Tuesday, 1 September 2015

10 Things I've Learned About Planning a Wedding

  1. The guestlist will escalate. Rapidly. Now this doesn't mean that you have people there who you don't want there, but inevitably the closer you get to the big day the more you realise that your small wedding is turning into a medium sized wedding. A large one, perhaps. Before you know it, 40 invites turn into 70 guests and in turn the cost will escalate. Be prepared for the increase in guests and work out how much extra you might need to save if every single person you invite is able to come.
  2. You will never achieve the perfect tableplan. Split the guests roughly in half and make sure you mix your own guests with the Groom's guests. After all, this is all about becoming one big family and you want your relatives to meet one another. Remember to consider wheelchair/easy access for certain guests and also take note of any tables near the venue bathroom or service areas to make sure that Grandma isn't having to shuffle her chair around every 5 minutes to avoid a face full of champagne. Although my Grandma would probably bloody love that.
  3. Pinterest is God. Don't know how you want your hair? Pinterest. Don't know what colour scheme you want? Pinterest. Don't know what the hell you want your groomsmen to wear? Pinterest. It's free, it's easy, and it is GOD.
  4. You will never have planned for every single expenditure, no matter how diligent you are. I am a planner, and I mean a planner. I make lists of lists I need to make, and I did about 4 hours of Googling before putting together a spreadsheet of all of the vendors we needed to book and things we would need to pay for. What did I forget? The chair covers, the dress alterations, the flowers for the cake stand, the makeup artist and the RINGS. There are also a whole load of things that you'll need on the day that you simply don't think about until it is a week away (plasters, wet wipes, emergency painkillers, deodorant, general girly shit). Are you going on honeymoon straight away? You'll need spending money & insurance. Set aside a few hundred quid for last minute expenditures just so that you have a buffer.
  5. The second you mention the word "Wedding" to any supplier the price of whatever you are looking for will double. Want a cake? "Tesco- £5". Want a wedding cake? "Magical Princess Unicorns Establishment of Golden Swan Cakes- £800".
  6. The venue is the only thing you need to absolutely nail. Rather than just setting out to view a load of venues, do some thinking about what you actually want from a venue. Are you having a church wedding? You'll need the reception venue to be close to the church. Do you have people travelling long distances to your wedding? It might be a good idea to pick a venue that has a few rooms on site (like a nice hotel), especially if you want your guests to be able to do shots at midnight with you. You can get some really good venue packages on sites like Groupon. Be wary that your ideas to save money will probably fall flat if you're not diligent with the venue booking. My venue doesn't allow external vendors (hog roast, or mobile bar companies) and this is very common. Ask the questions beforehand- you can read my post about choosing the venue HERE
  7. You will change your mind 100 times about 100 things before "The Big Day". A year ago I had a colour scheme picked out and based the flower and cake choices on this scheme. 6 months ago I changed the entire colour scheme and so had to change everything else. This is okay, and most vendors will be used to brides changing their minds, but don't be afraid to change things that don't feel right the closer you get to the day.
  8. Don't panic if you don't get that "THIS IS THE ONE!" moment when looking for a wedding dress. Hollywood puts a lot of pressure on brides and most people assume that they will try a dress on and know immediately that they have found The Dress. I didn't have this moment, and my dress boutique claim that actually most brides don't really experience the dress decision in that way. If you can find a bridal boutique with an in-house seamstress they will be able to turn a dress that you really like into a dress that you love by adding custom things like sleeves to hide bingo wings, or by making the dress more or less "poufy" depending on your taste. A good seamstress is invaluable. Try a lot of dresses on (I think I tried about 30!) and visit a few boutiques before you make any rash decisions. And, of course, take your most honest bridesmaid with you so that she can tell you exactly how huge your arse looks in each dress.
  9. People will straight up ask you to accommodate extra guests. Planning a wedding is very expensive and also very personal. You want people you love there, and you might not want a room full of strangers, plus ones, or children. Try to decide early on whether you're inviting children and whether you're allowing plus ones, and stick to it. Adding a guest can easily cost in excess of £100, and so 10 extra guests can quickly amount to £1000. Most people will be very understanding, but make sure you've decided upon your stance before any awkward questions arise.
  10. Planning a wedding is FUN. The closer you get to the day the more everything will fall into place and every little detail that you've been worrying about will iron itself out. If I'm honest with myself, I didn't really think I would enjoy organising the wedding and I worried about it a lot throughout 2014. Actually, this year has been the best and most exciting year of my life. There will be tears, and potentially even blood, but I can't believe how bloody fortunate I've been to have such amazing friends and family to help me with Operation Herrington Wedding. I can't thank you lot enough. Right, who's getting married next then?
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