The Wedding Diary of a Wedding Planner, with Rachel from Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa

Published by Claire Gould on

Peter and I got engaged in May 2017 whilst on holiday in China – Peter proposed on the very first day of our three week holiday, so it was a good job I said yes! As I spend every day talking about and planning weddings, we agreed not to make any plans until we arrived home, so after an amazing holiday, a 24 hour delay and a 12 hour plane journey, our wedding planning began…

For Peter and I, 2019 had to be our year. I have always wanted a spring or summer wedding, and when we took into consideration our day-to-day schedules and other plans we were already committed to, getting married in 2018 would have been too close for comfort. This led to a bit of a problem – my fiancé is adamant that he wants to be married before he is 30 and he is 30 in June 2019! Which meant May 2019 was our best option – longer days, trees and greenery in full bloom, and (fingers crossed) some sunshine!

Naturally simple and beautiful #weddinginspo with Eva Tarnok Photography on the English Wedding Blog (7)

When choosing a date and venue for your wedding there are a number of factors to consider. The timeframe for wedding planning varies for each couple and my main advice is don’t rush it! I find that most couples book their venue around 12-18 months in advance as this allows enough time to truly enjoy the planning process, as well as giving the opportunity to shop around and find the suppliers who they really want to use. Of course there are always exceptions – I recently worked with a couple who got engaged in May and were married by September! But they had a lot to do in a very short space of time and were not able to secure everything they wanted. On the other hand, I have known other couples to be engaged for years before they even think about booking a venue – it really does depends on the individuals.

Naturally simple and beautiful #weddinginspo with Eva Tarnok Photography on the English Wedding Blog (14)

Once we had a rough date in mind, the next step was to choose our venue. This is where things started to get a little trickier as, like most couples, we have family from all over the country and it is hard to pick a location that will please everyone. Some of you will need to arrange your wedding to be close to family members that are unable to travel, however a general piece of advice for all couples when choosing your venue is that it is okay to be selfish to some extent – it is your day after all! We live in Bury St Edmond’s, Suffolk, Peter’s family is from Bournemouth and mine is from Birmingham, so we were never going to please everyone. After a lot of searching and viewing, a thousand phone calls, and many hours spent on Google maps, we finally found a match. We have chosen the stunning Aviator Hotel in Farnborough and it sums us up as a couple beautifully.

Naturally simple and beautiful #weddinginspo with Eva Tarnok Photography on the English Wedding Blog (10)

Most couples will have in mind what they want from their venue and it is a good idea to discuss these ideas and to write down your requirements so that you have these to hand when searching – trust me, there is nothing worse than finding a venue you think is perfect, only to discover your partner would rather get married outdoors (sorry Peter, but Mount Snowdon was never going to happen!). In any case, the key thing that Peter and I agreed on was that a civil ceremony would suit us best, and so finding a venue that could offer this was top of our list. If you find that you are struggling to find a perfect match, venue reviews and testimonials, and official wedding awards, can provide a good reference point.

Now we have found our perfect venue, the next steps for us will be finding and pinning down our suppliers – we have created a number of lists for what we are looking for ahead of the day, as well as the all-important spreadsheet for the budget and keeping track of everything. Every day, through my work, I am inspired with new ideas for my own wedding, keep up to date here with my upcoming challenges and how the devil is in the detail…

Naturally simple and beautiful #weddinginspo with Eva Tarnok Photography on the English Wedding Blog (29)

Rachel, Wedding Co-ordinator at Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa, is engaged to be married to Peter in May 2019. Rachel spends her day advising other brides and grooms on how to make the most of their special day, but now it is her turn. Follow her journey, trials and tribulations, as she shares her experiences from the other side… 

Images are by Eva Tarnok, taken from the English Wedding Blog’s editorial archives. {See the full feature}
Supplier credits: Morden Hall | Confetti and SilkSassy a la mode | Edmondson Bridal CoutureEmmy LondonKhadijah AliThe Bridal Stylists |  Andi Freeman CakesCatherine Short Floral Design | Pompomblossom |
By Moon and Tide

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.


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