Having trouble getting everything in order? Not sure which rules to follow? This all-round guide to wedding planning has you covered…
The wonderful world of wedding planning can affect you in one of two ways – have you in complete bliss looking at dress after dress and setting up spreadsheets galore, or the other – get you in a complete meltdown about the amount there is to do in so little time, with so many options! You want to think what will be will be, but you know that there’s no place for complacency in wedding planning. To top it off, there are lots of ‘traditions’ and set protocol brides feel they have to abide by. Well, fear not! Here’s our guide to avoiding some of the most common mistakes and unnecessary stresses to help you out…
I have to invite anyone whose wedding I’ve been invited to
This is a tricky one and a lot of people will have different opinions on this. The harsh truth is that costs per head are one of the biggest expenses at weddings, and as much as you’d like to invite everyone you know, it simply doesn’t make financial sense. If you were invited to a wedding before by friends, but not close friends, this doesn’t mean you have to invite them to yours all day. Ultimately it’s your wedding, and people need to respect your decisions. It may be polite to at least invite them to the evening as a good gesture, but don’t feel the pressure. They may have only had a small family therefore had extra numbers to invite their friends, but not everyone has that luxury. If you’re worried they may get offended, perhaps have a word with them before you send the invite so they don’t get a nasty shock.
I can’t get married in the evening
Laws have changed so you can now get married anytime of day, or night! The great thing about this is that an evening wedding is far less expensive because you only need to feed guests once, and entertaining guests for hours rather than a whole day is also a lot easier and less expensive. It also means that you can invite everyone to the whole ceremony and reception rather than having to dish out day and evening invitations.
It’s far more expensive to get married abroad
Flying guests overseas for the big day sounds instantly like a massive cost, but don’t be deceived. There are a lot of specialist companies that have incredible wedding packages with just about everything you need for the big day included, apart from the dress and the flights. So, if you’re planning on taking, say, 20 people to your wedding abroad, and they contribute towards the cost of their flight, your wedding could end up being cheaper than here in the UK. A lot of the wedding packages are all-inclusive too, so alcohol and food will be free for guests.
I’ve got to pay for the bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen
Traditionally, the couple would buy the bridesmaid dresses and help out with the groomsmen too, but this tradition is not as common any more. With the trends to have mismatched maids, lots of couples are asking bridesmaids to pay for their own dresses, maybe offering to contribute to the costs. With heavy, satin floor-length gowns that your girls will never wear again, it may be that you want to pay for these in full, but if the girls are allowed to choose their own dresses that can be worn after the day, then they should be more than happy to cover their own costs as they will get use out of it after the wedding.
I have to wear a white or ivory wedding dress
Sure, ivory and white are still the most popular choices for brides, but that certainly isn’t the only choice. Many designers offer colourful gowns, patterned designs and metallic dresses for brides, and they can be equally as stunning.
A year before the wedding is plenty of time to book the venue, photographer etc
A year might seem like a long way off, but in the wedding world, that’s no time at all! A lot of couples don’t realise how long things actually take to book and that suppliers can get booked up years in advance, so it’s best to book the main suppliers ASAP. For example, venue dates will be sparse from the 1st January for the rest of that year, and wedding dresses can take up to 6 months to be delivered from some designers, plus alterations.
It’s bad luck to…
Superstitious brides can get themselves into a tizz about what they should and shouldn’t do on the big day, but we say the rules are there to be broken! Breaking the mould and having the wedding you want should be the ultimate goal for you both.
Wedding planning is easy, right?
Unfortunately not. Wedding planning can certainly be fun, especially if you’re organised and get on top of things early on, but if you leave things until last minute, or forget certain elements you need to do, your wedding dream can quickly become a living nightmare! Avoid this at all costs by organising yourself with a wedding planner and spreadsheets. Number one starting point should be a budget spreadsheet, allocating costs accordingly. Make sure you’re realistic about what you can afford. No wedding is worth getting into thousands of debt over, and that’s really not the way you want to start married life.
My whole family will burst into tears when they see me in my dress
Ah yes, the fantasy of trying on your dress and instantly knowing it’s ‘the one’, as your mum and bridesmaids burst into tears of pure joy for you. A lovely idea, but not always the case. One of the things brides fret over most is finding the perfect dress that makes them feel amazing, and this pressure can actually make the dress shopping experience really daunting, and not particularly fun. Just try to relax, try on everything you like and also take suggestions from the boutique assistants. If you really like a dress and keep going back to it then that’s the one, even if you don’t well up in it, that’s sometimes just the way it goes. You may feel more relieved to find it rather than super excited! And if mum doesn’t cry, that doesn’t mean it’s the wrong choice. Everyone is different so keep your expectations low so you can only be pleasantly surprised if they do go bananas when they see you!
Everyone else will be as excited as you about the big day
This may be the case for your nearest and dearest, but don’t expect everyone to want to talk about your big day 24/7. It doesn’t mean they don’t care, but not everyone will be as excited as you are (is anyone in the world as excited as you are right now?!). Guaranteed on the day they will all be beaming from ear to ear for you.
Every single detail needs to be perfect
It’s so easy to put pressure on yourself to create the most incredible, memorable wedding your guests have ever been to, especially as some of the weddings you’ve been to recently have been pretty darn good. But don’t do that to yourself. Weddings are not a competition and your friends and family aren’t there to judge the quality of the favours or the size of the cake, they’re there to celebrate your commitment to one another. As long as they’re well fed
and have a bar, everything else is a bonus!