Are you recently engaged or starting wedding planning in 2021? It's going to be a little different from normal, but here are my 5 key points to remember this year!
As a wedding photographer and a 2020, then 2021 bride (but who knows) I understand how stressful the past year has been from both a couples, and supplier perspective. Right now it might feel like wedding planning in early 2021 is like looking both ways to cross the road and then being hit be an aeroplane. BUT with vaccines on the roll-out and a light at the end of the tunnel, you could be planning the social event of the decade so far! When weddings can safely take place they will be so full of joy, gratitude and a damn good party, so let's get planning.
SHARE THE NEWS
So you've got the ring and a huge beaming smile to match, but have you told your nearest and dearest yet? If you can't see them in person then why not stage your own engagement photoshoot with a self timer. Or create an adorable video that you can send out to family and friends? Do be sensitive of friends and family who may have had to postpone their own wedding in the last 12 months, as this may be a trigger for them. BUT generally, we have found that right now people need joy more than ever, so the news of your engagement and upcoming wedding gives hope to others and reminds us all that love isn't cancelled! We are all going to need a great party after this after all!
2. BE OPEN AND HONEST
Wedding planning always leaves the possibility of some awkward discussions, no matter when/where you are planning it. When finances, family disputes and guest lists are involved, it is likely that you, your fiancé / parents / in-laws, will have different views and priorities of what the day will look like.
This is why it can really help being as open as possible from the offset, if anyone is offering to help with payments for the wedding then establish what that means; is it a certain element they want to fund? (e.g the reception), or will they expect to have say over the guest list.
Or if you are funding yourself then discuss your priorities with your partner and assess a realistic budget, your wedding is a day that should bring love and joy to you both, not debt! A great way to start this is to each write down which aspect of the day is really important to you, or alternatively, what isn't so important. For us my two were the venue and the photography (obviously :'p), and I knew I didn't want a wedding car, but for Ryan he wanted great food. We then knew those were the three main costs of our day and could factor our budget around them.
3. Practice Gratitude
Yes things may feel uncertain some days, and whether this is your first time planning, or your 1st, 2nd, 3rd of 4th postponement, practicing gratitude can really ground you on your darker days.
I found gratitude after our postponement through the wonderful Charla from The Grateful Hearts Club. Her compassionate nature and easy tips and tricks of how to entwine gratitude into everyday life has been a real game changer.
For an extra warm and fuzzy touch at your wedding she also offers gratitude stations - which are surely going to be the must have of any 2021/2022 and beyond wedding!? Gratitude stations are an amazing opportunity for your loved ones to share what they are most thankful to you for, a wonderful keepsake to look back on.
I am currently working on a special blog post with Charla all about mental health and gratitude when postponing/cancelling your wedding so look out for that soon.
Find out about The Grateful Hearts Club at: https://www.thegratefulheartsclub.com/
4. GET INSPIRED!
I won't lie, to me this was such a fun part of wedding planning. Pinterest and wedding blogs were an absolute must. They allow you to explore every possible colour scheme, table setting or quirky theme you can imagine. HOWEVER, it is easy to get overwhelmed so go in with a realistic mind set in regards to your budget and location. Perhaps don't pin loads of Italian weddings if you are getting married in a Castle in Scotland. Take time as a couple, and even get your bridal party involved if you'd like, to create mood boards of your favourite wedding styles. Knowing what you are looking for will make whittling down suppliers much easier too.
5. ASSESS YOUR TIMELINE AND FLEXIBILITY.
This is where will see some changes for 2021/2022 couples. The average engagement lasts between 15 -18 months before you tie the knot. You will often find that well known suppliers and venues are booked for key dates 18 months in advance. But in 2021 it is super important to consider the huge number of 2020 and early 2021 couples who have postponed into summer/autumn 2021 and 2022. Meaning that 'one-wedding-a-day' suppliers; like Venues, Photographers, Videographers and Catering, are filling their diaries much earlier to accommodate all of their postponed couples. If you want to marry in 2021, it is perfectly do-able! You may just find that you need to; be flexible on dates (explore the option of a weekday wedding), get in touch with your favourite suppliers sooner rather than later, and also have a few different guest list options, depending on restrictions at the time.
If you are planning for your 2022/2023 wedding then use the inspiration from point 4 ^ and start contacting suppliers (particularly venues) to see what their availability is like.
So there you have it. Let's run into 2021 with love and excitement for all of the wonderful celebrations to come!