My last post was about getting engaged and what that all means…
It came about because it was nine years since I got engaged; next month is my eighth wedding anniversary – so now my thoughts turn to where we were at all those years ago.
We planned a church wedding, a big barn reception, hog roast, cocktails and really just wanted full tummies, a full dance-floor and a lot of laughter. From talking with people afterwards and looking back now I think we hit the mark. At least, I would do the day all over again, just as we did it…well, bar a couple of tiny tweaks (like ordering a taxi for my mum rather than allowing her to drive – she insisted – she got lost and nearly missed the wedding!).
So here a couple of hints and tips for planning your day:
- Discuss and plan your budget from the outset – it makes it easier to really think about what kind of wedding you want vs. what you can really afford
- Talk to family members early on as well, to manage expectations around either what they can or can not contribute or who they expect to invite
- Do lots of research, but if your instinct says that something is right trust it
- Visit venues with your partner – you will both notice different things and ask different questions – and after all – this is a big day for both of you
- Take trusted girlfriends or your mum with you dress shopping, but don’t be afraid to go back by yourself – it can be overwhelming with an audience and sometimes you just need a quite moment with the bridal team really thinking about how you feel in the dress
- Meet several photographers, look at their portfolios and see their contracts (you don’t want to find out after the wedding that you only get 40 hard copies of photos and have to pay £500 for the digital images)
- Try out the menus and don’t be afraid to play with what is on offer – you don’t have to do three courses, you can serve wedding cake for the pudding, or you could have a cream tea or hog roast in baps of you wanted something more relaxed
- Really think about DJ or band – one of the biggest debates, and it is so personal. I have seen terrible bands, nightmare DJs, or venues with sound limiters that ruin even the best set. On the plus side there are amazing DJs who have a wider repertoire than ‘opps upside your head’ and bands than do more than cheesy covers
- Don’t stress about the decorations too much…yes it is important the room is dressed and yes it should make an impression, but saying that how many of us remember all of the decorations or centrepieces ever? Being honest one of the best centrepieces I saw was all the starters arranged in the middle like tapas – clearly fresh out out of the kitchen and amazingly yummy!
- Don’t be afraid to go DIY – I made the table plan, table centrepieces, place names and the stationery myself. I did save some money, but I felt that I had also put my personal touch on things
One thing that seems to come up now, but was not offered to us, is the need for a wedding planner and event stylist – if you have the budget and need, or want, the input then their expertise is invaluable. A friend has recently set up a firm and has written about what they do – maybe check out their site if you want to find out more – Caro Events UK or check out their insta.
Finally, there will be lots of people giving you advice and having an opinion about your day, try not to get to bogged down in that all and focus on the important bits – like the two of you meaning your vows when you say them, having a couple of moments between you two to share the excitement of the day and knowing that this is just the first day of the beginning of your adventure as a married couple.