Once the thrill of becoming engaged has sunk in and you are able to peel your eyes away from the new addition on your finger, (well just for a second or two), it`s time to start making some very important decisions to kick start the planning of your dream day.
Follow our guide on what needs to be done to make the happiest day of your life a reality with Vibrant Jersey Weddings
Set Your Timetable
As soon as friends and family hear of your engagement, they will be sure to ask you for the wedding date, but certain considerations must be taken into account before you can provide this information, such as the choosing and booking of the venue. Start looking at potential dates for your wedding, with the average engagement lasting approximately 15 to 18 months, there is plenty to organize in this time. Consider what season you would like to get married in, any family holidays or events that you need to avoid conflicting with and how long you feel it will take you and your partner to plan your perfect day.
What Is Your Wedding Theme
Before you start to look at individual services, take time to look at the bigger picture and imagine what kind of theme and style you want for your wedding and the venue where you would like to hold it. Close your eyes and imagine your big day as if you are there. Would it be a historical venue? Maybe a ceremony on the beach? Or a Glitzy Hotel? Whilst you are in dreamland, consider whether you would like a big wedding, inviting all your friends and family or a smaller event, with just immediate family and close friends. Would you like to have your ceremony indoors or out in the open air? What type of theme are you looking for? Classic, Modern, Vintage, Fantasy or Chic. If you are stuck for ideas, take time to view wedding magazines and online wedding photographs to give you additional inspiration, maybe you have a scene in mind from your favourite movie that you would like to emulate, always keep your eyes peeled for ideas.
Work To A Budget
Take time to work out your budget by sitting down with your partner and respective families to determine what you can realistically afford and who can help contribute to your special day. By working out your total budget you can break down how much you can spend on each individual purchase or service. It may be uncomfortable asking family if they can contribute, but once done you will have a clear idea on what you have to spend.
The Guest List
When you sit down to write your guest list take into account the size of venue you have in mind, both for the ceremony and for the reception. Are you limited to the amount of people that can be accommodated, would you like just immediate family and close friends for the main ceremony, then a big party for all your friends and extended family. Are your parents having a say in who they would like to invite, especially if they are contributing a large amount to the overall cost, you will have to take this into consideration. As most catering costs are calculated on a per-head basis, the more guests you invite, the larger the impact on your total budget.
Don`t worry about starting this too early. With all the engagement parties, relatives and friends wishing you well and asking you what you would like as a present, your foresight will be appreciated. Although giving a gift at an engagement party is generally optional, some of your guests may want to give you something as a commemoration of the occasion and by having a list available, it will save them from having to ask or even guess what you would like.
Have Your Engagement Ring Insured
Although nothing can replace sentimental value, this will give you some peace of mind that you will be able to claim for any loss to your valuable piece of jewellery . You could either do this through your homeowner`s or tenants contents insurance policy or by seeking out a company that specializes in a more comprehensive jewellery insurance.
Decide On Your Wedding Party Members
One of your first decisions to make is who to ask to be your bridesmaids, maid of honour and best man, the earlier you make this decision, the more time they will be able to give to helping you. Make sure that they are aware of your plans and more importantly your budget, especially with costs they may directly be involved with, like wedding attire, stag & hen parties etc. Although it is an honour for your wedding party to have been chosen by you, make sure that they are appreciated fully for all the time and effort they make to ensure your day is just how you imagined it to be. It is generally customary to give them a small gift of your appreciation on your wedding day.
Consider Hiring A Wedding Planner
If you lead a very busy life through the demands of your jobs or children, or maybe have decided on a large wedding that will take a lot of organization, then consider hiring a professional wedding planner, who can help you to plan and prepare everything, from the engagement party through to your honeymoon and take some of the stress away. There is also the option of hiring a consultant on a part time basis to help with providing helpful websites, service providers that can help with your theme, budgeting and a planning schedule. Another option would be to hire a Wedding co-ordinator for the day itself, to ensure that everything goes according to plan and allows you to enjoy your day without any worries
Set Your Date And Book Your Venue
The reception venue that you choose will become the scene for many of your photographs and will also have a large influence on your budget, guest list and catering. Shop around by scheduling visits to various venues to ensure that the venue can meet with your desires and any extras that they can provide, such as special overnight rates for your guests, complimentary champagne for the happy couple etc. We would recommend that you book your perfect venue early to guarantee it`s yours for the day and you have your official wedding date.
Prioritize The Main Services
The thought of not being able to have your favourite photographer or videographer to film your special day does not bear thinking about, so act fast, as many services that are high in demand are often booked up more than a year in advance. After all, once your special day is over, those photos or video are all that’s left to help you remember your special day. Make a list of your priorities, whether it is a local band, a florist whose arrangements you have always admired, or a hair /make-up artist that has come highly recommended, start to book your favourites now!
It`s all about the dress! – right ladies? so make it an experience, not a decision. Find the dream dress to suit your style and budget. From Classic and Traditional, to Chic and Sophisticated, choose a dress that not only flatters your figure, but also suits your femininity and personality. With so many styles of dress to choose from, search online sites and wedding magazines to find a style that suits you. Build up a list of your favourites so you can show them to your local boutique and familiarize yourself with terminology such as silhouettes, necklines and trains. Also bear in mind the season that you are getting married, if it is a summer wedding, then maybe a lightweight dress fabric such as chiffon or organza would be more appropriate. For a winter wedding, maybe a brocade or velvet fabric will be more suitable, to keep you warm. Fabrics such as satin and silk are perfect for any time of year.
Marrying In Jersey
If you are thinking of getting married in Jersey or spending your honeymoon here there are many hotels that will offer special packages such as free room upgrades, complimentary champagne and “rose petal” turn downs with others offering complimentary services for those celebrating an anniversary. Hotels in Jersey are required to be licensed to conduct a civil ceremony and information to help you plan your special day can be found here
Applying for a licence is relatively simple. Applications for arranging a wedding from outside Jersey can be made by post and couples will then need to arrive just 3 days before their big day to complete the paperwork and collect a marriage licence. Similar steps will be needed when arranging a civil ceremony from outside Jersey.
There are many wedding services on the island and we can also put you in touch with any of these, from decor and cakes to photographers and videographers to capture your perfect day
A List of premises approved for the celebration of civil weddings taken from the Register of Approved Premises maintained by the Superintendent Registrar can be found here