Hi everyone! With wedding season coming up I thought I would do a little blog post on how to make your wedding planning a little easier and stress free. These are tips that definitely helped me. I have so much to say I’m going to split it out into two parts so watch this space for part two coming up soon.
I got married to my husband in October 2015 and loved the wedding planning from beginning to end, so here are my tips to make the most out of your wedding planning:
Make a Spreadsheet on Google Docs
The spreadsheet was one of the first things I did in the planning process. You can download one online. However, being the perfectionist that I am, I created my own using Google Sheets. Using this online tool allowed our parents (who helped us massively with paying for the wedding) to have a peek at what was being spent and what was left to pay for as well as being able to tweak it where needed. Having a spreadsheet definitely made sticking to our budget a whole lot easier too! I recommend looking at it at least twice a week and on a daily basis in the last run up to the wedding to make sure you’re still on track with your spending.
Only take 2 people max wedding dress shopping!
Believe me, for your sanity, that is enough. The first time I went I took my sister, cousin, mother-in-law and sister-in-law. I went to three different dress shops and tried on about a gazillion different dresses only to come away from the day more confused and anxious about it as there were so many different opinions flying about. I tried again a couple of weeks later with just my step-mother this time and found the dress on that trip!
Create a ‘Save the Date’ video
This was something we made as a bit of fun, we weren’t even sure if we wanted to send ‘Save The Date’ cards out so we sent out a little trailer instead via WhatsApp and email. It was so much fun to do and all of our guests loved it. It saves on the cost of postage too!
Make one ‘to do’ list
I am a chronic list maker but I did find it so helpful to have just the one to do list throughout the wedding planning. There was something so satisfying crossing off everything one by one!
Let your bridesmaids have a say with their outfits
I have been a bridesmaid four times in my life and only once have I had a say in what I would like to wear. All of the other times I was put in dresses that weren’t my style and that I really didn’t feel comfortable in so I knew how important it was for my bridesmaids to like what they would be wearing, especially as they all have different body shapes and sizes.
Unfortunately, I know how fussy and indecisive my sisters can be (I have four of them!). We all live in different places so planning could’ve been tricky, however, through the wonders of Whatsapp we were able to share dresses that we all liked and it wasn’t too hard to settle on a style that way. Luckily, one of my sisters repaid the favour when she was married a few months later – the style she’d picked out for us all looked amazing on my other petite sisters but very much like a tent on me so we found an amazing alternative that I loved wearing on the day too.
Allow your Ushers to wear their own suits
Whilst we’re on the subject of clothing… When we first started planning we didn’t set out to have a colour scheme at the wedding, it sort of just happened. As it was in October, I wanted rich and warm autumnal colours to compliment the leaves on the trees changing colour. I opted for navy blue for the bridesmaids to offset these rich colours and Mark decided he would also like him and his men to wear navy blue too. As Mark had quite a large wedding party, we couldn’t afford suit hire so we asked the ushers to all wear a navy blue suit with a white shirt and brown shoes (which luckily they all had) and we provided the ties. It worked really well and they all look so lovely in the photos!
It’s never too early to start getting your creative on
We booked our wedding venues approximately 18 months before we got married which was a good amount of time in terms of planning. Our reception venue was a blank canvas for us to do up as we liked, with a high ceiling and low beams it is a creative person’s dream and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. As soon as we had booking confirmation I got to work hand painting and stringing the 200 feathers we had hanging over our guests, as I had so much time to do this I could do it at my leisure and didn’t feel stressed with it at all. I have to say that the venue over did my expectations and I was taken aback at just how effective they all looked when we arrived!
Book a honeymoon/ minimoon straight after the wedding
I loved every second of my wedding but boy was I glad to be jetting off on honeymoon the Monday after the wedding. Don’t allow yourself to get stressed over the wedding planning. (I had one wobble the Tuesday before the day). There was just so much build up to the day, it is emotionally exhausting. You’re in this happy bubble after the wedding so I felt it was nice to get away with my new husband to take stock of what had just happened. It also allowed us to enjoy the first couple of weeks of wedded bliss before heading back to reality.
Make a decision early on inviting children and stick to it
For us, it was a no brainer – we didn’t want children at our wedding. Mainly due to lack of space and the fact that we had a bus, but also selfishly we wanted all of our friends to let their hair down and not have to look after their children. We told all parents early which I think is key and we wouldn’t allow any exceptions.
Check back in a couple of days for part 2! Oh and if you wanted to have a nose at my Save The Date video, here it is!