We tackle some of the most common wedding planning problems to ensure your day goes smoothly.
Every couple wants a stress-free day, so we asked MD of Fwd: Events, Danny Johnson, for his advice to ensure you can overcome common wedding planning problems…
How do we say we can’t afford ‘plus ones’?
Deciding on a guest list is a tricky task in any case, but adding plus ones into the mix can be the making of a nightmare. There isn’t an official etiquette for plus ones, but I would advise considering each couple on your list and working from there. If they have only been together for a few weeks or months, then it’s acceptable to only invite the friend; if the couple are engaged or married, then they should be considered as a unit. If you simply can’t afford to invite everyone and their other halves to the ceremony, contact your guests before you send out the invites and explain that costs per head were too high, but then invite their plus one to the evening. I’m worried we can’t get our dream day with our budget
With the average wedding in the UK costing £22,000, it’s important to set yourselves a realistic budget. I always recommend visiting a wedding fair if you’re unsure about how much wedding cakes, flowers, stationery and favours cost. This will give a good indication about what you can and can’t afford, what inspires you and ways in which you can stick to your budget in the long-run. You should also consider the technical and practical skill sets among your family and friends. Very often, your auntie, friend from university and former housemate are more than happy to help out – from designing your invitations to baking your wedding cake. This makes the day more personalised and unique as well.
There are so many wedding suppliers out there for us to choose from, how do we pick?!
Always remember that vicars, registrars, photographers and DJs are the face of your
wedding; the reputation of
your day does somewhat rely upon them. This is a word-of-mouth industry and with a bit of research it can be easy to discover what kind of atmosphere, style and service a person creates and whether they are right for you. If you are able to do so, it might be worth asking your DJ if you could watch them at another event and meet your photographer to go through their wedding albums before booking. If they’re not keen to do so, then that’s probably
We haven’t budgeted for wedding insurance
We all think that it will never happen to us, but it will happen to someone. I rescued a couple once whose hotel reception fell through a fortnight before the big day. Luckily, they had the insurance to cover themselves so that we could focus on sourcing a venue and catering (which we did and it was a beautiful day!) – but that story could have played out very differently.
Wedding insurance starts from as little as £15… £15 that might turn out to be priceless.
Not all of our guests have RSVPed and there are only weeks to go
Never presume that radio silence is a ‘no’. Very often, it’s the other way around and family think you already know they’re coming – why wouldn’t they? Check with everyone on your guest list and ensure all RSVPs are accounted for.
We’re struggling to keep everyone happy with our top table plan
The truth is that it will be hard to please everyone – and this includes the happiest of families. If you have step parents, this makes the process a lot harder. You could mix up the traditional top table by seating different members of the main wedding party across all tables. For instance, mum and stepdad with mum’s immediate family; dad and stepmum with her children and then the best man with friends. This way every guest feels special and you avoid any potential issues and awkward silences – hopefully!
One of our bridesmaids is pregnant and will no longer fit into her dress
While it is productive to find and buy your bridesmaids’ dresses and groomsmen’s suits early on in the wedding planning process, it can lead to alterations as the big day draws near. This can be timely and expensive – especially if a bridesmaid falls pregnant and their bump is growing by the week! My advice on avoiding this issue is simple: find yourself a good, local tailor and seamstress. By all means buy the outfits, but ensure the tailor is booked a couple of weeks before to optimise the fit.
It’s the big day and a button has come off my wedding dress!
You should always carry an ‘instant repair’ kit around with you, or make sure your bridesmaids keep it somewhere safe for any on-the-day dramas. All you need is some black cotton, white cotton, a needle, a small pair of scissors, black buttons, white buttons, some plasters and a couple of safety pins.
Our friends have uploaded some photos of us on social media before the service has even finished!
This is a very 21st century problem that is only set to get worse as technology advances. To me, a wedding should be a private event shared with your guests, not with their social media followers – and most definitely not before the evening guests have even arrived! You could politely ask guests on their invitations not to upload any photos until the
following day. Some of my clients have asked for an all-out camera ban, but this means you miss unofficial moments that can be just as precious as the main photos of the day. Other clients have incorporated the social media buzz into their day by asking guests to upload their photos using a certain hashtag. If this is the case, perhaps you could ask guests to do this after a certain time so that they spend the day celebrating with you, rather than checking and updating their social media profiles.
The 10-day weather forecast predicts rain on my day… In July!
Unfortunately, one of the biggest wedding woes is the British weather. Being so unpredictable, you can never be certain of a warm or cool day, sunshine or rain. Here in Blighty we can have scorching hot Septembers and floods in June – it’s completely luck of the draw. The best thing to do is to be prepared for all weather outcomes, and most importantly – don’t let it stress you out. There’s absolutely nothing you can do about it, but you can ensure that you enjoy the planning process rather than fretting about the small stuff. And on the day, as long as you have a Plan B, you will be just fine. You’ll most likely be so caught up in the moment that you won’t even notice the weather!
My mother-in-law is interfering!
It’s natural for both sets of parents to want to get involved in the planning, especially the mums! If they have contributed money to the day, then you may need to give a little into their strong wants, like certain people being invited, but don’t do anything you aren’t comfortable with. She will understand if you make it clear from the start that you’re happy to hear her ideas but ultimately decisions are made between you and your fiancé.
Our guests aren’t eating any wedding cake
Professionally-made wedding cakes can be very expensive. By the time guests have enjoyed the wedding breakfast, sipped on something sparkling for the speeches and socialised with other guests, they are often too full or preoccupied to appreciate the wedding cake. An increasing trend is to have a wedding cake with a fruit cake top tier (which the couple can keep) and then tiers of vanilla sponge cupcakes cascading underneath. This makes it easier for the guests to take away with them.
My top tip for your big day is to remember that weddings are a bit like the theatre. Your guests will never know what goes on behind the scenes, or what was meant to happen, so if anything doesn’t go to plan no one will notice. So why worry? Enjoy every second of it!