Hello Beauties! I hope you're all well and if you based in the UK have been enjoying the lovely weather we have been having. It's been great to have some blue skies and the sun shining! Fingers crossed it carries on into September and we are lucky with the weather for the wedding!
Wedding planning is something I love and although there have been a few stressful parts to it so far I will really miss it when it's over. Every weekend I enjoy being able to spend time planning the next stages and it's exiting making bookings! The wedding is just five months away which has come around extremely quickly and I've learnt a lot along the way about what wedding planning is really like in reality. Here is the truth about wedding planning!
1. It Takes Over Your Life
Planning a wedding however intimate or large is a big task and from the word go it takes over your life. Even though my Fiance and I had a good idea of what we wanted before we even got engaged every weekend and some evenings are completely taken over with wedding planning. Whether it be researching, responding to people or attending appointments there is always an endless list things to do.
This really surprised me because we have been very organised and have been pretty quick at making most decisions so although I thought a lot of our time would be taken up with planning I didn't expect it to be quite so much. It's definitely a challenge having a full time job, wedding planning and blogging!
2. Decision, Decisions, Decisions
It seems obvious but wedding planning involves making a continuous amount of decisions which isn't always easy. You need to be prepared to make them reasonably quickly too, particularly if your wedding is less than a year away. The decisions range from big to small such as what venue should you choose and what dress will you wear to how should the napkins be folded. Believe me, you'll be asked to confirm absolutely everything which for me is ideal as I'm a perfectionist!
To plan a wedding successfully I honestly think you need to be organised. You need to have a list of things to do either yourself or delegate to other people who are happy to help otherwise you'll find it very hard to keep on top of things.
I have a wedding planner that I can keep papers in as well as write notes and dates as well as a gorgeous personalised notepad one of my Maid's of Honour got me. I also make lots of lists in an app on my phone and have a couple of storage boxes full of magazines, paperwork and bits and bobs I have bought in preparation for the big day.
Being organised is also important because I've noticed wedding related things take a lot longer than you would expect. For example, my dress is taking 6 months to arrive because the designer is in the US (I went to a London store), my shoes are taking a month for the same reason and my accessories three months. You need to leave yourself plenty of time to search for your dream items and order them without feeling rushed. You also need to plan for things such as your shoes arriving in time for your dress fittings!
It is also good to be organised and attend wedding fairs as early on in the process as possible. I've been to a few which I have enjoyed a lot but would have been pointless if I had been further along in the planning process as you'll find a lot of the stalls are repetitive so if you have a photographer, wedding dress, entertainment etc you won't need to look at them.
4. Research is Key
After attending a number of different appointments every time I have been extremely relieved I spent the time doing lots of research online and asking friends before attending. I have been shocked by the amount of companies who don't really give you any guidance and they just expect you to know what you want and even request to see pictures there and then. Pinterest is an amazing source to use! Lucky I did all this but if I hadn't I would have been completely lost and I wouldn't have got as much out of the appointments.
I don't know about anyone else but I find wedding planning to be really addictive. I guess this is because I love it so much. I could quite easily spend a whole day researching dresses or flowers or hairstyles etc and often the hours have run away with me!
6. Time to Be a Wedding Expert
Something I have found suprising and a little overwhelming about wedding planning is that as soon as you are engaged suddenly a lot of people seem to think you are the expert on weddings. You are expected to know about photography, videography, music, vows, rings, flowers etc and most companies have offered little advice.
You need to know what questions to ask before you go to appointments too as I've found I haven't been openly given information about anything so you need to think carefully about what you need to know. If you don't ask.... they won't tell you!
Also, you need to work out exactly what you need do when such as register your marriage, get your banns read and so on as again in my experience none of the professionals have given any guidance on this. Luckily friends and family have been able to help us out on that side of things and there are also lists available online and plenty of wedding books on the market but I would definitely make sure you put in the time to understand what you need to do because if you are waiting on your wedding planner to advise you it probably will never happen!
7. Negotiation isn't Easy
A lot of wedding shows say to negotiate on price as you'll get discounts but it's really not as easy as you think. After seeing past the embarrassment of doing it (I get so shy) most people say no and won't budge an inch. Instead I've found it better to shop around so you can get the best price. I guess this one just comes down to luck though!
8. It's All in the Details
Once you've ticked the big things off your list like date, venue and cake etc next you need to think of the smaller details. One way we are doing this is by including some personalised touches during the day as well as some surprises for our guests.
In the details you can also add hints of your theme and let your personalities show through to make it a wedding to remember.
9. Chase, Chase, Chase
Believe it or not most of our wedding planning time is spent chasing people. I've lost count of the amount of companies who need constant chasing to come back with information even before we have booked them! I've been by surprised by this as there are so many different ones on the market I would have thought the customer service would be good so you don't go to a competitor but that isn't always the case!
Everyone knows weddings are expensive but I have been shocked by how much. At the beginning of the process we tried to put together some kind of budget spreadsheet which was a challenge as it's tricky to find prices for guidance and often lots of things for weddings are bespoke such as flowers and photography. When we did this we added extra onto each item and thought overall we'd been pretty generous with most things.. turns out we wasn't!
I would suggest to to work out how much you think something will be, add a bit more and double it.. you'll probably be closer to the actually price. Of course it depends on the kind of things you are booking and what kind of look you are after, though. For example, you can reduce the cost of flowers by picking those which are in season so are more readily available and having smaller arrangements. It really depends what you want!
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