Real Advice From Real Brides
We asked former Brides who have planned their own weddings,
"Were there any planning aspects you wish you had done, or you would do differently ?"
Here Are Their Top Tips...
Firstly, Congratulations on your engagement, how exciting!! By now you have probably consumed more fizz than you can handle during all the celebrations, have a house full of cards and gifts, and set off on your wedding planning journey, hoping that the internet will guide you along?!
Quite often you absolutely love the beginning of planning your wedding, spending hours researching what you should be doing, and who you should be including on your big day. Pinterest goes into overdrive, constantly looking at friends weddings to see what they have done , Instagram hashtag searches become a daily chore, and then it hits you, you are now more confused than when you started!! There is so much conflicting information available online that you begin to question if you're doing the right thing, spending money in the right way, and booking the right suppliers.
So, I found myself reaching out to previous Brides and asking the Question,
"Is there anything you would do differently?" and the results were all incredibly repetitive;
#1. Not Hiring a Videographer!
So many Brides think that because they have a Professional Photographer, which yes is an essential, that they can make savings on the Video, and would wait and see if they have any spare money at the end.
A Video is the only true reflection of your emotions from start to finish. The sound of laughter you may have missed on the day because you were mingling. The vibe and atmosphere that you have worked so hard to create can be overlooked, the true reactions from your loved ones as you walk down the aisle, and it's the perfect opportunity to reflect on spoken words during the speeches (although I am sure there are a few best man speeches people would like to maybe forget).
#2. not having a Photography Checklist!
I have spoken to so many Brides who say they haven't got one picture with their Mum on the day, or their relatives who have flown in half way across the Globe to be there. They haven't seen what their table plan looked like because they knew where they were sitting and didn't get chance to look. Or they have no funny bridal prep photos, which are usually priceless during the waiting around time in the morning.
There are endless checklists available online, so it would be a 10 minute job to add your preferences. It can be handed to the Best Man and the Photographer on the day, and they can co-ordinate the guests along with the Bridal Party.
Some of their missed moments I found were:
1. Picture with siblings
2. Grandparents and their grandchildren
3. The giving away moment at the top of the aisle
4. Far travelled guests who came from abroad
5. With just Mother or Father
6. Bridesmaids reaction to the dress
7. Guests on each table to ensure there is at least 1 picture of everyone who attended
#3. Budget Budget Budget!
It was amazing how many different ways the issue of budgeting were mentioned.
a) Allocating a realistic Budget and just spending "because we're only doing it once"-
So many Couples don't know how much they can afford to spend before they begin. It's such a vital part of the early planning process that should be planned according to your personal affordability, before you even create a Pinterest Board. I liken it to Holiday Shopping...Such an exciting time, stepping foot into the Travel Agents knowing that sun, sea and sand isn't too far away. However, you would be incredibly disheartened if the Travel Agent started showing you a 5* luxury bungalow in Bora Bora with a private sea plane, if your realistic budget is closer to a relaxing break in The Algarve sipping on Sangria. Both lovely and yet both very different in price.
b) Having the time to price match and search for the best deal -
This is where Wedding Planners become your best friends. They have connections with suppliers at their fingertips and usually know how to negotiate a little saving for you! If the average wedding takes 350 hours to plan, you can allocate a good 200 of that into researching alternative companies. Settling for the first quote could potentially be an unnecessary dent into your budget.
c) Spending money on favours -
So many Brides have said they have been to weddings and not even remembered or taken home whatever favour was on their place setting. Some get creative, some bake, some have optional baskets where you can take the gift if you would like to. Either way, is this an expense that we need to be layering on top of an already bank breaking occasion? It's very common to have an alcoholic gesture, however, that can be a costly expense before you've even added on a Three Course Wedding Breakfast, and some venues won't allow such a gift, or charge you a corkage fee on top! If you are looking to pull back some money in line with the budget, I suggest here is a good place to start.
#4 Less is more
Some brides said they spent so much money trying to tie their theme to every room of their venue, that they simply got carried away. Sometimes it would be lovely to have 1 large gesture and focal point where you focus your design and money, and then have subtle gestures of the theme carried throughout the venue and day. For instance, your flowers could be replicated on your cake, your name place settings could be the same design as your invitations, and do you really need an elaborate backdrop to your top table, or could you envisage something which will subtly fill the entire room instead?
#5 Not styling their aisle with proper thought
Your ceremony generally last 30-60 minutes, and for that reason so many couples either don't bother styling their aisle, or spend crazy money on additional styling items. Everything you see in this aisle set up was then re-used for the reception. The flowers were from the top table, the candles were clustered by the doors, the frame was used for a photo booth back drop, and the drapes moved into the next room. If you get the right wedding planner or stylist on board, they will always try and help you to be more efficient with your styling choices.
#6 Not taking the time to step back and take it all in
You've probably heard it a thousand times, " blink and the day is over! "
It is so true!!! It's really important that you just stop and stand back and enjoy everyone's happiness and joy at being able to celebrate your new life chapter. It's over whelming at times, and so many couples say they wish it lasted longer! Enjoy every second and take it all in.
#7 Not hiring a wedding planner and trying to do it on my own
" Your service is by far the best purchase I've made," a lovely comment received from one of Wedding Care's Brides.
We are not here to make you spend unnecessary money - In fact, we can save you money by knowing who is reliable, who is within your price range, who is offering a fair quotation and always calling on our teams of recommended suppliers that we know and trust!
I speak to so many couples who say they wish they had known about wedding planners when they got married because it would have saved them a lot of time and stress. Planning a wedding takes around 350 hours if you don't know where to start, and we are here with open arms to help you.
Get in touch
If you are struggling to tie all of these details together and feel as though your list is never ending, please get in touch with Wedding Care's planning services to see how we can help you with our Bespoke Packages tailored to your planning needs.