Getting married is a big deal. And planning a wedding can be incredibly stressful. I’ve just done it. And survived to tell the tale! Here are my top tips for planning a wedding that doesn’t kill you (or your bank account).
1.Ditch the stuffy things
The best way to stress yourself out about your wedding is to allow yourself to be sucked into all the “wedding things” that are just required because it’s a wedding, not because you actually want them. Decide what you want to experience on the day, not what should be seen. We are really relaxed and with a beach wedding to back that up, we ditched these things to make our wedding more comfortable and true to ourselves:
- The bouquet: Why must I hold flowers in front of my beautiful dress? It also frees up an extra hand for bubbly if it’s not there.
- Seating arrangements and formal eating: There’s nothing worse than going to a wedding and being stuck at a table of people you don’t particularly have anything in common with, and waiting around for “things to happen” or food to be served. Consider a cocktail-style arrangement and have casual seating mixed in between. It works, I promise!
- Throwing the garter and bouquet: Just why must we do these things? Also, if there’s no bouquet or garter to throw…
- Cash bar: Particularly if you’re having a destination wedding, which most people are doing these days, guests have made a huge effort to be there. Snatch up a good deal from a wine farm or bottle store and treat them with a selection of your favourite drinks.
- Speeches: People want to hear from you, of course, but there is no reason that there have to be speeches from specific people in the wedding party or that the bride doesn’t get to say what she likes to her party crowd.
- OTT Cake: Hands up who remembers even eating the wedding cake at a wedding? We had little, delicious micro-cakes that formed part of the dessert array instead of an expensive over-the-top cake that nobody eats. For us, the oysters were far more important than the cake anyway 😉
- The photo-shoot: Wedding photos are a must, of course, but at what cost to your day? Everything goes by so quickly and you want to be able to spend time with all your guests and enjoy it, instead of posing for awkward, styled photos that aren’t “real”.
2. This is YOUR wedding
For some reason, people start to get weird when they get involved with a wedding. It tends to become about everybody else and the bride and groom often end up just going with whatever is being planned around them.
- Discuss upfront what you’d like your wedding to be like and stick to that.
- Allow people to help you, but provide some guidance so that they are actually helping you and not doing what they would have liked if it was their wedding.
- This time, it really is about you.
3. It’s not a production
It’s a celebration, but not a production.
- Don’t get caught up in the all the little things, it’s not worth it.
- Choose a venue that doesn’t need a lot of work. Spending time, money and effort on little things that people don’t use or notice (mainly because they’re wondering when the food is going to come out because they’ve had 3 glasses of bubbly and about to fall over) is not your best idea.
- Keep it simple and focus on the most important elements: the catering, the entertainment, the vibe.
4. Have an amazing MC
- Pick a friend that can look after the day’s proceedings
- Draft a schedule of what’s supposed to happen when and let him/her ensure that it goes that way
- Once you know that someone is in charge of that and that guests know exactly how things are happening, then everybody is far more relaxed.
5. You will go over budget
Expect it. Don’t freak out about it. Plan for it.
- Get quotes and costs on everything before you buy anything.
- Consider renting instead of buying wherever possible. What are you going to do with 20 vases and 700m of fairy lights after the day?
- Book your honeymoon first and then spend whatever is left on your wedding. You’re welcome 🙂
What an amazing day, truly the best day of my life. If you’re planning your wedding, I hope that I’ve given you some good tips and ideas – enjoy this most special occasion!