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Stuff To Take Your Time Over When Planning Your Wedding

It's all too easy to fall into a bit of a blind panic when you start planning your wedding day.

Hopefully though, you'll check out some good planning advice so you have everything in place when the big day comes.

The important thing is not to rush matters - even if you're planning a last-minute wedding.

Because there are a few decisions you'll have to make that are very important and need to be carefully considered. Here are five of the most important and if you've any to add, please share your thoughts with us.

  1. Setting your budget. Don't just pull a figure out of the air or worse, just spend without working out what you can afford first. It's really important that the two of you sit down together and write a list of your outgoings and what you can spend on your wedding day. You don't want to start married life off with an unnecessary debt. If you're saving up you need to work out how long it's going to take for you to have the wedding day you want and you'll need to think about what you can do without to make that wedding budget go a bit further.

  2. Choosing a photographer. Don't rush this one. Seriously. Your wedding photographs are going to be a permanent reminder of your big day and so you want to make sure that you're going to be happy with them. Look at wedding blogs like this one and check out the real weddings to see what style of photography you like and then maybe make a moodboard or a Pinterest board of the shots you love. Reportage is very on trend just now but you might like a more traditional style. Then hunt around for photographers that cover your area who work in the sort of style you'd like, ask to see their portfolios and see whether they're free on the date you've chosen for your wedding. Also ask for some testimonials from other brides. It's best not to just use a photographer recommended by your venue - shop around a bit for yourself.

  3. Choosing your venue. It's best to be a bit open-minded about this one. You may have always set your heart on a particular hotel or stately home, but before you sign on the dotted line hunt through some different options. I'd recommend looking at at least five venues before you make up your mind. So many places are licensed for weddings nowadays that you're spoiled for choice. Remember you can get married as late as 6pm in the UK now and you can also get married outside, as long as it's under a fixed structure like a gazebo.

  4. Choosing your chief bridesmaid. You want somebody who is cool, calm, collected, unflappable, good in a crisis, discreet and organised. Not much to ask then. Seriously, your best friend might not be the best person to be your chief bridesmaid - she may be expecting a baby around that time, she might be a good laugh but hopelessly forgetful or she might be rather nervous about all the responsibility. So think about this one carefully, look around at your friends and relatives and think who really would be best for the job.

  5. Choosing The Dress. This is probably the first thing you'll want to start shopping for once you've got engaged and you may have always had a particular style of dress in mind. That's fine - but it's another thing you should keep an open mind about when you start off wedding dress shopping. Go into a few shops and try on all the gowns the assistant suggests - she'll be an expert and will be able to look at your figure and know what suits you best. The same applies to bridesmaids dresses too. Try on a dress you never would think of wearing - you may surprise yourself!

You're going to have plenty of other decisions to make as well; wedding flowers, what you eat, the type of ceremony, music, what your bridesmaids wear.

So read Part II tomorrow when we cover all these other aspects!

If you're already married, did you hurry something in your wedding planning and then regret it afterwards?

Image credit: Sweet Bliss Wedding