This afternoon it’s the return of ‘Advice from the Married Side’. I have so many amazing real weddings on the blog and for each one I feature I ask the brides a number of questions. One of these questions being advice for other couples. Sometimes the answers get lost amongst the pretty pictures of each wedding so I have decided that each month or so I will bring you a selection of these brides (and grooms) words of wisdom! I hope there will be something amongst these brides experiences that help you while planning your own wedding.
From an organizational point of view, make sure you are freed of all practical stuff by a good wedding planner or friends helping you out.
Vanessa (our on the day co-ordinator) was invaluable for this process. I planned it all but on the day I needed someone else that knew everything I knew, who could see the problems before they happened and could fix them. She was all this and more! I couldn’t recommend an on-the-day coordinator enough to someone planning a wedding like ours.
Try and get everything done the week before so that you can really enjoy the final week’s run up to the big day otherwise you miss out on the fun and find you are still stressed on the day itself.
If you’re planning a DIY wedding, trust me, it is never too early to start those jobs! Also, don’t underestimate the time and effort involved in setting up (and taking down!) a DIY wedding, we did and had some very late nights in the lead up to the wedding and a very full on day after the wedding. But we put our hearts and souls into the day and would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
If you are going to do the catering yourself, make sure you have a person who is not a part of the wedding party who can prepare, serve and clean-up afterwards. We felt we were a little under-prepared for this bit.
Also delegate! I wanted to make lots of things myself and quickly ran out of time. Finding sellers on Etsy that could make them for me for not too much money saved me time and sleepless nights
I think a DIY approach is great. Yes it makes for more hard work and more late nights, but it feels so much more personal and is so satisfying when looking back at the big day! And it saves money! We set ourselves a deadline for everything to be made and ready a week before the big day. That way you can both relax in the run up to the wedding rather dealing with last minute stresses!
Also, find a time in the day to spend 10 minutes together, alone, without anyone else around. It sounds simple but it is really difficult to do! You are both so busy speaking to your guests, having photos taken, and being caught up in the excitement of the day. Time goes so quickly! You mustn’t stress too much about keeping everyone in your family and friends happy, that’s impossible.
When the day arrives, just let go of all the planning, preparation and stress and enjoy it.
Try to relax on the day and let others put out all your details our venue did such an amazing job of putting my vision together and it took my breath away
Between us we made sure that we spoke to everyone during the afternoon and straight after the meal. It then meant that we could enjoy the rest of the evening with our closest friends and family.
Delegate everything on the day so that you don’t have to worry about a thing. My bridesmaids and close family literally made the day for me – they had everything in control the whole time so I didn’t have to worry about a thing.
Take a moment to watch others laughing and having fun, cherish those special moments as the day passes you by so quickly.
Choose the right venue! Don’t be afraid to choose somewhere that isn’t a traditional wedding venue. We found somewhere we loved and approached the manager to see if it was possible to hire the whole venue.
Plan a specific moment, e.g. 1 hour before the start, “where you all led it go and just let everything happen the way it happens”. Enjoy every second of it, because it end before you even know it.
Do not obsess over the weather (although you will), we did for weeks and hours leading up to the wedding and it was pointless. It did rain and it did not spoil a thing.
We also really enjoyed doing everything together as a couple. I think sometimes brides have a tendency to think they know best and want to do it all, but we really enjoyed some of the arts and craft with a bottle of wine on a Friday night. Boys are better at these things than we give them credit for sometimes!
If you’re nervous about the speech do it earlier! We did the speeches after the main meal so that Tom could enjoy dessert.
Try as many cake samples as you can!
Create a mood board with themes on Pinterest, then look on Ebay and Etsy for special touches and don’t be afraid to do it yourself to put money towards the more expensive things like food & drink.
Be strict ‘unlike us’ with your budget and let friends and family help you as much as they can to release the pressure!
Its easy to say don’t stress but in reality it is a really stressful time so what we would say is don’t let the stress of it take the enjoyment out of it – as long as you finish the day as a married couple nothing else really matters and in a few years time even something that seems really disastrous on the day will just be a funny memory!
You and everyone else will have nicer memories if you don’t go all bridezilla on them, so try to play it cool – not everything has to be perfect, and in fact some of my favourite memories are from the things that didn’t quite go according to plan.
Consider the venue and what feel you are after, smaller venues with limited rooms create atmosphere. People are quickly diluted even over one or two extra rooms.
One big tip I would give is to not give your guests a choice of food – a set menu would’ve saved us a few headaches during the admin stage!
Remember it’s your day, your taste, no one else’s! Make it as special as you can just for you both.
Just do it your own way.
Make sure you make your day personal, and don’t feel pressured to do what people expect you to. We really love the fact our wedding was so ‘us’. Don’t get caught up on having the ‘perfect’ wedding.
Have the day you both want. Drop the traditions that mean nothing to you and don’t feel that you need to do anything just because it’s the ‘done’ thing.
Figure out what you want for the day and then go for it – don’t listen to those who may not share your vision (eyebrows were raised when we rejected a colour scheme and James announced he was going to cobble together the attire for the gents, but it all worked out!)
I don’t think anyone can tell you what you should or shouldn’t do on your wedding day because it has to be so personal to you.
Don’t worry about what anybody else wants. Just do what you & your husband/wife to be really want. We made our whole wedding time as personal as possible. We wanted to celebrate not only our relationship but everything we love about each other & life.
Choose the things that are important to you, spend the pennies on those things.
Don’t succumb to pressure for other people’s wishes and don’t feel guilty for what you think are tough decisions – you can’t please everyone. If you try to, you’ll disappoint yourself.
I think there is a lot of pressure on couples to cater for everyone and please certain individuals, but as long as you have a good time the guests will too.
If you are going to make things for your wedding, make sure you do this as far in advance as possible so you don’t end up busy and stressed months before the wedding. All of our bunting/flowers etc were finished about 3 months before the wedding.
For those in the early stages of planning, I would say stick to your budget, research DIY ideas (as often they’re cheaper and they look more special on the day)
Enjoy the planning, be nice to each other and don’t let stress into your lives
Start planning early so that it never feels like a massive task. I divided up jobs throughout the year (you can never start too early) so that it never became overwhelming. I also planned everything well with lots of lists and information for people involved. It meant that I could then relax on the day knowing that other people would be ready to help if needed.
Plan for an amazing photographer because what they do is absolutely priceless! Paul & Kelly inspired us throughout the months leading up to the wedding and they still inspire us now. We are immensely happy with our love shoot and wedding photos that we will have to look back on forever and cannot thank them enough for everything they did on the day!
A lot of the wedding planning for me was great fun but towards the end it gets very hectic very quickly, especially if you have done so much of it yourself, I would say that it is worth having some quiet time amongst all of this because otherwise it could get on top of you. I also found that when planning the wedding a lot of the smaller details seemed very important at the time, but actually when you get to the day itself it rushes past so quickly that you wouldn’t even notice if something was out of place, so try not to worry about those things too much!
Just relax and enjoy it and try not to get too carried away with little details as only you will notice!
I hope you found these pieces of advice helpful if you are in the process of organising your wedding. If you are already married is there anything you would like to add ? Was there anything in these words of wisdom that has resonated with you?
Is there something you would particularly like to ask me for advice? any questions just email me [email protected]