Wedding Planning Tips

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:

DECIDE ON YOUR BUDGET

Stick to it and keep track of what you’re spending! 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. 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!

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 splurge, and where you’re happy to pay less.

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.

CHECKLISTS

They’re honestly a life saver. As I’ve already said, there’s SO much to organise, so having lists makes it all so much easier to deal with.

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.

CHOP THE GUEST LIST TO SAVE MONEY

Brutal, but when the price per head can be so much, it’s the easiest way of bringing down the cost of your wedding. 

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.

APPOINT A WEDDING PARTY/FAMILY MEMBER TO BE THE PHOTO ‘WRANGLER’

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.

DESIGNATE SOMEONE TO COLLECT GIFTS/DECOR/PERSONAL ITEMS

We spend so much time prepping for the wedding, it’s very easy to overlook any time AFTER. Make sure that you’ve spoken to your venue about how/when things like this need to happen, and ask a trustworthy guest to help by sticking things in their car/room if needs be.

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!

WRITE A DO NOT PLAY LIST

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. 

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!

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.

And before I sign off, just remember that this is YOUR day. You’re doing it for the two of you, no one else, so make the decisions you want to make – not because you’re being made to feel guilty, or forced into something, by someone else. And enjoy your planning time! It’s going to absolutely FLY! I can’t believe it’ll be over for me in 6 weeks time! I won’t know what to do with myself 😂

Until next time,

Lynette x

I Said Yes To The Dress

This weekend is a double showcase weekend, so the stress is definitely real. Because of that, in my down time I’ve really tried to distract myself. And the way I’ve done that is to binge watch the LIFE out of ‘Say Yes To the Dress’. Which has thrown me back to the beauty and excitement of MY wedding dress experience ❤️

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So I got engaged in February, and I threw myself straight into Wedding Planning – which by the way is the MOST fun. We’ve cracked on and got the big things that need booking in advance, booked, which I will talk about at a later date. But one of the FIRST things I got…was my dress. It wasn’t intentional, it’s just the way it ended up working out! There’s so many suggestions out there for timelines for all parts of a wedding, and my Wedding Planning book suggests getting your dress 9 months ahead of your wedding day. Which I guess is part of the reason why I was so surprised to get it sorted so quickly – I ended up getting my dress 13 months early! But I suppose I wouldn’t be me if I hadn’t ticked it off my to-do list agessssss in advance! #OrganisationQueen

Mama P booked a day off work in the Easter Hols and we headed up to The Bridal Outlet in Northallerton. There’s no appointment necessary so we rocked up at about 11am and had no time to wait at all (though there was quite a queue forming when I’d finished so if you head up there, it definitely pays to go early).

The system there works in a simple way…

⁃ Have a look through the dresses
⁃ Pop a tag on 3 you want to try on
⁃ When it’s your turn they’ll take the dresses into the changing room and call you in.
(You do get to try on more than 3, but those are just the starting point, for you and your consultant to get an idea of what you do/don’t like).

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Browsing through all the dresses was probably the hardest part – they’re all in protective translucent bags, and although you can see the top part clearly, you can’t see the skirt, so it’s a struggle to imagine what it’ll be like actually on. But it was fun regardless!

I don’t want to give away any details about dresses I tried on (yet), but maybe in a year or so when I’m actually married! Main reason being, I don’t want anyone (particularly Ed) to have any inkling of what I’ll be wearing. So that’s where the description of the experience ends, soz!

But I can tell you, that the dress I bought was the FIRST DRESS I picked up off the rack. And I love that it ended up working like that, coz it was the same for my mum 😍 I didn’t go with the intention of buying my dress that day as I said, I went expecting to use it as a fact finding mission; to find out what I did/didn’t like, or what did/didn’t suit me…but I fell in love with my dress. And the second time it was on, I knew it was the one.

The feeling really is as incredible as people say. 
When you know, you know ❤️

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It was a very surreal experience, I couldn’t believe was stood in a wedding dress – it really is a pinch yourself moment. If I’m honest, I think I’m going to struggle to comprehend that I’m getting married right up until the big day itself, maybe even after! At the risk of sounding super cringey, our whole relationship has been fairytale-like and I still can’t believe how lucky I am (for those who know us, it was a LONG time coming) 😂So trying to get my head around the fact I’m going to be Mrs Leigh in less than a year is WEIRD.

It was a real whirlwind, I couldn’t believe that less than an hour after walking into the store, I was walking out of the store with my dress in tow…
…and it’s been hanging up in my old bedroom at Mum and Dad’s ever since! And yes, I have sneaked a peek at it virtually every time I’ve popped round there in the last 3 months!

At 5’4, it’ll need some altering, (I wasn’t blessed with long limbs), and although it won’t be for a while yet, I’m looking forward to the excuse of getting back into it! It makes me feel like a princess which is a nice change from the frizzy, sweaty, workout gear wearing dance teacher I usually am 😊

It was such a special day, and every part of it was perfect. I got to share the precious experience with my wonderful Mama P, and that was just incredible – honestly, I can’t put into words just HOW incredible it was, I’m so lucky to have such an amazing relationship with her. I’d never have had it any other way, but she deserves the shout out coz I love her so damn much.

The choice of dresses at The Bridal Factory was top notch, the customer service was impeccable and the help given by my consultant was amazing – honest, informative, helpful…Jamie was a star. I would highly recommend the Outlet to anyone in the North wanting a friendly, magical wedding dress experience.

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And until the next time I get my dress on, I get my fix being judgmental of all the dresses that come on my TV screen!

Lynette x

Images of The Bridal Factory Outlet taken from www.bridalfactoryoutlet.co.uk
Have you got a Wedding Dress story? Let me know below! 👇🏻