For many brides the expression “tying the knot” takes on a completely new meaning as they tie themselves in knots trying to plan their ultimate, dream wedding. To make the whole process easier we’ve compiled our very own list of top tips for planning the perfect wedding:
1) Decide what type of wedding you want
Though it may sound obvious, the first decision you must make is exactly what type of wedding you want. Do you want a traditional church affair or would you prefer to take your vows in a more unique setting? Look around different venues for inspiration but don’t be swayed by celebrity magazines and the like; make sure you and your partner have the wedding of your dreams not someone else’s.
2) Allow plenty of time
The more time you give yourselves to plan a wedding the less stressful it will be. Popular venues can get booked up several years in advance. Once you have chosen a venue and a date you can then take your time sourcing suppliers knowing there will be no last minute panics over cars, photographers, flowers etc.
3) Enjoy the planning
A wedding and everything it entails should be fun. It should not be a stressful experience and nor should the planning. Of course you want everything to be perfect but remember that your guests are not going to be scrutinising every last detail of the day; they just want to celebrate with you and share in your happiness. If you really don’t think you can plan without fussing over the smallest detail then think about investing in the services of wedding planner who will do all the hard work for you, leaving you free to look forward to your big day. Many venues provide a wedding co-ordinator as part of their package.
4) Remember it’s your day
Ultimately a wedding is about two people declaring their love for each other in front of friends and family. You may find that parents, future in-laws, grandparents and even friends will have strong views on what your wedding should and shouldn’t feature. Remember though, it’s your day and you should have the ultimate say in how it goes. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be accommodating (especially if parents are helping with the costs!) but you don’t want to look back at the photos and regret any of your choices.
5) Choose your traditions
Wedding traditions can be lovely; they unite the generations and provide a sense of continuity. However if you don’t want to wear a veil, throw your bouquet or not see the groom on the day of the wedding then don’t worry. Traditions are not set in stone; you can choose which ones you want to adopt and perhaps even start some of your own to pass down to future generations. Many traditions are steeped in history and superstition and are not relevant to modern life; so choose the ones you like and don’t worry about ditching the ones you don’t.
6) Be organised
There are a lot of elements to pull together for a wedding – venue, cars, flowers, guest list, dresses, suits, rings, food, entertainment etc. etc. It is therefore important to keep on top of everything and the easiest way to do this is to keep one folder containing absolutely everything to do with the day. This should include all the suppliers’ contact details, notes of any conversations, confirmation details and receipts. If you have a wobble a few days before the wedding you can then refer to the folder and reassure yourself that you have indeed booked a car and chauffeur!
7) Budget carefully
Most couples have to work within a budget and it is really important to stick to it. Remember this is just the first day of the rest of your life and you really don’t want to be saddling yourself with debt at the start of your married life. Therefore decide what is most important to you about your big day and what you are happy to compromise on. Then allocate your budget accordingly. It is also very important to decide right at the outset who is paying for what to avoid any embarrassing conversations when invoices start arriving.
8) Plan for the weather
As tempting as it is to picture your wedding day being played out under blue skies and brilliant sunshine the British weather doesn’t always play ball. It is therefore incredibly important that you have contingency plans for all eventualities. If you wish to take your vows outside that’s great but make sure you can seamlessly move proceedings under cover if necessary. Likewise if you are planning on guests milling about outside between the ceremony and reception ensure there is a suitable indoor area for them to do so should the weather be inclement.
9) Be considerate
Although it is your day, do think about your guests’ needs during the planning process. Make sure that on the day you provide a quiet area where guests can sit and chat and relax. For those who want to hit the dance floor it is a great idea to provide flip flops so guests can swap their heels for something more comfortable to help them dance into the early hours. Likewise parasols (for the sunshine) and wraps (for the cooler evenings) are a thoughtful and welcome offering.
10) Remember why you are planning a wedding in the first place
Make sure you don’t lose sight of the reason you are getting married – it’s not so you can throw a massive party it’s because you want to spend the rest of your lives together. Therefore enjoy planning your big day together but don’t get stressed or anxious about the preparations - a wedding is supposed to be a celebration not a challenge!
This top 10 has been compiled by the wedding team at Hertford Castle. To find out more about hiring this historic venue for your wedding, or to arrange a visit, please contact us on 01992 552885 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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