As a newlywed, wedding planning is still very fresh in my mind. I have a few friends getting married in the coming years and they have been coming to me for my pearls of wisdom on planning and organisation. But honestly they don’t need my help. There is a plethora of tips and step by step guides to planning the perfect wedding, with check-lists, contacts, spreadsheets and much more. There is nothing more I can advice…except for maybe some advice on what they REALLY need to know to have a great day.
These tips are so important if you want to make the OVERALL experience more enjoyable and help in making sure you have the most amazing day that you will remember fondly forever.
1. ENJOY YOUR ENGAGEMENT
I mean really make the most of it. Getting engaged is so special. No matter how it happens, that moment when you announce your news creates such a buzz of excitement and love with everyone around you that you will feel on Cloud 9. Do your best and ride that cloud as long as possible because unfortunately as enjoyable of an experience it is, wedding planning will always bring stress, money woes and disagreements. It is unavoidable. So make the most of the first wave of excitement – have an engagement party, giggle with your girlfriends and stare blissfully into your partners eyes….it won’t last!
2. BE SELFISH (To an extent)
You will always hear people say it is all about you. Do exactly what you want for you. And they are right. This is your day. BUT you can go too far with this. As wedding is a family event, it is where two families come together and all join in celebrating with the bride and groom so it is important to remember it is NOT just about you. Keep people involved and check in with the families that they are happy with the plans. The worst thing you can do is exclude and offend people as it will put a damper on the day before it has even begun.
3. PICK THE RIGHT SQUAD
This is one item where you will need to be selfish. The bridal party is important and should not just be a parade of ALL your friends and cousins and nieces and nephews. It should be a select bunch of family & friends who will be with you every step of the way and will help to make the process easier and more enjoyable. Anything over 5 (not including little ones) is more stress than it is worth and adds hundreds onto the budget. If you are struggling to choose then I would go with your one very close friend and then any family members that need to be included. You will be surprised how un-offended your friends are.
4. DON’T FEEL BAD ABOUT “NO KIDS”
I don’t mean your own children or those of close family but it is perfectly acceptable to restrict the invitation of children to those of immediate family – and if someone is not sure if they fall into the category, they likely don’t. We did this at our 260 attended wedding and would have had over 300 if we had allowed all our friends and extended family to bring their young children. No one complained and many of my friends actually were happy to not have to bring them along – let the parents loose for the night.
5. BE RUTHLESS WITH THE GUEST LIST
Following on from the no kids, you need to stick by your decisions. “I don’t care if you’ve been dating him for a few months and it feels like the real deal….your new boyfriend is not coming to my wedding” Learn it and repeat it. It is impossible to invite partners of everyone you know, especially if they are a work colleague or a friend from the gym. The numbers will add up fast and will push you out of budget fast. If someone is travelling far specifically for your day then a plus 1 is fair but if you haven’t met someone, then they shouldn’t really be invited.
This extends to your own families trying to wade in. Your guest list should be who you and your partner want. Your mum may love to brag about you and can’t wait to show off her beautiful daughter but her 3 friends from Zumba do not get invites.
6. HEN PARTY (Don’t take the piss)
This is something that has gotten out of hand in past years. Who can afford to jet off to Las Vegas twice a year on their friends hens and stags. You need to think about who you want to come and make plans so that they ALL can come. There is nothing worse than planning a crazy expensive trip for only 3 of your friends can make it to (and one of them is misery the whole time as she can’t afford to enjoy herself).
Stags and hens have been drastically overdone. They are just an additional stress that puts pressure on you AND your friends. You can have a great hen night/weekend just getting out of your local area and going to the next city. I spent mine in Liverpool – it was AMAZING.
7. YOU DON’T HAVE TO ‘MAKE’ EVERYTHING
Only make your favours or stationery if you have the time and ‘artistic talent’. Handmade wedding decor is truly stunning and a lovely touch IF it has been done well. The last thing you want is to spend hours on something to then have to pay to change at the last-minute.
I am pretty good at designing posters, reports etc having done it for years at work so I thought I would be able to design my own invitations. I did it and they looked good to be fair. But I decided I just didn’t have the time. So I got in contact with a graphic designer and what she produced in less than a day for me was truly stunning and, along with our order of service and menus, one of my favourite parts of our wedding that everyone LOVED. Sometimes it is worth spending the money to have someone else do it.
8. CATERING AND MUSIC (Most Important)
All any of your guests care about is the food, the dancing and whether they come away having had a great time. Do not scrimp on the food, drink or music for some extra expensive ‘chiavari chairs’ ‘sashes’ or ‘sparkly favours. 95% of your guests will not even notice these things but if no one is dancing and people are going hungry 100% of people will notice and that is how your wedding will be remembered.
As a bride I spent way more than budgeted on having full band that we were recommended over a DJ – best decision we ever made. Everyone loved them. They made the wedding so special and all our guests were talking about it for months later.
9. DON’T BE A BITCH (people do not forget)
It’s a stressful time – we get it. Doesn’t mean you are allowed to be a Call A Bitch. I don’t know how some people get away with it.
Yes it is important for it all to go smoothly but it is ultimately ONE day and you still have to face all those people after the wedding. I can assure you become BrideZilla in the lead up – that is all anyone will remember when reminiscing about your day in 10 years’ time. *cringe*
10. GET THOSE DISCOUNTS
I have never been good at haggling and so I know how hard this can be BUT weddings are so expensive and any penny saved is a triumph. Most supplies expect you to haggle so chances are the price they have given you originally is not ‘their very best’. You will be surprised how much can be saved.
11. DON’T STRESS ABOUT THE DRESS
Unless you are Kate Middleton there is no expectation or obligation to make the front page of the tabloids with your ‘never before seen’ and ‘one of a kind’ dress.
I have yet to see a bride who did not look absolutely stunning on their wedding day. Choose a dress that compliments your shape, that you feel good in and that you can relax in. Nothing worse than not realising you can barely sit down. Don’t let it become the main concern for the day.
12. RELAX AND HAVE FUN
This seems obvious but can be surprisingly hard to achieve if you don’t learn to LET GO! Just remember as long as you end the day married – you have had a successful wedding.
On the wedding day there is nothing more you can do and it is now the paid supplies responsibilities to make sure it all runs smoothly. Make yourself beautiful, have a glass of champagne, and make the most of it. It will go so quickly you will feel like you missed it. Party like it’s not your wedding!!
Try some of these out and if you have any other awesome tips leave a comment and let me know. Subscribe to receive updates on my posts and Follow my blog with BlogLovin! Bye for now.