Well, this is it – the start of the planning stages for your perfect day . Even if you started getting things in order a while ago, there’s still loads of stuff you might have overlooked and still plenty of time to add some new ideas. In this post I’m going to give you 10 tips to planning an unforgettable wedding. Taking time to get things right at the beginning will save you the headaches later on when you should be worrying about getting your hair done and making sure the honeymoon is booked. So here goes, my top 10 tips to planning an unforgettable wedding…
Tip 1: Rain rain go away
Let’s face it, the weather of our green and pleasant land is at best unpredictable. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding (I’ve drawn at a few vintage summer fete themed weddings) then make sure you have somewhere under cover for your guests to gather if there’s an (un)expected downpour. A collection of funky umbrellas was a great idea I saw at a wedding with all of the bridesmaids having matching umbrellas. It was a drizzly afternoon but the wedding photo’s looked really great and pre-planned!
If you’re expecting good weather, what about some fans? Marquees, pagodas and yurts can all get a bit hot and sweaty and you don’t want your Mother in Law passing out – it might just be you doing the kiss of life! EEK!
Tip 2: Spend your money on your memories
According to Brides Magazine, the average British wedding now costs an average £25,000. (Blimey!) But how much of the stuff that you are forking out for are you actually going to remember? Have a look over your list and see where you can reduce costs.
Once you’ve got your dress, focus your money on the experience of your day – that’s what you’ll remember the most.
First thing is your wedding photographer – this is the lasting record of your ceremony and celebrations and you want these to be something to cherish.
The next on your list is your entertainment – if you want folks up and dancing then choose a DJ that has the playlist you will love. Is a string quartet, harpist or a band more your thing? Do some research and find the kind of entertainment that will reflect both your styles.
You could hire a magician, photo booth, or a chocolate fountain and obviously you can’t go wrong with hiring a caricaturist. (I know, I know, I’m biased!!).
A wedding caricaturist will liven up the natural lulls in your day, work as a brilliant icebreaker and talking point AND your guests get to take home a personalised gift from you. All boxes ticked!
Tip 3: It’s all about you (two)
Everyone is going to have an opinion about your day but you need to remember, IT’S YOUR DAY.
Some family members will have more of an influence than other’s (parents for instance, especially if they are contributing financially).
You are basically working to a trade off. What are you prepared to compromise on? What aren’t you prepared to compromise on? How far are you willing to compromise?
Work out a protected ‘essentials’ list of things that you would be really disappointed to lose out on – then the rest can be negotiated.
Stay calm, stay polite and just say “Thanks, I’ll definitely consider that!” then stick to the original plan because IT’S YOUR WEDDING!
Tip 4: You’ll probably fall out with your partner more than once during the planning of your wedding
It’s normal to want to strangle your future spouse! (Just ask my wife!) Planning a wedding may sound romantic, but in reality, you won’t be snuggling on the couch with your betrothed so much as getting into annoying arguments about the guest list. Don’t forget that all great marriages are built on compromise! If you’re dead set on picking that cheesy Mariah Carey song for your first dance, you may have to let him invite his creepy uncle who hits on everyone. Just make sure you seat girlie mates on the other side of the room.
Tip 5: Plan the details but don’t sweat them
Firstly, think of the whole feeling of your big day. What mood are you wanting to set? How will your day reflect your personality?
Get 2 sheets of paper. On the first sheet write down every single thing you can think of that you would like for your wedding – I mean EVERYTHING! What colour corsage and buttonhole flowers do you want? What about the table decorations? Does the ultimate fireworks display ignite your passions (see what I did there??). Once you have your list it’s time for sheet number 2. Divide this sheet into 3 columns and label them ESSENTIAL, DESIRABLE, OPTIONAL. Now split your original list into these three columns. Now you have a priority list. If you can’t have one of the things on your list, you’ll have another option to go for.
Tip 6: Do something special for your bridesmaids
Take some time before the big day to treat your bridesmaids to a girls day out. You could all go to a relaxing spa, a day hitting the shops or a lovely afternoon partaking in high tea. This will help you calm your nerves and you’ll have all the support and love you need to get you through the last minute panic.
Tip 7: Choose your Maid of Honour wisely.
After all, this is the girl who has to pretend to be amazed while you try on 50 identical white dresses, plan a killer hen party and listen to you agonise over the most trivial of details (ROUND OR SQUARE CENTREPIECES?!?), all while trying to juggle her own life. You can’t tap just anyone for this glamorous and unpaid position.
Tip 8: Invest in waterproof mascara.
This is my sister’s tip. When your dad is telling a room full of loved ones that his little girl is all grown up, you’ll never underestimate its importance again.
9) Keep cool, calm and collected
Especially with your nearest and dearest. Don’t alienate anyone you’ll need later on. (I’m thinking mother-in-law here!). Try and remain positive (even when you feel everything is getting a bit much) and try and remember that the most important thing is you’re getting married. You’ve met the man (or woman) of your dreams and it won’t be long before you get to show the whole world just how in love you are! Take a breath, get some perspective and move on.
Tip 10. Be organised
It’s the key to successful and stress free wedding planning. Keep track of all of your payments, deadlines and guest list. Use your FREE Wedding Planning Toolkit – start filling in the spreadsheets and feel like a wedding planning winner!
Finally, remember to enjoy yourself. In a few years you’ll look back on this day and all of the bumpy parts of the ride will be forgotten and you’ll be enjoying your life as a married partner. Take some time to soak it all in!
Until next time, happy planning!