If you follow me on pretty much any online platform, you’ll know that I am in full wedding planning mode – no doubt you’ve spotted my tweets asking for bridesmaid dress advice or seen my hen party photos on Instagram. The big day is fast approaching (I mean, very fast approaching, eek!) and I wanted to take the opportunity to share a few pearls of wisdom from the wedding planning process today. It’s also the perfect chance to show off a few of the photos from the pre-wedding shoot Tiz and I did with the incredibly talented Sarah Horton back in December!
If you have any questions or would like any advice, just leave me a comment below. I’m not a wedding planning guru by any means, but having gone through most of the steps myself I do have some tips and tricks to share.
1. You’ll hear a lot of opinions. Listen to some of them.
It’s one of life’s little facts that everyone has opinions about weddings. E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E. I totally understand that it can become overwhelming to feel like you have to consider 100 different points of view for every tiny decision, but as soon as you learn to filter out what you’re hearing things become a lot easier. Remember that so many wedding plans are entirely subjective and based on taste – for these decisions, the only people that matter are you and your other half. Colour schemes, decorations, your clothing, rings (the list goes on)…these are elements that should be totally based on what you love.
However, I guarantee you’ll find that outside opinions are super useful for some parts of your wedding. Whether it’s navigating tricky guest list/seating plan details or choosing between two wedding dates, asking the advice of those closest to you and the situation can be invaluable. They may introduce important points that you hadn’t previously considered, helping you to make the best decision for you and your partner. Always bear in mind the source of the advice you’re getting – your close family and friends are way more likely to have your best interests at heart than a stranger on the internet.
2. It’s important to speak up if something isn’t quite right
You are going to have to make a LOT of choices for your wedding, and during the course of doing so you may find you change your mind about something (or 20 things). This is totally OK! On a few occasions, I’ve found that during a dedicated afternoon of wedding planning I’ve made some decisions in order to ‘tick something of the list’, then later realised I hadn’t properly thought it through. Speaking up if something isn’t quite right is vital – after all, this is your wedding day! I promise you won’t be the first person to ask a florist for a colour scheme tweak, a make-up artist for a second trial or a dress maker to add or remove an element from your gown.
Keep in mind that you’re paying a lot for the services you’re retaining for your wedding day, so never be afraid to ask an extra question or request a few changes. It doesn’t make you a bridezilla or a control freak – just always remember to be polite! Most vendors want you to be happy and excited for the part of your wedding they’re working on with you, so keep the lines of communication open and friendly.
3. As soon as something is ‘for a wedding’, the price seems to magically rise
OK, so there are some parts of your big day that HAVE to be wedding-specific – you don’t want to go hiring a photographer who specialises in wildlife to snap you and your new husband/wife sipping bubbly at your reception. But try to be smart with what you’re searching for because it’s inevitable that anything with ‘wedding’ in the description is suddenly much more pricey. For example, you don’t necessarily have to look for bridal shoes or wedding decorations; as long as you have your colour scheme or theme in mind, you can easily broaden your search.
A good friend of mine didn’t actually tell her cake-maker the cupcakes she was buying were for her wedding – it kept the price down and took a little pressure off the situation. You could even apply this general thinking as far as your wedding venue goes! If you and your partner love somewhere, it’s always worth enquiring about the possibility of having your ceremony or reception there – even if it’s not something they usually advertise. I’ve noticed a few places around Manchester posting about having their first ever couple tie the knot or host a reception at their premises. It’s always worth an ask!
4. Making time for non-wedding conversation is priceless
You wouldn’t believe how many people have said to me, “I bet you’ve not talked about anything else but the wedding for months!”. It simply hasn’t been the case with us, and I’m really glad about it – Tiz and I both have super busy lives and value our time together too much to have just one topic of conversation (albeit a very exciting one!). I feel that by not getting too wrapped up in the wedding way in advance, it’s been much more special when we have sat down together to do some planning. It also means that we haven’t micro-analysed every single detail, so nothing has started to feel mundane or over-discussed.
The thing is, whilst I absolutely can’t wait for our wedding day I’m just so excited to be married to Tiz. I’m super pumped for everything to come in our future together, including our honeymoon and even the first time we give each other ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ birthday cards. We haven’t pinned all of the happiness of our relationship on one day – we’ve been together almost 10 years and are super excited for all the milestones to come as well as our wedding day. I think we’ve struck a good balance, but am highly aware that this balance might shift during the next few weeks as the day gets closer!
5. There’s no one correct way to plan a wedding
At the start of our wedding planning process, I got so overwhelmed by looking at ideas other couples had previously used that I didn’t get a whole lot done. There are SO many options for every tiny wedding detail and it’s often just too much. At the end of the day, you can’t do everything at your wedding – you have to make choices and forget about the things you decided not to include. Because of the opinions issue I chatted about at the start of this post, you may occasionally be made to feel that you’re doing something wrong or making a bad choice, but the fact is that there is no one correct way to plan a wedding!
Ultimately, if you and your partner are happy with the way your day is looking on paper then you’re off to an awesome start. Own your decisions and convictions and don’t be tempted to include something in your day ‘just because’ – especially if it’s something you don’t like, or you don’t feel is worthy of that important chunk of your budget. We’ve managed to book some incredible things for our honeymoon because of savings on trivial wedding day elements that we didn’t really care about, and that we know our guests wouldn’t think twice about either.
I can’t believe how quickly our wedding day is approaching! As I mentioned, let me know if you have any other questions or experiences to share – just leave me a comment below.