CONGRATULATIONS you’re engaged! The question has been popped and so has the champagne!! The next big question is what do we do next? Guess what, its time to start planning!

Celebrate!

First of all, take your time and enjoy all the fuss and congratulations.

Your friends and family will want to celebrate with you so whether you chose to throw a big engagement party or just have some drinks, do something to mark the occasion, ensure your engagement is memorable.

Enjoy your ‘newly engaged’ glow, drink lots of fizz and show off your ring. Take your time there’s no need to rush into any decisions.

When’s the Big Day?

The next big question everyone will be asking is when are you getting married?

When planning your wedding a lot of the decisions can be taken over time but the first decision you need to make is when. You need to choose a date or at least a season and year to work towards. Think about the weather, what season do you prefer, what sort of flowers do you like, do you want to be outdoors.

The gardens at Gileston Manor change weekly, during spring the gardens are full of tulips and daffodils, April & May the magnolia tree will be in full bloom, whilst in June to early July the roses around the church are glorious. As the seasons change so do the flower beds in the walled garden.

Then think about special dates, is there a date that’s special to you as a couple, or are there dates that you want to avoid because they bring back sad memories or even because of the football season or six nations. Consider work commitments, other weddings, holidays, its also worth checking with close friends and family. Once you’ve considered all the non-possible dates, choose three preferred dates. This will make things easier when you contact potential venues.

 

Let’s Talk Money

We know no one likes talking money or budgets but we’re afraid it has to be done. Believe me there’s a lot of fun to be had with a spreadsheet.

First work out where the money is coming from, is it your savings, will your parents contribute. It’s worth both of you speaking to your parents individually to avoid any potential embarrassment, unless of course they volunteer to contribute, then be hugely thankful.

It’s very tempting to think ‘what the heck’ but you seriously don’t want to be struggling money wise during your first year of marriage.

Decide on your priorities, is it the venue, food and drink, entertainment, dress or honeymoon. Once you’ve decided on the budget and priorities, set up that spreadsheet and keep track of your budgeted costs and actual spending.

What’s Your Style?

You now have an idea of when and how much money you have to spend, now the best bit! What sort of wedding will it be, what’s the style and vibe for your day?

Your chosen style will influence a lot of your decisions such as the venue, your colour scheme, flowers and your dress. Do you want a church service, a registrar or an outdoor wedding with a celebrant and maybe some glamping. At Gileston Manor you could have all three options but maybe just one is enough, but which one!

Do you want an elegant wedding, boho chic or vintage style? Which ever style you choose our beautiful mughal marquee is a blank canvass and can be decorated as you wish. Our gorgeous chandeliers and thousands of ceiling fairy lights will compliment your chosen theme. The choice really is yours!

If you’re completely lost, spend some time looking at ideas on Instagram and Pinterest, flick through some magazines such as Welsh Weddings and Your South Wales Wedding and check out some real weddings for inspiration.

Start a mood board of ideas you love, your theme will develop naturally. Make sure you get your partner involved and design a day that’s unique to you.

Also think about buying your dress quite early on, you’ll find that once you have your dress everything else will follow.

Let’s Talk Numbers!

No not money again; people!

Before you start looking at venues, its worth having an idea of how many people you are going to invite, during the day and then the evening.

You don’t want to waste precious time looking at or falling in love with venues that only hold 80 people if you are likely to be 150 or even more.

Draw up a list of potential guests, categorise them into definite, likely and maybe. Make sure you ask your parents if there’s anyone they’d like to invite; particularly if they are contributing to the budget.

Time to Choose Your Venue

Remember that venues are one of the first things booked and many venues are booked 2 years in advance; especially for weekends in peak season.  

So armed with your preferred dates, an idea of your budget, your style and your likely numbers, its time to start looking for your venue. Of course here at Gileston Manor we’d love you to choose us but we appreciate that as a partly outdoor wedding venue we’re not for everyone.

Take your time looking online, use one of the wedding planning apps to help in your search such as Hitched or Bridebook, ask for recommendations from family and friends. Request brochures and prices and check availability with those you like and then spend a lovely evening or Sunday afternoon with a glass of bubbles shortlisting to ideally 3 but a maximum of 5 venues. Then request a viewing and to meet their onsite Wedding Co-Ordinator. Make sure you write a list of questions to ask while your there.

Naturally, if you do want to get married at South Wales’ newest exclusive wedding venue please get in touch and we’d be happy to start planning your wedding journey with you.

Check out our brochure for more details www.gilestonmanor.co.uk

What About Everything Else

Most wedding venues have a recommended suppliers list, its always a good place to start. They are often suppliers who have worked at the venue many times previously and know it well.

It helps if the florist knows exactly what’s needed to fill a space and for the photographer to know where to get the best shots on the day. If you’d rather look for your own, start with the photographer and then ask them for recommendations. It’s also worth going to a few wedding fairs for ideas.

At Gileston Manor we have a Suppliers We Love list which is also available on our website.

Pick Your Team

This part is fun but can also be stressful. Who will be the best man and ushers? Who will be the bridesmaids, will you choose adults only or will there be little ones.

What’s important is not to feel pressured into picking someone you’re not comfortable with. Don’t rush into asking people, take your time, pick people who are genuinely happy for you and will be able to help you out planning the wedding and be responsible, at least for part of the day. Who do you trust to organise your stag and hen do’s?

Do it Your Way

Remember it’s your day, unfortunately you’re not going to please everyone but that’s ok. Do what makes you happy, eat the food you like, drink the drink you like, plan the day the way you want it.

There are no set rules and don’t feel pressured into changing decisions to keep someone happy, if you can find a compromise that’s great but don’t be afraid to stick to your guns.

If there’s a particularly grumpy relative that’s never happy, let your Wedding Co-Ordinator know, they’re normally expert at winning people around, ours certainly has a skill with those prickly Aunts!

Lastly and Most Importantly, Have Fun!!

With so much to organise, it’s easy to forget what all this stress and fuss is about. Its not just about a wedding and a party and what favours to have; its about two people who love each other and want to celebrate that love with their friends and family.

Remember not to talk about the wedding constantly, book planning meetings with each other instead, save date nights for dating and cosy nights in front of the tv for cwtches. Most of all remember to have fun and make memories!

With thanks to:
Morgan James Photography, Lauren Owens Photography, Megan and Claude, Lumie Events, Eden Wedding Designs, Aurelia Photography, One 1 Bridal, Devoli Cakes, Amanda French Flowers and Little Tipple Van