Tips for Newly Engaged Couples | How to Start your Wedding Planning!

At weddingsonline we understand all too well how daunting the prospect of planning a wedding can be, which is why we try to help couples where we can to find their wedding suppliers and venues, whilst providing inspirational features and content along the way.

This week, we spoke to Keryn Waye-Hive of Supernova Weddings, to ask her advice on the steps newly engaged couples should take to begin the wedding planning journey, and here is what she had to say…

Keryn, What is the First Thing a Newly Engaged Couple Should Do?

Firstly, CONGRATULATIONS! It was written in the stars! Celebrating all the romantics who created lasting sun-kissed memories this summer, cheers to your love! How exciting is it to embark on one of the most life-changing journeys of two souls entwining to co-create the greatest love story.

I can imagine it’s a whirlwind of emotions but for now press pause for a little bit longer & allow yourself to fully immerse in the engagement bliss. Before anything else & most importantly, before you fall into the planning rabbit hole, I recommend for couples to spend some time together to just get lost in daydreams.

Plan a date night in with a charcuterie board, a bottle of bubbly & a playlist that will transport you back to the Amalfi Coast, Puglia, Costa Brava, Ibiza, Mallorca, Algarve, Seychelles or whichever sun-kissed shores & quaint little town you visited this summer.

Relive in the memories of your vacation, feel into the emotions of your proposal, visualize the life you are creating & start to envision your ideal celebration.

Who are you surrounded by, what does the scenery look like, how does the ambiance feel, what memories do you want to create for yourself & your guests, what are the most important aspects & elements you want to incorporate to create a celebration that is both meaningful & authentic to your love. Remember that this is YOUR story & you are the only two people who can write the next chapter. You decide which tradition to keep, re-invent or ditch. Stay true to your heart while keeping an open-mind as you explore the many possibilities of how you can create magic with your beautiful love story.

How Should the Happy Couple go about Setting a Wedding Budget?

Now let’s talk about budget! I know, it’s not the most exciting part of wedding planning but the most crucial task to tick of prior to starting anything else. Once you’ve settled down from cloud 9 with a clearer vision of your wedding day, the next step will be to determine how much you can afford to spend, and also how much you’re happy to spend!

I know that talking about finances in general can be a bit intimidating & often stressful in relationships, and emotions can run a little higher than normal when you need to make wedding decisions. But just like everything else, finding the right approach & time sets the tone for an open & honest conversation to flow. If you find yourselves feeling overwhelmed or disagreeing, it’s okay to call for a ‘time out’ and just take some time to process your thoughts. It’s one of the most special days of your life & agreeable you want everything to be perfect; remember to thread gracefully, listen with compassion, be transparent with your feels and find solutions together.

  • Decide on the figure you are both comfortable to spend on your big day
  • Evaluate your savings & be realistic about how much you can save in the time you have (while you’ll be dipping into your account for deposits & expenses throughout planning, bear in mind that the bulk of the cost comes towards the end).
  • If your parents have expressed their desire to contribute to your wedding, have the money conversation with them at this stage so you know how much you have to work with.

Next step will be to determine your number of guests, it doesn’t have to be the final count but an estimated guest count will give you a clearer idea of your overall spent.

Here’s an example to illustrate; let’s say you’ve budgeted AED 250,000 to spend on your wedding. Split that budget in half:

AED 109,375 that’s the figure you have to spend on your venue. Under that you should cover your catering costs per person (cocktail hour | dinner reception | beverage package). Let’s say you have 100 guests = AED 1,094 per person

The remaining 50% of your budget covers everything else & for this part, it is important for you to decide on your priorities. Best way to go about it is to make a list of all your wedding ‘must haves’ then create a detailed excel sheet (I’m a bit of a geek for an itemized spreadsheet) with a split allocation that will keep you on track with all your spending & ensuring that you stay within the allocated budget.

You can make reference to the below checklist for guidance:

  • Wedding planner (if required)
  • Venue rental (if required as most venues require a minimum spent to qualify for free venue rental)
    • Food & drinks package per person (cocktail reception | dinner reception | after party)
  • Furniture rentals – if not provided by venue or if you require bespoke pieces to better illustrate your theme (chairs | tables | linens | mobile bar | lounge)
  • Tableware rentals (these are items that will enhance your theme, not provided by the venue)
  • Entertainment (band and/or DJ for ceremony & reception | any special talents/acts)
  • Florist (ceremony & reception decor | bouquets)
  • Decoration rentals (lightning | dancefloor)
  • Stationary (save the date | invitation suites | signages | escort cards or seating chart | menus | program)
  • Photographer & videographer
  • Wedding officiant/celebrant
  • Wedding website (if required)
  • Hair stylist & makeup artist
  • Cake designer
  • Wedding favors
  • Bride & groom + guests transportations to & from the wedding venue (if required)
  • Wedding dress & groom’s suits
  • Wedding accessories (earrings | hair pieces | bow ties | shoes | lingerie)
  • Bridesmaid dresses & groomsmen suits (if you are providing)
  • Wedding bands
  • Honeymoon

In addition to the above, there are the little cost that often gets forgotten such as the taxes, delivery fees, setup & dismantle fees that is additional to the service fee depending on vendor so it’s always good to do a thorough vendor research & review all quotes/contracts to ensure there is no hidden fees. Pro-tip is to always have a 10% to 15% contingency fund on top of your wedding budget as a back-up for any unexpected costs.

