A wedding takes on average 300 hours to plan when you add up the time you spend researching, meeting and negotiating with suppliers, purchasing items for your wedding day and keeping track of RSVPs. However, if you are choosing to get married in the UK – be it England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland – we have pulled together our top five tips to enable you to have a stress-free wedding planning experience.
1. Type of marriage
Consider the type of marriage that you want to have – a religious ceremony, a civil ceremony or a civil partnership – and then take the necessary steps early on to secure your wedding date, ceremony time and the minister/registrar. Websites such as direct.gov.uk, gro-scotland.gov.uk and nidirect.gov.uk all have specific pages dedicated to guiding you through the process for getting married, and if you follow these it will be very easy and stress-free.
2. Time and location
Unlike other countries around the world, there are certain rules in place which limit the time and location of a wedding in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Current laws state that couples are not allowed to marry in these countries outside of the hours of 8am and 6pm, and they also must get married in a permanent structure which limits the opportunity to get married outside. If couples do wish to marry outside or in a ceremony which takes place later than 6pm, then they will need to opt for a humanist ceremony which is not considered legally binding. Couples going down this route usually choose to get married legally in a registry office a couple of days before and save the big celebrations for their ‘wedding’ day. The good news is that if you want to get married in Scotland, the same rules do not apply.
3. Book suppliers early
It doesn’t matter where in the world you choose to marry as the same rules apply – book your suppliers early to avoid disappointment. During the busy summer wedding months in the UK, popular wedding venues, photographers, florists and make-up-artists could often have booked certain dates three times over. So if you have your heart set on a certain supplier, get in contact with them as soon as you know your wedding date and your budget to secure their services.
4. Consider the weather
The UK is known for having unpredictable weather and we are not blessed with consistently sunny summers. With this in mind, regardless of the time of year that you are choosing to get married, always have a wet weather option and have umbrellas on stand-by. If you are having an outdoor drinks reception after your ceremony, make sure that the venue has another area indoors which you can go to if the weather suddenly turns. And if you do have to put up the brollies, don’t fear. You can have some great fun using your umbrellas as props in the photos and rain can often be quite atmospheric!
5. Hire a wedding planner
And finally, if it does all become too much, consider hiring the services of a professional wedding planner. The UK Alliance of Wedding Planners (www.ukawp.com) has members based across the UK who are committed to ensuring professionalism within the industry. The planners offer a range of services to suit a variety of budgets and they take away any of the stress and provide lots of help and reassurance when planning your wedding.
T: 01277 228068