The Diary of a Brighton Bride-To-Be: Engaged! Now What?


Today our lovely Brighton based feature writer Shelley who is planning her very own Sussex wedding talks engagements, what to do next and feeling a little overwhelmed. . .

I don’t know about you but as soon as the ring was on my finger, I was thinking about my dream wedding day; the venue, the guest list and not forgetting the dress. And, if I’m being really honest I’ve found it all a little overwhelming.

With that in mind I thought I’d share some sound advice given to me by friends, family and past Love Sussex Weddings brides that helped me to find my wedding planning feet:

Whatever You Do, Do It Your Way

Some of the best weddings I’ve been to or have fallen in love with here on Love Sussex Weddings have been the ones that you can tell were planned between a bride and her groom with their personalities shining through every aspect of their wedding day. It’s your day so why not do it your way!

Photo by Sara Reeve

Talk to each other

I know this sounds silly, but so many past brides have said it and I’ve already found it useful! If in your head you’re dreaming of an elegant stately home ‘do, while your other half is imagining an intimate church ceremony with cool pub garden reception, it’s important to know this sooner rather than later, so that compromise and inspiration can be drawn from both sides.

Image courtesy of PhotoMadly

Nowadays, it seems grooms don’t want to shy away from wedding planning and want to get fully stuck in – what does he want from a wedding day? Is there anything he’d really like or not like? I’ve been really surprised with some of the suggestions that my groom-to-be has made – I was expecting a ‘Oh, I don’t know you decide’ remark when I asked him, but instead, just by chatting ideas through we are already getting a good idea of what we hope our big day will be like.

Photo by PhotoMadly

Bridal Budget

Regardless of who you talk to or which magazines you read, everyone will tell you a different sum for a wedding budget. I think it’s important to remember that you can spend as little or as much as you want and are comfortably able to, there is no set amount you have to spend.

To get a general idea of what your wedding day might cost, there’s no harm in having a chat with a few venues and key suppliers such as caterers, photographers and bridal boutiques to get a rough figure.

Photography by Sara Reeve

Decide on a Theme

What would you like your wedding to be like? Choosing a theme, even loosely, can be a useful starting point for thinking about what you want for your wedding (I have certainly found it useful), it can help you think about what sort of venue, dress and decor you might want.

Image courtesy of Wookie Photography

Take bright colours for example, a key look for 2015, to me this conjures up images of a summer wedding, summery food, colourful cocktails, a sassy dress and a city venue. Having a theme sort of makes everything slot into place, without much effort. There’s loads of real weddings here on Love Sussex Weddings you can look through for ideas and Pinterest is a great tool for playing with too if you’re struggling to pin down a wedding theme.

Photography by Darren Cool Images

Book…But Don’t Rush

If after visiting a venue you both know it’s the one and you can afford to, book it! The same with your wedding suppliers. Just don’t feel that you have to ‘take’ the first venue/photographer/caterer you see, in fear that you need to jump on the wedding conveyor belt – this advice from my dad.

Photo by DB Photography Sussex

While I sometimes don’t agree with his theories, I think this one’s pretty good. Also it is worth checking that the date you want to book doesn’t clash with anything else first too (e.g a friend’s wedding or major sporting event etc.) Reading through contracts properly and checking out cancellation policies is always wise too and without wanting to sound too dad-ish wedding insurance is definitely worth thinking about (as it can cover you against things like your wedding venue closing down).

Image by Laura Brennan

Enjoy Every Minute

The most popular phrase said by Love Sussex Weddings brides – just enjoy the whole process! Whether it’s getting crafty, trying on wedding dresses or having a ‘planning and pizza night’ together, don’t forget to have fun!

Photography by PhotoMadly



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