Firstly, congratulations on your engagement! I really do hope that this Cumbria Wedding Planner Guide will help you plan your perfect wedding day, or put you at ease that you’re ahead of your wedding planning.
In Cumbria (unlike other counties) you may provisionally book your ceremony up to 24 months in advance with The Cumbrian Registration Service. If you’re planning a church wedding, then it's best to talk to them about your day to see how far in advance they need to know about your date. Either way, I really hope the below is useful.
While there are planners online for 12 months and 24 months. I have created this guide to align with my average couple, who book about 18 months in advance, Seems crazy doesn’t it but trust me it goes fast!
So, have you been asked when the wedding is, even though you only got engaged 24 hours ago?
Seriously?! I know! Isn’t it crazy? Well, while I would advise having time to just enjoy being engaged it’s good to come up with ideas of at least rough dates you would like to be wedded on. Let’s say your wedding day is 2 years away from the day you were engaged… Then this Cumbria Wedding Planner should be of use!
Say yes! Woop Woop! Congratulations… Chill a little while… talk about ideas but nothing set in stone just yet… Enjoy life together!
In this time, it’s a good idea to set a realistic budget for your wedding. Now, this could be an entire blog post in its own right but this is as bespoke and as personal as you are as a couple. I always say to my couples that getting married is actually quite cheap but having a wedding isn’t necessarily. The only thing I would really say in the form of advice is: don’t skint yourself for years or take out loans like I have heard others doing to afford it. Every wedding is wonderful in its own right and you don’t need to keep up with the Jones’. Keep true to you and you will be just fine.
Start looking at Cumbrian wedding venues. Ceremonies at Approved Venues follow a similar format to those in the Registration Offices. To arrange a ceremony at an Approved Venue you must first contact the premises of your choice to make provisional arrangements and check that they have availability. You can see an up to date list of vendors here!
It is advisable to request three or four alternative dates and times, as it is not always possible to accommodate your first choice. You must then contact the Ceremonies Team at Cumbria Registration Services to ensure that a member of the team is able to attend your ceremony on that date and time.
Information about formal notice can be given to you at that time. See www.cumbria.gov.uk/registration
It's a good time to also pick the people you wish to help plan and walk down the aisle with. Be that bridesmaids or bridesmen, best man or woman and your ushers if you're having any (I didn't, just my best pal beside me!).
Now you have a venue and a wedding date secured you can start to organise and book wedding vendors.
Now, this is where it gets fun. As a couple, you need to decide which wedding suppliers have higher priority to you. Like I say most couples will book their photographer at this time as wedding photography is in high demand for particular styles. Feel free to look at my guide on how to choose your perfect wedding photographer.
Maybe your evening wedding entertainment is high on the list? If so then start looking for bands and DJ’s. Or maybe without a doubt, it’s all about that dress or hand-tailored suit?
I would suggest in your high priority list that you should start looking for your dress! Also start looking for makeup, hair artists and florists.
Pick your priority wedding vendors and get in touch with them ASAP. About 1/3 couples who enquire with me I am unable to photograph as I am already booked.
Start thinking of guests you wish to be present for your wedding day, are you going to have a grand day with everyone? Or a small, select, intimate event? Both are equally as gorgeous so pick what works both for you and your budget.
Contact the Registrar to check the availability of staff on your chosen date and to arrange to give notice.
Get wedding insurance. I cannot explain just how important wedding insurance is! It is only a few quid and it could save you thousands if anything goes wrong!
If you have not already, start making a list of everyone you wish to invite. Use this number when contacting catering and with your wedding venues as final numbers will affect quotes especially with catering but if you’re hiring seats and tables too… the costs can quickly mount up.
If you have not already start looking for your wedding dress, remember I said about priorities? Well, it’s time to tick off the ones lower down on the list regardless. This really does depend on your venues and what they offer as a part of the service to which wedding vendors you need to contact. Talk to your wedding venue about who they suggest and how those wedding vendors can help fill the holes your venue maybe cannot do in-house, like wedding flowers, cakes, catering or even entertainment!
Are you sending “Save the Date” cards? This might be a good time to sort out your wedding stationery! If you’re not sending them you have a little time…
Having a Couples Portrait Session with your photographer? If you are, start planning when and where with your photographer. Like I say I am booked far in advance so the couple portraits also get planned well in advance to make sure of availability.
Have you booked all the wedding suppliers you need to? In the past 3 months, you should hopefully have all of your supplier needs ticked off! If not focus on the big things and get those ticked off your list!
Start thinking about your honeymoon or mini-moon break if you're having one. Don't worry if you're not. Most couples these days don't go on them, or they go on their first year anniversary which I think is a nice touch 🙂
Start looking for wedding rings!
Send your invites! Get those final numbers – it will take people ages to reply so sooner rather than later the better really!
Do you need transport to your venue from where guest will be staying? If so now is a great time to talk to transport companies. Ask your venue which companies regularly pick up and drop off guests for weddings.
Does your venue have hair and makeup teams ready for you? If not now is a great time to book these suppliers! Unless of course, this was a high priority then you should have already booked these lovely people in!
Let those who want suits go off and find some. Spend a day out shopping maybe travel to a nearby big city like Newcastle or Glasgow? Or shop local and help your local community! (Don’t do what I did and get the suits a week before the wedding, still not lived that stunt down…)
Are you making your own vows? Start thinking and writing down what you wish to say to the love of your life.
Are you making a speech? Maybe start jotting ideas down on what to say.
Have you got all of your RSVP’s back yet? Even if not, it’s a good time to start planning your table and seating plans… if you’re having any that is! (we didn’t, we just had a big long table for guests to seat themselves as one big family). Chase up people who have not RSVP’d as your venue and caterers will need to know answers very shortly!
Run through your timeline for the day with your wedding venue and make sure you’re all on the same page. Send it to all of your wedding suppliers so everyone is singing from the same hymn book.
Make sure you have all the small details you wish in order. No-one wants a mad rush to the shops the morning of your wedding day!
Enjoy it. Just get everything in order. Take suits to where they are needed. Take the bridal gown and dresses to where they’re needed and hang everything up nice and neat. This is more for if you’re getting ready at home or at a friend’s. It’s still a good idea to pack way in advance though and be ready for the grand hotel check-in game if your venue is a hotel.
Make sure you have everything you need, even PJ’s for the night before and a day bag for after the wedding. Get it all packed and ready so you don’t have to run around like a headless chicken on your wedding day trying to find what you need.
On the day.
Enjoy your day with all of your guests and trust your suppliers who will do an amazing job making it all seamless and incredible. It’s all done now, so whatever happens, happens. Just roll with it. Wedding suppliers like myself will be nearby too should you need any help. If you don’t see us panicking, you shouldn’t be either! Trust us, its fine ?
Now, get on that dance floor and boogie the night away!
Well, I hope that this Cumbria Wedding Planner Guide was a little useful & If you would like me to photograph your big day, please feel free to contact me! Remember you're awesome! Do the wedding you want.. not the one you think you should do!
If you would like to read more useful blogs then head over to some of the below links.
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