If you’re newly engaged, and getting to grips with wedding planning, chances are you’re getting advice from all corners. ‘You must have such-and-such’, ‘you need to invite so-and-so’, it’s pretty exhausting, right? But we promise, this post isn’t about adding more unhelpful tips to your growing pile. A bunch of us here at One Fab Day have done the planning, we’ve walked down the aisle, and we have the wedding dresses in our wardrobes, (and the dents in our savings) to prove it!
So we mined our own nuggets of wedding planning wisdom, and asked around the office too, to put together a list of 11 things I wish I’d known before I started wedding planning. Super practical tips that will make planning a wedding as stress-free as possible (who needs extra stress right now, eh?!), and help you have no regrets after the big day has passed.
1. You Will Feel Gorgeous!
One of us lost sleep and shed tears over our skin in the lead up to our wedding (blame acne), and stressed endlessly about whether they’d find a dress they loved that would fit and a sample in my size to try on. What a waste! We wish every bride or groom knew not to worry about losing weight, curing acne, or indeed having their teeth whitened or faces lasered before their wedding. Just know you’re going to feel so unbelievably gorgeous on your wedding day. It’s like the kind of confidence boost you get when you’re rocking a new dress on your birthday – times a million!
2. Your Budget Can Get Out of Control Very Quickly!
You might be the most savvy spender in the world, but it’s really easy to let your budget get out of hand and all of a sudden, you’re in too deep. Make sure you have a buffer (at least 10-15% of your budget!) from the outset to avoid any nasty surprises. Try to be contentious about every expense. €50 here and there at the start, becomes €1000 here or there down the line. It might feel like Monopoly money sometimes, but it’s real cash! If issues arise, try to step back and think about it without your bride or groom hat on. Yes, it can be easier to throw money at a problem, but is there a more creative (and less expensive!) solution?
3. You Spend a Lot of Time with your Wedding Suppliers
Your hairdresser, your makeup artist, your videographer, and your photographer – you’ll likely spend more time chatting with these people on your wedding day, than any one of your guests. So make sure you pick wedding suppliers you trust, feel relaxed with, and will enjoy being around on your big day.
4. You Shouldn’t Divide and Conquer
It’s easy for you and your other half to get pulled in different directions on your wedding day. You might be tempted to split the hosting duties and circulate separately to cover more guests. Everyone advises you to take a moment out together on your wedding day, but we say go further. Make a plan to consciously check in with each other throughout the day, do the rounds together, and make sure you meet at the bar or the dancefloor to enjoy some of the party together too.
5. The Video is Just As Important as the Photos!
We are serious videography advocates! If you possibly can, invest in a videographer as well as a photographer to capture your big day. The photos are essential to have of course, but there’s nothing like a video to really sum up the essence of your wedding day, all the love and excitement in the room, and how it felt to be there. Oh and the speeches – it’s pretty great to relive all the parts you missed or forgot about!
6. Don’t Forget About Your Honeymoon (or Mini Moon/Staycation!)
So many couples don’t put enough thought into their honeymoon – or they forget to leave aside some budget to pay for it! Whether you book a big trip for after your wedding or opt-for a mini moon close to home instead, remember to set aside time to really think about what you want to do. Oh and you’re going to be exhausted after your wedding, so make sure the first few days are nothing but R&R!
7. The More You Do Yourself, The More Expensive It Might Actually Be
It’s a commonly-held belief that DIY weddings are the way to go for putting a unique stamp on your day without spending big. But that isn’t always the case. One of the team hired a blank canvas-style barn venue, and did all the decor themselves, even down to the cutlery and tables, made their own signage, stationery, buttonholes, dessert table and did the DJing themselves. We can safely say it would have been a lot cheaper (and easier!) to forgo some of the personal touches, have a few more pros on the day, and go with a venue that took care of everything!
8. Be a Good Host
It’s so important to be a good host on your wedding day. That means making sure your guests with certain requirements are catered for, creating the right atmosphere for a party and coming up with ideas to ensure each guest feels welcome and comfortable. Yes it’s your wedding day, but your guests are a big part of that. So whether it’s creating a quiet corner for older guests to sit while the band is on, introducing your secular ceremony in a way that eases in more traditional guests, or having a basket in the bathroom with hairspray and tampons – little gestures go a long way!
9. You Set The Tone For Your Wedding
A high-end wedding planner once told us this, and we’ve never forgotten it. If you’re stressed or nervous, your guests will be looking for something wrong, but if you’re laid-back and having the time of your life, your guests will relax into your day and follow your lead! Get some tips for starting the day on the right foot here.
10. Expect the Unexpected
No matter how how perfectly you’ve organised your day, you need to be prepared for things not going to plan. Don’t put pressure on yourself to have everything go off without a hitch, it’s the hitches that make a wedding day more fun and memorable! And we promise, whether it rains all day, you get red wine on your white dress, your car breaks down, or your wedding cake falls over, you’ll still be deliriously happy – in fact, you might not even notice!