Monday, 29 August 2016

11 tips to help plan a wedding

I thought I would put a little post together with the things that I learnt along the way.
Which would probably have been better if I had known from the start.

Get yourself a planner.
I was lucky enough to be given a couple of planners as gifts when I got engaged and they were instantly a great help. You can get them from most stationary shops but Paperchase do some lovely ones. Try to get one with individual sections it makes it easier to categorise the different aspects of the wedding. You can also use it to work through for example starting with the guests and then the ceremony working through the planner. Personally I constantly went back and forth through the planner. It is just nice to have all the different bits of ideas in one place. Especially when you have little wallets inside you can pop any cut outs or important pieces of information. Also it is key to jot everything down when you think of it. So if something slips your mind it is all there in one place.

It just makes everything that little bit easier.

Lists lists lists! 
This is pretty common knowledge but lists will be your best friends!
Anything you need to buy, anything you need to do put into a list.
I found creating a list of things to do each weekend or whenever you get a bit of spare time.
Helps you work through the process, with more organisation and you can clarify exactly what is next. As well as when you do start ticking jobs off you feel like you have achieved something.
I found knowing what you have completed and what is left to does reduce stress.
Wether its on your phone or on paper make as many lists as you can!
I found the Wunderlist app helpful.

Get the important paperwork out of the way.
Depending on what type of wedding you are having religious or not, unfortunately there is a lot of paperwork that comes with the ceremonies. It is best to get this out the way sooner than later.
As easy as it is to put it off it just ends up having a hold on you, knowing it still needs to be done.
If you need to have a meeting with the Council or like ourselves we had to contact two different Councils. Try and get an appointment as early as you can.
Once that is sorted the rest of the paperwork will fall into place as most of it will be sent to you.
Also if you are confused about any of the terminology and what type of paperwork needs to be sent where. I found emailing your enquiries is more efficient.
You can contact people out of work hours. Also You won't have to worry about not being able to answer the phone, if your at work in the day etc. When contacting the Council to book your date, again the earlier the better. Try and stay patient, I will not lie to you, it may take a couple of attempts phoning them. Sometimes you are on hold for a horrendous amount of time but keep going! It will get sorted eventually! You will be grateful when you get the date booked that you and your partner really want.

Biting off more than you can chew.
We learnt this the hard way it was only towards the end when we were tired and fed up of the idea of it all. We realised we may have tried to do too many DIY elements.
I don't mean that you shouldn't do as much DIY as you like go crazy with the craft. If you like as it is so nice to have parts of the day, that you have made personally.
What I would say is if you need to spend an extra bit of money on getting something made for you instead of slaving away late at night with your super glue. Then so be it! Nobody is going to judge you for it!

Work together. 
This bit is also difficult when you both have different ideas and different ways of doing things.
When it comes down to it, you are doing all of this because you love each other and want to be together for the rest of your lives. Arguing and being bitter about the wrong type of font ect is never going to end well. Easier said than done I know, but if you feel that the planning is more one sided than you would like. Try and make it as fun as you can. The day is for the both of you, working together will make you feel so much happier. Appreciating the things your other half has done for the wedding and focusing on them instead of what they haven't will help you to keep your calm.

Be careful not to get completely sucked into a Pinterest wedding. 
I definitely struggled with this to start with. There are so many gorgeous ideas and you will want all of them. Being realistic is ok too. Obviously you can have as many Pinterest worthy ideas incorporated into your wedding as you want. Although what I have found is that what you think you want, because you have seen it on other people. Might not be what you really want in reality. I had this situation with my hair, my shoes and some of the decorations. The biggest proof of this was with my dress. I had loads of pictures saved of the dream dress and what I thought I would want.  Lacey numbers, dresses with my whole back out aswell as some tea dresses and veils. Turned out none of these were what I went for. I felt ridiculous in tea dress as I am quite tall. I also felt like I had a curtain on my head when I tried a veil. It was beautiful and sparkly but just not me.
To my own surprise the dress I actually picked was the first one I had found. It was a sheer fluke and when I stood, feeling like a princess on the box. My first dance song came on I knew it was the one!

Be yourselves.
Again it is hard not to be swept up in with what you think other people want and what other people will like. Stay true to who you are and what you like and enjoy as couple.
I think the out there personal parts are the best and who cares if not everybody understands it!
This really hit home with the music. As we grew up listening to pop punk and emo goodness.
We really wanted to incorporate that into our night even though we knew some people would enjoy it more than others. It is who we are and I am so grateful we put so much effort into the music list. With each song at least one person expressed that they thought that the song was a "TUNEEE!" This made me intensely happy.

Try not to worry about family and friends. 
Family and friends from the past will come out of the wood work when they find out your getting married. People will upset you and have ideas that you don't agree with.
You will start to worry about who is sitting next to who and that some people won't get on, but you can not let that bother you as it will drag you under.
On YOUR day if people can't bite their tongues and be civil and create a peaceful atmosphere then do you really want them there? Also If you can't afford to have your friend that you used to speak to from school and her husband you've never met. You don't need to worry!
It is your money and sometimes you just have to put your foot down.
If you haven't seen family members for years then try not to feel bad about keeping your numbers down if you need to.

Be realistic with your budget.
It is ridiculous how much money can go into a wedding.
Sometimes compromises have to be made and things that you thought you wanted turn out to not be worth the money, That is fine because the things you really want you will automatically make sure that you have the money for them.
If not you can always save up for those important things if you have the time. Then you will be more content with what you do have. That vintage fair ground ride that cost £1000 for an hour that you thought you needed, will be totally forgotten about.
Creating things yourself can save money, if you can get the resources cheaply.
You'll be surprised how many creative supplies you will collect over the planning process.
So try and use what you already have. Borrow things off friends that have previously been married. Ebay is also a great place to get items second hand and quirky bits n pieces you can throw in the mix. If you take a step back and think about what you really want to stand out on your day.
As well as sitting down before you start and write down a budget for the different parts of the day catering, dress etc. Then you have something to start from if you go over, it is not the of the world but it is calming having that original amount that you want to stick to.

When you think your done, your probably not. 
This is one of the biggest lessons I learnt when coming towards the end of the planning.
Things do end up popping up when you least expect it and it is incredibly annoying when you think you have finished. I ended up waking up at 1am realising we had no confetti!
Not exactly a huge problem but when you start panicking, just keep in mind that if you've got this far. The last bits will all come together in a matter of days or even hours and there is light and the end of the tunnel I promise.

Ask for help if you need it.
There is a lot to think about and if you need help or feel a little confused.  You haven't done this before! It is all new and can be a little daunting. People will be more than happy to help.
It is nothing to be ashamed of to get your family and friends to get involved.
Sometimes it can be really fun and if you don't want to ruin any surprises for your guests.
Maybe just get different people to help you both with different elements, so that there are still some surprises for each person.
The internet is also a great place for advice and inspiration.  Rockandrollbride has been my go to source in the last couple of months. Gorgeous presentation in their magazines and so many cool ideas that you might not have thought about. They really made me feel that it is ok to break from tradition and do things a little differently. As all couples are individual and why shouldn't you do things your way!!

I would love to know if you have any other tips and if you found this helpful?

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Maira Gall