Wedding Planning Tips Part II

Planning your wedding is life encompassing. (As well as there being so much to do), I think it’s because despite the months and months of energy that goes into it, you’re never finished. There’s always something else to do, something else to plan – you manage to get one thing ticked off your checklist and there’s ALWAYS going to be something else that needs your attention, right up until the wedding is over! You’re planning the most magical day of your life and you want it to be absolutely perfect – so naturally, it’s stressful too.

I wrote a planning tips post before our wedding, but I needed to add some more – so here I am! You can check out Wedding Planning Tips Part I here.

There are so many wedding tips out there, but based on my experience, these are the biggest and most important ones that I felt needed sharing.

1. Write a checklist

There are honestly more things involved with planning a wedding than you think – I had no idea until I made our list, which I still kept adding to up to a week before the wedding! There’s no point trying to remember it all, so get it written down, and tick things off as and when they’re sorted (this’ll make you feel happy too!). Although not everything is on there (for example, I didn’t need to state obvious facts like ‘Mum take dress to venue’ or ‘have favours delivered’) you can see My Checklist Here.

2. Keep track of your spending

Firstly, you need to decide on your budget, a point I included in Part I. Once you have, stick to it and keep track of what you’re spending. Not gonna lie, it’s easier said than done, especially when you start getting magpied (yep, I’m turning that into a verb!) by gorgeous venues/decor/stationery/accessories (I’ve got a post about Things You Don’t Need But Want). I made a spreadsheet of all our expenditures as and when they got booked. It lists the vendor and/or product, the total amount, deposit amount, remaining balance, and a tick box for when the full payment had been made. And I’m so glad I did – it was quite sobering to write it all down and realise how quickly it was adding up!

Lynette & Ed

3. Make a priority list

Linked to the point above, I think it’s important to sit down with your fiance and decide which elements of the wedding you want to throw money at, and where you want to save. Some may want to splurge on the venue, some may want to save. Some may want to splurge on the decor, some may want to save. And this applies to every single thing you’ll organise, because there are so many options for every aspect of a wedding. We’re all different, all our ‘dream wedding’s are different, so make your own list. And an easy way of saving some pennies if your budget’s starting to weep…

4. …chop the Guest List

Ruthless, but it feels less so when you’re faced with a long list of names, each of which costing you a gazillion pounds per head. 

5. Invite who, and do what YOU want

I can’t stress enough, that you must remember this is YOUR day, and no one else’s. (Weddings work very differently now to 30 years ago, which some people may not realise – it may be worth just getting them, and yourself, clued in to these changes so there’s no confusion/unintentional ill feelings). YOU are the ones in charge, not anyone else, so don’t feel bullied into anything. And I only stress this so strongly, because after talking to other brides, this seems to be the biggest problem in 21st Century Wedding Planning, and the area that causes the most upset. 

6. Make a list of questions before meetings

Whoever you’re meeting with, whether it’s your wedding coordinator, favour vendor, dress seamstress (the list is endless), make a list of all the questions you want to ask – the ones you’ll want to know the answers to before signing on the dotted line. I’ve got lists of questions for your venue, photographer, and baker if you’re curious.

Lynette & Ed

7. Don’t be afraid of buying/booking early

In fact, the sooner the better! Particularly with bigger things like your venue and photographer which can get booked up years in advance – get booking to avoid disappointment! With all the craziness of moving house, and then life and work getting hectic, I’m so glad that I cracked on with a lot of things, despite worrying that I was doing it too soon. It meant a lot less stress later on, and trust me, you’ll want to have as little of that as possible close to the big day – there’ll be plenty of other things to be worrying about!

8. Ask for help when you need it

During the planning, the truth is, you and/or your fiance may feel like you want to tell everyone to back off and let you get on with planning your day by yourselves. But there will be plenty of family and friends offering their help, because it’s exciting for them too, and there will be occasions (however stubborn you are, or happy you are to be in control), that you WILL need that help. Take them up on their offer. Then it’s up to you how much instruction you give (depending on how much control you want to hand over/hang on to)! Just saying it as it kids. No planning articles tell you the truth about these things.

