If you are a newly engaged couple then Congratulations!

Let the planning commence! I've put together some planning tips to help with the next few months ahead to plan for your big day. Exciting times ahead.

Getting engaged and the thought of getting married brings lots of emotions, but mostly excitement to get going! Here is some advice from my own experience and tips I got from previous brides. Hopefully it will help to get you started and heading the right direction.

Top Five tips for Planning your Wedding

Have a break

I wish we’d taken this advice on board when we were first engaged, we didn't give ourselves very long to plan the wedding so the ball started rolling quite quickly! I didn't realise back then that you needed an actual date to get prices and quotes for most things so what i was asked at the first venue I popped in to see I just said my birthday... like you do!! Just so I could get a quote, well that ended up being a Thursday and we really wanted a weekend so I said the Friday. So when I got home, Ryan basically thought I had the wedding booked!!!! **Please do not alarm your man by doing this..Serious advise from me!!!** But in the end up we did book that day and venue so everything happens for a reason! If you arrange the big things first, like the location, wedding photographer and dress, then you can take a few weeks off, have a break and enjoy being engaged before you get to the nitty gritty of the planning.

Have a rough budget before you start planning

Everyone has a wedding budget and an idea of what kind of wedding they prefer. Before you begin to plan, it’s always best to talk with your partner to see what you’ve got to work with. Having a rough idea of a budget early on will make everything else in your planning stages easier, there for if you decide something is more important than another to you then spend it wisely. I loved the idea of chair covers at our reception and then when we weighed it all up that extra cash was better spent on our Honeymoon...priorities first!

Include a list of the things that are most important to you for your wedding and if you’ve got family or friends who may help towards the big day, sit down with them early on and figure out how much everyone is able to contribute. If you’re paying for your own wedding then start a savings plan. We worked well opening a joint account that neither of us touched unless for wedding spending – this was the key for us as it helped us know what we could spend and where. Knowing your budget early will determine how much you can spend on things like your venue, photographer, and most importantly, the dress!

How to choose your wedding date

So, most importantly, what time of year or season is your favourite? Sit down with your partner to make sure you’re both on the same track. This will help narrow down the date and may even influence your wedding inspiration. I have had some lovely season inspired weddings and that makes it all the more interesting to photograph! Whether you love spring blooms, winter snow or summer sunshine (well that's debatable in Ireland!!) it’s great to get a feel for the season you want to get married in to inspire your wedding planning.

What is your dream venue? 

Whether it’s a country house, beautiful barn or boutique hotel, your ideal venue should reflect your personalities. I wish I could turn back time and have a harder look at where we could have had our reception, since our wedding and working for myself in the wedding industry I have seen some amazing little cute and individual venues that would have been right up my street but they were maybe not as popular back 7 years ago as they are now! Take your time with this decision, write down a wish list for your venue and then start your search. Go visit them and view their open days when they are all set up, you might even get a discount booking on that day!

Many people ask me 'How will I know which one to go for?' When you find the one, you’ll know it will just feel right!

It’s all about you

The one most important thing that we have learnt is that it should all be about you. Discuss your ideas, your wedding vision and what you want together. Make sure you are both on the same page and decide what is most important for you both and you’ll be starting out on the right path.

Try not to get too carried away on Pinterest as it can totally blow your mind and you can get carried away, but certainly create a board with your similar ideas and you will soon see it coming together!