There are many varying factors that affect your wedding budgeting as it all comes down to the nitty gritty details of what you truly want! During our planning journey, I will take you through an in-depth process that covers all aspects of your wedding day so you can better envision your ideal celebration for us to create a realistic budget as well as finding creative solutions on how best to maximize your funds & connecting you with the suppliers that is aligned with your budget.

What is your “Full Wedding Planning & Styling Service” & what is Included?

This all-inclusive package is ideal for the busy bees, perfectionists & dreamers of inspiring, bright & creative ideas who are looking for support & guidance from a like-minded professional to effortlessly translate your 1000 ideas into an elegant & cohesive celebration.

I believe that it’s my work to create less work for you. Our planning journey is broken down into five detailed phases to allow for a more organized & smoother process.

CLICK HERE to go through the steps of working together, from day one to the day off.

What is a Frequently Asked Question that you would like to Clarify for Brides & Grooms to be?

The answer would have to be, “do I really need a wedding planner, my venue has a wedding planner/coordinator and my family or friends have offered to help?”

First and foremost, both a wedding planner & venue wedding coordinator are equally valuable and will simultaneously work together to bring your vision to life. Now the simplest way I can explain the difference between the two roles is – a venue wedding planner/coordinator works for the venue with set conditions and pre-selected suppliers. They offer wedding packages that is either all inclusive with limited option to customize or charge extra fees (often with a mark-up) for additional services. Whereas my main focus is on delivering an experience, which prioritize on affinity + quality over quantity. I work with you to create a celebration that is special for you, connecting you with passionate creatives, mindfully guide you through your vision, cheering and celebrating with you every step of the way, and I have your best interest at heart to support you in making decisions that feels right for you.

Secondly, your friends & family (unless they have experience planning a wedding) are your guests of honor & their only role in the celebration is to be making lasting memories with you.

What is a “Discovery Session” & How Should a Couple Prepare for it?

The work that we will be doing together means the world to me & I want us both to be thanking our lucky stars for having found each other. We will be working closely over a period of 12, 6 or 3 months (depending on your wedding vision & group size) & just like your relationship, I want our partnership to be transparent, built on mutual respect, trust & affinity which is why I encourage couples to read ‘my about me’ page thoroughly to find out whether we’re a good match.

The discovery session is the next step & the perfect opportunity for us to meet either in person (if you’re in Dubai) or via a virtual call. It’s a non-obligatory casual chat scheduled over an hour or so, allowing us the time & space to get to know each other a little bit better over a cup of tea or coffee (I’m a matcha latte kinda girl J).

During this time, we will go through my services as well as my approach to wedding planning & how I can support you, discuss your wedding vision & expectations, touch base on your wedding budget & any logistical consideration so I can provide guidance on cost & address any challenges you may anticipate. At the same time, it’s a chance to see if we’re vibing – I’m an open book so ask away!

To make the most of your discovery session, here’s some tips for how to prepare;

  • Ensure that you’ve researched about the planner you are interested to work with. Visit their website, social media profiles, testimonials to familiarize yourself with their work, style & any information that may be valuable to you. Make a list of questions you want to ask considering topics such as their experience, their approach to design & coordination, their availability on your wedding date, and how they handle challenges that may arise during the planning process.
  • Be prepared to discuss your wedding vision, theme, preferred aesthetics, estimated budget & any specific details you have in mind. The more information you provide, the better the planner will understand your expectations & offer tailored advice & suggestions.

Above everything, we wish you a joyful planning journey. Be present & celebrate in every moment, Keryn.

To begin planning your wedding with Supernova Weddings, call or WhatsApp Keryn on 056 887 6523, or email her at Happy planning!

The following two tabs change content below.
The girls at weddingsonline

The girls at weddingsonline

The girls from the UAE's newest wedding community with real weddings and lots of gorgeous inspiration!

Comments are closed.

Read previous post:
From Proposal to Honeymoon…Atlantis, The Palm has a Venue for Every Wedding Event!

In the UAE we are so lucky to have such a range of proposal, wedding and honeymoon venues to choose...