Getting married this year? Then here’s some useful advice on how to make your big day go with a bang…
Remember, no matter what all those wedding and lifestyle magazines would have you believe; this is NOT a competition. Having the grandest venue, or the most expensive dress in the shop does not grant you the wedding of your dreams.
In fact, budget-friendly, DIY weddings, full of everything heart-felt and home-made, are proving time and time again to be a winning formula.
Let go of the ‘wedding blueprint’ and plan a day that is authentically ‘YOU’.
Have your eyes open, and your ears ‘on slumber’
Look around you – are you and your partner really all about fine-wines and fancy-pants dinners, or are you more ‘pint and curry’ types? If you’re the latter, then why not go for a fabulous Indian feast, rather than a 5-course wedding breakfast? Don’t be fooled by thinking you have to do things a certain-way. You don’t.
Remember your family and close friends will all have their own ideas about what you should do too. Filter out the ‘you must’s’ and ‘you can’ts’ that you’re bound to hear around you, and tune-in to ‘we will’ and ‘why nots’. This is your special day.
Don’t be tempted to smash the budget
It is so easy to spend more than you planned for your wedding.
For every decision you make, there will always be a pricier option that is ‘oh so tempting’.
Before long £ signs are haunting you in your sleep, and what should be a day of laughter and joy, becomes tainted by the fear of un-serviced credit card debts and money-worries.
STOP. Take stock, and start shaving some things from you list. Favours on the tables – do you really need them? Fancy bows on the backs of the chairs – are they really necessary?
Focus on what is going to give you, and your loved ones, a brilliant day. Good catering, in a good environment, with good entertainment.
No one will remember the sugared almonds tied up with a ribbon I promise you, but they will remember a relaxed day, full of laughter and fun.
One way to combat pre-wedding stress is to have a plan. As the months start ticking down pull together a ‘to-do’ list, allocate tasks, and keep a track on progress.
There’s no surer way to break out in a sweat than remembering 5 days before the wedding that no-one ordered the flowers, or you didn’t pay the deposit for the band.
Don’t let it become too onerous, and have fun with it, but good planning can make all the difference. After all, the build-up to your big day should be fun too.
Even if you have a wedding planner on board, don’t forget to check in with them at regular intervals, and to be clear on what is, and what isn’t, on their pad. It’s all too easy for things to fall through the gaps, so communicate clearly, and if you aren’t sure, ask.
Yelp for help!
Whatever your budget you will likely have engaged certain people to provide particular services for you on the day. You may have caterers, a florist, a dress-maker, musicians or children’s entertainers on board.
These people are experts in their field, so let them guide you in these aspects. If you try and micromanage every detail of your wedding, you will be exhausted. And miserable.
If you are a bit of a control freak – and let’s be honest most of us are – then tell them you like to be informed of plans and you wish to have some input, but let them take the lead. If you drive everything you will crash at some point.
Oh, and if you do plan to do everything yourself, then I salute you. But remember; when I said ‘DIY weddings’ were the future, I didn’t mean you had to slog yourself half to death. Play to your strengths, and find people to help where needed. If baking simply isn’t your forte, find a good cake maker rather than creating unnecessary anxiety about it.)
Get the wedding ceremony right, and the rest will follow
The wedding ceremony is THE moment, so ensure that sufficient attention is given to it in the run up to your wedding. Don’t get so caught up in what colour the flowers are going to be, or whether 3 or 5 layers of wedding cake is better, that you forget to consider what you want to say to your loved one.
If you’re working with a wedding Celebrant, then they can steer you through the planning of the ceremony, and should be on hand every step of the way. They will be able to support you with writing your vows, selecting suitable readings, involving family and friends, and including symbolic rituals such as a hand-fasting, if that’s something you wish to do.
Take the time to choose a Celebrant that you feel can honour your wishes for the ceremony. Speak to them by phone or meet them in person before you book. They are going to be an integral part of your wedding day, and you need to enjoy one another’s company.
Here for all brides and grooms is one big disclaimer. Despite all your preparation, and all your hard work, not everything will go to plan.
Yes folks, you heard it here first.
You hoped for glorious sunshine, and the rain is beating a path to your door.
The band have broken down en-route and are running late.
The cake got dropped on the way into the venue.
Whatever it is, there will always be something that goes ‘wrong’. But, here’s the thing. These things are often the thing you remember most, and with the most fondness.
Huddling under umbrellas together, or impromptu sing-songs whilst you wait for the musicians can be what MAKES your day, rather than what BREAKS it.
Auntie Sylvia dashing to the local Co-op for 28 boxes of Mr Kipling, will be etched in your memory forever.
And did your guests mind that it was a fondant fancy, rather than a triple-layered chocolate ganache. No. Of course, they didn’t!
The best of advice of all is that the road you travel to your wedding day should be enjoyed.
Getting married is a journey, not a destination.