When it came to starting to plan our wedding I thought I had a very set idea of what I wanted, however add in the husbands ideas, wedding fairs and Pinterest this soon went out the window and I was immediately unsure of what I actually wanted! It is such an overwhelming and exciting time but so easy to get carried away and make snap decisions without thinking them through. I would have done this so many times if my husband hadn’t been holding me back! My top tips for planning a wedding, from my own experience are as follows:
1 – Decide on a budget and stick to it
Bit of an obvious one but it is so important. I assigned a figure to each area and wouldn’t allow myself to go over it, any under spend I moved to another area to allow me to spend a bit more. Areas I budgeted included venue, catering, entertainment, decor, my dress and accessories, bridesmaid dresses, presents, wedding car, flowers and photographer. We did a lot of the decorations ourselves and were able to shift that budget around quite a lot but without those parameters I could have gone crazy and blown our entire budget on one area!
2 – Keep an open mind
I always knew that I wanted to get married in my family church but I had no real feelings about a reception venue. We looked at various options including hiring a marquee in the ground of a house and doing the whole lot by ourselves, a full package at a hotel and a mix of the two, which is what we ended up with. We looked at so many venues and spoke to so many different exhibitors at wedding fairs that it quickly narrowed down our requirements. Wedding decor was another thing we weren’t set on but I am quite crafty and enjoy projects so knew that I wanted to do some myself. Speaking to as many suppliers as possible, looking at as many venues and options for everything is so important but meeting suppliers and building a relationship with them also makes sure the wedding and whole experience is a lot nicer! We knew we wanted afternoon tea as our wedding breakfast so anywhere that wouldn’t be flexible and cater for that was crossed off the list… which leads me to my next tip…
3 – Decide on the non-negotiable’s
Sit down with your partner and each write a list of things you definitely want at your wedding and you’re not prepared to compromise on. For us, it was afternoon tea and the ability to do a lot of the decor ourselves. Guest numbers were also a big part so we wrote our guest list early on to fit the venue round that. Once you’ve got your non-negotiable’s set out don’t let the glitz and glamour of a wedding fair or a special offer sway you away from it. You’ll regret not sticking to what you originally loved. The husband didn’t have a lot of thoughts about most things so he was given some jobs to deal with…
4 – Give your partner specific jobs
If, like me, your partner was more than happy to sit back and let you plan the whole lot, it was important to me to have a flavour of him on the day. So I assigned him specific jobs to do, things that I didn’t have strong feelings about. Obviously he had full choice on the men’s suits, and he also took on the job of the wedding cars and DJ. As long as we had both of these things I was happy and I felt better deciding on other bits such as the flowers without him, knowing that he had choices as well.
5 – Pinterest is your best friend and worst enemy
Probably one of my biggest tips. Of course, get excited, set up a million Pinterest boards for each tiny detail and pin to your hearts content… but once you’ve made a decision on something, table centerpieces for example, delete your Pinterst board and stop looking! There is nothing worse than setting your heart on a centre piece with your florist or at your local craft shop, paying for it, then looking at Pinterest and seeing something ‘so much better’ or ‘more you.’ You will constantly doubt yourself and become obsessed with a Pinterest wedding… these aren’t real or obtainable most of the time. Make your decision and ignore everything else!
Planning my wedding was one of the best times of my life, I loved having my file of all the details, dividers, sections, mood boards, all that stuff was so much fun to put together and I loved the feeling of being a fiancee! I planned the wedding in 9 months from when we got engaged which felt like forever but in reality is a fairly quick turn around, my final tip..
6 – Take your time and enjoy every minute, it goes so quickly and is a one time opportunity… for most!