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The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Dream Wedding in Essex

Wedding Planning - 14.09.23

Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Dream Wedding in Essex!

Planning your wedding is one of the most exciting times of your life. But it can also be one of the most complex, and dare we say it – stressful.

That’s why, in this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know to plan the perfect wedding in this beautiful county.

Step 1: Setting the Scene - Choosing the Perfect Venue

One of the most important decisions you’ll make when planning your wedding is choosing the perfect venue.

To decide, it’s important to view several options to see what’s on offer and get a feel for the venue. It’s not dissimilar to buying a house – you’ll probably get a feeling that a venue feels right to the pair of you.

Some key factors to consider when choosing your perfect Essex wedding venue include:

Budget: Determining your budget early on helps you to allocate a realistic amount for the venue. This will help narrow down your options and stop you from overspending at the first hurdle!

Capacity: Consider the number of guests you plan to invite and choose a venue that can comfortably accommodate them. Ensure there is enough space for seating, dancing, and other activities you have in mind.

Location: Think about the geographical location of the venue and its accessibility. Consider whether it is convenient for both you and your guests in terms of travel, accommodation options nearby, and availability of parking.

With this in mind, Braxted Park is a stunning, versatile wedding venue set in 500 acres of parkland. One of the most beautiful venues in Essex, our stylish venue offers the choice of tying the knot in the Orangery, the main house, or outside in the intimate walled Knott Garden.

Step 2: Creating your guest list

Your guest list will determine many other aspects of your wedding – from the size of the venue to the catering options.

Tips for creating a guest list that works for you and your partner:

1. Start with the must-haves by making a list of the people who absolutely must be at your wedding, such as immediate family members and close friends. These are the significant people with whom you want to share your special day.

2. Set priorities as a couple. Decide if you want a small and intimate gathering or a larger celebration. At Braxted Park, you’ve got options for any number of guests and type of wedding.

3. Categorise the guest list by dividing your guest list into categories – such as immediate family, extended family, close friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. This helps you prioritise based on the importance of each relationship.

4. Be organised by keeping a guest list spreadsheet or a wedding planning app to manage your guest list.

Step 3: Choosing Your Wedding Theme and Style

Choosing a theme and style that reflects your personalities and vision is a wonderful way to infuse your wedding with personal touches and create a unique and memorable experience.

Here are some tips to help you find inspiration and guidance for selecting a theme and style that aligns with who you are as a couple:

1. Consider your personalities and how you can help them shine through on your wedding day. For example, are you more laid-back and casual, or do you prefer something elegant and formal? Incorporate elements that reflect your styles and create an atmosphere that feels authentic to who you are as a couple.

2. Look for inspiration in your relationship by thinking about your journey as a couple, and the significant moments that have shaped your relationship. This could include the place you first met or memorable adventures you’ve had together. Drawing inspiration from these milestones can help you create a theme that tells your unique love story.

3. Gather visual inspiration from various sources such as wedding magazines, websites, and social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. Save images, colour palettes, and design ideas that resonate with you.

4. Consider the season and venue as it can greatly influence your theme and style choices. If you’re having a spring wedding in a walled garden like ours at Braxted Park, a romantic and floral theme might be fitting. For a winter wedding in the historical stately home, a rustic and warm theme could work well.

Step 4: Selecting Your Suppliers

From photographers to florists, your wedding suppliers will help bring your wedding to life.

To choose the right vendors for your wedding:

1. Determine your needs before you start searching for vendors. Make a list of the services you require, such as a photographer, caterer, florist, DJ, etc. Here at Braxted Park, we provide a comprehensive list of recommended wedding suppliers, so you can rest assured that the most trusted people are taking care of every element of your wedding.

2. Discuss flexibility and customisation options with prospective suppliers. This determines if they’re willing to accommodate your visions and customise their services to suit your bespoke needs.

3. Trust your instincts when making your final supplier decisions. Choose suppliers who not only meet your criteria but also instil confidence and make you feel at ease. Feeling comfortable and confident in your chosen vendors will alleviate stress and allow you to fully enjoy your wedding day.

Step 5: Planning Your Wedding Timeline

Planning your wedding timeline will help ensure that everything runs smoothly on the day:

9-12 Months Before the Wedding:
Set the wedding date and book venues
Determine budget and style/theme
Research and book key vendors

6-9 Months Before the Wedding:
Book remaining vendors
Order wedding invitations and stationery
Plan accommodations for out-of-town guests

4-6 Months Before the Wedding:
Finalise menu and cake/dessert vendor.
Plan your honeymoon and check all the travel documents
Finalise ceremony details and meet with the officiant

2-4 Months Before the Wedding:
Send out wedding invitations
Create a day-of timeline and share it with vendors and wedding parties

1-2 Months Before the Wedding:
Track RSVPs and follow up
Finalise ceremony script and vows
Schedule final dress fittings and alterations
Purchase gifts for the wedding party and parents

2-4 Weeks Before the Wedding:
Confirm final details with vendors
Finalise wedding-day timeline
Purchase ceremony/reception decor and accessories

1 Week Before the Wedding:
Pack for the honeymoon.
Confirm details with vendors again.
Finalise seating arrangements and place cards.

Step 6: Making the Most of Your Wedding Day

Your wedding day will go by in a flash, so it’s important to savour every moment.

Here are our top tips on how to stay present and enjoy your special day:

1. Embrace mindfulness by taking a few moments throughout the day to pause, breathe, and soak in the surroundings. Being aware of your emotions, sights, sounds, and smells around you will help you to stay present in every precious moment.

2. Delegate tasks to reliable people like your wedding planner and close friends. Let them handle the finer details on the day.

3. Stay hydrated (no, we don’t mean Champagne!) It’s easy to get caught up and forget to take care of yourself. Staying hydrated and eating small snacks throughout the day will help to keep your energy levels up and feel your best to fully enjoy the day.

4. Connect with loved ones and take the time to have meaningful conversations, express gratitude, and create lasting memories with those who are there to celebrate with you.

Congratulations, you’re now armed with everything you need to plan the wedding of your dreams in Essex! If you’re interested in learning more about Braxted Park, we’d be delighted to invite you to book a visit to see this beautiful venue in person.

Book a Visit at Braxted Park

Are you ready to take the next step in planning your dream wedding in Essex?

Book a visit to Braxted Park today and see why it’s one of the most sought-after wedding venues in the county.

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If the beauty of Braxted Park has planted a seed in your heart, then simply fill in your details below, and we will be happy to email you our brochure or arrange your personal visit. Alternatively phone us on 01621 770855 and one of our friendly wedding team can tell you more about how this magnificent venue could become distinctively yours.