I’m still struggling to come to terms with the fact that we are in the penultimate month of 2016. What was once the ‘new year’ has almost become ‘last year’ and in 3 months time I will be getting married to my best friend! They say that planning a wedding is one of the biggest stresses in life so in the run up to my big day, I will be sharing a lot more wedding related content to help you plan your special day when the time comes. Here are my top wedding planning tips:
Secure the big three as soon as possible
Theme. Wedding venue. Caterers. This should be number one on your never ending to do list because it’s everything you need to get the ball rolling. Deciding your theme should be the first thing you do and it’ll help you to decide on your wedding venue and caterers. Your wedding venue and caterers go hand in hand and you’ll feel like you’ve got everything under control when you’ve booked your venue.
Use your previous wedding experience
Unless you’ve never been to a wedding before, use your previous experience as a guest to help you plan your dream wedding. Think about all of the things you liked and if you were to bring that element to your wedding, would you change it to fit in with your theme and personality? What’s the best wedding you’ve been to? What made it so magical? I’m not saying to you have to bring a notepad with you every time you go to a wedding and critique like an X Factor Judge, but just make a mental note of the things you love and soon you’ll be bursting with ideas on how you’d like your day to look.
Don’t panic over your attendee list
You always hear about the drama surrounding weddings and attendee lists. When I first starting to put together my list, I think it included pretty much everyone under the sun… I wanted everyone to be there! But the sad reality is that when you’re planning a wedding, you’ll soon realise that you don’t actually have that many close friends and your list will soon start to shrink. Most of the beautiful venues have a guest limit and catering is expensive so you have to be ruthless with your guest list. Don’t feel bad if you wedding budget or venue only allows for 100 guests, no one is going to lose sleep over not getting an invite…at least I don’t think they will!
Organisation is key
We didn’t have a wedding planner (I wasn’t going to let someone else have the fun) so I picked up a wedding diary from Paper chase which essentially became my planner. It has a monthly ‘to do’ list for me to work through and although I did everything in my own time, the check list meant that I was able to make sure that I didn’t forget anything. My fiancé also produced a mammoth excel sheet to track our spending and the status of tasks. At first I thought he was trying to rain on my parade but it soon became a wedding essential, especially if you want to stay within your budget! Ah yes, the B word! Before you even start planning your wedding, decide your budget!
Research, research, research!
Weddings can be as cheap or as expensive as you want them to be and doing your research could save you a hell of a lot of money. Living in London means that suppliers charge a premium, so I looked for suppliers outside of London and as far as my home town in Nottingham, to see if their quotes could beat the prices that I was getting and they did. I am using a florist and a baker from Nottingham and even with their travel fees they were still cheaper than the florists and bakers in London and Surrey.
Think about the time you’re getting married too. We’re getting married in February which is perfect for our winter theme but it’s also out of wedding season, which means that the rates for our venue were significantly lower than the ones during the summer months. I’ve also only used flowers that are in season and because our wedding date falls close to Valentines, I’ve substituted my beloved roses for a close lookalike, the Ranuclulus. I love roses but their price tag soars in February. So, instead of blowing my budget and using roses to decorate the rooms, I’m using a flower that is just as beautiful. Your florist will be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to flowers in bloom, but if in doubt just ask google.
Think about your guests
Your guests should be at the heart of every decision you make. Think about the elderly and the ones with children. Don’t let your guests go hungry and if for some reason you have a pause in your day (outfit change, long photo session with your bride/groom) think of a way to keep your guests entertained. Having live music, canapés and drinks always goes well. When it comes to weddings, people pay attention to detail so pay attention to detail.
I hope you enjoyed this mini guide to planning a wedding, let me know if there are any topics you’d like me to cover!