9. Write a separate checklist for your the wedding party of who’s doing what

From who’s attending what appointments, to who’s in charge of taking what to the venue, it’s not only peace of mind for you to have a note of this, but the family will feel happy to be kept in the loop, and clued in with what is/isn’t required of them.

Last, and most importantly…

Lynette & Ed

10. Work as a team with your fiance

I’ve spoken about how much of a stressful time it can be – mainly because that’s the bit no one tells you! But it will also be the most wonderful. It’s such a special time, and for me, it was made even more special by Ed and I doing a lot of it together – I have so many fond memories that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. Make time for each other, share the work load, and enjoy every minute.

There are plenty more tips I can give, but these are my top 10 based on our experience. Not enough? Stay tuned, I’ve got a ‘Post Wedding Pointers’ post coming to you soon! 

Lynette x

Our Wedding Timeline

Wow, it’s been such a long time since I last posted on the blog! I’m sure you know why (and if you don’t, you can guess by the content of this post)…WE GOT MARRIED! Welcome back/hi lovely readers. After THE MOST INCREDIBLE DAY OF OUR LIVES last month, our photos came back earlier this week. Sugarbird managed to capture our day perfectly, and we’re over the moon with every single photo!  

Whether it’s a cliche to say or not, it really was the most magical day of our lives, and we’re so incredibly grateful to every single person who celebrated with us or sent messages of congrats and well wishes – the love we’ve experienced in the last month is extraordinary and we feel so lucky. I could waffle on for multiple paragraphs about how out of this world the whole experience has been, but that’s not why you’re here…you’re here for a photographic timeline of the day! So here we go:

7:00am – Alarm (may or may not have already been awake)

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7:30am – Bridesmaids arrive, bridal party start getting ready

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8:00am – Groom gets ready

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9:00amSugarbird arrives and starts snapping away

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9:30am – Flowers arrive

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10:00am – Groomsmen are ready and preparing to meet guests

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10:15am – Guests start to arrive

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10:20am – Last minute hair tidying

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10:30am – The dress goes on

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10:40am – Dad arrives in Bridal Suite

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10:50am – Guests seated, Groom trying to remain as calm as possible

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10:59am – Show time

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11:00am – Ceremony

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11:30am – Mr & Mrs

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11:40am – Slip away from guests for ‘us’ time

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11:50am – Return to drinks reception and mingle

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12:00pm – Confetti and formal photos outside

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12:20pm – Get the bloomin’ sixpence out of the shoe, because after 2 hours, it hurts

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12:25pm – Couple shots

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12:40pm – Breathe. The adrenalin’s wearing off and exhaustion setting in…

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1:00pm – Second wind! Call in to wedding breakfast

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1:15pm – Speeches

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1:45pm – Food!

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3:45pm – Quiz

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5:00pm – The Great Bishy Bake Off

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5:45pm – Guests mingle, photo time for us

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7:00pm – Evening guests arrive

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7:30pm – Cut cake

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7:35pm – First dance

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7:40pm – Parent’s dance

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7:45pm – Buffet, sweet cart, PARTY!

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8:30pm – Outside for sunset shots and a walk around the grounds together

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10:00pm – Sparklers and Fireworks

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10:30pm – Hot dogs and more dancing!

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12:00am – Home time. Thankyou to everyone who shared in our special day ❤️

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Lynette x

Questions To Ask: Your Baker

Welcome back to another ‘Questions To Ask’ post – this time, we’re talking CAKE! 🍰 And before I go any further, full photo credit in this post goes to Blossom Tree Cake Company.

