Every Wednesday on Bridal Musings we feature practical wedding planning tips from some of the wedding industry's finest.

Our experts are here to help make the whole wedding planning and designing process far more manageable and, dare I say it, fun!

It's my pleasure to introduce top London wedding planner, Andri Benson of Always Andri Wedding Design a London based boutique wedding planning company. She has helped so many couples to plan the wedding of their dreams with her keen eye for style, exceptional organisational skills and all round lovely, friendly manner.

So we're very lucky to have her share some of her top wedding planning tips here on Bridal Musings!

 Wedding Planning Tips

When you first start on the road to wedding planning it can feel a little bit of a minefield so in this series of posts I want to share some helpful tips in key areas to make it a little less daunting.

  photo by Jana Williams Photography via Green Wedding Shoes

 Getting Started….

You’ve had the proposal, you’ve accepted and now you’re officially engaged, what next? Well, before you start choosing the colour of your confetti there are some big questions you both need to sit down and answer before you get carried away with all the details.

 What kind wedding do you want? 

Have you always imagined having a big white wedding with all the traditional trimmings, or a formal, black tie affair?

Do you see yourselves wanting a good ol' knees up or a laid back get together?

Think about the kind of feeling or vibe you want for your day. Also consider whether you want a church wedding, a non-religious civil ceremony (which will give you a lot more flexibility in venue choice) or, for complete freedom, to be married by an independent celebrant.

It’s your wedding, don’t be swayed by what you think is the right thing to do; you want it to be a personal reflection of you as a couple.

Wedding planning by Always Andri Wedding Design | photo by Olivia Leigh

photo by Marianne Taylor Photography | Wedding Planning & Design by Always Andri Wedding Design

 Who to invite?

Make a provisional guest list as soon as you can, there’s no point looking for venues if you’ve no idea who's coming.

Split your list into groups, family, friends- school, university, work, and within each group list in importance. Ultimately you want to share your day with people that mean the most to you both so don’t feel like you need to invite everyone you’ve ever met. (Grouping at this stage will also help if you eventually decide to do a seating plan.)

This is also a good time to decide who you want to play key roles such the best man and chief bridesmaid; your bridal party will play an important role not only on the day of the wedding but also in the planning so consider  how supportive they can be when choosing them.

 When to marry? 

Is there a time of year that holds a special significance? An anniversary of an important date in your relationship or do you want a summer or winter wedding?

Your wedding budget may have a big effect on when you choose to get married because if you have to save you will need to give yourself long enough to do so. If the budget’s tight you may also want to consider getting married out of season i.e. not in the summer or think about a mid week wedding.

Unless you’re having the most intimate of weddings or are willing to be incredibly flexible with dates you should ideally give yourselves at least a year to plan the wedding.

photo by Marianne Taylor Photography | Wedding Planning & Design by Always Andri Wedding Design

 Where to marry?

Do you want to marry close to where you both live now? Or perhaps you’ve always imagined returning to where you grew up to marry? You may even want to consider a destination wedding; by making a holiday of it you’ll get to spend a lot more time with your nearest and dearest.

 What’s important to you?

Decide together what aspects of your wedding will have the most importance. Do you both love good restaurants and want the food & drink to be at the top of your list? Maybe you met at a music concert and feel the entertainment is key. Your home is covered in photos of friends and family so you know the photography on the day will be something you want to look back on for years after.

If it helps, make a big list of all the things you think should be at and you want at your wedding then number it by importance to you both and don’t be afraid to cross some things out completely.

By knowing your priorities it will help you decide where you want to spend time and money on when planning your wedding.

 photo by Olivia Leigh | wedding planning and design by Always Andri Wedding Design

 What's your budget?

Another final question you need to consider is how much will it all cost but I’m going to go into a little more detail on this in my next post on ‘The Wedding Budget‘.

And here's your ‘pinnable' image with all the key tips from this post to pin onto your wedding planning board on Pinterest.

Or, if you're more old school, you can print it, cut it out and tape it to your fridge/into your wedding Filofax!

Tips For Newly Engaged Couples by Always Andri Wedding Design

Thanks so much to Andri of Always Andri Wedding Design for sharing these fab tips on getting started with wedding planning.

(Of course, nothing beats working one on one with a talented wedding planner, such as Andri, but these tips are a great place to start!)

How are your plans going? Please do let us know in the comments, on Facebook or Twitter if you have any wedding planning questions, or tips of your own to share that have worked for you. We'd love to hear from you.

More Expert Wedding Planning Tips

Be sure to check out Katherine Ashdown Photography‘s engagement shoot tips and bridal dress consultant Sama, of The Utter Blog‘s insider knowledge on choosing your wedding dress too!