The good, the bad and the ugly truth about planning a wedding, with fun, excitement and a once-in-a-lifetime experience thrown in too.
It’s a day that you may have been dreaming about since you were a little girl; a day that simply must be perfect, and reflect everything you’ve always imagined, including the horse and carriage! In reality – your wedding can be the ultimate fairytale, but this article has been designed to share some home truths about planning a wedding; from money to meltdowns and more.
Home Truths: Planning the Big Day
It is all about YOU – Regardless of who you speak to your wedding about, there will always be someone who has done it first, and a number of people throwing different opinions and advise around before you get a chance to speak. We advise that you maintain a level head throughout your wedding planning, as ultimately every decision will be down to you and your partner. You must do what is right for you both, not your friends or family.
You WILL have at least one major meltdown – but it’s OK! The juggle of work, maintaining a home AND planning a wedding can take its toll on some people. However, if you’re starting to feel that it’s all getting a bit too much, step away from it all for a few days. Go away for weekend and agree not to talk about the wedding for a couple of days. You may find that this gives your mind a break and could even give you a fresh start when you get back into the swing of things again.
Have an OPEN MIND - You may have your heart set on a wedding venue but the date you want is already booked or it’s a little over-budget. Be flexible. Consider getting married on a Thursday (so you get a 4-day weekend…!!) or a Friday (it’s practically a Saturday) to see if it works in your favour. Mid-week weddings in the autumn or winter months could also be considerably more affordable compared to a wedding in the height of summer.
Your GUEST LIST may take on terrifying proportions - There will be people popping up that you haven’t seen in years but suddenly feel terribly guilty about not inviting them to your wedding. Be brutal.
Consider the COMFORT and ENJOYMENT of your guests - Having a 2-hour reception without food and limited bar options will keep guests talking about your wedding for years to come… but for all the wrong reasons. You’ve invited your nearest and dearest to celebrate your marriage and enjoy the day and they’re not going to be able to do that with rumbling tummies. Keep the drink flowing (or at least provide the option for them to go and buy themselves a drink!) and try to reduce the amount of time guests need to wait before they’re fed again.
INVOLVE your partner - It goes without saying that this should happen, but your wedding does involve your partner as well. Don’t shut them out completely and even let them take the reins every now and then. You’ll have a much more authentic wedding day if you do.
Home Truths: Budgeting for a Wedding
Spending money becomes TOO easy - The average wedding budget will increase by roughly 10% between setting it and finally paying it off. With the odd little splurges here and there, spending can easily spiral out of control. Spreadsheets are the way forward; if you dedicated an hour or so BEFORE you start planning plotting things out and allocating a spend to each area of your wedding, it’ll be so much easier to keep track along the way and the final bill won’t be such a shock!
MONEY may have strings attached - On the subject of budget, if you’re asking for input from family members make sure you understand the terms on which they are giving it to you. If one or both of your families are contributing to your wedding, find out whether or not they’d like a say in the decisions before you start splashing the cash.
Home Truths: Wedding Suppliers and DIY
Photography IS important - When considering areas to slice the budget photography should definitely NOT be one of them. Your wedding photographs are going to be around for a long time – you don’t want to be looking back on them in years to come and regret cutting corners.
DIY is not always the cheaper option - From having a marquee at home to creating your own centrepieces, favours and place settings, the ‘DIY’ aspect has become increasingly popular in recent years with brides wanting to add a personal touch on their day. The majority also considers this to be a budget-friendly option, however this is not always the case. In the long run, the surprise additions to the marquee, such as flooring, lighting and sound systems can all add up and the time and money spent on the crafts can add stress to an already stressful time. We’re not saying you shouldn’t go down this route, but just be aware that it can work out quite costly.
Pinterest is NOT real – Whether you’ve had your wedding planned on Pinterest for years or you’re newly addicted to the snazzy app, you’ll realise at some point that you may not be able to re-create your ‘My Dream Wedding’ Pinterest board with ease, or without a shed load of money. Yes, use it for (p)inspiration but do keep in mind that a lot of images on Pinterest have come from styled shoots and professionals.
Planning a Wedding: Bijou’s Top Three Tips
- Relax and try to stay calm throughout your wedding planning process. Getting stressed and frustrated may cause tension between you as a couple, or between your families if you’re planning your wedding together. Try and take some time out every week with your partner so that you’re not focussed soley on your wedding from the day of your engagement until you walk down the aisle!
- Stay organised. Whether you’re hiring a wedding planner or using an online wedding planning guide, remember to keep it updated and filled with ideas and inspiration as the weeks go on. Staying on top of your wedding plans will no doubt make your life easier during the run up to the most important day of your life, so far!
- Enjoy the experience. Planning a wedding should be fun! Embrace these special months with friends, family, your colleagues and of course your partner. After the big day you’ll be able to look back and see what an incredible journey you’ve been on – and realise what an amazing journey you’ve got ahead of you too!