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!
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.
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…
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!