We found our baker through a flyer we picked up at a wedding fayre at The Pavilions of Harrogate last year, and after browsing their social media and LOVING the look of the cakes they did, got in touch with Blossom Tree Cake Company. They not only offer a friendly consultation, but a chance to try up to 3 different flavours (which you pay for, but that gets deducted from the price of your cake).

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Well, WOW, we will never forget our experience! It was a warm bank holiday at the beginning of May last year (the same bank holiday that our wedding’s on this year!), were greeted warmly, and offered drinks as we looked through their portfolio (which is GORGEOUS), before trying our 3 gluten free tasters and discussing the design of our cake. I’m not going to go into any more detail than that for now (but probably will AFTER the wedding!), but I have nothing but positive things to say about the experience!

SO, the part you’re here for, the questions to ask:

  1. How long have you been in business?
  2. What is your baking background?
  3. How many weddings have you baked for?
  4. Are you licensed and insured?
  5. Do you offer gluten free cakes?
  6. Do you use fondant or buttercream?
  7. What flavours are your specialities?
  8. How far in advance will our cake be made?
  9. This is our theme – what design/decorations do you have/can you suggest?
  10. Can we freeze a tier, and if so, what’s your advice for keeping/defrosting/eating etc.
  11. …and can you provide a cake box so we can transport it home safely?
  12. Do you deliver to our venue? If so, what’s the charge?
  13. How much is the deposit?
  14. When do you require the full payment?
  15. When will we receive a contract?

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And as with Questions To Ask: Your Venue, and Questions To Ask: Your Photographer, there’ll be some questions that I (and you) don’t need to add to your list (eg. about flavours), because there’ll be basic information readily available on their website, or about cake stands and knives, which you’ll already know about through your venue.

I’m SO EXCITED TO SEE AND EAT THIS CAKE, YOU HAVE NO IDEA!!! 

Lynette x

Questions To Ask: Your Photographer

Welcome back to another ‘Questions To Ask’ post as part of The Wedding Series! Today, I’m talking about questions to ask your wedding photographer. And let’s face it, your photographer is VERY important – they’re going to be the source of eternalising your big day!

This list isn’t as long as Questions To Ask: Your Venue, but a lot of information you’ll want to know will be readily available on websites/facebook pages/other social media. So I’m also going to talk you through our process a little bit.

Lynette & Ed

When looking for your photographer, it’s really a case of taking time to browse. Talk to your fiance and decide on what kind of style you like, then get yourself on Google, Instagram, Facebook, and check out information you get at wedding fayres too. Insta really was key for me – having access to so many of a photographer’s images that easily, really does give you a great impression of all the different kinds of work they produce. From there, I followed links to websites to find out more about packages they offered/prices/reviews etc.

Finding our photographer was definitely one of the hardest tasks of the planning process. There’s SO many amazing photographers out there, and trying to narrow it down really was a struggle. But when I happened across the Instagram page of Sugarbird, I just knew the search was over (and Ed agreed when I showed him too)!

Lynette & Ed

We didn’t even need to get to the end of our meeting with James to share a ‘look’ and know that we wanted to book him – and we did, right then and there in the pub! 🍻

It’s important to remember that whilst you can do your research and love their photos, you’re going to be spending the entirety of your special day with this person…you need to make sure you get on! Do you feel connected to their photos, and do you feel in your gut that you can trust them to capture your wedding day perfectly? These photos will stay with you forever!

So after doing all my research and arranging a meeting, here’s the list I wrote…and started quizzing as soon as I was prompted! 🙊

  1. How long have you been in business?
  2. Have you shot at our venue before? If not, do you plan to check it out beforehand?
  3. How much do you charge to stay an hour or so later?
  4. Can we give you a list of specific shots that we’d like?
  5. Will we receive a written contract?
  6. How much is the deposit?
  7. Is there a payment plan?
  8. Do you charge a travel fee?
  9. What time will you arrive at the venue?
  10. How soon after the wedding day will the proofs be available?
  11. Is retouching included in the price?
  12. How much is it for a second photographer?
  13. What happens if you’re ill on the day?
  14. What information do you need from us before the day?
  15. Do you have Public Liability Insurance?

