Having had the privilege of helping and witnessing many marriages over many years we have a wealth of knowledge and tips that we’d like to share. So, sit back with a cuppa and take in our top 10…
1. What kind of day do you want?
At the very beginning you need to decide what type of day it is that you want. Ensure that you talk to your partner about your “dream day” and what you envisage. You may find that you are at the opposite side of the scale in which case compromise would be needed from the both of you.
Try and decide what is important to you as a couple. Could it be the fairy-tale castle, or maybe your favourite band playing in the evening, a Caribbean beach venue, or at the church that you met. Each of you will have different priorities – and that is OK. Once you have a brief outline of an idea move on to the next step.
Talking money is always a sensitive subject. We would urge you to talk about this early as it will save you headaches and heartache further down the line when decisions need to be made. You may not have a fixed budget, but you’ll have an idea of what is sensible to you. I.e. does £20,000 sound like too much? or does £40,000 sound ludicrously expensive?
Each couples’ budget will be unique to them and their life choices. Once you have a figure in mind there is a “rule of thumb” that suggests 50% of your budget be spent on the venue, food and drink. So, if your total budget is £20,000 then £10,000 would be spent on the wedding reception / evening reception / venue costs and any drinks that you want to include. Of course, this will not stringently apply to all couples, but can possibly help when looking at different types of venues and their charges.
3. Theme or Vibe
Your theme or vibe may come about quite easily, especially if you’re venue is quirky, or you have certain passions as a couple that you must incorporate in the day. It is not necessary to have a theme that you adhere to in a strict manner. The bridesmaid’s dresses don’t have to be the same mauve colour as the napkins and flowers on the tables. We find it’s more important to have a cohesive vibe flowing through the day instead of being too “matchy”.
Generally, less is more. Should you find the ultimate 7-armed candelabra in satin black that you absolutely love it may not fit into your beach vibe for the day – in which case you must be brave and leave them well alone.
Our suggestions on what order to book your suppliers would be as follows: –
- Venue along with church, chapel or registrar
- The dress
The best people tend to get booked quite early and many do one wedding a day. Wedding suppliers and services should fit-in to the budget that you’ve previously talked about and are also on-board with your theme or vibe.
For us, photographers are key… Think about it… once everything is over and you’re back from honeymoon what you’ll have is your memories and photo’s (and possibly videos) of your day. Make sure that your photographer knows what your expectations are – remember though to be realistic based on your budget. If something looks too good to be true it most likely will be.
Get lots of quotes from different people and get a feel for them. A photographer will spend all day with you and so you must be comfortable standing in front of them. Whereas a florist you may see once in the morning.
5. Emergency fund
As a side-line to your budget is an emergency fund. We would suggest that 10% of your budget be put to one side. I.e. if your total budget is £20,000 take £2,000 out of the pot and don’t allocate this to any of the big-ticket items.
It is common, as your wedding date approaches, for unexpected costs to crop up. Or you may find that lastminute something that would totally make your day perfect. Your emergency fund could prove crucial in this situation.
The best planned wedding can still have things go wrong through no fault of your own. These situations are unlikely, however, devastating should it happen to you. As soon as you’ve bought or put a deposit on one service you can purchase insurance for your day. We would highly recommend that all bridal parties take out some sort of event/wedding insurance. At least be compensated for a service that you did not receive through being insured.
Look at Martin Lewis’ website for hints & tips of what cover you may need for your day. The website is very clear to note that insurance covers supplier cancellations, failure to deliver services, key persons falling ill – but not cold feet!
7. Make your budget go further
A couple of pointers to help your budget go further: –
- Do you really need to send out both “save the date” cards and invites? Maybe save some money (and trees) by phoning, texting, Facebook messaging your nearest and dearest rather than sending out Save the Date cards.
- Use your church or ceremony flowers within your reception venue. Pre-plan that someone from the bridal party (possibly the ushers) brings the flowers with them once everyone has left the ceremony.
- Ask your bridesmaids to place their flowers on the cake or gift table.
- Should your dream be a 6-tier wedding cake extravaganza ask your cake supplier whether 3 of the tiers can be “dummy cakes”. These look very real from the outside and are usually polystyrene on the inside.
8. Ignore traditions
Don’t get caught up in traditions – unless you want to!
20 years ago, favours for the table consisted of 5 sugared almonds in a pretty bag, each having its own meaning. Move forward to today and this tradition is no longer followed. What we’re trying to say is that traditions change and evolve and are not necessarily what you want to do. Traditional top table seating arrangements do not allow for modern day families which is why a new tradition is emerging for sweetheart tables (a table only for the bride and groom).
You may want to do the speeches before food – get them out of the way – not a problem. You may want to cut the cake during your evening reception – this shouldn’t be an issue for any venue. Remember that it is your day, and you do not have to follow a set pattern.
9. Social media
Have a thought about social media and whether you are pro / anti / or don’t really care whether your guests post pictures of your wedding throughout the day.
PRO – Encourage guests to take as many photo’s as possible and post them on specific pages, or even on their own pages. Encourage the use of a hashtag so that you can track and collate the pictures afterwards.
ANTI – By putting up discreet notices or a blackboard you can politely ask guests not to post pictures of the wedding day allowing you the opportunity to post your own official photo’s first.
Should you not have an opinion – then it doesn’t matter.
Be wary when you are researching certain items, i.e. flowers / cakes etc. Many photos on sites such as Pinterest are manipulated, the colours altered and are very likely to look different in “normal” lighting situations. Creating mood boards for your chosen wedding supplier is a good idea, but please be realistic as to what your finished product will be.
10. Who is the wedding for?
Finally, please remember that the wedding is for you as a couple and should be what you want. Pressure can be felt from parents, other family members and friends and it can be stressful managing their expectations as well as yours. The key gauge is whether you look back in 5- or 10-years’ time and can honestly say that you had the wedding you wanted.
Should you be interested in viewing the Falcondale as your dream wedding venue, please get in touch to find out more.
Peek at our Wedding page for details on packages.
To book a showaround give us a call on 01570 422910 or email firstname.lastname@example.org