Weddings are very stressful, lets say I have been there done that organising for one in the UK and Hong Kong. It's probably one of the top 5 stressful things you will do in life along with obvious things like moving house. I guess having planned one myself I can reflect on how I could have done things differently to make my life easier.
As with all wedding everything comes down to budget. We all want best of the best and majority of the time it's not possible due to budget so you end up compromising and listing things in order of priority. It is possible to find a beautiful venue on the smallest of budgets, it could be having it at certain times of the year or certain days in the week.
The Big Day / Date
More often than not we stress on finding a venue and booking a date ASAP. However sometimes last minute planning can actually work in your favour. If you leave things closer to the date eg 6 months in advance you will actually have more bargaining power. The venue would rather get something than nothing. Statistically calling for open dates 2 months prior to your desired time could save you up to 25% and if you avoid Friday / Saturday dates in general you could save up to 30%. Just think what you could spend 30% savings on!
This is probably the first thing everyone thinks of when you begin to plan a wedding. If you haven't been to many then it's pretty difficult to know or decide what to do. There are plenty of wedding venues to choose from what ever your style / taste / budget. The easiest is to browse through websites such as Square Meal where you enter the location and it will create a list of options for you to browse through. On the right of each page there is a form for you to fill in to get in touch with that venue so you can discuss things further. It's a great start to get some viewings booked in and get a feel for the different styles on offer.
One Step At A time
Everything is always easier if you do things one by one in logical order. Don't rush on decisions especially if that sales person is putting pressure for you to pay a deposit to secure a date etc.. There are other things to also consider like don't hire vendors before you have confirmed your date or book entertainment before you have picked a location etc...
Lists / Organisation
I am a real geek when it comes to getting organised. I love a pen and pad scribbling things down and making "to do" lists and excel spreadsheet on keeping track of costs etc.. It's so important to getting organised in every way to make the journey as less stressful as possible. I am so glad we have emails when I was organising venue / decor etc for our HK wedding. It made everything so much easier and we were able to chat over the phone via whatsapp. Thank goodness for amazing technology!
Everyone worries about the menu and budgets and it's often difficult to decide what to do. My suggestion and the obvious one is to work on a menu you would enjoy. Everyone always gets caught up in thinking / worrying about what people would enjoy. There is always dietary requirements to consider, long as you know in advance it's no problem as most caterers are use to this, remember this is what they do.
The one thing I learnt is what ever you end up doing, just remember there is no one to please. You do what you guys want to do and less worrying about what people will think. We would all love to plan a no expense spared wedding, reality is weddings are costly at the end of the day and we don't want to be broke paying off the wedding still 3 years later!!!!