Closer’s bride-to-be Matilda Stanley shares her top tips for staying cool during wedding planning

Newly engaged and not sure where to start when it comes to planning your big day? Let Closer's very own bride-to-be Matilda Stanley help you steer clear of bridezilla territory with her top wedding planning tips…


by Matilda Stanley |
Published on

After almost five years together, Ollie proposed on a drizzly Saturday afternoon last August. We had been for lunch and despite the weather, he seemed keen to go for a walk round little lake in the countryside that we used to visit a lot when we started dating. I was busy Instagramming pictures of ducks and splashing puddles in my wellies completely unaware of what his plan was, and couldn’t believe it when I turned around to see him down in the mud on one knee!

It was a very personal, and quiet proposal but it was perfect!
It was a very personal, and quiet proposal but it was perfect!

Once all the celebrations and champagne bubbles had settled, we got to work quite quickly on setting a date. We decided on the end of August 2014, which gave us a year to plan.

Now with just under three months to go until our big day, I thought id share some tips on early planning that I have learnt along the way, to help any new bride-to-be’s that might be feeling the panic with where to begin with preparations. It’s not as scary as you think – honest! If you are newly engaged and feeling a bit over whelmed, aim to have these three jobs done by the end of the month – I guarantee you will feel like the most chilled out bride ever!

We got through quite a lot of fizz over the few days after our Engagement!

Plan a budget and try your best to stick to it…

Whether you have been saving for years and want to go all out on your big day or trying to keep the penny spending to a minimum, working out how much you can afford to spend is key at the beginning. It will help when it comes to booking things and planning every aspect of the day – you would be surprised at how much little details cost so do research first.

Ollie and I opened a joint savings account and we have been adding in a little each month so we know its safe and can’t be spent on holidays or Nandos visits during the week! We both have access to the funds and we agreed to pay for wedding items only with it.

Set a date and get organised…

When it comes to choosing a date its best to keep a couple of options in mind so when you go to book your venue or church you have flexibility if it is already booked. Once you have set your date though, it will give you something to work towards and you can start setting deadlines for jobs over the next 12 months.

I love a list and bought myself a fancy notepad which has all my planning notes in it, so I know exactly where I wrote down prices and dates without having to worry. Each month, we write a short list of jobs or people to contact over the next four weeks. Doing it in chunks makes it more achievable and ticking each job off is so satisfying!

Treat yourself to a fancy new folder or notepad and make that your wedding BFF over the next few months

Book your venue …

Whether it is a church or a woodland tree house, booking your location is certainly top of the list when it comes to planning. Don’t leave it too late ladies as even the most random of places can book up quickly. Make a list of options and organize visiting them over a few days, taking pictures of each and making notes so you can compare properly before deciding.

We were lucky, as we managed to get the church we wanted in the Lake District when we needed it, and our reception’s in the village hall, so there wasn’t too much competition when it came to booking! Bigger venues can sometime be fully booked for years ahead though, so try looking in to having your celebrations on a Friday instead. This can be much easier to get availability and can often be cheaper.

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