(s) and bridesmaids.  Buttonholes /boutonnieres for Groom(s) and Best man.
Non-essentials (but lovely to have)  Corsages for mothers of the couple and for special ladies like grandmothers.  Boutonnieres /buttonholes for groomsmen, fathers, grandfathers.

The ceremony: Religious or secular. The vicar or minister will need to be one of the first people you contact! If you opt for a secular wedding, you will need to have a civil ceremony to make everything legal. But then you can have a celebrant for the main event and really make it your own with your own wedding vows. All these folk will get booked up fast so need to be top of your list of must-contact.
The guests: Spreadsheets are handy for tracking who has replied, dietary needs, accommodation and so on.

Invitations: Printed or email? Your choice.  If you decide on emails, you can always send out printed invites to elderly relatives and family who are not tech-savvy. 

The reception: Buffet or sit down meal.  Top tip: go easy on the late-night buffet table at the reception. Lots of brides have commented that it’s a total waste of money as it’s not touched.

Champagne: – or sparkling wine for toasts. Ask your venue if you can bring your own (you are sure to get it cheaper!) They may charge corkage but it’s worth asking anyway.

Cake: Perhaps more traditional than essential. But still…… it’s cake!

Photographs: A professional photographer is ideal. But if money is tight, get friends and family to take pics, with just a few specially posed photos.

Wedding Insurance: Absolutely essential in my view.  Make sure you read the small print.


It’s okay to pause ….. and take time away from the stress and hassle to just be together and do what you both love doing.  Watch for the signs of each other.  When one of you looks ready to poke someone with a sharp stick, take that break!  The week before your big day can be particularly stressful, so factor in an indulgent, gentle day together, away from it all. 

Above all – have fun!  This is YOUR day

Love from Sue

Contact Sue
Instagram: @maldenandwilde| Facebook: @maldenandwilde


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