Thursday, 25 June 2015

10 Things I Learned Planning My Wedding

Although we’ve been engaged for about eight years, we made the decision to get married at New Year and we planned everything between January and May. In terms of wedding planning, five months is not a lot of time, but we didn’t want it to drag on and on and take over our lives.

I’m not an expert in the slightest, but as we managed to pull it off I thought I would share some things I learned along the way...

1. Write everything down from the beginning 
When me and Mr decided to get married, my mum bought me a gorgeous planner as a present and it became our handbook. I used it to keep everything in one place, contact numbers, quotes, ideas and lists galore. Thanks to the planner I knew what needed paying and when, and what we needed to get done. If everything is in one place, it makes things much easier.

2. Pinterest is your new best friend
Pinterest is a great source of inspiration, and a great place to keep ideas together. We had a secret pinboard that we both used to share ideas with each other and keep them all in one place. Just make sure you don’t get too caught up in pinning and not actually getting anything done!

3. Have a hen night/stag night (even if you’re wary)
Hen nights as a rule are not my kind of thing. The thought of willy straws, L plates and slimy strippers made me feel queasy so when we first announced we were getting married, it was a massive ‘no’ from me.
However, my good friend Nicki basically told me I was having one and that she would organise it, and she did an amazing job. We had Punk Afternoon tea at the Baltic Social in Liverpool and then a night of drinking and dancing (not a willy straw in sight). I had a great night and rolled in at 5am!
So the lesson is don’t write it off, let your friends make a fuss of you and enjoy it.

Me actually having fun!
4. It doesn’t have to cost a sickening amount of money
We didn’t want to spend a huge amount on our wedding, and we decided that from the get go. We made careful choices and prioritised what we wanted. We shopped around, made our own decorations and chose a venue for our party (which is this weekend!) that is a good price, has a bar where guests can buy their own drinks and that was flexible with us using our own caterers so that we weren’t tied into an expensive one.
None of our thriftiness took away from our wedding, the day was amazing and I know that when I’m dancing my socks of on Saturday with all my friends and family, I won’t care that we didn’t spend a fortune.

5. Just because everyone tells you it’s ‘tradition’ doesn’t mean you have to do it
When you plan a wedding the dreaded t-word is likely to come up on at least one occasion. Whether it’s ‘advice’ from friends and family, or in wedding magazines, there’s a whole list of things that you’re supposed to do.
I didn’t have a white dress, we didn’t get married in a church, we didn’t have bridesmaids and we both stayed at home the night before the wedding. Just because something is sold to you as ‘tradition’, doesn’t mean you have to do it too. Do what suits you and your other half, it’s your wedding.

6. Don’t apologise for your choices
Following on from #7, if you do skip things or do things a little differently, don’t feel like you need to apologise or explain yourself. Some of our choices raised eyebrows but we did them anyway.

Us Being Meffs

7. Don’t exclude your other half
Don’t forget that a wedding is about two people. Don’t dismiss your other half’s ideas, and make decisions together. I left Mr to his own thing regarding what he wanted to wear, and we’ve worked as a team to get things done (including sitting on our living room floor making tissue pompoms together and spending a couple of hours making buttonholes for our wedding guests!).

8. Your family will drive you crazy
Unless you are really lucky (or you elope) your family will drive you crazy at times. From helpful ‘suggestions’ to disapproving of your choices, all of a sudden everyone has an opinion about your wedding.
There are times that I’ve wanted to scream. But its best try and keep calm, they’re just excited for you and it usually comes from a good place. And just because you hear them out, doesn’t mean you have to do as they say.

9. Don’t forget to thank people
I’ve made a special effort to thank people through the whole thing, and I’ve been keeping the post office in business with the amount of stamps I’m going through!
As silly as it sounds, a little ‘thank you’ goes a long way, whether it’s getting on social media and bigging up the people who did your hair/make-up/nails, your florist, your DJ, etc. (obviously providing they did a good job!) or sending a thank you card for a thoughtful gift.

Extra tip – when opening cards and gifts, jot down who got you what so that you can write a more personal thank you card.

10. Enjoy it
It can be easy to get caught up in a vortex of stressing over tiny things when it comes to weddings, but it goes by so quick so just take the time to enjoy it!

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