Saturday, 7 June 2014

Planning A Wedding - A Few Tips

Planning a wedding is one of the most stressful things you can do, and it can be hard to know where to begin. Now, I'm not expert wedding planner, and things haven't exactly ran smoothly at times for me and my husband when we were planning our wedding, but we muddled our way through, and had a fantastic day. There were, however a few tips we did pick up along the way, some which were given to us from the start and some we learned along the way, which I'd like to share with you. Hopefully they will help if you are currently planning your own wedding.

Get in early If you're having a slightly longer engagement, it might seem a little weird to be planning so soon, but it's good to start as soon as possible. We got engaged in July 2011 and went to a wedding fair a couple of months later. A few people were a little shocked when we told them our wedding day was almost three years away, but we were able to look around and get a good idea of what it was that we wanted before it was time to start committing to things. Also, the earlier you book, the more likely it is that what you want will be available for your chosen date. I left booking my transport until the start of this year and found the perfect vehicle, but it was already booked for my wedding day. Although I found a lovely alternative, it would have been nice to have my first choice.

Be realistic of what you can afford Whilst it's going to be the most important day of your lives, you don't want to be spending the rest of your life paying for it! Set a budget and stick to it. We set ourselves an upper limit which we could not go over, and set ourselves mini budgets for each category based on the total limit. Although we did go over budget on a couple of things, we only did so once we were sure we could spend a little less on other areas, so as not to go over the total limit. Although it may be a little awkward, if people are offering to contribute to your day, it's important to ask them how much they are willing to offer, so that you can factor this in.

Shop around You don't have to go for the first thing that catches your eye. Get a few ideas together before making a final decision, you'll find it easier to get things to tie in with each other if you do it this way. This is another reason why I think it's important to start planning early, so that you have more time for shopping around. You can also grab a few bargains if you shop around too - often suppliers will stock very similar things, but prices can differ greatly.

Find inspiration from others There are so many websites out there full of wedding ideas - use them! I found so much inspiration online and in wedding magazines, and kept a file of magazine cut-outs to aid my planning. It's not always about copying what someone else has done, but taking elements that you like and making them personal to your day.

Involve your partner wherever possible Obviously don't invite him out dress shopping, but it's important that your husband-to-be has an input in the day too. Everyone says it's all about the bride and to an extent that's true but there are two of you getting married and it's important that it's a day you will both enjoy. Although I had to approve too, my husband had the majority of the say in the suits - after all he'll be wearing one, not me! Most grooms say their happy to just turn up and let you deal with it, I think most of them secretly want to help with the planning in some way, I know mine did!

Do it yourself Making some of the things for your big day can be a great way to save money. Slap the word "wedding" on anything and it instantly becomes at least five times more expensive! I made a few things myself - invitations, table plan, favours - and I have probably saved around £500 from those things alone, but of course if you are more creative than me there's so much more you could do too. I'd recommend getting some spare materials to have a practice run first - that way if things don't go quite right, you can tweak them before it's time to do the real thing.

Don't be afraid to ask for help Whether that's helping out with your DIY wedding projects or picking something up when you have to be in five different places at once, they'll be so many of your loved ones that will be willing to help you, so don't be afraid to ask them if you're struggling. I don't know what I would have done without my mum and bridesmaids help in the days running up to my wedding - especially as I had a few disasters with my favours! But they were there to help calm me down and think of solutions to the little problems. It's such a stressful time, so it's important to have those that care about you around.

Whilst your guests are important, remember it's your day I lost count of the amount of times I said "would people like this?" over tiny little details, to which I got told simply that it was my day and I should be doing the things that I like. As long as you are not doing anything to intentionally offend or upset anyone, then the day should be about what you and your partner want. You're (hopefully) only going to get to do this once, so you shouldn't stop yourselves from doing what you want at the risk that others will find it boring or silly - they'll be happy to see you enjoying yourselves more than anything. And those that do kick up a fuss are simply not worth it!

Keep a record This is a bit of a boring one, but it will help to keep you organised. Once things are starting to get booked, keep a record of your suppliers, any deposits paid, balances left to pay and due dates, that way you'll have a clear guide of what needs doing and when, and you'll be able to spot anything you've missed easily. It's likely that your venue will ask for details of suppliers near the day too, so it's handy to have a list to refer to, rather than trying to do it from memory. Keeping a record of everything will also help you to keep on track with your budget too.

Finally...relax Easier said than done, right? It's important that you try to relax in the days building up to the wedding - the more stressed you get, the less you'll enjoy and remember the good parts to the day. If it's all getting too much, take some "me time" away from anything wedding relating. Meet up with friends, take a long soak in the bath, read a book - whatever helps you unwind. Try and take things easy on the evening before especially. Once I'd dropped my favours etc at my venue in the afternoon, I spent a relaxing few hours having my nails done with my bridesmaids, and then had a lovely evening with my family, just chatting and having a couple of glasses of wine. Most importantly, make sure you get an early night, so you're feeling refreshed in the morning, ready for a busy day ahead.

Do you have any more tips for planning a wedding that I might have missed?


  1. Great tips! I'm in the planning stages at the minute, and I go through phases of loving it and finding it a bit overwhelming! You are so right though, about constantly asking yourself if people will like certain things - I do it all the time! I know it is our day, but I can't help it, I want everyone to have a fantastic time! Thanks for sharing this post, it's handy to read things like this!

    1. You're welcome, I'm glad you enjoyed it :) xx

  2. I agree with everything here! I found planning fun and stressful in equal parts, some things didn't go as planned, some things went better than I could have imagined, one things for sure though, I wouldn't change a thing now! Hope you had an incredible day! xx