It seems that once a girl has started planning her wedding, she can’t bear the thought of waving goodbye, leaving the Wedding Industry behind, and dreams of becomes a full time Wedding Planner! This is very much on my mind at the moment, so much so that I’ve enrolled in an introductory beginners Photography course which I am super duper excited to start! Photos have always been a bit of a passion, (not just selfies contrary to what some may think haha!) so I am eager to get started. Hopefully, one day, I’ll be an amazing Wedding Photographer, capturing beautiful weddings week in week out – it’s never too late to learn, right?
Aaaaanyway, I was at work, daydreaming as usual, and thought I’d do a slightly different type of post following a question raised on the Love My Dress Facebook Group. A newly engaged bride was excited to get planning but wasn’t too sure on where to start and what she should / shouldn’t expect along the way! When I got engaged I just dove right in but thought it would be fun to pop together a little post of ‘advice’ and things I’ve picked up along the way…plus it’s a quiet day at work 😉
Practical Planning Stuff
– In the words of Noah Callhoun “What do you want?”: Sit down with your partner and decide what type of wedding you want; black tie and formal, or relaxed and boho, or a bit of both – your options are endless. Also, have a think about what your families may want but don’t let it influence you too much, it is your day after all! Some of our family would have liked us to get married in a church but that just wasn’t us – we’ve tried to keep other things traditional so it still feels ‘weddingy’ to them.
– Actually make a plan: Create a spreadsheet, mine is called “OMG We’re Getting Married” and currently has 18 tabs!!!! Organisation really is key. I found it easiest to make a huge list of everything and then later go back and set dates against when those tasks had to be completed by.
– Venue Online Shopping: Get together a list of venues, check their packages online and pop it all down onto a spreadsheet. Go through the spreadsheet together and then decide which ones you want to view, pro’s and con’s. Don’t actually visit any venues until you have confirmed your budget … see below.
– Total Budget: Not just the venue, dress, flowers and suits, remember to include things such as registrar costs (£500+), stationary (save the dates / invites / table plans etc), dance floors, MC’s, cars / buses, gifts, pre-wedding night costs.
– Venue Shopping: Be strong. You can haggle. You should haggle. Read the fine print and familiarise yourself with all of the details of your contract.
– Wedding Showcases: These are great – I can’t recommend them enough. Sure it’s a bit awkward sometimes – magicians aren’t really my think but somehow, after one local event, I ended up left with a bent fork to carry around. We were lucky that we knew already who a lot of our suppliers would be, however, if you don’t, then the showcases are the single best places to meet a variety of suppliers and get a vibe for how compatible you are.
– OMG you’re getting married: I had expected every supplier I met, or emailed, to be enthusiastic and bubbly, throwing out the congratulations. This is not the case – in fact, some are downright grumpy and kill your buzz a little. Perhaps not a huge surprise to some…maybe my expectations were too high (they probably were).
– Say Yes To The Dress Part 1: Give yourself time to find the dress. This will either be the hardest or easiest decision you make – there rarely seems to be a middle ground. Remember your dress may be hand made in which case you have to allow 4-6 months.
– Say Yes To The Dress Part 2: Of course every boutique wants you to buy one of their gowns but some really force the hard sell, are pushy and rude. This is the most important thing you’ll ever buy – don’t be forced into anything. If you have doubts – wait, regardless of what discount they try to throw at you.
– Say Yes To The Dress Part 3: You won’t always get champagne. This was majorly disappointing. Out of the 10 boutiques I went to, only 3 offered something other than water…Pft!
– Pinterest & Blogs: Both are amazing, and personally I spend a lot of time on them, they are full of the most inspiring and creative people. However, they also can give you major envy issue. My favourite Blogs are; Love My Dress, Style Me Pretty, Whimsical Wonderland Weddings and, of course, Rock My Wedding.
– Your Spreadsheet should be your best friend: As you would do with your best friend, check in with your spreadsheet once, twice even three times daily, update her with every quote, cost, idea, picture and question you have. Like every Best Friend, your spreadsheet always wants to know more. Above all else your spreadsheet is super important because you will keep track of all of your costs which is majorly important for most brides!
– Realistic Dreams and Research: We all have budgets and realistically, this is just 1 day in our whole lifetime with our loved one, so it’s important to stay grounded when necessary. Remember, Pinterest has a DIY blog for EVERYTHING.
– It is never too soon: I’ve started everything as early as possible, even smaller things like writing my letters for the Groom, parents and maids to open the night before / morning of the wedding.
– H2B: As much as your future Husband loves and wants to marry you, it is highly unlikely that he will be anywhere near as interested and invested in the planning as you are. Ryan was not too interested in looking through Bride magazine, or reading about strangers weddings on Love My Blog and watching their wedding day videos (I reeeeeally tried but it just wasn’t his thing!).
– Life outside Wedding Planning Part 1: It will be difficult but try to force yourself to think and talk about something other than your wedding. I’m already quite annoying but I’d be even more annoying if it wasn’t for writing this blog and being part of the Love My Dress Facebook Community.
– Life outside Wedding Planning Part 2: Your life is already busy and now you’re planning the biggest day of your life. Remember to set aside time to chill, relax, unwind, on your own and with your H2B.
– Hopefully, this will only happen the once. Be emotional. Be dramatic. Make the most out of EVERYTHING. Don’t hold anything back – your wedding journey and your wedding day should have everything you both want (within reason of course, where allowing), don’t worry about everyone else’s opinions ♥
I was going to add ‘Relax and Enjoy’ as another point but think I’ll hold out on that one until we’ve finalised our Guest List haha! I finally ordered our invites yesterday via Printed.com using a template from Bliss Paper Boutique on Etsy so confirming the Guest List will be the next big thing! I’m a little nervous about this because everyone always says that the Guest List and table plans are the hardest bits!