Wedding planning is definitely a balancing act, but there are things you can do to help yours go smoothly. Expert wedding planner Shaun Johnson shares his tips…
Images by Yolande de Vries.
As soon as the ring is on, it’s worth starting to think about your big day. It can seem a little overwhelming to say the least, so I would always start with getting things down on paper or even better, putting a spreadsheet together. On it should be everything you need to do for your wedding – from sorting wedding insurance to decorations. Brain dumping everything in one document helps you de-compartmentalise, and assigning a timeline to each element breaks things down in more manageable stages.
Do your research
Wedding budgets have a habit of creeping up as the big day approaches and I see a lot of couples who waste money on things that, if thought about earlier, could have been achieved a lot cheaper. For example, decorations. A lot of weddings have an outside element and it’s always lovely to decorate that area in line with the theme and colours of the wedding. What I see a lot is couples going online and thinking the decorations are cheap, but it very soon adds up, as you need to buy quite a lot to get the effect you desire. You don’t have to be particularly artsy to have a go at making them yourself – you just need to dedicate time, and the end result feels so much more personal and often looks a lot better.
As a wedding planner I love it when couples assign roles to people in the lead up to the day and on the day itself. Giving people roles and responsibilities really helps, and for me, having a little go-to team is hugely beneficial. So even if it’s something like ensuring grandma is helped to get somewhere or making sure a taxi is arranged for your out of town guests, these little things are hugely appreciated and really contribute to the day going smoothly. I have heard about brides and grooms dealing with emergencies or sorting out paying of suppliers on the day – this shouldn’t happen, which is why I personally think a wedding planner is vital.
I’ve seen a lot of weddings that just have too many elements to them. This is particularly common when the budget is big, which can result in the day feeling over-produced and not very relaxing. For me, the best weddings are calm and simple, and the elements that are there are executed really well. It’s about asking, ‘do we really need a plane with a ticker tape with our names attached, and fireworks, and a dance routine?’ I’m guessing probably not.
Remember to reflect you
The best weddings are the ones where the couple’s personalities shine through. This can be through little touches such as the music, colours chosen, favours or readings. It’s such a personal day, so really focussing on what makes you tick works so well. For example, I’ve seen couples have readings of their favourite song lyrics instead of religious readings, or having a specific drink or sweet from one of their home towns as favours. Also involving close family and friends in the ceremony and running of the day makes it feel extra special.
Get a wedding planner!
Now, not blowing my own trumpet (okay, I am a bit!), but I can’t stress the importance having a planner enough, especially on the big day. They just bring everything together and ensure everything works on time and ensure your vision comes to life. They also shield the happy couple from anything that might not be going according to plan!
Thanks to Shaun for his tips! Find out more at shaunjohnsonevents.com.