As wedding season is approaching, I thought id share some tips I picked up whilst planning my own day. I plan to do a whole wedding series, and figure this is a great place to start
Planning your wedding is one of the most exciting things you will likely do. Holidays, babies, house moves - all fantastic stuff but a marriage? It's like a dreamy romantic day unlike any you will experience in your life.
There are some tried and tested methods of planning your wedding, and some of the tips will not match the style of celebration that you want. So pick and choose what works for you.
Try to remember it is supposed to be fun and a celebration of you and your partner's relationship and love.
1. Pick your team. This is a really import one in my book. There will be a group of people, or maybe just one or two, that will be your team for a whole number of things. Support, planning, execution and also people who's company you really enjoy. They will add to the dynamic and vibe in such an important way. Try and choose people who work well together. There is nothing worse than having a flat and ineffective team. Also ask yourself, will this person be in your life long term? They are going to be in your wedding photos forever, so make sure they are keepers. If you have any doubts about a person my advice is don't go there.
2. Set a realistic budget, look at what you can afford to save in the run-up and where the most significant costs will come from. Be honest because underestimating your budget will leave you struggling to cover everything. But I also think this is the time to push yourself. I remember trying to reign myself in, telling myself its only one day. But in reality, you don't get to re do this, if you want all the flowers in the world get them. This is not a dress rehearsal, have no regrets
3. What are the things that are non-negotiable for you and your partner? Do you need a live band? What about exquisite food? Perhaps it is the location. Whatever it is, add them to the list and be prepared to compromise on other things instead.
4. If you aren't like Monica Geller and haven't been planning the perfect wedding since you were a little girl, then it might be time to hit the internet and purchase yourself a trusty wedding planning book. Or seek the advice of friends who are already married, they will have a wealth of information
5. On the theme of organisation, open a file on your computer and share it with your besties. Google Docs works a treat and everyone can stay on track.
6. Take it easy. If you have left yourself plenty of time to plan, then try not to rush into decisions. Attending wedding fares? The people on the stalls, while amazing are also there to sell, sell, sell. So don't be intimidated by them, and if they have what you want - haggle.
7. Pick a theme. Many weddings are very classic, big white dress, dinner and dance. However, more and more people are branching out and having themed weddings that suit their personalities and relationship. So you don't have to go classic if it just isn't your style. I think the most important aspect of a wedding is that its reflective of the couple personality, taste and experiences. It should have meaning and tell a story
8. Work on the guest list. Try and do this early on, because you might miss off Aunty Barb, the 7th cousin removed on your distant uncle's side. While ultimately, you should have the people you want there, there will probably be some family politics somewhere along the lines. Take care of it nice and early. A note to think about is plus-ones and children. You might be sure you don't want children at the wedding, but do consider that some people might not take kindly to it and you might miss out on some special people being there to celebrate your big day.
9. Don't skip on the photography. For me this was my number one. While it might be tempting to let your friend with a DSLR take the photos, unless they are either a qualified photographer or have wedding experience - then don't. They might miss special moments; their editing might be subpar and do you want to be left with some sketchy photos? Trust me, the photos will be something you hold so dear years down the line
An addition to this is give everyone disposable cameras or set up an app like Wedding Snap - where all of your guests can contribute to a wedding album. You will get some beautiful real-life moments.
10. Go through every contract in detail, check cancellation policies and all of the deliverables. Pay particular attention to the date and time of delivery; there is possibly nothing worse than a cake arriving three days after the wedding - and nothing you can do about it either. Also, look to take out wedding insurance.
11. Think about a website. A combination of classic and modern, sending out wedding invitations and making a site available to receive RSVP is a charming way to take care of the people who aren't as au fait with tech as others and enable easy RSVP collection. Its also a great way to communicate for destination weddings
12. You don't have to be traditional if you don't want to be with what you wear. Suits, black dresses, painted wedding dresses it is all fair game. So take your time, shop around and only buy what you fall in love with.
13. Make sure you follow all the legalities with regards to your wedding license. Check that it will still be valid by the time your wedding rolls around.
14. Think about handing the day into the hands of an experienced wedding day coordinator. You might not need, want, or be able to budget for a full-service wedding planner, but a day-of coordinator might be worth the money.
15. Spend some time making a Pinterest wedding board; you can add different theme ideas, set up a board via seasons or even colours. Invite your best friend (whose taste you admire and respect) to collaborate, this is actually a super fun project.
16. If you're looking to take the fuss out of the catering and location, try and opt for an 'on-site' wedding. 'On-site' only means that the food can be taken care of in the venues onsite commercial kitchen. It does make the process easier, but that doesn't mean it has to be for you.
17. DIY carefully. There are going to be so many areas where you can get your craft skills licked into shape. Centrepieces, favors, table numbers, name cards. Feel free to get as creative as you like, just remember you need somewhere to store them before the wedding and a way to reuse, recycle or dispose of them after the marriage.
18. Try to remember that in the run-up to the wedding, and even during the wedding things might happen beyond your control, keep focus on the fact you are getting a group of people you love, together to celebrate the love you have for one person. And that is pretty darn special.