Wedding Planning Tips Part I

Wedding Planning is a mammoth task. 

There’s so much to do, more than you’ll realise until you actually start doing it! I’m still adding things to my checklist and I’ve been planning for 12 months! So I wanted to take this opportunity to share some tips for the planning experience with you – whether you’re deep into wedding planning, only just starting out – or just curious! Some of these are discoveries/thoughts I made and some came from advice from friends/family. There’s lots of advice out there, but I wanted to note some tips I discovered from my own experiences. So! Here we go:

1. Decide on your budget

Whether you’re spending a lot, a little, or somewhere in the middle, it really doesn’t matter – but sticking to your budget is so important. The cost can quite quickly add up, and you want to make sure you’re not spending on unnecessary things at the detriment of things you want. So keep a note of everything you’re spending and make sure you have enough left in the kitty for everything you need.

2. Create a priority list

Linked to the last point…make an ordered list from the things that are important, down to the things that would be nice, but not necessary. This makes it easier when trying to stick to your budget. The order of the list doesn’t really matter, and we’re all different, so there’s no point in me sharing ours with you – but sit down with your significant other and decide where you want to spend, and where you’re happy to pay less.

3. Notice of Marriage

Don’t forget about it! I know it’s the legal side so should be blindingly obvious, but when you’re distracted by pretty dresses and venues and cakes and flowers…going to the registry office with appropriate documents to prove you are who you say you are, and that you know the person you’re getting married to, just kind of gets lost! Also, a lot of checklists you see online have you doing that in the ‘3 Months Before’ section. Nooooooo! Unless you’re planning a last minute wedding, you have to give notice of marriage A YEAR BEFORE! So make sure you read the emails and small print about this once you’ve booked your minister/registrar.

4. Don’t wear makeup to your dress fitting

I saw this suggested online somewhere, and it’s an amazing idea! You want your wedding day to feel as special as possible, so you don’t want to see yourself in your dress, all made up, BEFORE then! If you’re having your hair up, wear it down (and vice versa), don’t wear any makeup, and pop your glasses on (if you have them but won’t be wearing them on the day). I did this for both of my dress fittings, and honestly, I’m so glad I did.

5. Make a spreadsheet for vendor information

Or if you have a specific page laid out in your wedding planner like mine, great! Note the company name, the name of the person you dealt with, what they’re providing, their email, and phone number. When emails are so accessible on phones these days you don’t HAVE to, but having it all in one place is great. This set up of information is so handy, I found this particularly when we met with our venue coordinator a few weeks back who needed all of these details! It was a swift 30 second exchange of info rather than me having to riffle through emails and bits of paper for half an hour.

6. Appoint a family/wedding party member to ‘wrangle’ guests for the formal photos

Suggested by our lovely photographer, and we’re definitely doing this! Though I’m not sure if we’ve told him yet… 😂 Your photographer doesn’t know who’s who, so it’s a good idea to use someone who DOES to organise who’s in what photo. On your wedding day, you don’t want to be worrying about doing the job yourself, so appoint a friendly helper, and the time for family shots will run super smoothly.

7. DIY to save money

Soooo many articles suggest doing this to save money, and I suppose it depends on what you’re wanting, as to whether it’s doable. We’re doing the centre pieces ourselves: it’s working out more cost effective than hiring, AND it means we have total freedom to play around with ideas/do what we want. And everything we’re buying will be put to use after the wedding too!

8. Write a DO NOT Playlist

This is a page in one of (I have two!) wedding planners – BRILLIANT idea! As part of our RSVPs, we asked guests for a song ‘to get them on the dancefloor’, but I wouldn’t have thought of a DO NOT PLAY list had it not been for my planner! There’s not much music we don’t enjoy, but I feel safe in the knowledge that we won’t be subject to The Beatles or Cyndi Lauper on our big day, should people request songs from the DJ. 

9. Utilise the knowledge of your vendors

They do this for a living, so if you have a question/problem/are looking for advice – ask! For example, there’s lots of theories about freezing your wedding cake – when, how long for etc – whilst Google can be a brilliant tool, why not just ask your baker! A quick email and you’ll get a reliable answer. We also got advice from our photographer about confetti, something we wouldn’t have thought of – but as a seasoned pro, he knows what works and doesn’t work!

10. Try not to stress

It’s easier said than done, honestly, I know. But it’s true. A couple of months back, I really struggled with wedding stress, but I wrote a post about it here, took some of my own advice as well as that of family and friends, and I felt much better. It’s such a special time, and it’s really not worth getting yourself worked up over it.

These 10 not enough? Check out Wedding Planning Tips Part II for another 10 tips!

Until next time,

Lynette x

How to Manage Wedding Stress

I’m writing this post at the end of January, just over 3 months before our wedding. And I have no idea what’s to come in the next few months of planning, but I’m currently lying in bed at 1am, unable to sleep because I’m feeling stressed and anxious. And I’m absolutely DONE with this feeling taking over and spoiling my experience, so I’m going to find a way to deal and manage it!

Every element of wedding planning is a mammoth task, it all takes so much TIME and there’s SO MANY things involved with each element you’re planning. Even something as simple as *wracks brain trying to think of the easiest part of wedding planning so far* the favours, can be turned into a marathon of multiple emails, tastings, design ideas, design approval, deposits, invoices, contract signing, final preparations…all with a smile on your face – because it’s your wedding, of course! Even listing it doesn’t seem to give it the credit it deserves! Whilst it’s very easy to say ‘just ask for help’, it’s really not as simple as that, when you’re the one managing the day. It’s incredibly time consuming and life encompassing, and there’s no way around that (unless you have someone else planning it for you)! I assume that it’ll be much easier to ask for help when the day gets closer and we need help organising and doing, rather than just the booking/planning that I’m doing now.

