Congratulations if you have recently started planning a wedding. We set the date for our wedding in February 2014, after being engaged for seven and a half years (I know, cobwebs were beginning to form around my engagement ring). We chose to get married in July 2015 – ten years since we first got together. I was really excited and couldn’t wait to plan our special day in my own way. Most of our friends aren’t married, and we hadn’t really been to many weddings. My husband and I met when we were young teenagers, but we knew instantly that we would stay together. Marriage and children was something that we just knew would happen, there was no discussion as such because it just felt right (I’ll pass over the sick bucket!). I think it was down to this natural knowing that we weren’t in a hurry to tie the knot and enjoyed our first few years together embracing life.
Anyway, when it came to the big day, I didn’t seek much advice about wedding planning and kinda just winged it really if I’m honest, but I’ve picked up a few tips along the way!
- Get yourself a notebook for all of your crazy ideas and lists of things you need to do. I used mine for literally everything guest lists, table plans, who our magician was… Everything. It practically became an extra limb.
- Don’t settle. If you have a great idea that you would like to incorporate – do it! For me it was our invitations. We had huge cardboard boxes filled with heart shaped helium balloons, glitter, tissue paper, sequins and a formal invitation. People looked at me like I was mad when I suggested it, but everybody was completely blown away when they received them. I would have been really disappointed if we didn’t do it!
- Shop around and book early to secure the best deal. Weddings are really expensive, so make sure you get lots of quotes and see if any companies are willing to make a deal. Our magician and photobooth were from the same company, meaning that we could strike a deal and save a few quid!
- Really enjoy the planning process. We had dance rehearsals every other week and bridesmaid meetings every month where we would chat about life and the wedding in gorgeous restaurants whilst stuffing our faces. I loved our monthly meet ups!
- Be honest with your make up artist. I never wear foundation, so when my face was caked in the stuff during my trial, I felt like a drag queen who had just been pied. Not a confident bride. On the day I made sure to tell her that I just wanted eye make up and I felt like my usual self, which was great!
- Have a back up wedding dress. I bought my ‘big’ dress around nine months before the big day, but when I was having it taken up I wore it for longer than I had in the shop and found it really hot and felt faint. I really panicked about feeling like that on the day, so I bought two other dresses as back ups. On the day I felt fine in the dress, but it really got in the way (literally everyone stepped on it), so I changed into a dress I picked up from Asos for around £95. It worked perfectly and I felt like I wasn’t so restricted. I also had two pairs of shoes – some DKNY heels and some sandals from Accessorise!
- Use your bridesmaids! They are there to help and I’m sure that they are really eager, so get them involved. If there’s a task that you feel one of them would excel in, ask them!
- Have a real good think about photographs, who you would like to be photographed with and where. The photographer should take lead, but they might not know you are really close to Aunt Betsy, so won’t necessarily suggest it.
- Really consider a videographer. We weren’t going to have one because they are quite expensive and I thought we will have photos and other people will film anyway. A week beforehand, my Mum pretty much insisted on us having one and luckily we managed to find a company who could squeeze us in. I’m so glad they did because they captured lots of things that I missed, guests arriving, Phil waiting. It’s so lovely to have it to watch back.
- Remember it’s your day and all about you. Just enjoy it, embrace it and make it your own. Don’t worry about other people, it’s not their day.