Even though we’re not in prime wedding season at the moment, there will be a lot of blushing brides-to-be out there planning their perfect day. Maybe your special day is set for the summer of 2018, or even 2019, but it will be here before you know it, and those crucial months leading up to it can be both monumentally exciting, and monumentally stressful all at the same time.
I myself had the privilege of being able to marry my love in September last year. We had THE most amazing day, surrounded by the people we love and sharing what was truly a special way of celebrating the beginning of the rest of our lives together as husband and wife. Everything was perfect and if I could go back and relive that day again I would in a heart beat. However getting to that day didn’t come without its stresses and hurdles. I planned my whole wedding myself, from food and flowers to schedules and accommodation. The list of things we had to make sure were organised was huge, and me being me, I didn’t want any old bog standard wedding favours or music. It had to be 110% perfect. So the point of this post, for all those gals (or guys!) planning their wedding, is to share with you a few suggestions that I A.) wish I had known before I started planning, and B.) hope will help to ease some of those natural worries and anxieties that come with the whole process.
- Get a Planning Book – My wedding book became my bible. I used it for anything and everything when it came to recording and writing down notes. I dedicated one or two pages to each task so everything that was related was in one place and easy to find. Things like guest’s dietary requirements, groomsman’s suit measurements, and seating plans all went in the book. It was especially useful for writing down costs, including deposits we’d paid and amounts/dates when balances were due, I actually created a table in the back of the book so at a glance it was easy to see. So much money goes flying out of your account at different times that it can be easy to lose track. You can buy dedicated, pre organised wedding planning books, but I picked up a pretty hardback note-book I found in TK Maxx and made it my own. It may seem like a bit of work writing it all down but when you need information or answers quickly, this can become a real life saver!
- Pinterest Pinterest Pinterest! – If you haven’t caught onto this by now then I’m not going to lie, you’re a bit late to the party. And I mean that in the nicest way possible. Pinterest is a mecca for ideas when it comes to decorations for your chosen venue, evening nibbles, hairstyles and bridesmaids gifts. I created numerous boards to which I would pin ideas I liked whilst scrolling through. You can make your searches as varied or precise as you like so you’ll be sure not to miss anything that peaks your interest. On the flip side, even though I found and used some great Pinterest ideas, I used them as what I will call ‘base inspiration’ and mixed them up a little adding my own personal touch. At times when you find yourself in a mental planning block sites like this are a great way of inspiring and setting you back on track.
- Leave Yourself Plenty of Time – I cannot stress this enough! Even though you think you’ve got months and months to sort things, believe me, you haven’t! Life naturally gets in the way, it happens to all of us, but it’s amazing how quickly time passes and before you know it you’re sat crying on the kitchen floor on wedding eve, desperately trying to put together and name tag children’s party bags. This point is also one to remember when it comes to booking things like your desired venue, transport and ordering attire. I left it to the last-minute to book my make up artist, and due to this the one I wanted was fully booked and unavailable. Thankfully I found another fab artist who was able to save the day, but my advice is that if there is something/someone you REALLY want, get in there early! By early I mean months (or even years when it comes to venues), not weeks.
- Trust Your Gut – So many times have I heard people say ‘It’s your wedding day so do what YOU want to do’. Easier said than done, especially when there is a family member disgruntled because you haven’t invited great, great, great Aunty Sheila to the day do. If you’re like me you’ll want to please everybody, but I learnt very quickly that sometimes this just isn’t possible. It can become even more difficult when other people are paying for chunks or even all of your special day. As we paid for pretty much all of our wedding we didn’t find it that hard to stand our ground on certain subject, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t come across tensions. So in a nutshell, don’t be afraid to say no, wear that bright red lipstick if you want to and remember the whole reason you are planning this special day. The way I looked at it was that other people may have had their chance to plan their weddings, or may do in the future, so as a couple embrace this day as yours and yours alone. If it feels right, do it! #buggerthelotofthem
- Research Your Photographer – Memories are amazing, but photos are forever. Or is that the other way around? Either way, if you’ve chosen to use a professional photographer to capture your special day be sure to rummage through their portfolio of work. This will give you a great feel for the type of shots they take, and also how they choose to edit them. It’s all well and good getting that fabulous creative shot, but if it’s been photo shopped up to hills and you begin to resemble more of a mannequin than a real person then I’m guessing there will be some choice words flying about. I already knew my photographer and his amazing work so had no hesitations in booking him. If you’re struggling to find a photographer, I’d suggest starting by looking at your venue’s website as they will often list and display samples from photographers who have shot that location before. This means they will already know all the best places to capture perfect pics and hopefully will be able to spend less time searching for backgrounds or props, giving you more time to mingle with your guests and soak up the day. Fun Fact – My mum chose for her step father to take her wedding photos, and it wasn’t until the end of the day that they realised he’d not put a film in his camera. So her wedding album was made up of guests’ photos. Ok maybe not a fun fact, but there’s a valuable lesson in there!
- Lastly, Enjoy it! – After months of planning/panicking, all that’s left to do it enjoy your big day! Everyone will be there for you, which in itself is a very special thing. I remember standing in the barn at the end of the night wondering where my magical day had gone. For weeks after my hubby and I talked about how we wished we could do it all over again. I’ve already got it in my head that we are going to have a 10 year anniversary bash in the very place we got married, so we can in fact do it again!
I really hope these suggestions have been of some help to all you budding brides or grooms out there. Whether you’re planning all of it, or just some of it, I don’t think people appreciate how stressful the whole planning process is. I’d also love for any seasoned pro’s out there to add your own tips and tricks, the more the merrier! If you enjoyed readying this post please remember to give it a like.