So, it’s only natural, that whilst you’re trying to plan the wedding you’ve dreamed of since you were a kid, manage your budget and keep everyone happy (along with everything else going on with planning and, you know, WORK and LIFE), you allow your mental health to deteriorate. It’s so easily done, but I really hope I can find a way around this.

The plan: to make a list of things that I think I might help alleviate these feelings. And then make a conscious effort to take my own advice over the next couple of months – I’m one of those people happy to give advice, but terrible at taking my own! I pray it works. Shout out to my incredible Maid of Honour (I know you’re technically a ‘matron’ because you’re married, but it doesn’t have the same ring to it!), who’s been so wise and supportive when I’ve needed her (as always). And a couple of her pointers made this list. I love you girl 💖

1. Make a checklist 📝

I’m a sucker for a checklist anyway, but with SO many things to do, any bride will want one! It’s an overwhelming list, and I find it so easy to see all the things I’m yet to do, panic, and try to do everything as soon as I can! But that’s not realistic, not when half of the things on there won’t/can’t happen till 4 weeks before the big day! But checking things off as you get them done will really help.

2. Formal planning time 📚

Related to point 1…have a list with dates of when you can/need to do things by. It shows that you’re on top of things and that you don’t need to have everything finished just yet! Then step back and distance yourself. Have a date/time each week when you review the list to check your progress…this way, you don’t need to think about it the rest of the time.

3. Make time to spend with a loved one 💕

Ban all wedding talk if you want, or take the opportunity to vent, but set a coffee date with a special person. Someone who you know will distract you/calm you down/let you talk your frustrations out/talk you through problems.

4. Equally, make time for you 😌

Find an activity that you find peaceful and calming, and devote time to that, and that alone – don’t get distracted! Reading in the bath, colouring, yoga – whatever it is, set aside time for you and it, and allow yourself to become completely immersed in ‘chill’.

5. Talk to your venue contact 💒

They do this for a living, it’s second nature. So if you have a question, why are you stressing about not knowing, assuming an answer, or googling it? Ask! You’ll feel better!

6. Write down any problems 📓

My wonderful Maid of Honour once told me (years ago now!) to keep a notepad by my bedside for any of those nights when you have a million things flying round your head. This has proved to be invaluable advice, as the nights are when I seem to struggle most with overthinking. Sometimes even writing a problem down, without necessarily solving it, can make you feel better.

7. Be honest 💬

Talk things out with your fiancé, bridesmaid, parent, sibling or friend, don’t keep it all bottled up. Even just getting things out in the open and off your chest can feel like a weight’s been lifted. They love you, they’ll take the time to listen, and help if they can.

8. Get some fresh air 🍃

Whether you go on a walk by yourself in silence or with your earphones in, fresh air will do you the world of good!

9. Plan a month in advance 📆

This was a piece of advice I saw on a website over summer. The woman had planned her wedding, imagining it was a month earlier…which meant that even the smaller things (that you might forget about, or stress over at the last minute) like service cards, tealights and bathroom basket were taken care of! This left her and her fiance with a calm and stress free few weeks in the run up to the wedding. I can’t remember where I read it, otherwise I would give credit, but organisation Queen over here loves that idea! I hope it works…

10. It’s YOUR DAY make YOUR DECISIONS 👰🤵

SO many people have said this to me. And thankyou, I salute you, because this has turned into a little mantra. There’s so much drama that can go on with a wedding, from family politics to the table runners being the wrong shade of blue. Whilst you will accommodate certain needs and politely take suggestions into consideration, remember it’s YOUR DAY. This is the first page of a brand new book, and the start of the rest of your lives together. For everyone else there, however close you are – it’s just another (very lovely, hopefully!) day. If you know that there’s a certain detail or two that will stress you out for months in advance, or you’ll hate on the day, just don’t do it, simple!

11. Take a breath, try and find a solution 💪

Whether your brain’s in a muddle over the seating plan for the third hour, the vendor you really wanted to use can’t supply a specific item you had your heart set on, or you can’t have the band/DJ you wanted – it’ll be okay. Naturally, when it’s your wedding, every task becomes personal because you invest so much in it. Every element is just one building block in the tower that is ‘your big day’. And sometimes, something will happen that will shake the tower, or a brick will be removed, and you’ll feel like you’re absolutely powerless to keep it all together. Take a moment, take a breath…find a solution. Work out HOW you’re going to deal with that problem guest, talk to family, source other vendors, get on Pinterest and fall in love with a new decor idea, ask for recommendations from whoever let you down, knowing they’ll recommend similar products/services to their own. I promise, that as soon as you find a solution to the problem, your stress and anxiety will melt away.

12. Acceptance 💖

Nobody can control everything. You can only do what you can and then ride out the rest. Focus time on accepting that what will be, will be, and be disciplined when your mind tries to tell you that you need to control everything. You don’t! Things will fall into place.

If you reached this point, well done and THANKYOU for sticking with it. This is probably the longest post I’ve ever written, and I had no intention of it turning into an essay…but it’s something I felt passionately about sharing. It’s something I’m sure every bride and/or couple will struggle with, and if I can help in any way, it’s worth the rambling!

Much love,

Lynette x