And as well as those important questions, I really can’t stress enough that you should follow your gut/s. These photos are so important, you want to make sure you’re making the right decisions for the right reasons, and that the images you get back will reflect you as a couple.

Lynette & Ed

Photo credit goes to the wonderful Sugarbird Photography following our pre-wedding shoot 📸

Lynette x

 

Questions To Ask: Your Venue

Okay, WELCOME to a subcategory of ‘The Wedding Series’ – ‘Questions To Ask…’!

Viewing venues and doing your research is really fun, but what about when you get to your meetings? What are the important questions to ask before signing that contract? Same applies for your photographer, baker, florist…hence this new little category!

Our venue coordinator is amazing, and a lot of these questions were actually answered during our initial show around/sit down (that level of efficiency gave me real peace of mind moving forward!), but here’s the list I compiled last March!

And let me just point out too, that this is the list for the initial meeting, when you and your fiance are in the midst of venue viewings and trying to get a feel for which venue fits you best. There will be PLENTY more questions you’ll want to ask during the planning process, but these are the ones you want to know before booking.

Questions To Ask: Your Venue

  1. Is wedding insurance included in the price?
  2. How long can you hold the date we want?
  3. Chair decor – is it included in the package/options/prices?
  4. Vendors – do you have suppliers you recommend/work with regularly?
  5. Can we have lit candles?
  6. Do you have any rules about confetti, fireworks or other decorations?
  7. Will we have to hire/pay extra for chairs, glassware, table cloths etc?
  8. What are our lighting options for the reception?
  9. Is there a safe place for gifts?
  10. Is VAT included in the final price?
  11. Accommodation – do guests pay us, or the venue directly?
  12. Do you provide mics for speeches?
  13. Will we need to vacate any rooms for setting up (at any time during the day)? If so, what are our options during that time?
  14. Does the bar take cash or card?
  15. Is there a schedule for; initial deposit, final payment, charges for staff.
  16. Will the venue clear everything away afterwards?
  17. When can we start setting up?
  18. Do you have public liability insurance?
  19. What are your usual timings for the day (ceremony, food etc)?
  20. Can we move things around to decorate?
  21. Can we have a written confirmation email and contract?
  22. Diameter of circular tables (how much room will we have for centre pieces)?
  23. Does the DJ provide their own decorations (star cloths, uplights etc)?
  24. Do you provide easels for signs?
  25. Do you provide a cake stand and knife?
  26. Do you host more than one event at a time?
  27. Do you allow sparklers?
  28. How many guests can you accommodate in the day/evening?
  29. Which rooms are licensed for civil ceremonies?
  30. Do you/how do you cater for food allergies/vegetarians/vegans?

As I said, there will be LOADSSSS more questions that will come up during the planning process, these are just the ones to get you going before you sign on the dotted line. There are (of course) more questions that you can ask (questions that will be on wedding sites and other articles), but a lot of these will actually be answered on the venue’s website/in the brochure, before you even go for a viewing!

Things like:
Do you offer a complimentary menu tasting?
How much wine is included per person?
What evening food do you offer?

…which is why they haven’t been included in my list. These are all the questions we asked, got firm answers right there on the spot, and we came back feeling very well informed – and in a good place to move forward with the booking!

ONLY 3 WEEKS TO GO NOW!

Lynette x

Cute Wedding Things You Don’t Need…But Want!

There are SO many gorgeous ideas for weddings out there, from decor to entertainment, favours to personalised merchandise – I’m sure I’m not the only bride who’s felt a bit like a magpie whilst scrolling through Pinterest or Etsy! Today, I’m sharing some cute addition ideas with you – those that you don’t NEED at you’re wedding, they’re not integral to the day – but that you want…badly! These are just some of the things that made me 😍 when I saw them (though not all of them are part of the #BishWedding2019)!

