Planning a wedding is an exciting time for you and your fiancé, not to be mention it can be time-consuming, emotional and even if we try to avoid it stressful too. Having got married last Summer, I wanted to share things I learnt from planning our wedding, which I hope will help out brides to be!
1 . Set a budget and stick to it
Having a budget in mind helps keep your finances in check and prevent any over spending. Of course, it's easy to splurge on accessories, food, entertainment and decorations but keep a spread sheet of all your outgoings, so you won't get any nasty surprises when all the invoices come through! We set our budget early on and that rarely changed, we also over estimated costs so we wouldn't fall short within our budget.
2. Lock down the guest list
It can be tempting to invite everyone you know to celebrate your wedding but have a good think about who you really want there. Do you want friends and their partners, children, your great-aunt from Australia who you never speak to? Deciding on the guest list is important as it determines your budget and venue options. You may feel like you're offending people but you only get married once and if you don't want certain people there, then don't feel like you have to invite them. It's also worth having a Plan B guest list for any drop outs - it's going to happen.
3. Book a videographer
Yes of course I would say a videographer is important as this is my field! More often than not, it's seen as an unnecessary expense and something you can do without. To be honest with you, I actually felt the same way initially and didn't set a budget for one but I knew deep down I would regret not having someone capture our day on film. Once you day is over, it's so wonderful to have your wedding film to watch back. We watch ours all the time, share it with friends and family and it's fun to relive the day! So many couples I know regret not booking a videographer, if you're interested in Hanh Made Films shooting your day, you can check out my wedding packages here.
4. Communicate with your vendors
Chances are you'll be spending a lot of time, money and energy in booking various vendors so you want to make sure everything goes smoothly on the day. Being the control freak that I am, I made sure the lighting company knew exactly what I wanted by showing them the venue beforehand. I didn't want to chance any miscommunication. However on the wedding day itself whilst I was getting ready, I got calls from the lighting company saying they couldn't get access into the venue. Of course, you can imagine I was stressed out trying to call my banquet manager to see what was going on. In the end, everything was fine but I don't think you can ever over communicate with your vendors. Have a timetable for the day and send out to all relevant parties.
5. Delegate your wedding party
Whether you have a large or small wedding party, make sure you communicate with your bridesmaids and groomsman what you expect from them on the day. As one friend pointed out they're not there to just look pretty! To avoid any stress or delays on the day, delegate tasks to your party and be specific. Who do you want to guide your guests at the reception, who's in charge of handing our the confetti or over see the table plan? Don't leave it to the day to rush around after them, you want to make sure they're aware of what they need to do in advance.
6. Go with your instinct with the dress
Shopping for your wedding dress is one of the most thrilling and special experience, so take your time. I tried countless dresses and thought I had my heart set on a Vera Wang gown but after trying it on again and again, it didn't feel right. So I went back, took my time and found a beautiful dress that I never would have thought of before and it was a third of the original dress budget! It's easy to be swayed by other people's opinions but always go with your instinct even though it may not have been your first thought.
7. Have a weather back up plan
You would have thought having a wedding in August, we would get good weather right? No matter what happens, it's good to have some back up plan to cover the weather.When it rained in the afternoon, we made sure we had a large goft umbrella, which we used to take photos outside. If it's going to be too sunny or hot, maybe think about having some cute fans or parasols for your guests and bridal party.
8. Have fun!
I know every bride and groom gets told this over and over but honestly enjoy yourself, have fun with your guests and try not too worry if something doesn't quite go to plan. I know we were a bit stressed when it started raining when we meant to have our cocktail hour outside but some things are just out of your control. So let it pass and celebrate every moment as newly-weds!
Good luck, if you have any other tips leave them in the comments below!