Congratulations to all of the people getting married this weekend! One of my Brides is getting married this weekend and I was so pleased when the weather forecast changed for the better (not least because I won’t have to run between ceremony and reception venues in the rain!), I can’t imagine how pleased the Bride and Groom are!
I always have a number of clear umbrellas available for if it rains, but it is always better not to use them!
Make sure though that you always consider that the weather could go either way when you are planning months in advance. For example, if you are having a summer wedding and are planning a chocolate cake (or even chocolate decorations), make sure that it can be kept cold enough until it is needed. Also if you are planning any outside involvement (this could simply be having to move from a ceremony to a reception venue), make sure that you have enough umbrellas for the key people (or make sure that you hire an on the day coordinator that does!
Always do your research first and try to avoid making decisions without considering a number of options first. If you are worried that you may lose a venue or supplier, ask if they will pencil you in and let you know if they have any other enquiries for that date. Most suppliers are usually willing to hold the date for a least a couple of weeks to allow you time to carefully consider your options. If a supplier is reluctant to do this, they may not be as reputable as you thought and may be trying to pressure you into making a decision. Never feel like you have to make a decision straight away, if a supplier needs to pressure you into booking with them do you really want to book with them? The chances are they are probably pressuring you because they need the work. Therefore they are unlikely to be booked if you decide you do still want to book them and go back to them a few weeks later.
Make sure you have considered all of your requirements, preferable before you start looking, but always before you book somewhere. Looking at unsuitable venues and suppliers will not only be a waste of time, it will also waste your money if you have paid a deposit.
When you have booked, make sure that you have the booking in writing. This gives you both security that the date is booked. Most wedding insurances companies will also not pay out if you do not have the booking in writing.
Expect and prepare for no one to do what you have asked them to do. This may be because people forget what you have asked them, or they don’t realise how important it is, or they think they know best!
Make sure you re-iterate to everyone involved in your wedding what is important to you. This does not make you a Bridezilla (ok maybe a little bit!), but if you explain in the right way, people will understand. Make sure that you ask and confirm clearly and calmly. If necessary re-confirm all the arrangements in the week before, making sure to re-iterate the important points (you may need to let some of the smaller requests slide, so that you can make sure that the important points get heard).
Make sure that someone else also knows what is important to you and can make sure that what you have requested happens. This can be one of your bridesmaids, close friends or a family member. Alternatively hire an on the day wedding coordinator, my prices start from £250 and can be an affordable way for you to make sure that all of your wishes and worries are taken care of.
Not sure how much involvement your man should have? Many Grooms want to be a big part of the wedding day (and why not they are half of the couple!), but many Brides are either surprised by this or don’t feel that they know enough about weddings, most girls have been thinking about their wedding day for as long as they can remember, right? How long have boys been thinking about it?!
This can leave many Grooms feeling left out, while this may be what some men want (and if both the Bride and Groom are happy with that then that’s fine), it isn’t necessarily what they all want. So be careful not to assume that your man doesn’t want to be involved in the planning process!
Also, Grooms, speak up if you want to be more involved! Make sure your voice is heard, you thoughts and opinions are valid.
Try to decide how you want your wedding to look and what is most important to you before making decisions about which venue to choose or which table decorations to have.
If you make decisions or buy everything when you see it, you may decide at a later date that your ideas don’t fit together. Consider what overall look you would like to achieve and then consider if these decisions fit in with your overall ideas.
If you are on a budget, making snap decisions without thinking about how you would like everything may end up costing more money. You should also consider do I really need it? Does it add anything to the day? If the answer to these questions is no, then you are probably wasting your money.
This is why I try to start any wedding planning session with ideas and themes. I also offer people the opportunity to try just my ideas and themes before committing to a full or bespoke wedding planning. Prices start from just £100 for one set of themes and ideas focused on your interests and personalities. Sometimes it may be all you need to focus your mind on what it is you want from your wedding day.
Making decisions for your wedding day can sometimes be really difficult. You may therefore, choose to ask the opinions of your family and friends, or involve them in your discussions.
While this may occasionally help your decision making (particularly if everyone agrees) it can also hinder it (usually when people don’t agree). Make sure you consider if you are prepared to have a number of different opinions, or whether the opinions of you and your partner are the only ones that matter?
Also, consider that once you start asking people’s opinions, they may then expect you to keep asking and become more involved than you had first intended. I’m not saying don’t involve family and friends, just always make sure you consider the full consequences of your actions.
Some people find everything you need to do to plan a wedding daunting, some find it exciting (some both!), either can make it tempting to try and tick off everything on their list as quickly as possible. Unless you only have a couple of months to plan your wedding this really isn’t necessary.
While it might seem like a great idea at the time to get everything done as quickly as necessary, it isn’t. For a couple of reasons, firstly it’s a good idea to savour the planning process and take time enjoying being engaged and planning your big day. Secondly, you are putting yourself under a lot of unnecessary pressure and can easily make a mistake!
Take a step back and plan your big day over a longer period of time, take advice from people who have planned a wedding before and/or wedding magazines about what to do first. If you still aren’t sure where to start and what to do first, arrange a free consultation with a friendly wedding planner, such as me, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ok, so you can’t decide whether to have a large wedding or go very low key and small? Well obviously cost is an issue, if you haven’t got the budget for a large wedding, then having lots of guest just isn’t going to work! Equally if you have a huge family and a large group of friends, do you want to have to cull the list to scale down to a small wedding?
These issues aside, in terms of looking for a venue, don’t think smaller is always easier and better. It can be more difficult to find a small venue than it is to find a bigger one. Most venues are used to catering for around 100 people, if you try to scale this down to below 50 for example, your choice of venue not only diminishes, but changes into a completely different type of venue. Write your guest list before your venue search, but always keep in mind what you want and if it would be possible to scale your wedding down or even up.
Creating items for your big day is a fantastic cost saving method and means that you can put your own personal stamp on the big day, especially if you or your friends and family are talented in a particular field. This is definitely something you should consider, but be careful what and how much you choose to do.
Take for example the flowers, I used to work in a florist and, while I am not professionally trained, I am able to make buttonholes and very simple bouquets. There is no way however that I would make them for my own wedding or any of my close friends and family. The reason for this is, first off it is very stressful making something that needs to be so perfect for someone you are close to and second of all, flowers need to be made very close to the wedding day to keep them fresh. The bride and her close relatives and friends are already busy with other preparations and will not have time to make things at the last minute (not without some very stressful situations!).
Make sure if you do chose to make something for your wedding (or that of a relative or friend) that it is something that can be made well in advance of the big day. You will have plenty to do the week before the wedding and on the wedding day itself!