7 WEDDING PLANNING MISTAKES TO AVOID
Hello, you utterly scrumptious BLOVERS and an oh so very happy 2016!
Are you one of the very many brides and grooms who have woken up on 1st January thinking “Eeeeep – I’m getting married THIS year”? Fret not, you’re not alone. The b&g inbox has been pretty full to the brim with couples just like you and enquiries have gone through the roof.
Or might you be among those who have just gotten engaged over the Holidays (by the way: squeeee!), chomping at the bit to get started on your epic wedmin journey? You’ll find a whole plethora of wedding planning guides out there that tackle the topic in minute detail (and will pretty much become your bible over the months of planning) so I thought I’d do it differently today.
You see, I have the attention span of a gnat. Always have had, always will have. So whenever I throw myself into researching a new subject, I find it easiest to look at the broad subject in snapshots and narrow down from there in which order I’ll conduct my research. It’s a mind-map kinda thing and must be something to do with the way my brain is wired.
So rather than giving you an enormous amount of information in one fell swoop that you’ll skim-read (at best), desperate to get on with it and pinterest (is that a verb yet?) pretty decoration ideas, I’ll give you some of the most common wedding planning pitfalls to avoid. Over the course of 2016, I’ll cover all of these (and plenty others) in more detail so if it’s a topic that’s relevant for you, you’ll get the full monty month by month.
Super-short ‘n snappy – my list of most common wedding planning mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. DO WE NEED A BUDGET?
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got pennies or pounds to spend, planning a wedding without setting a budget is on a par with going house-hunting without knowing what you can afford (or going shopping without looking at price tags). I get it, honestly, I do. You’re beyond excited and you want to start with the much more thrilling things like looking for a venue and a dress. Stand down! It’ll be much worse to fall in love with a dress you’ll later realise you can’t afford than to start planning with a clear idea of what you can spend in which area.
2. A MARQUEE WILL BE CHEAP(ER)
It’s a common misconception that ‘plonking’ a marquee in your beloved Granny’s rose garden will automatically be cheaper than booking a venue. It can be, but most likely it won’t be. I’m a mahoosive lover of events hosted in families’ gardens, it’s one of the most personal ways of celebrating your wedding day. Bear in mind though that you’ll be setting up not just a tent but all the infrastructure that goes with it (a bit like a pop-up restaurant), which can be magnificent but costly and is definitely operationally challenging.
3. LONG OR SHORT?
Wedding receptions used to be much shorter affairs than they are today, where they will mostly fill an entire day. There’s no need to turf your guests out after a canapé and a glass of fizz but resist the temptation to turn your day into a marathon celebration, after-party ‘n all. I know, you’re only doing it once and you want to make the most of it but bear in mind that adrenaline and excitement will have you waking up at 5am and you’ll be exhausted by midnight. Much nicer to reminisce fondly through the details of the day with a glass of Champagne in your Wedding Suite than to fall into bed at the crack of dawn, bone-tired and bleary-eyed.
4. PLEASE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME
You may not expect this, but you’ll find that there will be a lot of people happy to be pretty darn vocal about what you can or can’t, must or mustn’t do on your wedding day. Most of the advice will be well intended but don’t try to take it all on board. Remember that it’s your wedding day and that, at least for the most part, you should be able to shape it in the way that best represents your personalities. As always in life, some compromises will need to be made. In all other aspects, dust off your most diplomatic side to gently but firmly tell people you’re doing your thing and remember that you can’t please all the people all the time.
5. THAT DARN WEATHER
I understand that the last thing you’ll want to think about is rain on your wedding day (which, by the way, is said to be lucky) but not making provisions for inclement weather when planning a UK wedding is simply sticking your head into a considerable bucket of sand. Chances are you’ll hire brollies and extra outdoor floor covering you won’t need as your wedding day will be splendidly sunshiny but it’ll be so much worse if you don’t make provisions, the heavens open and your guests are grouchy because they’re soaked through to their knickers.
6. TOTAL DREAM TEAM
In some ways, you have to approach the hiring of your suppliers in the same way as booking a plumber or electrician. Word of mouth is always marvellous and you must make sure you check your suppliers’ qualifications, references and paperwork. But whilst you may not need to fancy your plumber, it definitely helps if you pick wedding suppliers you fall a little bit in love with. Working on your wedding day means you’ll build up a pretty personal relationship and that’s made so much more special when you actually like spending time with each other.
7. DON’T LET IT TAKE OVER
The whole wedmin process can be great, especially when you first start off. There’s so much epic stuff to do! Checking out bands, going for cake tastings, picking Champagne… Don’t let wedding planning take over your lives, though. It’s a slippery slope from fun to frustration if you feel like all you talk about these days is wedding-related. Ideally, book in a couple of days a week where you sit down and talk weddings but avoid it for the rest of the time. Or, if that approach is too restrictive for you, make sure you book in days (or weekends) where you completely ban all wedding talk. Trust me, it’s the best way to keep up your enthusiasm throughout your wedmin journey.
And most importantly: don’t forget to see the big picture. Yes, what you’re planning will undoubtedly be one of the most spectacular days of your lives but you’re not just planning for that one day, you are planning for your marriage. You promising your best friend that you’ll have each others backs for the rest of your lives is way more important than that one day.
Toodles and love,
— Anna Mac