Wedding 2019 Merchandise

I went into Matalan yesterday and they had a whole dedicated section…and I want all of it! I bought a couple of things but couldn’t justify buying any more…yet…

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Mr & Mrs Balloons

I suppose it’s not so much the balloons themselves, but the cute pictures of the newly married couple with them!

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Image from BelleepoqueCo on Etsy

Cake Topper

I know most people will opt for some kind of cake topper, but there’s so many different ways of doing it – figures, flowers, laser cut words… I suppose this has made the list because if you already have some kind of decoration on the top of your cake, it’s very hard to say no to other pretty things!

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Image from DinDinDiesDesigns on Etsy

VM Bespoke Placenames/Wine Charms

I must’ve seen these more than anything else recently, the sponsored site keeps coming up on my Facebook feed. And there’s no denying these are pretty!

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Image from VM Bespoke

Bridal Party Robes

Technically, we don’t need them, especially as you’re spending all that money to wear them (for what they are) for a couple of hours…but, like the balloons, they make for such cute pictures!

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Image from Love Fox Designs on Etsy

Personalised Honeymoon Beach Bag

I mean, it’d almost be rude not to proudly display your new initials on an accessory whilst you’re abroad, right?!…

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Image from Heart and Soul Wedding on Etsy

Expensive Shoes

I’d say that the majority of brides go for a long dress…which means, we can’t see the shoes. No one will see them really (unless you make a scene, and lift your dress up and make everyone aware of the beauties you have on), but some of the ones you see on Pinterest are just UTTER Cinderella shoes! And if you can’t wear them on your wedding day, when can you?!

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Image from Pinterest

Personalised Sweetie Bags

£100 for sweet bags that’ll probably be thrown in the bin in the next 24 hours? But the message on them is so cute and romantic…

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Image from Zazzle

Individual Confetti Bags/Cones

You can spend all that money on personalised sweetie bags that’ll get thrown away, confetti bags/cones will just get thrown away too…but these cones are so cute!

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Image from Hooray Days on Etsy

Belly Bands

It makes sense; with the actual invite, information card, RSVP etc, they could SO easily fall out of the envelope and be lost forever, right?… 😉 So a pretty band that matches the rest of your invites makes sense, right? 🙊

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Image from Zazzle

Fairylights Overload

THEY JUST LOOK SO PRETTY IN PHOTOS, there’s no such thing as too many, right?!

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Image from Pinterest

Floral Light Decor

I saw these on Etsy, then followed on Instagram coz I LOVEEEE how they look! Letters, & signs, hearts…the temptation to buy them is unreal!

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Image from Love Letters by Analisa on Etsy

…and there’s SO MUCH MORE too! There really are so many options and ideas out there for every style of wedding, and it’s been incredibly difficult to keep my sensible head on and not been tempted to buy everything! But I’d be lying if I said a couple of things hadn’t slipped into my shopping basket… 🙊 

Lynette x

Wedding Checklist

Okay, I’ve spoken a lot on Twitter recently about my wedding checklist, so I thought it was about time I shared this with you! I started it a year ago, and I’m still adding to it now, 5 weeks before the wedding! There are things on the list that I never would have thought of before last February… Of course, you think of the big things like the dress and the venue and the cake, but it wasn’t until I started planning that I realised I needed to be thinking of things like updating my EHIC, or double checking how many chair sashes are included in our wedding package…

There’ll be some things missing from the list that you might expect to see there (transport, or hair stylist for example), and some more obvious ones, like the caterer or DJ are missing because quite a few things are included in our wedding package. But this is a list tailored specifically to our wedding. Early on, I separated it into things to buy/to book/to do/extras…so I’m going to keep that going now, though there’s no particular order. Okay, are you ready? Deep breath…

TO BUY

The Dress
The Shoes
Underwear
Garter (unless you’re borrowing)

