So you’re engaged – cue joyous fanfare, loving ooh’s and bottles popping – but now what? I wanted to share some little notes of wedding planning 101 advice along with words of warning to keep you on track to big day bliss rather than meltdown. Here’s what to do first.
First up are two little words you will be saying a lot! “Wow Congratulations” “Stunning ring” “Aren’t you a lucky girl” All to be answered with a simple two words ‘thank you.’ But it’s what follows that requires the practiced thank you. Everyone and I mean everyone – family, friends, work colleagues, your gym instructor, the newsagent will have an opinion on your wedding from “I see you guys getting married in…” to “when I got married I remember..” You won’t ask for it and sometimes you won’t want to hear it but just smile your sweetest smile and say “thank you for your thoughts/advice.”
PIN TO WIN
So what to do first? It’s inevitable that you’ll find yourself collapsing under a heap of glossy wedding magazines and spending hours discovering wedding-centric blogs. Once you’ve had a good binge you’ll need to find a way to collate all your inspiration for future planning reference. Pinterest can be a great hub for all those early ideas, you’ll find a tutorial on how to use it and more importantly how to keep those wedding boards secret here
Now you’ve pinned a gazillion images it’s time to sit down together and make a plan for your big day. Start by both discussing what you think makes a great wedding and subsequently what’s important to you. This could be having your cousin from Australia there for the celebrations or getting married in the sunshine, write it all down. Once you have a list of sorts, reorganise it into priority order. This is a great help when you start allocating your wedding budget.
As part of this step also talk through what you both enjoy as a couple – long walks in the countryside or cooking up culinary feasts, tennis tournaments to camping. What screams ‘us’. A great wedding is one that feels authentic to the couple saying ‘I do’ so think about how you can incorporate your passions.
Finally start a guest list.
And there you have it three lists that will sum up the – Who, What and When.
If your list-ing throws up that you really want to get married on the ski slopes in Aspen, then chances are your full guest list of 100 people won’t be able to make it. Or your dream is to have a festival full weekend with glamping on site that’s not going to happen in Central London. And you know what, that’s ok. As with everything else in life there is going to have to be a few compromises along the way. The most important thing is that you have the day of your dreams.
Similarly be honest about how much time you can dedicate to wedding planning. If you are both already working long hours, have children, travel a lot or just have a diary that’s fuller than the Queen’s, get some help. There’s a great article over on Love My Dress about how a wedding Planner can ensure your lives stay as stress free as possible.
WHO YOU KNOW
Pool your connections, it’s all about who you know. Perhaps you have a friend that’s a really great graphic designer, DJ, bus driver! It can all help to make your day personal and let’s face it save the pennies but don’t be offended if they say no. Also be warned that you’ll need to allow extra time in your planning schedule for working with friends, remember this isn’t their only job.
Finally and most importantly remember why you are getting married. Number One of wedding planning 101. It’s not about the colour scheme, the frills and fancy – it’s about gathering together your nearest and dearest to tell them that you want to spend the rest of your life with this person, that you love them beyond measure, that they are your favourite human. Write it down, stick it on the fridge, save it on your phone – just make sure you have it summed up in a sentence so whenever there is a moment of stress (and inevitably there will be) you remember why there’s a wedding.