So you’re engaged! Many congratulations!
Your mind is probably now whirling with ideas, plans, shopping lists and wedding day dreams.
Now we’re all for reading wedding magazines, blogs, creating moodboards, pinning from wedding dress sites and that sort of thing….but….slow down.
Check out our list of wedding planning mistakes that many brides commonly make and regret afterwards.
It’s not very romantic and it’s not very exciting but the first thing you need to do is work out exactly how much you can afford to spend on your wedding. This may mean saving up for a while or not having quite the wedding you dream of because your money is needed elsewhere – to pay for the deposit on a house for example. You don’t want to start out on married life with a burden of debt so get that budget sorted before you do anything.
Organising and booking your venue should be the very next thing on your wedding list after setting a budget as it’s going to affect the time of year you get married, how many guests you have, the food you serve and possibly the time of day you get married. You want your dress to suit your venue – for example if you decide on a countryside wedding in a marquee in summer you’re not going to want to wear a heavy velvet and satin wedding dress are you? Okay, so we know buying “The Dress” is really exciting but follow our advice and get your budget and venue sorted first.
Good photographers book up really quickly so don’t delay. Your photographs will be a lasting memory of your big day so make sure they are the very best. As soon as you have a date, sort the snapper! Oh yes…don’t be tempted to use family or friends to take your photographs, trust us this can get complicated.
If you think about how much you’re investing on your wedding day, it seems crazy not to stay safe and invest around £50 on insurance that will cover you if a supplier goes out of business, if one of you is unwell and can’t get married that day or if your dress or cake gets damaged en route to you.
We’re all for DIY weddings but making your own invitations, flowers, cakes, favours etc can be very time consuming and if you end up taking unpaid leave from work to sort it then you’re not really saving money. Spend your time enjoying planning your wedding theme, choosing the perfect venue, dress, flowers and cake designs, your guest list, music etc. etc. and let experienced professionals such as florists and venue stylists do what they do best. Focus your time on the things that only you can do. Weddings take a LOT of planning and we have seen lots of very stressed DIY brides!
We only say this because we know by talking to brides that this ends up being one of their top regrets. It’s an extra cost but it adds another dimension when looking back on a very special day. Home videos can be fun (and sometimes a bit scary) – have these as well as not instead of a professionally produced video that you won’t cringe watching!
Think about the car that’s getting you to the venue – will it be able to cope with heavy snow and do you have a back-up plan? Will your guests be warm enough in the marquee? Or alternatively, if you’re marrying in summer can you cope with a heatwave? We’d suggest providing shady parasols, making sure the air-conditioning in your venue is adequate, hiring fans and finally ensuring that guests have plenty of water to drink.
You might be madly in love with your strapless wedding dress but if you marry during a cold snap or on a windy wet day you don’t want to be shivering. Investigate pashminas, wraps and shrugs. They’re not expensive and you can wear them over and over again after your wedding day.
If you’re clearing away tables after the wedding breakfast to create a dance floor you’ll need to find somewhere for your guests to sit – particularly the oldies. A chill-out room is always a good idea – not everybody wants to dance or listen to loud music. Transitioning gently from the day to evening reception is always more relaxing for the guests who have been with you all day.
Young children probably won’t eat the same food as your adult guests and most won’t have the patience to sit through a formal three course meal. Far better to have a children’s table with party food like sandwiches, crisps, a few healthy snacks as well as some cakes and cookies! You’ll be saving on your catering costs – so why not hire a children’s entertainer with the money you save?