5 Things Every Bride Should Know Before They Start Planning
Wedding planning is a funny old time and often a complete roller-coaster of emotions; one of the most exciting times of your life, but sometimes one of the most daunting and stressful. Every bride I know reflects on their wedding planning experience (hopefully with an overall sense of enjoyment) and realises a few things which I think are worth sharing with every bride-to-be out there...
1) 'Don't sweat the small stuff' is an incredibly annoying, but very true saying
There are certain phrases in life that just irritate me, and 'Don't sweat the small stuff' is one of them. It's thrown about a lot when it comes to wedding planning, and I feel myself cringe each time I hear it, but despite all that, it's actually a very true saying.
Listen to past brides when they tell you that on the day, neither you nor your guests will worry about, or even notice, half of the little things that could cause sleepless nights during the planning process.
Number one note-to-self should always be that little reminder of WHY you're getting married; (a little perspective helps to prevent any bride-to-be meltdowns).
Number two note-to-self is that there are only a few main components that you really need to have a 'perfect' wedding day 1) Your friends and family celebrating the two of you 2) Some bl**dy good food and drink 3) A packed out dance floor. Everything else is really just a (potentially very pretty and rather fabulous) nice-to-have, but is not the fundamental making of your memories.
2) Time = Money
In the world of weddings it's pretty much safe to work on the assumption that time = money. Even if something appears simple, if it takes time and man power then it's almost certainly going to have an associated cost, so allow for these unexpected extras when budget planning.
Whether it's asking the band to set up an additional PA location, or asking the venue if you can access earlier than stated in your contract, they all require extra time from the staff or supplier so unfortunately, are unlikely to be free optional extras.
Also, if quotes are slightly higher than you perhaps expected, a) ask yourself what you're actually basing your expectation on and b) remember that a lot of wedding industry suppliers are small, one man bands that put a lot of personal time and effort into delivering their services, of which they can often only do one per day/weekend and so the cost of the services will reflect that.
3) It's YOUR day, so it should be YOUR choices
The more that you understand that you can't please 100% of the people 100% of the time, the more you will enjoy your wedding planning.
Throughout the planning process you will have a lot of decisions to make, from who to invite to what menu to have, and it's likely that your decisions won't necessarily be everyone else's first choice, but that really doesn't matter. It's your wedding day and it's important that you don't look back and wish you'd done it differently, so be a bit selfish if you have to be!
4) Budget creep happens to the best of us
Sticking to your initial budget is hard; I regularly see my couples stretching their spend more than they had first planned (despite our regular budget tracking!) This is because it can be easy to get caught in the big, pretty, floral wedding bubble and the motto of 'what's an extra £100 in the scheme of things?' can fast become adopted.
I should point out, that it's very important to be realistic, and understand that some things may cost more than you had expected, so a little budget flexibility is certainly recommended if possible BUT you shouldn't financially stretch yourselves beyond what you're comfortable with.
To allow for the unexpected costs and an ever increasing spend, try and build in a buffer at the beginning when determining your wedding budget, if you come in under then great, but if not then your buffer absorbs the brunt of it!
5) Trust the experts
Your wedding planner, suppliers and venue have all done this before (or at least you would hope!) so trust in their advice; this is partly what you're paying for. If something is being suggested to you it will be for a reason, usually based on experience. Whilst no one should dictate your wedding plans to you, expert opinions can save you a lot of planning headaches, so at lease consider them!
Similarly if you're stuck for ideas or unsure whether something will work or not then ask the professionals around you, they'll reassure you one way or another and may even make great suggestions that you hadn't thought of yet.