Bride’s Jewellery
Bride’s Hair Accessories
Bridesmaid Dresses
Bridesmaid Jewellery
Bridesmaid Hair Accessories
Suit
Shoes

Groomsmen’s Suits
Groomsmen’s Shoes

Wedding Rings
Centrepieces
Centrepiece Accessories
Top table decor

Umbrellas (just in case!)
Confetti
Guestbook
Placenames
Wedding Party Hangers
Lipstick
Advice Cards
Signs for Hashtags
Balloons

Present for other half
Thankyou presents for wedding party

TO BOOK

Venue
Photographer
Venue decor
Florist
Cake
Favours
Honeymoon
Table runners
Hair cut and colour
Spray Tan
Wax
Dinner tables for evening before/day after

TO DO

Decide on which person/people to allocate to each item on the checklist
Decide on Budget
View Venues

Choose Venue
Give Notice of Marriage
Pay Ceremony Fee
Choose Witnesses

Create Guestlist
Choose Stationery
Send Save the Dates
Send Invites
Have dress fitting (and follow up appointments)
Meet with florist
Meet with baker/have cake tasting

Meet with photographer
Order Signage
Create ‘must play’ song playlist for Reception
Choose aisle music
Choose 30 minutes pre-ceremony music
Choose 3 songs for register signing
Choose readings for ceremony
Seating Plan for Wedding Breakfast
Wear in shoes
Make emergency wedding kit
Get name changed on passport
Get name changed on EHIC
Send ‘must have’ shotlist to photographer
Have menu tasting
Have engagement shoot
Create running order for the day

Get Bridesmaid’s dresses altered
Decide on Bridesmaid’s hair
Collect wedding rings
Get engagement ring polished
DIY items for centrepieces
Organise afternoon entertainment

EXTRAS

Find something OLD, NEW, BORROWED and BLUE
Book time off work
Confirm arrangements with vendors
Give vendor contact details to Maid of Honour
Make arrangements for day before at the venue (check in time, nails, dinner etc.)

And along with all of these things, you have to take into consideration how time consuming it will all be. I spent my free time for WEEKS searching for our signage for example, and the seating plan is a bloomin’ nightmare! I think our final plan is version 5 or 6! Whilst it can be stressful, and time consuming, and the checklist seems never ending, I’ve LOVED planning our wedding. It’s been such a special experience, and I won’t know what to do with myself when it’s over!

More and more things are getting ticked off the list AND IT’S SUCH A GOOD FEELING! Bring on the next few weeks 😊

Much love,

Lynette x

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

The Pros and Cons of Wedding Fayres

Before I start, full photo credit goes to the UK Wedding Event website. I made sure that all of the photos used were taken on the day we were there – so you can actually get a sense of the vibe we were feeling when we were walking round 😊

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After we got engaged, the main thing people said to me (after congratulations!), was ‘Go to a Wedding Fayre/Fayres’. A lot of Fayres are on Sundays which is one of my work days, so we only managed to get ourselves to one, back in the Easter Holidays. Which some might think was a shame, but honestly, it was a lovely afternoon, a great experience, and we didn’t come away feeling like we needed to source more ideas – we actually had too many!

I’d already done a fairly substantial amount of research by the time we went to the Fayre, hosted by The UK Wedding Event at the Harrogate Sun Pavilions. It was 6 weeks after our engagement, and by this point we already had the venue booked, colour scheme decided, and I’d sat for hoursssss on Pinterest looking at centre pieces, flowers cake, decor ideas… (Yes, organisation Queen is in her ELEMENT with this wedding planning malarkey!) There’s SO many ideas out there for any kind of wedding, and social media has proved to be a WONDERFUL tool (particularly Etsy, but I’m going to come back to that another time).

