So the big question has been “popped”- Congratulations! And now you’re tasked with planning one of the most important days of your life- how hard can it be? Suddenly, it’s no longer an “if” or a “maybe”, but a reality that sees you pulling your hair out at the increasing guest list, or desperately trying to stick to a budget. Here are a few tips to help you through the wedding planning process:
Be organised and start your planning early
This sounds obvious, but you never truly know how much goes into wedding planning until you’re actually doing it. For example, if you’ve chosen a date within peak wedding season (May-August), many vendors will start getting booked up, even two years in advance. Likewise, wedding dresses typically take 6-9 months to order, and there’s the alterations to factor in too. Planning early will also help with stress levels as you can take your time and plan carefully.
Set a budget- and be prepared to go over it
It’s no secret that weddings are not cheap- the average in the UK is currently £27,161. As soon as the word “wedding” is mentioned, it’s as if there is an alarm that goes off and the price automatically inflates. It’s important to set a realistic budget, based on the number of guests, and how much you can save by the wedding date. There is always something that hasn’t been budgeted for, or is costing more than anticipated. Have a budget, but also have an emergency fund as there are always unexpected expenses.
Make the most of wedding forums
From youandyourwedding.co.uk, to hitched.co.uk, these are a helpful source of support and information. It’s easy to feel like you’re alone in the process, especially if no one around you has planned a wedding before- and sometimes you just need a good rant. As well as providing information on vendors, it’s also a great place to receive impartial advice- maybe a bridesmaid is causing you stress, or you’re nervous about going dress shopping.
“Be kind but don’t try to please everyone”
You may have come across this phrase along the way and it’s a useful one to remember when you’re conflicted between doing what you want, and keeping everyone happy. Let’s say your family are based in the north of the country, but you’ve always dreamed of an elegant wedding in the heart of London (did someone say Middle Temple?!) Having your wedding in London will make it harder for them to attend, but on the other hand, you know that if you don’t go with what you want, you’ll probably always wish that you had- the dreaded “Wedding Regret.” The bottom line is, you can’t please everyone.
Hire a day-of coordinator
If the budget will allow it, hire someone in charge of the coordination on the wedding day. This will ease your stress and allow you and your guests to enjoy your day. A good co-ordinator will be the eyes and ears of the couple, taking care of issues and ensuring all vendors are doing what they’re supposed to.
Don’t lose sight of what’s important
When it all gets a bit too much, remember the most important thing is that you’re going to be marrying the love of your life!
Finally, the best piece of advice- stay true to yourself. It’s so easy to be sucked into what you think you should be doing, but, there is no rule, and do what makes you happy.