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How to start your wedding planning

Christmas and New Year is the most popular time to propose and it's easy to see why; we're all feeling that Christmas sparkle in the air; it's the time of year for giving and most of us get to spend a little extra time with our loved ones. Even if it is watching Netflix and eating chocolates on the sofa.

Congratulations if you got engaged recently! Here's a few tips to help you start planning your wedding! These tips will help even if you've been engaged for a while and haven't been sure where to start your wedding planning.

Enjoy the moment

Before you do anything else, make sure to enjoy being engaged, take a few weeks or months to enjoy it.

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Get Pinning!

Start putting together a Pinterest board (you might have already started this before the proposal, and that's ok. No judgement here). Just pin things you like, it could be other weddings, or colour schemes, or flowers, anything really. Get a feel for what you both like, and also what you don't like too.

Just remember with Pinterest and any other social media for that matter, most of the photos will be taken from styled photoshoots so they look perfect, you don't need to perfect. You just need to be you. Also, you don't need to figure out all the details right away, it's just a great starting point to put ideas together. I'd also recommend using Pinterest's board within boards, so you can stay organised.

We've got tonnes of wedding ideas, visit our Pinterest board for some inspiration here.

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Build your squad

You need a bridal team to support you. Have a think about your bridesmaids and groomsmen, who are the people that you need on your day to help make it all possible. You could make them feel extra special by creating a Bridesmaid proposal box, we've got some really great 'Will You Be My Bridesmaid' confetti pops that work so well! Once you've decided and asked your bridal squad, you have a team that can help you make some decisions and bounce ideas around with.

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Timing and Venue

Consider dates and locations. If you're thinking you'd love a summer wedding you can start looking for venues that work for that season. If you've always dreamed of celebrating your big day in a stunning stately home go and visit them. Consider distance too, do you want to get married nearby, or abroad. Draw up a rough guest list before looking at venues, as certain venues work well for smaller intimate weddings, whilst others can hold hundreds!

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Photo by Wolken Mit I - Paris

Create a shortlist of your top few venues and go visit them, no amount of photos online will ever do a wedding venue justice. If your venue of choice are having an open day, make sure to attend, not only will you be able to see the place all dressed up, but it will give you ideas of how to use the space too.

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Photo by Lisa Webb - Pimhill Barn

Colours & themes

Think about what colours or overall theme you'd like to incorporate into your big day. It's worth popping down to your local DIY store like B&Q and picking up some paint swatches. That way you can have a play with your favourite colours together. This will also help with showing your wedding suppliers what colours you prefer.

A great tip is to go for a colour palette of 3 colours (or more) that work well together, eg. Blush pink, baby blue and grey, or green, white and copper. By having a selection of colours will make it easier to source items for your big day.

Just bear in mind if you want your decorations or bridesmaid dresses to match your flowers that there are certain colours that do not appear in the natural world, eg. Teal can be a tricky one. By having a colour palette as opposed to just one colour you can tweak how much of one colour you have.

If you've got a really bright colour in your palette like orange or yellow, you might want to use this as an accent colour instead of the main event. By having a colour palette at this stage it will also help when you start talking to suppliers on your ideas.

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Photo by Brett Jordan

Spreadsheet like a boss

Start a spreadsheet. I know, it sounds like the most boring thing ever, but it will honestly save your sanity and reduce stress. Make a list of all the things/suppliers you think you need. Eg. Photographer, cake maker, dress, catering, flowers, etc. Give yourself a realistic budget for everything and figure out how much you need to create your ideal wedding. There might be somethings you realise you could save money and do yourself, but either way be realistic.

On your spreadsheet make sure to add your suppliers name and contact and due dates for payments, this will save a lot of panicking when you get closer to your big day. Plus it will be really easy to give the contact details to a bridesmaid or member of the bridal squad to iron out any issues on the day.

Start chatting to wedding suppliers in order of availability and importance to you eg. Photographers can get booked up a year advance, so get in touch sooner rather than later. There are some brilliant places to find reliable and quality suppliers, from Rock My Wedding, UK Bride, Hitched, Whimsical Wonderland Weddings, Love My Dress and so many more. Ask around too, there is nothing better than a personal recommend.

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Photo by Emma Matthews

The dreaded guest list

Create your guest list and start designing (or hiring a stationer to create) your wedding invitations. It's traditional to send out invitations 8 weeks before your wedding, but personally I'd recommend 6 months, or 1 year if you're getting married abroad. Not only will this give your guests a better head's up, but also will help you with planning, catering, etc. Plus there are always guests that you need to chase for their RSVP so give them and yourself a bit of time. Alternatively you can send out Saves The Dates before your invites, you could even reduce your costs and send an e-postcard Save The Date.

You are almost there

Now you are well and truly on your way to planning your perfect wedding day. For more tips explore the Shropshire Petals blog, discover lots of ideas on our Pinterest or subscribe to our monthly e-sprinkle.

If you're wondering when to order your biodegradable petal confetti, you can order months in advance with our Delayed Delivery service and have your petals sent out 3-6 weeks before your wedding. Or if your wedding is less than 3 months away you can order for immediate delivery. For more petal advice visit our FAQ's page.

Love as always and happy wedding planning
SP xx

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