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I’ve put together a list of Pros and Cons about the event. Obviously, this is totally personal so I’m not claiming it’s the gospel truth, but I thought you might be interested 😊

PROS:

Meeting Local Suppliers:

One of the things that Ed and I had decided quite early on, was that we wanted to source as many LOCAL suppliers as possible. For a multitude of reasons, but the main two being:
a) We want to support local business
b) We have so many ties to the area (including him proposing at Knaresborough Castle)…it just felt like a really nice bow to tie our whole relationship together.
THIS was where the Wedding Fayre really delivered. We were able to meet local businesses (it turns out that one company that we’re definitely going to go with LITERALLY lives round the corner from us!), that we wouldn’t have found had we just sat on Google. 

Getting Ideas:

This is the main reason for all of my friend’s Fayre recommendations…there’ll be things there that you won’t find scrolling through Google or Pinterest (unless you have a million free hours). There was a guy at ours for example who did engravings and carvings into a variety of objects for place names, seating plans etc etc. I’d never have thought of using a mirror engraving as a seating plan, but there you go!

Goodie Bag:

YESSSSS who doesn’t LOVE a goodie bag?! With The UK Wedding Events team (who organise Fayres all over Yorkshire), you get a canvas tote on arrival with a floor plan of what’s where, and a bunch of wedding magazines and flyers. You’ll pick up more little freebies as you go round, but my fave (obviously) were the food stands 😉 Stood in Valley Gardens, eating strawberry/champagne fudge is NOT a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Spending time with your fiance:

Ed and I live together so we see each other every day, but because of work and house stresses the last few months, we’ve not had an awful lot of time to spend together in a ‘going out and doing things’ sense. I value every minute I spend with him anyway, but getting out of the flat and doing something adventurous or different is always lovely – and fun! 
As much as anything else, it’s nice to be able to start your wedding journey together. I know lots of partners will have different plans for who does what, as it’s not possible to do everything together. So being able to spend some time ‘wedding-ing’ (just the two of you as well, without any family or friends present) is really special. Especially when you’re recently engaged and it’s all still new and exciting and a bit weird, and people keep on congratulating you!

CONS:

Businesses going for ULTRA HARD SELL

I would definitely recommend going with a BIT of an action plan about what you want (or perhaps more accurately, what you DON’T want), because some people will try to do the HARD SELL. And I mean like, jump down your throat before you even get to their stand and won’t let you leave without signing up to their mailing list. So BE STRONG and just say no 💪 (Politely of course, you don’t have to barge past them, by all means have a conversation with them…but stand your ground). 

It’s Busy

We went later in the day in an attempt to avoid the crowds (although this COULD mean you miss out on freebies, but it was a risk we were willing to take). And it paid off for us getting there at 3pm, but I can imagine it being very cramped in there earlier in the day.

Getting emails MONTHS later from companies you had no idea existed

Kind of linked to the Hard Sell point I made. This is the problem with anyone you show any interest in…they insist on you writing down your name and email address. Which is great to essentially get a free reminder a few days later about the suppliers you liked, but I got a GDPR email from a random company a few weeks ago, which sent me into a mild panic: the name wasn’t anything to do with weddings, and it took me Googling the website link to realise it was a wedding ring company! Panic over, it wasn’t a stalker. But I’d totally forgotten I’d even given them my details. We weren’t interested in the slightest but I felt bad for the guy who had very few names on his sheet, so I suppose I’ve contradicted my earlier statement. At the end of the day though, it’s totally up to you how you choose to spend your experience; a s**t ton of emails might be a help to some, but may be a nuisance to others. 

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All in all, they’re great events to attend, and whilst there are a couple of cons, they really don’t outweigh all the pros – and this post wasn’t necessarily about reviewing the experience, it was to give you a general idea. I hadn’t read much about what to expect from a Wedding Fayre when I googled ahead of our visit, so I’m putting this out there in the hope it finds someone who really needs an honest opinion. OR, maybe you just fancied a nosey…it seems people are curious about wedding related thangs!

If you’ve enjoyed reading this, stay tuned by subscribing/following my blog because I’ve got plenty of other wedding post ideas! 😊

Lynette x