Wedding planning. Where to start?


As we’re heading towards the season of Christmas engagements, we’ve pulled together a few tips and advice on where to start with your wedding planning before you dive head first into the big world of weddings!

It’s so important that you consider all the options and get the day that you both want. Whether you have always dreamt about a garden wedding at home in marquee or tepee, a ceremony in lavender fields or woodlands, a unique country house or private estate our wedding ceremonies can help you make it happen.

Photography Opal Desires


Tip 1- Remember it’s YOUR day

When the reality has sunk in, you realise that you are actually getting married, you’ve stopped jumping up and down, you’ve rung your mum and best friend and changed your facebook status STOP right there. It’s time to think and get off on the right foot with some simple wedding planning tips that could make all the difference to the kind of wedding and experience you have.

  • Grab a wine, beer, coffee or tea, sit down together and think about how you want your day to feel, what you want it to say about you as a couple and what you want your guests to say about your day.
  • Then have a look on Pinterest and each set up a board of how you envisage your wedding, no peeping at each others until you’ve both finished!!
  • Then compare! Whether they are the similar of different it gives you a starting point and opens up the discussion on the when, where, how and who and how many.


Join us on Pinterest CelebrationW


Tip 2- Agree on a few date options

Most weddings are booked a year in advance due to venue availability. But it doesn’t have to be. As you are not restricted to licensed venues with our ceremonies, you have more flexibility and choice, so you don’t have to settle for sharing your  special day with another 3 brides!

  • Think about season- if you’re looking for an outdoor wedding in the UK they are usually between April and September (however if you were having a Papkata or tepee you wouldn’t know what the weather was doing outside and make lovely cosy winter venues).
  • Think about the day- Saturdays & Bank holidays in peak season are obviously the most popular but a lot of our couples make more of a weekend of it and have it on a Friday or Sunday.
  • Most couples have a set budget, how you allocate it it up to you, think about what is important to you and what will it your celebration unique and meaningful to you. If budget’s tight avoid high season and Saturdays and try to be selective on guest numbers.
  • Check availability with us Celebration Ceremonies & Weddings who can help guide you though the process and answer any questions you may have.

Photography By John Steel


Tip 3- Start thinking about “where”

Firstly you need to decide what you want from a venue within the boundaries of budget; but remember outdoor weddings do not necessarily mean cheap! At this stage in your wedding planning allow yourself to dream a little, write down what you both see in your head when you walk down the aisle it will help filter your options:

  • Keep, break or give a new take on tradition?
  • large or intimate affair?
  • street food, relaxed or formal dining?
  • does the venue fit with your style and “look and feel”
  • at home, indoor or outdoor?
  • gardens, open spaces, or boutique eco sites?
  • rural or urban?
  • local venue or wider search area?
  • blank canvas or support facilities?
  • bricks and mortar or marquee, tepee or Papkata?
  • guest accommodation or glamping village?

Then let you fingers and feet do the searching or ask us about our venue search.


Tip 4 Consider the following for an outdoor wedding or wedding at home:

Planning a blank canvas outdoor wedding or wedding at home is a bit more of a challenge and requires more planning and organisation. Think about how hands on or off you want to be or you want your friends and family to be, especially on the day.

  • think about having someone who knows the pitfalls and can help you find reliable and trustworthy suppliers who have the skills and experience to achieve your vision
  • on-the-day co-ordination is worth every penny to remove the stress from you and make sure everything runs tickety boo.
  • before booking an outdoor location make sure your marquee, tepee or Papkata company has visited the site
  • think about some of the practicalities of access, parking, health and safety, lighting and toilet facilities and electricity supplies
  • If you’re an outdoorsy kind of couple then a bit of rain won’t bother you in the slightest but you should always have a plan B, just in case.
  • make wedding wellies and umbrellas a design feature of your day should you need them
  • check availability of your photographer but remember to choose someone that that fits your style and embraces the weather come rain or shower to get the best memories of your day.

 Ash tree 2

Tip 5 Book the important bits:

1. Secure your ceremony writer & designer & conductor

2.Your Legal “ceremony” at your local register office it can be first thing on the day, the day before or any point before you wedding day- whether you choose to tell family & guests is entirely up to you

3.Your venue or site (and catering)

4. Your Marquee, Tepee or Papkata

5. Your on the day co-ordinator

6. Your Photographer


Step 6- Find THE dress!!!!

We’ll leave this up to you. Try lots on and have fun!


If you’re interested in our wedding ceremonies and would like a few more tips, drop Jan a line she’d love to hear about your plans and will send you our full guide.

Here at Celebration Ceremonies & Weddings specialise in writing, conducting and styling personal wedding ceremonies in gardens at home, at private in Estates, off the beaten track venues and outdoor locations across the UK. We are qualified and approved by Government training body Ofqual, Jan was one of the first five in the UK to qualify. For a full list of the services we offer and additional design services check out 

About Author:

Jan's background is in Design, Advertising and Marketing. She studied Design at Glasgow School of Art then continued her postgraduate studies into Advertising. After a 5 year stint in Athens, Greece teaching English she returned to the UK to join an Agency in Yorkshire where she worked for 14 years as Client Services Director. She then decided to follow her own path and develop offering of which Celebration Ceremonies is the first part.

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