While I sit writing this it’s snowing outside and will be dark in a few hours. This time of year can be a bit of a grind, but the thing that pushes me through the miserable weather and short days is the thought of the summer getting closer and all the wonderful things that come along with spring and summer when they finally arrive.
Weddings are one of things I always look forward to, and so far this year I’ve already had a few invites for friends’ big days to come in the months ahead. Some are jetting off to exotic locations and others are going for a more traditional approach closer to home. And while I’ve been lucky enough to successfully plan and survive a wedding day of my own, I can only imagine that my friends whose specials days are creeping ever closer and getting more nervous, excited and stressed in equal measures.
One of the things that makes me happiest is helping others, but I hate to step on my friends’ toes and try and give too much advice when it comes to planning a wedding, and I know that when I was planning mine so many people had their advice to give me on how things could be done and how they think our wedding should be. While they mean well sometimes it’s not always helpful and can quickly turn into a case of too many cooks, while you want to keep your wedding unique, special and personal – so taking lead from how others did things isn’t always that useful.
With that in mind I wanted to share a bit of my own advice here, mainly for people who are starting out with wedding planning. With the Christmas period just gone so many people are newly engaged, and with Valentine’s Day approaching I’m certain there’ll be plenty more. So let’s dive in and look at some of the basics when it comes to planning your wedding day.
Roles and Duties
One of the first things to do is to pick your team! There’s no way you can do this alone, so you’re going to need to bring in your friends and family who can help and support you on the day and throughout the buildup. Bridesmaids, Groomsmen and Ushers are obvious ones, but think about having a toastmaster who will organise your guests and keep things ticking on the day as they make announcements, draw people into the correct place at key times such as speeches and cake cutting and offer crowd control when needed! Lastly make sure that you get your wedding party little gifts to say thank you. Have a look at websites like confetti.co.uk for inspiration, and try and make as many of them personalised if possible – it adds a little extra special touch. We tried to hand make a lot of the gifts that we’d seen online – it was time consuming but worth it!
Don’t Cut Corners on Photography
There’s no way around it, weddings are expensive and you pay a premium for seemingly normal thing. Flowers, cakes and photography all cost more if they’re for a wedding, so when you’re budgeting you’re going to cut a few corners and get people you know to do you favours. However one of the areas you really shouldn’t cut corners on is the photography. You may have an uncle with a great camera, but unless he’s a wedding photographer he won’t know how to get the right shot and the right time and the pictures of your special day are going to be below-par. Do your research and plenty of it when it comes to photographers – meet them, look at their work, ask their opinions on your ideas and see how knowledgable they are. It’s crucial that you get great photos, because when the day is over all you’ll have left is your memories and the picture, so make sure they’re fantastic! Just don’t hang around, the best ones get booked up fast.
The Wedding Dress
Okay – the big one, the dress! It’s a huge decision to make, and you may have always dreamed of a certain style of dress and see them in shop windows, but when you put it on and look in the mirror it’s a different ball game! My best advice would be have an open mind about styles – lots of my friends have had a really clear idea about the kind of dress they wanted when they walked into a shop, but walked out with something they never expected to buy. Browse online first to get an understanding of all the different styles that are out there, and try on dresses you don’t think will suit you, so you have a true perspective. And most importantly, take an entourage of people with you – your closest friends and family, people who aren’t afraid to tell you truth. If your bum looks big your dream dress then you need to know about it!
If you’re married, hop on over to Twitter and let me know your biggest wedding tips! How did you day go and what would you do differently if you could go back and do it all again?
*This post is in collaboration with the lovely people at Confetti.co.uk